Friday, January 18, 2008

Hello AT&T

So, about 1 month without a cell phone was all I could stand.

I really wanted the iPhone, but I wanted gps too, and since the iPhone doesn't have it yet I went with the Blackjack II until the next gen iPhone comes out. I assume Apple will add gps and 3G next time around.

The phone is really great and I purchased the unlimited data plan with tethering, so I can supposedly tether whenever I need to, and even potentially download without caps (unlike Verizon's supposedly unlimited plan which has a 5GB cap).

So far I'm very happy with the phone. Its thin and fast, and I've been getting away with google maps for mobile as gps software. I've tested the bandwidth, and gotten as much as 1MB/s down and 200KB/s up.

The people at the AT&T store were unbelievably different than the Verizon store folks, although, my Verizon store experiences were in NJ while I got the blackjack from an AT&T store in California. I suppose that could account for a difference in mentality and mental capability on its own, but being a Jersey boy I'm thinking its the companies, not the states ;).

The last thing I'd like to tell you all that I found out that might be of interest is that since I really ultimately wanted an iPhone I asked a lot of questions about it. As it turns out, while I received my Blackjack II at a discount for signing with AT&T for 2 years, were I to upgrade even today to an iPhone I would still be able to get the normal iPhone new subscriber price and would not have to break my contract on the Blackjack II. So this means I get all the benefit of having a new phone with GPS and 3G data in the meantime while Apple get's their act together, and when the new one comes out (as long as the policy doesn't change) I can upgrade to the iPhone without paying any penalty other than the $100 I paid for the Blackjack II (after $100 mail in rebate).

This seemed to me to be a great policy and a great deal, at least for me with my sights on the iPhone. Otherwise I might have gone with a prepaid phone or perhaps bought a cheapy phone on ebay and simply signed up for a contract free month to month service. So now I've got the best of both worlds.

Thanks AT&T - so far so good!

PS: the one thing that is interesting, not that I'll be roaming to Canada anytime soon, but AT&T's data rates there are $.015/KB compared with Verizon's now well known $.002/KB. So AT&T comes in at $15.36.MB - which seems outrageous compared to Verizon's $2.05/MB - so you folks on the border, make sure you do your math before making the switch like me.

PPS: I transfered my old Verizon number to my broadvoice account, since I was trialing AT&T and didn't want to hassle with the number portability thing (back and forth) should I decide to cancel. This worked out great as I use Broadvoice's simultanous ring feature so that should anyone call any of my old numbers, it will ring on my new phone. Then if and when I decide I will keep this phone I can either port my older number over to AT&T from Broadvoice, or just keep it in my Broadvoice account for less than $2/month. I'm really happy with their service. Anyone going over their monthly mobile minutes who also spends much of their time in front of a PC might want to look into Broadvoice. I use the free X-Lite from as my PC SIP client and make calls right from my computer. For anyone not familiar VoIP I can make and receive calls to and from any phone, and I also get unlimited calls to the US and many other countries included, all for about $27/month (including taxes). Remember too you can make calls from other countries for the same rates - as long as you have reasonable internet access (about 150KB/s up and down). Check out