[opensource] best phone company

richard hornsby me at rhornsby.org
Mon Dec 21 23:39:25 EST 2009

Like others have said, they all suck. Some providers just suck a
little bit less.  Who you choose depends on what you plan to do:

- Going out of the country? GSM (or international capable
crackberries?) is the target
- Want an iPhone? ATT it is.
- Want an Android phone? T-Moble, maybe VZW, others soon?
- Plan on staying in the city, or spending a lot of time out in the farmlands?

My experience has been similar to everyone else:

Verizon (CDMA): great coverage, lousy customer service, crippled devices
Sprint (CDMA): moderate coverage, the worst customer service, horrible
phone software (they put their own UI on top of the phones I had w/
them), less crippled devices
T-moble (GSM): no experience
ATT (GSM): lousy coverage (but better for me in Columbus than Sprint), iPhone.

The primary advantage of ATT is the iPhone (in my opinion) and that it
is isn't buggered up by the provider's crappy software.  It is
however, still somewhat crippled by ATT: mms finally came in
September. Still no tethering. Some apps (ie slingplayer) won't
function unless the phone is on wifi, and apps or other iTunes
downloads > 10MB get refused unless you're on wifi.  Your software
updates are provided by Apple, skipping the middle man and their
nonsense.  Providers generally couldn't give a rat's ass about keeping
the device software updated - which means you miss out on not only new
features, but also fixes for stupid bugs.

The market, however is changing.  The iPhone has brought "smartphone"
to the masses.  Google is talking about coming out with their provider
independent phone.  However, ATT is playing games crying that iPhone
users are bandwidth hogs, developers are bailing from the app store
b/c of Apple's nutty, opaque, and oblique approval process, so who

All that said, I really like my iPhone, and I was never a smartphone
person.  If I could run my iPhone on VZW, that would marry what I
think is a pretty damn good device with good coverage. (Admittedly,
I'm not entirely sure what the deal is with the ads that say VZW's 3G
network can't do voice+data simultaneously and why ATT can - so my
opinion is flexible.)

One other thing: watch carefully the providers like BOOST mobile - as
far as I know they're nearly all just different brands of the major


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