Discussion:
OT: Diagnosing cell phone service problems.
(too old to reply)
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-08 18:51:51 UTC
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I see a fair number of cell phone related posts in this group, so I'll
hazard to post my question here. If there's a better place to post this
query, let me know.

Last week I was at home when I heard a commotion outside. A young couple was
yelling and screaming, arguing over a very young child. I could tell from
the tone that this was going to become physically violent.

So, I went outside to observe with my cell phone in hand. I called the local
direct line for our city's 911. The couple started to punch each other with
the child physically in between. I was speaking to a dispatcher when my cell
service dropped out. I redialed and was speaking again to another dispatcher
when a minute later the service dropped out again. The police got enough
info from me and another neighbor to respond.

I have unreliable cell service at home. But I don't use my cell phone much
at all, so I haven't worried too much about it until now.

But I don't want to be in the position again where my cell calls to 911 from
my own front yard drop out. It is scary thought that had I not been able to
communicate with the police dispatcher, I might have had to physically
intervene should the child have become the target of the adults' blows.

The reasons I can think of that my service is unreliable are several.

1. My cell phone itself is inadequate. It is an old, cheap simple Motorola
GSM phone, 8 years old. I don't have trouble with it when I'm some other
places. And I do have trouble with it at other locations.

2. My location could be in a "shadow." It may be that given the locations of
the cell towers for my service (AT&T), that signals don't reliably reach the
location.

3. There could be an overload of calls in my area for my service provider.

4. Or simply that my service provider is generally inadequate.

How do I diagnose the issue? If all I need is a new, better phone, I can
just get one. If I need a new carrier, how do I determine whether at my
specific location that the service will be any better?

I'm in West Berkeley.

Tak Nakamoto
Thad Floryan
2014-09-08 19:40:04 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
[...]
The reasons I can think of that my service is unreliable are several.
1. My cell phone itself is inadequate. It is an old, cheap simple Motorola
GSM phone, 8 years old. I don't have trouble with it when I'm some other
places. And I do have trouble with it at other locations.
[...]
Hi Tak,

Cell phone manufacturer and model number would help.

8 years old implies 2G service which is being phased-out
celltower by celltower across the USA; see:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/09/cities-scramble-to-upgrade-stingray-tracking-as-end-of-2g-network-looms/

Who's your carrier (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, etc)?

Thad
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-08 19:50:56 UTC
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"Thad Floryan" wrote in message news:***@thadlabs.com...

"Cell phone manufacturer and model number would help.

8 years old implies 2G service which is being phased-out
celltower by celltower across the USA; see:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/09/cities-scramble-to-upgrade-stingray-tracking-as-end-of-2g-network-looms/

Who's your carrier (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, etc)?"


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My phone is a Motorola C139 GSM. I've had it since my service was from
Cingular and kept it after Cingular was acquired by AT&T.

My current service is from AT&T. We're on a pay by the minute plan as we
simply don't use cell phones much at all.

I hadn't thought about the transmission technology changing. This might be
one problem and might also contribute to what I suspect might be a "shadow"
effect.

Tak Nakamoto
sms
2014-09-08 20:55:37 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
"Cell phone manufacturer and model number would help.
8 years old implies 2G service which is being phased-out
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/09/cities-scramble-to-upgrade-stingray-tracking-as-end-of-2g-network-looms/
Who's your carrier (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, etc)?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My phone is a Motorola C139 GSM. I've had it since my service was from
Cingular and kept it after Cingular was acquired by AT&T.
My current service is from AT&T. We're on a pay by the minute plan as we
simply don't use cell phones much at all.
I hadn't thought about the transmission technology changing. This might be
one problem and might also contribute to what I suspect might be a "shadow"
effect.
Tak Nakamoto
Verizon has much better coverage in the Bay Area. Using their MVNO, Page
Plus, you can get by-the-minute service for about $2.50 per month. You
didn't say how much you're paying on AT&T but I'd wager that it's more
than $2.50 per month.

You just have to add $10 every 120 days ($30 per year). 50¢/month fee is
deducted so that $2.50/month pays for only 20 minutes at 10¢/minute (and
5¢/text). Or you can splurge and pay $80 for one year of service and
you'll be charged 4¢/minute and 5¢/text.

The nice thing about Page Plus is that you can use a smart phone and you
don't need a data plan. You can pay for data if you want it, but you
don't have to.

The popular phone for Page Plus right now is the Boost Moto G flashed to
Page Plus. They sell for about $60 unflashed, $150 flashed. Or you can
use any Verizon phone EXCEPT a) any phone that supports LTE, b) any
prepaid Verizon phone. Page Plus also sells several phones but you don't
need to use one of their phones.
Steve Pope
2014-09-08 21:46:58 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
My phone is a Motorola C139 GSM. I've had it since my service was from
Cingular and kept it after Cingular was acquired by AT&T.
My current service is from AT&T. We're on a pay by the minute plan as we
simply don't use cell phones much at all.
Of the two GSM networks, whereas T-Mobile has exceptionally weak coverage
in west Berkeley (and elsewhere), AT&T has better coverage.
So I suspect the problem is the old 2G phone.

You should be able to obtain a more modern, unlocked GSM phone (3G or
higher) that nonetheless still accepts the mini-SIM that's in your
current phone, as opposed to the newer smaller micro- and nano- SIM's.

Steve
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-08 23:32:56 UTC
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"Steve Pope" wrote:
Of the two GSM networks, whereas T-Mobile has exceptionally weak coverage
in west Berkeley (and elsewhere), AT&T has better coverage.
So I suspect the problem is the old 2G phone.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You and Thad may be right about my phone being the issue. I probably should
get a newer phone. I just checked eBay for unlocked 3G phones and found that
they are really dirt cheap.

I do wonder though whether AT&T has better coverage in my neighborhood than
T-Mobile. My neighbors report their frustrations with AT&T. All of those who
responded had left AT&T. Those who've switched to T-Mobile say their
happier with it. Others switched to Verizon. Everyone uses a more up to date
phone than mine.

Is there a source for information on the quality of service offered by
carriers by location?

Tak
Steve Pope
2014-09-09 00:28:47 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
I do wonder though whether AT&T has better coverage in
my neighborhood than T-Mobile. My neighbors report their
frustrations with AT&T. All of those who responded had left
AT&T. Those who've switched to T-Mobile say their happier with
it. Others switched to Verizon. Everyone uses a more up to date
phone than mine.
Well, my wife has AT&T and I have T-Mobile. She gets consistently
more coverage in parts of west Berkeley where T-Mobile is largely
or entirely dead (which especially includes the 4th Street shopping
district).

