The Network Wins

After my final test run last weekend I decided to keep my BlackBerry Bold with AT&T. That lasted until Tuesday morning when I was on a conference call and the call dropped. Again.

I was all set to port my number to Sprint. Their network isn’t quite as good as Verizon’s, but it generally works well where I need it to. Before taking the plunge I did one more survey of the landscape.

The BlackBerry Tour on Sprint that I’d been testing costs $300 with a $100 rebate. Not terrible, but was twice the price I’d seen of the Tour on Verizon ($100) when ordered through Amazon. I checked the price again this week and it had dropped to $50 – that made it pretty enticing.

A BlackBerry plan with 450 minutes and 250 SMS on Verizon is $75/month. A BlackBerry plan with 450 minutes and unlimited SMS on Sprint is $70/month.1 I generally use less than 100 SMS per month, so that’s not an issue for me. At $5/month it will be two and a half years before I make up the price difference in the monthly expenses – and who knows what sexy new device will be luring me to different carriers by then. ;)

I called Sprint and asked if they would price match or offer some credit towards the $150 price delta, but they weren’t interested in doing so. I ordered a Tour on Verizon from Amazon and got it Wednesday.

The Tour on Verizon is working well so far, and browsing on the device seems to be a bit faster on Verizon than with Sprint (the initial connection time is faster – better DNS servers?). I’ll be porting my number to Verizon and canceling the AT&T and Sprint accounts.

Current devices in my possession (the first step is admitting you have a problem):

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One of the Tours will be gone when I return it this weekend, then I need to actually get the old AT&T BlackBerrys up on eBay and get rid of them.

One other note – I expect Verizon to be the next carrier to get the iPhone, which will be convenient if I’m already there and can add a line for an iPhone. Of course if this happens Verizon’s network will be so flooded with iPhone users defecting from AT&T that they will risk suffering the same fate AT&T is struggling with. Maybe Sprint will end up being the better long run choice after all. ;)

  1. The Sprint plan also includes a nice GPS driving directions app which costs $10/month on Verizon, but I don’t really use it preferring Google Maps or my TomTom. GPS can be turned on – do it. [back]