Wednesday, November 23, 2005

T-Mobile To Go: My Experience

To start off, sorry that I haven't posted for ever so long. I'm here now to say that you can start clicking those ads again; I've got a lot to post tonight.

Last Tuesday my drama teacher gave me her "old" phone, a Cingular Nokia 6010. The battery charger didn't work but as all but one of my family's phones are Nokias that problem was easily remedied by using one of our other chargers. A few hours later the phone was, after just two tries, successfully unlocked and just waiting for a shiny new T-Mobile To Go simcard, which I got off of eBay with $30 of credit for $15 and which arrived in an envelope Monday. That evening I put the simcard in the phone, and as it was already activated the T-Mobile signal bars showed up right away.

A fairly quick call to 611 gave me a new, closer-to-local though not quite local number (I'll probably port in something later) and later I got the web and MMS settings. Still later I was happily surfing the free, albeit limited, T-Zones and buying Let It Be as a ringtone. I also sent a picture message (which for some nice odd reason was free) to enable my phone for receiving multimedia messages, then sent it several MIDI ringtones which arrived over the rest of the night and the next morning when I turned the phone on again.

Later that day I found out the bad side of T-Mobile To Go to its utmost, which granted isn't horrible but would steer me clear of it for my area, but for my area only as the service seems solid.

The thing I noticed with the phone was that coverage was very "fragile", probably due to my being in some wierd fringe coverage areas (even in the middle of town) and T-Mobile's operating on the less-persistent PCS 1900 frequency. It could've been the phone, but it would have to be a defect with that specific phone as the Nokia 6010\3595 (same phone, different faceplate) has one of the best RFs (reception ratings) of any phone of that network (GSM). This basically means that you can be ten feet away in the same atmosphere (either open air or in the same type of building with practically the same walls between you and the outside air) from a full signal and get practically nothing, along with the dropped calls and such that a one-bar GSM signal brings.

Due to this problem, I was double-charged for a ringtone that warranted a call to customer service to get sent correctly (and to kill the second charge). I'd have to say that their customer service is truly world-class though. I don't think I'll make T-Mobile To Go my main prepaid phone, as I got it mainly to have unlimited text messaging (STi is cheaper for voice since I can get 12 cents a minute in denominations as low as $10) anyway. But if T-Mobile's signal is good in your area and you want a wide selection of phones (any 1900-capable unlocked or T-Mobile phone will do if it's GSM) T-Mobile To Go is a superb option.