Where T-Mobile is less marginal for voice calls, often the data only
functions if I limit it to 2G.

Verizon will work better than either.
Post by Tak Nakamoto
Is there a source for information on the quality of service offered by
carriers by location?
I'll let someone knowledgable answer this...


Steve
Jeff Liebermann
2014-09-09 03:24:42 UTC
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On Mon, 8 Sep 2014 16:32:56 -0700, "Tak Nakamoto"
Post by Tak Nakamoto
Is there a source for information on the quality of service offered by
carriers by location?
No. Crowd sourced coverage data is notoriously unreliable. Try your
luck here:
<http://opensignal.com>
The vendors coverage maps are mostly lies. I think the best you can
do is ask the locals, or borrow a phone and record the signal levels
in areas you're likely to be using the phone. Try the "field service
mode" to get signal levels in dBm:
<http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/uploads/docs/FieldTestModes06142010%20wilson004.pdf>
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_test_mode>
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
Keith Keller
2014-09-09 03:57:47 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
No. Crowd sourced coverage data is notoriously unreliable. Try your
<http://opensignal.com>
Have you used their app?
Post by Jeff Liebermann
The vendors coverage maps are mostly lies.
You mean there's some truth to them?!?

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
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Jeff Liebermann
2014-09-09 05:29:55 UTC
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On Mon, 8 Sep 2014 20:57:47 -0700, Keith Keller
Post by Keith Keller
Post by Jeff Liebermann
No. Crowd sourced coverage data is notoriously unreliable. Try your
<http://opensignal.com>
Have you used their app?
No, because my Droid X2 smartphone doesn't have cellular data service.
I don't need or use cellular data. I use an ancient LG VX8300 voice
only cell phone. My cell phone bill is about $15/month and I have
better things to buy with my money than minutes or megabytes.
Post by Keith Keller
Post by Jeff Liebermann
The vendors coverage maps are mostly lies.
You mean there's some truth to them?!?
There was some truth and accuracy at one time, about 10 yeas ago. I've
seen Cingular and Verizon maps with plenty of local detail and at
least 5 levels of signal strength. I have some guesses as to why
that's no longer the case, but nothing that can be proven.

This is from 2009, when AT&T was building out their 3G network:
<Loading Image...>
It's a tediously assembled composite of all the tiny maps that were
available on the AT&T web pile at the time. Compare it with todays 3G
map:
<http://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html>
Obviously, the number of sites and towers have increased in the last 5
years. Still, it makes me wonder if the current maps are "rounded
off" or "interpolated" to make it looks like AT&T coverage is nothing
less than fabulous.

I also tried to make my own maps in about 2001. However, that failed
after I underwent some surgery, and when I realized that I didn't have
enough equipment information to produce an accurate coverage map. I
also discovered I was a lousy web designer and that the project
involved far too much time and effort. For historical purposes only:
<http://802.11junk.com/cellular/>
See coverage map at bottom of:
<http://802.11junk.com/cellular/jeffl/SVLY-PGE/index.html>
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
sms
2014-09-09 14:47:09 UTC
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On 9/8/2014 10:29 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

<snip>
Post by Jeff Liebermann
No, because my Droid X2 smartphone doesn't have cellular data service.
I don't need or use cellular data. I use an ancient LG VX8300 voice
only cell phone.
I read about those in a history book.
Post by Jeff Liebermann
My cell phone bill is about $15/month and I have
better things to buy with my money than minutes or megabytes.
Can't you put the Droid on Page Plus instead of the LG? Or does the LG
have better reception?

I am amazed at the amount of money people spend on wireless service. I
am now at about $90/month for four smart phones or $22.50/month per
line, and I think that's too much. We are not even using the whole 1GB
of data we share (I started with 2.GB of shared data but cut it back
when we were not even using 1GB). But there are occasions when there is
no Wi-Fi when it's useful to have some data. On Page Plus when I was on
the $12/month plan I never used up my 10MB of data or 250 minutes, but
my wife would get into gabfests with here sisters in the car and she was
going over.
Post by Jeff Liebermann
Post by Keith Keller
Post by Jeff Liebermann
The vendors coverage maps are mostly lies.
You mean there's some truth to them?!?
There was some truth and accuracy at one time, about 10 yeas ago. I've
seen Cingular and Verizon maps with plenty of local detail and at
least 5 levels of signal strength. I have some guesses as to why
that's no longer the case, but nothing that can be proven.
T-Mobile seems to have just recently decreased the number of levels of
signal strength to three (good, fair, none) from five levels. You could
see where their towers were located with the old coverage maps. No more.
Jeff Liebermann
2014-09-09 15:50:44 UTC
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Post by sms
<snip>
Post by Jeff Liebermann
No, because my Droid X2 smartphone doesn't have cellular data service.
I don't need or use cellular data. I use an ancient LG VX8300 voice
only cell phone.
I read about those in a history book.
They're the last decent LG phone with an external antenna. It has
better range than internal antenna phones. SAR is much worse, but I'm
not worried about brain cancer.
Post by sms
Can't you put the Droid on Page Plus instead of the LG? Or does the LG
have better reception?
Sure, but there are a few problem. The Droid X2 audio sounds awful. I
can barely understand the caller, and they usually say that I sound
awful. Bluetooth is better, but I only use that in the car. I had it
on Page Plus for about a month and found it doesn't quite have the
range of the VX8300. I would guess(tm) about a 25% reduction in
range, which I consider substantial.

Having lived without cellular data for many years, I've found that I
simply don't need it. Wi-Fi does fine for most locations. Where
there's no Wi-Fi, I can live without it. There are very few
situations where I need real time updates on my phone. I also don't
like the interruptions such updates tend to produce.
Post by sms
T-Mobile seems to have just recently decreased the number of levels of
signal strength to three (good, fair, none) from five levels. You could
see where their towers were located with the old coverage maps. No more.
Ugh. I hadn't noticed that. If this continues, I'm going to build my
rotating antenna cellular direction finder idea. I suspect that I'm
not the only person who wants to know exactly where they're located.
(Yet another project).
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
Keith Keller
2014-09-09 16:07:03 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
Having lived without cellular data for many years, I've found that I
simply don't need it. Wi-Fi does fine for most locations. Where
there's no Wi-Fi, I can live without it. There are very few
situations where I need real time updates on my phone. I also don't
like the interruptions such updates tend to produce.
You can always turn off synchronization with the many many services that
Android offers. When my Droid 2 started misbehaving so badly as to
become unusable, I turned off sync altogether. (It didn't help much,
but at least it wasn't always transferring new messages.)

