My tryout trip with Cingular and my HP iPaq phone didn’t go so well for Cingular and the phone. First I should say the phone didn’t even get really used on the trip. By the time I was ready for the trip I had decided that the Windows Mobile phone software was too clunky to use all the time, and that the iPaq was nice as a PDA but was too big to use as a phone. Having it reboot 3 times while I was trying to sync it with my Mac didn’t help it.
With the Windows Mobile woes I figured I might as well try out the Cingular SIM in my Treo and see if the service was better and if the “high speed” data was worth the extra money. In NYC the signal seemed fine for singular. It even worked on the tracks in Penn Station. At my companies upstate office however where I had great service with T-Mobile I had 1 bar or no service with Cingular.
The data plan worked fine with no configuration necessary. But it wasn’t noticeably faster than my T-Mobile data plan that was half the price. Wanting to test that I used my Treo as a DUN modem and connected to the internet on my Powerbook using both Cingular and T-Mobile. The Treo 650 supports Cingular’s EDGE network and should have given me performance somewhere in the 100k range. I ran the CNET speed test and got a response of 26k. I tried my T-Mobile SIM on the same phone and got performance of around 60k +. That was what I expected with T-Mobiles GPRS system. That was the final decision to get out of my Cingular trial. The bad signal at my office was almost a death kneel, but paying double for a data plan that was slower was the final straw.
I will give Cingular credit. They are true to their 30 day money back policy for the service and phone. I had no problems returning the device and canceling the service. I say that before I get the bill for usage I had, but I think everything should be ok. If they improve the data speeds and service in the area I travel to I would look at them again, but for now I am fine with T-Mobile.