5 Comments

Summary:

I test a lot of different phones so I have accounts with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.  I use the T-Mobile account so seldom that this morning I couldn’t find the SIM card.  There’s no telling how long it’s been missing or perhaps it’s stuck in a […]

Tmobile_logoI test a lot of different phones so I have accounts with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.  I use the T-Mobile account so seldom that this morning I couldn’t find the SIM card.  There’s no telling how long it’s been missing or perhaps it’s stuck in a phone here somewhere.  I headed to the local T-Mobile store to get a replacement SIM and had this conversation with the store manager:

JK: I heard that T-Mobile 3G rolled out in Houston the past week.  Is that true?
T-Mob: I heard that too.
JK: So is this local area here covered?
T-Mob:  I don’t really know anything about the 3G yet.
JK:  (shaking head)

T-Mobile should be shouting the 3G roll out from the mountaintops, if there were any mountains around here.  This is another example of why they are failing in the 3G world.

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  1. Too be honest, I think that’s a little unfair of a statement to make. Are the reps trained well enough? Probably not — but that’s been just as true when AT&T rolled out 3G (“3G? Not sure what you mean by that sir..” went one conversation I had) and same with Verizon (“Ev-DO?”).

    It’s too easy to dismiss them in the first phase of the roll-out — the real test of their competency comes after the roll-out is completed, and how well they market it, etc.

    -olly

  2. Up here in Seattle it was UMTS: the very first UMTS in the US. They were so scared of it you had to go to the right retail store at the right time to get The Only Guy that could get you on it.

    He’d then go to The Cabinet which had your choice of two air craft carrier sized UMTS phones and by the choice of phone you could demonstrate whether you had a brain or not (The Motorola was The Correct Choice).

    Once he got you your phone he then had to go to The Drawer which was the only one with UMTS SIM cards… and heaven help you if he’d let The Drawer run empty.

    And of course you’d walk out of the store with your new shiny shiny and figure out just what an idiot you’d been to go through all that and wind up with a phone that crashed regularly on a service that was essentially: all the UMTS you can find to use.

    You also quickly figured out why all the video clips were 2 minutes long, the network didn’t have more than 2 minutes worth of cell coverage anywhere in it (at 55 mph).

    On the bus ride to work you’d crash in and out of UMTS 12 times. On the way home, on the same route, you’d crash 13 times (and to this day you still don’t know why the difference.)

    You could count on all this crashing to crash the handset twice each way.

    Voice calls could usually hand off from GSM to UMTS and back again but your data connections would drop avery other minute since they couldn’t at all (GSM and UMTS had two different IP networks and couldn’t hand off to each other).

    Fast forward a few years to this morning.

    Its now called 3G. The shiny shiny is a iPhone 3G and you were up all night using the secret hold down the buttons trick to engage the hail mary firmware reload ability to restore the firmware on the phone three times because the phone would no longer boot due to some app induced booting failure. (said app issue surviving a firmware reload/sync operation)

    You wind up with a working phone by 5am, just in time to eat breakfast and go to work, by dent of telling iTunes to no longer install apps on the phone.

    But you can now ride to work with only one drop from 3G to GSM.

    Progress! :-)

  3. “The shiny shiny is a iPhone 3G and you were up all night using the secret hold down the buttons trick to engage the hail mary firmware reload ability to restore the firmware on the phone three times because the phone would no longer boot due to some app induced booting failure. (said app issue surviving a firmware reload/sync operation)”

    I’d laugh except my (first gen) iPhone is mostly stuck on the Apple logo. Every now and then I get back to the icons and that same Koi fish app is ‘stuck’ on installing and nothing moves. I had one chance about 10 mins ago to ‘restore’ but I figured it’d sort itself out. It hasn’t and I’m about 30 mins in. Guess the 2.0.2 update didn’t fix this buggy POS. Good thing I can drop my SIM in an N95 to take calls.

  4. While the store manager should be a little more clued in, I’m not surprised. Consider – while T-Mobile did make something LIKE an official annoucement that 3G was available in Houston and a whole lotta leaked news and announcments about upcoming devices:

    1) They have a grand total of two UMTS (and UMTS only!) phones, neither of which is a smartphone (or even really a featurephone for that matter)

    2) They have no data cards available.

    3) Nationwide launch isn’t for another two months.

    I’m just hoping that they don’t drop the ball on this…

  5. William C Bonner Saturday, August 23, 2008

    I’d say it’s chicken and Egg. I’d rather that they get the network really well established before they push whatever phone they are going to use.

    Are all 3g phones backwards compatible with Edge or whatever else is out there? Do they fall back in a reliable fashion? I’ve heard enough bad things about the iPhone3g, which I’ve not switched carriers for, that I don’t mind a delay in the sales push.

    Still carrying my Dash, though it’s been upgraded with the help from the fine folks at http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=309

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