I find data to be invaluable when I'm trying to plan my commute. I use
Nextbus to figure out whether I should take bus X or bus Y or walk, or
whether I should take an AC Transit transbay bus (thus also check
traffic with Google Maps) or a bus to BART. I usually don't have wifi
when on my commute, and calling 511 to get this information would take
much too long.

I also use data for server monitoring (and, if desperate, repair) and
listening to east coast hockey games, but I suspect few people here need
data for those things.

--keith
--
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sms
2014-09-09 16:28:20 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by Jeff Liebermann
Having lived without cellular data for many years, I've found that I
simply don't need it. Wi-Fi does fine for most locations. Where
there's no Wi-Fi, I can live without it. There are very few
situations where I need real time updates on my phone. I also don't
like the interruptions such updates tend to produce.
You can always turn off synchronization with the many many services that
Android offers.
You can also install a firewall that prevents specific applications from
using cellular data, limiting them to Wi-Fi only (or not allowing them
to use even Wi-Fi data).
Keith Keller
2014-09-09 17:10:10 UTC
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Post by sms
You can also install a firewall that prevents specific applications from
using cellular data, limiting them to Wi-Fi only (or not allowing them
to use even Wi-Fi data).
You probably need to root your phone to do this. Granted, if anyone's
going to root their phone it'd be this group. (I haven't, not sure if I
will or not.)

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
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sms
2014-09-09 22:52:56 UTC
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Post by Keith Keller
Post by sms
You can also install a firewall that prevents specific applications from
using cellular data, limiting them to Wi-Fi only (or not allowing them
to use even Wi-Fi data).
You probably need to root your phone to do this. Granted, if anyone's
going to root their phone it'd be this group. (I haven't, not sure if I
will or not.)
Mobiwol does not require rooting
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netspark.firewall&hl=en>.
Droidwall
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.googlecode.droidwall.free&hl=en>
does.
Keith Keller
2014-09-10 01:59:39 UTC
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Post by sms
Mobiwol does not require rooting
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netspark.firewall&hl=en>.
Droidwall
<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.googlecode.droidwall.free&hl=en>
does.
Going a bit off topic, I really hate how the Play Store doesn't list the
licensing for apps. For apps like this I really want to know if it has
an open license, so that I know whether people who know more than I do
would be able to read the code and figure out whether it's doing
something crazy. For freemium games we just have to expect that it's
compromising our personal information, but if I'm going to install a
product that is supposed to protect my packets, I want there to be a
way to actually verify that it's doing so (even if I'm not qualified to
do it).

--keith
--
kkeller-***@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
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Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-09 16:19:59 UTC
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"Jeff Liebermann" wrote
No. Crowd sourced coverage data is notoriously unreliable. Try your
luck here:
<http://opensignal.com>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Jeff.

The opensignal map was very useful. It really is time for me to get a new
phone. I can see that AT&T's 2G coverage is very sparse in my neighborhood.

Verizon appears to have my area thoroughly covered. Of course I can't tell
anything about the capacity and the signal strength of each tower. Nor can I
tell how much of the capacity is being used at a tower.

T-Mobile appears to have better coverage than AT&T in the area. This is
consistent with my neighbors' experiences with both AT&T and T-Mobile. They
hate AT&T.

I'll try getting a 3G GSM phone on AT&T with my current account. If that's
inadequate I'll switch to T-Mobile.

Tak Nakamoto
sms
2014-09-09 16:30:00 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
No. Crowd sourced coverage data is notoriously unreliable. Try your
<http://opensignal.com>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Jeff.
The opensignal map was very useful. It really is time for me to get a new
phone. I can see that AT&T's 2G coverage is very sparse in my neighborhood.
Verizon appears to have my area thoroughly covered. Of course I can't tell
anything about the capacity and the signal strength of each tower. Nor can I
tell how much of the capacity is being used at a tower.
T-Mobile appears to have better coverage than AT&T in the area. This is
consistent with my neighbors' experiences with both AT&T and T-Mobile. They
hate AT&T.
I'll try getting a 3G GSM phone on AT&T with my current account. If that's
inadequate I'll switch to T-Mobile.
You might want to just go straight to Verizon. It'll be less expensive
per month than AT&T or T-Mobile (using Verizon's MVNO), and you'll have
better coverage.
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-09 22:15:07 UTC
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-----Original Message-----
From: sms

You might want to just go straight to Verizon. It'll be less expensive
per month than AT&T or T-Mobile (using Verizon's MVNO), and you'll have
better coverage.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I understand that you are very concerned about coverage all over the state
and world. We're pretty much homebodies and don't travel much.

So my needs for coverage is much more local. And my need is voice services
only.

I have also paid up with AT&T until May 2015. While it isn't that much
money, if a new 3G phone improves my service, I'll not lose the money. If it
doesn't, then I'll switch to T-Mobile which my neighbors appear to be happy
with. My new phone will still work with T-Mobile.

Tak
sms
2014-09-09 23:09:34 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
I have also paid up with AT&T until May 2015.
That changes everything.
Roy
2014-09-09 19:24:31 UTC
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Opensignal is a lot like Waze and road conditions. These apps are only
as good as the number of people running them.

