|reply to Nightfall |
Re: Further proof that its all about location
Your not kidding. I am in the unfortunately position of having to help be part of the decision of which wireless carrier to migrate to for my corporation. We have a mix of VW, Sprint, AT&T, and TMO. We recently were trying to streamline carriers and of course with over 250 BBs, 300 "regular phones" and 150 aircards our work was cut out for us so we got proposals and went through some tests with all of them.
We basically wanted to cut through the BS and see who was best in OUR LOCATIONS. And take my word, dont just look at a coverage map.
Whats with that anyway? They are completely inaccurate!
All carriers will say whatever you want to hear about coverage, products from what we went through. So we tested everyone as to what would fill OUR NEEDS. Basically we have reps who travel domestically as well as internationally. Although these users are only around 50 or less in a given month.
So we tested about 10 phones for each of the above mentioned carriers. We tested all BB's. TMOs-8900, VWs-Storm, ATT- BOLD, Sprints-Curve.
VW as you would expect got the best reviews followed by Sprint. Although the users got better coverage they complained about "crackling and garble" for quality a decent amount. Surprising to us at least TMO came in 3rd for reception, but users never onced complained of bad quality. And there were not many complaints on drops. I only say this is surprising bc last time (2 years ago) we tried a mass rollout with them and simply could not get enough reception to justify a complete rollout. ATT came in last with reception.
This was pretty simple, but a few surprises. Sprint was the most reliable, then VW, But we got the fastest speeds recorded with ATT then TMO. The highest speeds we recorded were actually on TMOs 3G network out of Atlanta, NY, and San Diego (I believe). We got over 2000 download and 400 uploads.
VWs Storm got horrid reviews simply bc of the keyboard. Sprints Curve was adequate and ATTs Bold was solid but had slow responsiveness. TMOs 8900 was the most user friendly and fastest response, although it lacked the tethering speed a few users required. (No 3G)
Each carrier said we had a dedicated "team" but I am just not sure this was the case. Wasnt really close. Sprint was the worst. I guess this was to be expected. ATT was fine, Verizon a little better. (Their rep was pretty hot) But TMO was far above the rest. Their assigned team seemed to be the most responsive which makes a few of our lives easier. I expected more from VWs team as they had been great in the past. It was almost like they didnt need our business.
We ended up keeping most of the aircards with Sprint in hopes of using their Wi-Max whenever it gets here. For our users who are using them pretty much in the big cities we moved 50 to TMO.
We dumped ATT. They had us in some sort of "MAC" agreement which required a certain revenue over the term of a contract and it upset to many people above my paygrade.
We dumped Sprint except for the aircards. Just couldnt justify keeping them on board for more, after looking at the overall picture.
We kept TMO and VW for voice on about a 85-15% split with the bulk going to TMO. Kind of surprised all of us, (except one user who swears by them.) We are using their UMA(WI-FI calling) technology pretty much with every user. But get this, our international users are using this service to make calls while overseas and they are not even counting against the minutes. No additional plan required. That may have been the deciding factor. The savings could not be matched. I even told the ATT rep that all he had to do was give us this and with our landline discount we may have well went with them. But alas, that is not on their roadmap.
We kept some current VW users on board bc there are places that plain and simple VW gets the best coverage. Simple as that.
Anyhow, a little over a month into it and its going surprisingly well. As I have stated in an earlier post, I am glad for this bc I may have been shown the door if had not went so smooth! I was a user of VW and ATT and honestly was rooting for VW to bring it home. But internationaly they just cannot compete for what we need.
Hope this helps the arguement some of you guys may face when trying to figure out "the best carrier". Its all dependent on how YOUR CORPORATION, or family uses their wireless service.