Opensignal shows no coverage at my house where I normally get 3-4 bars
:-). I installed the app so hopefully I will add to their database.
Post by Jeff Liebermann
No. Crowd sourced coverage data is notoriously unreliable. Try your
<http://opensignal.com>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Jeff.
The opensignal map was very useful. It really is time for me to get a new
phone. I can see that AT&T's 2G coverage is very sparse in my neighborhood.
Verizon appears to have my area thoroughly covered. Of course I can't tell
anything about the capacity and the signal strength of each tower. Nor can I
tell how much of the capacity is being used at a tower.
T-Mobile appears to have better coverage than AT&T in the area. This is
consistent with my neighbors' experiences with both AT&T and T-Mobile. They
hate AT&T.
I'll try getting a 3G GSM phone on AT&T with my current account. If that's
inadequate I'll switch to T-Mobile.
Tak Nakamoto
sms
2014-09-09 14:03:47 UTC
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Post by Steve Pope
Of the two GSM networks, whereas T-Mobile has exceptionally weak coverage
in west Berkeley (and elsewhere), AT&T has better coverage.
So I suspect the problem is the old 2G phone.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You and Thad may be right about my phone being the issue. I probably should
get a newer phone. I just checked eBay for unlocked 3G phones and found that
they are really dirt cheap.
I do wonder though whether AT&T has better coverage in my neighborhood than
T-Mobile. My neighbors report their frustrations with AT&T. All of those who
responded had left AT&T. Those who've switched to T-Mobile say their
happier with it. Others switched to Verizon. Everyone uses a more up to date
phone than mine.
Is there a source for information on the quality of service offered by
carriers by location?
If you happen to be near a T-Mobile tower in your neighborhood then
you'll naturally have better T-Mobile coverage at your home. This is the
case where I live. Overall, T-Mobile has much poorer coverage, including
vast areas of California with no coverage, native or roaming, at all
(where AT&T and Verizon do have coverage, either native or roaming).

You can look at detailed carrier maps that show the level of coverage
down to the street level. In general, if you never leave the densely
populated urban core for outlying areas in the hills or greenbelt then
you'll have Bay Area coverage even on T-Mobile and Sprint. If you ever
venture outside of the urban core then you'll want AT&T or Verizon.

If you choose AT&T or Verizon, be sure to choose one of their services
that includes roaming. I.e. AT&T's prepaid GoPhone and Cricket products
do not include off-AT&T roaming.
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-23 21:00:57 UTC
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"Steve Pope" wrote

You should be able to obtain a more modern, unlocked GSM phone (3G or
higher) that nonetheless still accepts the mini-SIM that's in your
current phone, as opposed to the newer smaller micro- and nano- SIM's.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve Pope and Thad Floryan were right about my outmoded cell phone being
the problem. I did finally get a 3G phone and my connection problems are
seemingly solved. Even with AT&T as my carrier, my connection seems very
solid.

Even though I bought a AT&T branded ZTE 222 phone, I ended up ordering it
through Amazon because I could not buy it at a physical AT&T store because
of the jam caused by people trying to buy the new iPhone. The stores were
taking appointments to talk to any clerk for any purpose. I couldn't order
it on AT&T's own website because the site wouldn't let me buy the phone
without buying a new service plan. I already have a paid up plan. Their
on-line help via chat was most unhelpful with their suggestions on how to
maneuver through their check out. It was worth the extra $3 I ended up
paying to not have to deal with AT&T directly.

Thanks for all your ideas and help. It was on the mark.

Tak Nakamoto
Thad Floryan
2014-09-23 21:36:04 UTC
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Post by Steve Pope
You should be able to obtain a more modern, unlocked GSM phone (3G or
higher) that nonetheless still accepts the mini-SIM that's in your
current phone, as opposed to the newer smaller micro- and nano- SIM's.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Pope and Thad Floryan were right about my outmoded cell phone being
the problem. I did finally get a 3G phone and my connection problems are
seemingly solved. Even with AT&T as my carrier, my connection seems very
solid.
Hi Tak,

I'm happy to have helped! :-)
Post by Steve Pope
[...]
Even though I bought a AT&T branded ZTE 222 phone, I ended up ordering it
through Amazon because I could not buy it at a physical AT&T store because
of the jam caused by people trying to buy the new iPhone.
[...]
Hmmm, I wish I had thought of that last year. The Pantech Breeze III is
still fine as my backup, but a quick search found this:

http://www.amazon.com/AT-Z222-Go-Phone/dp/B00EKSS7SU

for only $24.68. Wow! Is that the one you bought or is there another
Amazon product code for the specific phone you bought?

I assume you simply transferred the AT&T SIM card to the Z222 and that
was that.

Thad
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-24 01:22:10 UTC
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"Thad Floryan" wrote Hmmm, I wish I had thought of that last year. The
Pantech Breeze III is
still fine as my backup, but a quick search found this:

http://www.amazon.com/AT-Z222-Go-Phone/dp/B00EKSS7SU

for only $24.68. Wow! Is that the one you bought or is there another
Amazon product code for the specific phone you bought?

I assume you simply transferred the AT&T SIM card to the Z222 and that
was that.

Thad


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I thought that I had replied to this earlier. But it isn't here. Sorry I
must have sent it to your personal email unintentionally.

The price is even cheaper. $15 (free shipping)

http://www.att.com/cellphones/att/z222-prepaid.html#fbid=x-yMWBr28m5?sku=sku6880347

The phones are available (in theory) both online at the AT&T website
and at physical stores. As I mentioned, actually buying one from these
stores right now is near impossible. I suppose that the iPhone rush
will wear off and the local stores will go back to normal in a few
weeks. There's no hope for the AT&T online store. Order it elsewhere.

I bought the phone from a franchised AT&T dealer who sells on Amazon for $18
with free shipping. That was the cheapest price for a new one.

It is no wonder that Amazon keeps growing. Compared to other online
stores, their website is vastly more accurate, bug free and faster.
Also I trust Amazon's return policy. No BS. Amazon's local pick up and
drop off boxes for returns are very helpful in cutting shipping costs when
it is
charged.


Yes, all I did was to slip my old standard/micro SIM card into the phone.

Unlocking it will be very easy. If you boot the phone without a SIM card
installed, the first menu item is "unlock."


Tak
Thad Floryan
2014-09-24 01:49:22 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
Post by Thad Floryan
Hmmm, I wish I had thought of that last year. The
Pantech Breeze III is
http://www.amazon.com/AT-Z222-Go-Phone/dp/B00EKSS7SU
for only $24.68. Wow! Is that the one you bought or is there another
Amazon product code for the specific phone you bought?
I assume you simply transferred the AT&T SIM card to the Z222 and that
was that.
[...]
I thought that I had replied to this earlier. But it isn't here. Sorry I
must have sent it to your personal email unintentionally.
Hi Tak,

No problemo.

You did send to my email and I was just preparing to reply to that when
I decided to look here in the group and reply here instead. :-)
Post by Tak Nakamoto
The price is even cheaper. $15 (free shipping)
http://www.att.com/cellphones/att/z222-prepaid.html#fbid=x-yMWBr28m5?sku=sku6880347
That's one of the problems with today's online shopping: too many
vendors and too much pricing variation between them. I need to always
check vendor reviews and then, and only then after due diligence, will
I place a possible order.

The external battery charger for the Z222 is the identical one for my
Pantech Breeze 3 (pic/text diffs on the page for the Pantech):

http://www.amazon.com/Gomadic-Compact-External-charging-connections/dp/B007V2DH82

as it is for the Z222 (pic/text diffs on page for the Z222):

http://www.amazon.com/ZTE-Z222-compatible-Battery-Charger/dp/B00FQMHFP0

so all I was looking for were replacement batteries. which I found, and
the price rose by $7 during the 20 minutes when 2 were in stock then only
1 was left in stockin stock. So I'll be looking for some other battery
vendor in the near future.
Post by Tak Nakamoto
[...]
I bought the phone from a franchised AT&T dealer who sells on Amazon for $18
with free shipping. That was the cheapest price for a new one.
It reaches a limit when more of one's time is spent looking than
what might be saved continuing to look noting circumstances vary considerably.
Post by Tak Nakamoto
[...]
Yes, all I did was to slip my old standard/micro SIM card into the phone.
Thank you -- I found that also in reviews on Amazon.
Post by Tak Nakamoto
Unlocking it will be very easy. If you boot the phone without a SIM card
installed, the first menu item is "unlock."
THANK YOU!

Now THAT is good info and the first time I've seen that datum. So far I've
only downloaded the user manual and haven't searched yet for a service manual
and other technical goodies like I have for all the rest of my equipment.

For the curious, the Z222 user manual is here:

http://www.zteusa.com/media/wysiwyg/att-z222/AT_T_Z222_User_Manual_English_-_PDF_-_1.16MB_.pdf

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-09-29 22:26:38 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
"Thad Floryan" wrote Hmmm, I wish I had thought of that last year. The
Pantech Breeze III is
http://www.amazon.com/AT-Z222-Go-Phone/dp/B00EKSS7SU
for only $24.68. Wow! Is that the one you bought or is there another
Amazon product code for the specific phone you bought?
I assume you simply transferred the AT&T SIM card to the Z222 and that
was that.
Thad
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I thought that I had replied to this earlier. But it isn't here. Sorry I
must have sent it to your personal email unintentionally.
The price is even cheaper. $15 (free shipping)
http://www.att.com/cellphones/att/z222-prepaid.html#fbid=x-yMWBr28m5?sku=sku6880347
[...]
Hi Tak,

Seems Amazon is giving them away for free. I ordered the phone
from Amazon along with a { case + car charger } from an Amazon
vendor. The order was split into two by Amazon because Amazon
itself was selling the phone and Auction4Tech was selling the
case and charger. For a 24 hour period both items were showing
up on my online banking account as "[P]rocessing".

Then the Auction4Tech charge was marked "[C]omplete" and the
Amazon charge disappeared and it's still missing from my
online banking. Looking at above Amazon URL again, a price
reduction may be the cause of this issue but I won't know
until/if/when the Amazon charge [ever] re-appears.

Both items arrived today, Monday, September 29; phone shipped
via OnTrac and the case+charger shipped via USPS 1st Class.

The external battery charger I bought for the Pantech also does
the Z222's battery and it took only 5 seconds to top it off since
it's brand new and was apparently at 99% charge in the package.

I still need to find a less-expensive source for the batteries
since I prefer having several batteries on hand fully-charged.

Amazon's ordering and payment system for the things that Amazon
sells have been similarly screwed up 100% this year; items I've
ordered from Amazon's sellers -- such as Auction4Tech -- are
processed just fine.

So, it appears Jeff Bozos' web accounting/billing/payment team
is smoking the same ganja weed as Yahoo's H1-B Visa types.

I'm happy with "free". :-)

Thad
Tak Nakamoto
2014-10-02 00:16:59 UTC
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Raw Message
"Thad Floryan" wrote

Seems Amazon is giving them away for free. I ordered the phone
from Amazon along with a { case + car charger } from an Amazon
vendor. The order was split into two by Amazon because Amazon
itself was selling the phone and Auction4Tech was selling the
case and charger. For a 24 hour period both items were showing
up on my online banking account as "[P]rocessing".



I still need to find a less-expensive source for the batteries
since I prefer having several batteries on hand fully-charged.

Amazon's ordering and payment system for the things that Amazon
sells have been similarly screwed up 100% this year; items I've
ordered from Amazon's sellers -- such as Auction4Tech -- are
processed just fine.

So, it appears Jeff Bozos' web accounting/billing/payment team
is smoking the same ganja weed as Yahoo's H1-B Visa types.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We've never had any problems with Amazon's billing/accounting system either
as frequent buyers or occasional sellers.

I won't worry if Amazon itself doesn't see fit to collect its own payment
but I do have some concern for the third party merchants. Amazon charges
them for the listing. If they don't get paid for goods they ship, my
understanding is that they will be charged by Amazon anyways. So they get
the short end. Some of these merchants are very small businesses and some
hobbyists selling to pay for the hobby.

I'm satisfied with the Z222 as a phone. Its other features like the camera
are dismal but I didn't buy it for that.

However limited, the camera might be useful. For instance the reason I
bought a new phone was that I had problems with a 911 call. It would have
been helpful if I had taken a picture during the incident so that I could
convey more details to the police dispatcher. The only way to get the
picture or any files onto and off of the phone is via email or Bluetooth.
There is no capability for USB cable transfer. Not having had any Bluetooth
devices before, I had a lot of trouble until I finally figured out that I
had to change my Firewall settings to allow Bluetooth devices to connect.

I'm finding that the battery is good for at least a week with more than my
average use of the device.

Tak Nakamoto
Thad Floryan
2014-10-02 08:10:26 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
Amazon's ordering and payment system for the things that Amazon
sells have been similarly screwed up 100% this year; items I've
ordered from Amazon's sellers -- such as Auction4Tech -- are
processed just fine.
Hi Tak,

I first encountered the problem back in March 2014 when I ordered
an Ooma Telo. It's sitting there (both online at Amazon and at my
online banking screwing-up my data downloads) for 5 days when I
simply cancelled the order and re-ordered from Newegg and received
the Telo the next day thanks to OnTrac which provides 1-day service
in the Western states.

I've experienced the problem several times since. I received the
phone on Monday from Amazon via OnTrac before even receiving the
"Your order has been shipped" email and just today the Amazon charge
re-appeared at my online banking after it disappeared by itself.

Given Amazon is the only company with which I'm having that problem,
the problem is Amazon's crap accounting/billing software (or it's
operating beyond its design capabilties).
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
I'm satisfied with the Z222 as a phone. Its other features like the camera
are dismal but I didn't buy it for that.
Agreed.
Post by Thad Floryan
However limited, the camera might be useful. For instance the reason I
bought a new phone was that I had problems with a 911 call. It would have
been helpful if I had taken a picture during the incident so that I could
convey more details to the police dispatcher. The only way to get the
picture or any files onto and off of the phone is via email or Bluetooth.
There is no capability for USB cable transfer.
Hmmm, not sure about that. The manual is sparse. I'll find and hookup
a USB cable to it and see if it "looks like" a USB thumb drive from which
pictures could be retrieved.
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
I'm finding that the battery is good for at least a week with more than my
average use of the device.
That's what the reviews are all saying. I have two extra batteries arriving
soon since I like the ability to swap batteries quickly rather than wait an
hour or two and be tethered to a charger with the phone powered on as most
people seem to do (esp. those with iPhones and not-easily-removable batteries).

The charger I bought for my Pantech also charges the Z222 batteries perfectly
and very quickly so I'll be a happy camper with the spare batteries.

I just wish I could get 2 extra SIM cards with the same information on them
that I'm still using in my RAZR V3. AT&T will replace worn-out SIM cards for
free due to the FLASH wearing out after 4-5 years but I don't know if they'll
sell me one or two full "spare" SIM card(s) since I'd like to keep cellphones
in different locations available for use during any emergencies.

Thad
sms
2014-10-02 13:43:30 UTC
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Post by Thad Floryan
Amazon's ordering and payment system for the things that Amazon
sells have been similarly screwed up 100% this year; items I've
ordered from Amazon's sellers -- such as Auction4Tech -- are
processed just fine.
I ordered a dozen plastic whistles from Amazon to use at a school event.

They first sent a single whistle. I called to explain that the price I
paid was for a dozen, as stated on their site. They apologized and said
that they would send the rest right away, by one-day shipping.

The next day a box arrived with a single whistle. I called again and
explained again. They finally agreed that it should have been a dozen
but that they had no way to fix it, it was an error in their system. At
first she said that what "sold by the dozen" meant was that I had to put
in a quantity of 12.

So they issued a refund and sent a UPS label for me to sent it back.
This is for something that sells for about 70¢ and probably costs them
35¢. They have probably spent $25 in shipping already.

One odd thing is that when they clicked on the item in my order, the
item came up but from one of the other sellers. When I clicked on the
item in my order, the seller I bought from (I think) came up.

Since their SKU is the same for an item, no matter who sells it, they
have no good way of distinguishing between sellers. Nor can you give
someone a link to an item that goes to a specific seller.
<http://www.amazon.com/Champion-Sports-Plastic-Whistle-Lanyard/dp/B0000BW8GR>
David Kaye
2014-10-02 19:43:37 UTC
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So they issued a refund and sent a UPS label for me to sent it back. This
is for something that sells for about 70¢ and probably costs them 35¢.
They have probably spent $25 in shipping already.
Sheesh! You can't go to your local toy or variety store and buy the
whistles there? You'd know EXACTLY wha you're buying and you'd have them in
hand immediately.

I just don't understand why anybody would order via the web when they can
just patronize a local store and have it done with instantly. I mean, how
much extra is it going to cost anyway?

Here in SF I'd just go to Cliff's Variety on Castro Street and grab a
handful from the tub.




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sms
2014-10-02 19:53:23 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
So they issued a refund and sent a UPS label for me to sent it back. This
is for something that sells for about 70¢ and probably costs them 35¢.
They have probably spent $25 in shipping already.
Sheesh! You can't go to your local toy or variety store and buy the
whistles there? You'd know EXACTLY wha you're buying and you'd have them in
hand immediately.
Tried that. No dice.
Post by David Kaye
I just don't understand why anybody would order via the web when they can
just patronize a local store and have it done with instantly. I mean, how
much extra is it going to cost anyway?
No shipping charges.
David Kaye
2014-10-02 23:56:18 UTC
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Post by sms
Tried that. No dice.
You're not trying very hard if you can't buy whistles at a toy or variety
store.
Post by sms
No shipping charges.
You're concerned about shipping charges for a toy that sells for less than
$1 each?




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Roy
2014-10-03 02:49:22 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by sms
Tried that. No dice.
You're not trying very hard if you can't buy whistles at a toy or variety
store.
Post by sms
No shipping charges.
You're concerned about shipping charges for a toy that sells for less than
$1 each?
I can recommend the Acme Thunderer Metal Whistle. I think its nickel
plated brass with a cork pea. I used them for many years as a sports
official. Even with a stadium full of people, no one ever said they
didn't hear the whistle :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Hudson_%26_Co

http://acmewhistles.co.uk/xcart/home.php
David Kaye
2014-10-03 07:27:59 UTC
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Post by Roy
I can recommend the Acme Thunderer Metal Whistle. I think its nickel
plated brass with a cork pea. I used them for many years as a sports
official. Even with a stadium full of people, no one ever said they
didn't hear the whistle :-)
The Acme Thunderer is THE kind of the whistles. And yes, nobody can say you
can't hear it. But he was referring to cheaper plastic toy whistles, which
(thank goodness) can't be heard all that far.




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sms
2014-10-03 13:23:25 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by sms
Tried that. No dice.
You're not trying very hard if you can't buy whistles at a toy or variety
store.
Maybe you have time to drive all over the Bay Area for $10 worth of
whistles, but I don't. Amazon's success is not based solely on price,
it's based on the the fact that it's convenient (when it works properly,
which is most of the time).
Post by David Kaye
Post by sms
No shipping charges.
You're concerned about shipping charges for a toy that sells for less than
$1 each?
You were the one concerned about the shipping charges, not me.

Jeff Liebermann
2014-09-09 03:19:11 UTC
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On Mon, 8 Sep 2014 12:50:56 -0700, "Tak Nakamoto"
Post by Tak Nakamoto
My phone is a Motorola C139 GSM. I've had it since my service was from
Cingular and kept it after Cingular was acquired by AT&T.
I think it's time for a new phone. AT&T is phasing out 2G service.
<http://www.marketwatch.com/story/att-urges-customers-to-upgrade-from-2g-networks-2012-03-01>
With limited bandwidth, they're removing GSM channels and switching
the channels to UMTS, which your phone will not handle. I'm not even
sure your current SIM card will fit in a new phone.
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
Thad Floryan
2014-09-09 04:50:37 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Tak Nakamoto
"Cell phone manufacturer and model number would help.
8 years old implies 2G service which is being phased-out
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/09/cities-scramble-to-upgrade-stingray-tracking-as-end-of-2g-network-looms/
Who's your carrier (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, etc)?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My phone is a Motorola C139 GSM. I've had it since my service was from
Cingular and kept it after Cingular was acquired by AT&T.
My current service is from AT&T. We're on a pay by the minute plan as we
simply don't use cell phones much at all.
I hadn't thought about the transmission technology changing. This might be
one problem and might also contribute to what I suspect might be a "shadow"
effect.
Hi Tak,

My guess was correct, it's a 2G GSM 850/1900 (US version) per:

http://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_c139-1304.php

There were no specs whatsoever in the C139 PDF user manual.

I've had the same contract since 1992 beginning with Cellular One
which eventually became Cingular and is now AT&T Mobilyty.

I still have and use my Motorola RAZR V3 which is 2G given a
stockpile of 5 (4 new) batteries for it and an external charger
which is w-a-y faster than USB charging and I'm not tethered
while charging noting also a battery swap is only a few seconds.

If you're happy with the C139 my guess is you'd also be happy with
the relatively inexpensive Pantech Breeze 3, which is 3G, like I
bought a year ago knowing that 2G was on the way out. I also bought
an external charger and extra batteries for the Pantech at Amazon
and again a battery swap is only a few seconds so I'm up and going
without having to wait for a recharge like one must do with iCrap.

The same SIM card works in both the RAZR V3 and the Pantech Breeze.

Amazing to me, the RAZR V3 fits in the new Pantech case and the
Pantech fits in the RAZR V3 case. A picture of my RAZR V3 and its
case is here with top view in (1) and side view in (2):

Loading Image... 184kB
Loading Image... 200kB

Yeah, I've had only 3 cellphones since 1992 -- I take care of all
my stuff and things last forever. The problem with my first two
cellphones was the batteries were no longer available which taught
me to stock up for the RAZR V3 which I've been using since 2004.

Some pix and data about the Pantech Breeze III (P2030) are here:

http://www.att.com/support_static_files/manuals/Pantech_Breeze_III.pdf
http://www.pantechusa.com/index.php/phones/breeze_iii
http://www.pantechusa.com/support/breeze_iii
http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/pantech/breeze-iii-gray.html

Specs:
http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB409574&cv=821&ct=9004090&title=Pantech+Breeze+III+#fbid=IrCTkInxlQ5
http://www.gsmarena.com/pantech_breeze_iii-4075.php

Note both the RAZR V3 and the Pantech Breeze III have Bluetooth and a
loudspeaker so the phones can be used hands-free.

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-09-09 06:11:36 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Thad Floryan
[...]
Amazing to me, the RAZR V3 fits in the new Pantech case and the
Pantech fits in the RAZR V3 case. A picture of my RAZR V3 and its
http://thadlabs.com/PIX/Thad_cellphones_1.jpg 184kB
http://thadlabs.com/PIX/Thad_cellphones_2.jpg 200kB
[...]
I figured it was about time to take a picture of the Pantech Breeze III
so here it is alongside my Motorola RAZR V3 and it's obvious why each
fits in the other's case. Required 3 Nikon slave flash units commanded
by my Nikon D70s to remove most of the shadows in that picture taken a
few minutes ago in my kitchen (only room in the house with enough space
to take pictures at the moment). Here are the pictures:

Loading Image... 158kB
Loading Image... 137kB

Thad
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-10 15:05:05 UTC
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Raw Message
"Thad Floryan" wrote
If you're happy with the C139 my guess is you'd also be happy with
the relatively inexpensive Pantech Breeze 3, which is 3G, like I
bought a year ago knowing that 2G was on the way out. I also bought
an external charger and extra batteries for the Pantech at Amazon
and again a battery swap is only a few seconds so I'm up and going
without having to wait for a recharge like one must do with iCrap.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thad,

Thanks for your thoughts. I've never heard of Pantech. Nor have I heard of
many of the brands of cell phones I see being sold on eBay. I'm really out
of touch on both the business side of cell tech and on the technology side
too. I haven't thought or read much about it since I bought my last phone 8
years ago.

Having spent a few hours familiarizing myself with the vocabulary of the
technology, and having made a decision on my upgrade path, I'm ready to buy.

Having said that, who or what is "Pantech?" And are their products
acceptably reliable? Does your phone work well?

I'm not looking for fastest and the "bestest."

Tak
sms
2014-09-10 18:37:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 9/10/2014 8:05 AM, Tak Nakamoto wrote:

<snip>
Post by Tak Nakamoto
Having said that, who or what is "Pantech?" And are their products
acceptably reliable? Does your phone work well?
I'm not looking for fastest and the "bestest."
If you're looking for a dumb phone go to <http://digicircle.com> and
search for "cu720" and get the "Like New" one they have for sale for $21.

For an inexpensive 3G smart phone, the Moto G is a good deal but wait
for the new one.

Other choices are:

<http://www.frys.com/product/8168815?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG>

or do this search:
"http://www.frys.com/search?search_type=regular&sqxts=1&cat=&query_string=kitkat+unlocked+phone"
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-10 21:01:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"sms" wrote
If you're looking for a dumb phone go to <http://digicircle.com> and
search for "cu720" and get the "Like New" one they have for sale for $21.

For an inexpensive 3G smart phone, the Moto G is a good deal but wait
for the new one.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the tip. digicircle looks good. But they sure could use a better
web designer. I put an item in the shopping cart on a trial basis to get a
s&h cost, but I can't find the check out.

I've sent them a message. Meanwhile I'll keep looking. I've never been
thrilled by Fry's and don't look forward to doing business with them.

Tak
Thad Floryan
2014-09-10 21:35:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by sms
<snip>
Post by Tak Nakamoto
Having said that, who or what is "Pantech?" And are their products
acceptably reliable? Does your phone work well?
I'm not looking for fastest and the "bestest."
If you're looking for a dumb phone go to <http://digicircle.com> and
search for "cu720" and get the "Like New" one they have for sale for $21.
For an inexpensive 3G smart phone, the Moto G is a good deal but wait
for the new one.
<http://www.frys.com/product/8168815?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG>
Hi Steve,

That "HTC Desire 610 Prepaid Smartphone" is about 10,000x more overkill
than what Tak expressed wanting as a replacement. And it's pricier than
the Pantech Breeze III that I recommended to Tak.
Post by sms
"http://www.frys.com/search?search_type=regular&sqxts=1&cat=&query_string=kitkat+unlocked+phone"
Search results for the above URL are about 99.9% smartphones which I
doubt even have good telephonic properties based on their pictures.

Unless Tak is into texting (which I doubt (same for me -- I don't text)),
none of those found are suitable for use as JUST A PHONE.

Thad
Thad Floryan
2014-09-10 21:27:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak Nakamoto
Post by Thad Floryan
If you're happy with the C139 my guess is you'd also be happy with
the relatively inexpensive Pantech Breeze 3, which is 3G, like I
bought a year ago knowing that 2G was on the way out. I also bought
an external charger and extra batteries for the Pantech at Amazon
and again a battery swap is only a few seconds so I'm up and going
without having to wait for a recharge like one must do with iCrap.
[...]
Thad,
Thanks for your thoughts. I've never heard of Pantech. Nor have I heard of
many of the brands of cell phones I see being sold on eBay. I'm really out
of touch on both the business side of cell tech and on the technology side
too. I haven't thought or read much about it since I bought my last phone 8
years ago.
Having spent a few hours familiarizing myself with the vocabulary of the
technology, and having made a decision on my upgrade path, I'm ready to buy.
Having said that, who or what is "Pantech?" And are their products
acceptably reliable? Does your phone work well?
Hi Tak,

Pantech is a South Korean cellphone manufacturer partnered with Samsung.

The Wikipedia article is flawed because Pantech resolved the bankruptcy
issue recently which likely explains the good pricing for their products.

I previously posted all the specs' and manuals' regarding the Breeze III
and I posted the URLs to the pictures of mine here in this thread.

Here are the relevant articles (noting that whomever altered the Wikipedia
Pantech article must either have a grudge, hates Koreans, or works for Apple):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantech

http://www.cnet.com/news/korean-handset-maker-pantech-saved-from-bankruptcy/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/235529741/Korean-handset-maker-Pantech-saved-from-bankruptcy

FWIW, the Pantech's sound quality is excellent noting I have a 20dB
hearing loss. The buttons are large and easier to use than my RAZR
and it has two operating modes: basic (which I use since all I need
is a portable phone for telephony purposes), and advanced with all the
web crap, messaging and other garbage.

After quickly browsing the C139 (your present phone) manual, the
Pantech has all the good features that you'd like and the Pantech is
relatively inexpensive -- I bought mine at the AT&T store on Grant Road
in Mountain View.

TIP: visit such a store (I believe you wrote you have AT&T services)
and actually hold and call using all the phones in the store that
interest you to see what you'd like and also note the pricing. That's
what I did and why I bought the Pantech Breeze III for 3G service to
replace my Motorola RAZR when 2G is fully discontinued within the
next year or so.
Post by Tak Nakamoto
I'm not looking for fastest and the "bestest."
And neither was I when looking for a replacement for my RAZR.
I absolutely and definitely DID NOT WANT any so-called smartphone.

All I need is basic telephony service with a cellphone since I now have
the Ooma VoIP service as my main home now after having abandoned landlines
in 2002 to go cellphone-only. The Pantech's "basic mode" prevents one
getting into the web crap accidentally and running up a large bill.

Other pluses for the Pantech:

1. sync the addressbook (aka contact list) with the website so you don't
lose numbers

2. several-second battery swap so you're not tethered to a USB charger;
requires an external charger and one or more extra batteries. I paid
about $30 for an external Gomadic battery charger and two high capacity
extra Pantech batteries at Amazon.

3. it's a flip phone and physically small when closed, and its case (an
extra option) is nice and works with either my RAZR or Breeze III
and clips to my belt for convenience and safety.

4. has Bluetooth in case you have such accessories and it also has a
very audible speaker phone capability so you can put phone down on a
desk and use both hands on a desktop/laptopo computer keyboard.

Check out the phones at an AT&T store. Test the Pantech first then
compare it to any others that might interest you. I selected the Pantech
for good reason and I'm very pleased with the purchase.

Thad
Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-11 20:29:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"Thad Floryan" wrote

Pantech is a South Korean cellphone manufacturer partnered with Samsung.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thad,

The AT&T on-line store no longer has any Pantech phones listed.

So, though I hate actually going into these businesses because the staff
while mostly well meaning, are so ill trained, I will go in to try out the
phones that are available to make sure I can check the audio quality.

I can always not buy there, and instead buy a used one. I'm sure that I'm
smart enough to slip in a SIM card and configure the phone.

Tak


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Tak Nakamoto
2014-09-12 19:58:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"Tak Nakamoto" wrote

The AT&T on-line store no longer has any Pantech phones listed.

So, though I hate actually going into these businesses because the staff
while mostly well meaning, are so ill trained, I will go in to try out the
phones that are available to make sure I can check the audio quality.

I can always not buy there, and instead buy a used one. I'm sure that I'm
smart enough to slip in a SIM card and configure the phone.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I went to a local physical AT&T store today to try out their phones to check
sound quality. I called both our answering machines to check sound in both
directions. I think that their cheapest current phone ZTE222, will
adequately do the job. It is only $15. I'm not risking much money. It is
produced ZTE of Shenzhen, China. I have to get a new phone. Decision time.

But the store was as much a nightmare as I feared. The staff knew very
little about the phone, they had no specs, no idea of who manufactured it,
etc. They couldn't look up the info because their internet connection was
down. They couldn't actually sell anything because their connection to
process orders was down. This is the AT&T store! Connectivity for sale!

To be fair, I think that this meltdown had something to do with the rush to
order the new iPhone. But you'd think that they could do better being that
communication is their business.

Years ago, I worked as a consultant doing various economic analyses for a
variety of different types of regulated utility companies. There was a
truism floating amongst my colleagues. If one actually goes to the client's
office, you'll find that they have a problem with that service in their own
office. For instance, if you go to a water company, the drinking fountain
won't work. Go to an electric company, their office lights don't work
properly. Go to a phone provider, their office phones won't work right.

My experience today did nothing to negate the truism.

Tak Nakamoto
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