BlackBerry Cell Phones focus on providing quality email and messaging capabilities that keep businesspeople connected to the fast-paced enterprise world. They boast a proprietary PDA interface that’s the gold standard anything else in the productivity world. There are dozens of BlackBerry models and editions across all the major carriers and their performance varies depending on which cell phone provider you choose. So, before you sign up for that brand new BlackBerry, consider some of the important differences between two major providers of BlackBerry cell phone plans: AT&T and Nextel/Sprint.
With all the hyped-up commercials, complete with vital data
omission, high factual disinformation, and a laser focus on your tender
emotions rather than
your data-crunching brain, it’s actually difficult to decide which
is the better provider.
But, (drum roll, please…) here are the facts:
AT&T is the big kahuna of wireless carriers in the U.S. After
AT&T merged with Bellsouth toward the close of 2006, AT&T now
Wireless. AT&T is roaming partners with T-Mobile, SunCom, and
others using GSM systems. It’s headquarters are in Atlanta, GA.
In 1899, The Brown Telephone Company in Abilene, KS founded Sprint,
then in August 2005 Sprint Communication acquired Nextel Communications
billion, forming the Sprint Nextel Corporation. It’s headquarters
are in Reston, VA.
AT&T has a customer base of more than 78 million users, while Nextel/Sprint has more than 54 million users.
Both companies compare favorably on customer service, each 24 hours,
7 days a week, and until an extra hour is added to the day or an extra
day is added to
the week, it looks like a tie on customer service availability.
AT&T has 800/850, 1900, 2100 frequencies while Nextel/Sprint has 800/850 frequencies.
AT&T has a Nationwide GSM, WCDMA/UMTS network while Nextel/Sprint has an iDEN – TDMA based technology network.
AT&T has a Nationwide – GSM coverage while Nextel/Sprint has Nationwide CDMA coverage.
AT&T has all other GSM providers while Nextel/Sprint has any carrier with active iDEN/TDMA towers.
Finally, AT&T covers a 50 state service activation area while Nextel/Sprint has a 48 state service activation area.
The advantage of AT&T is that it’s nationwide service coverage
and monthly plans compete favorably with all the major carriers. In
addition, it has
rollover minutes, extensive data and entertainments add-ons, and
many phones are supported by the GSM network. It’s disadvantage is that
has declined since the merger with AT&T wireless.
The advantage of Sprint/Nextel is the extensive voice and high speed
data coverage, free calling between Sprint and Nextel subscribers, and
business services. Its disadvantages is that it’s relatively limited
on the variety of handsets, and the number of data and entertainment
So, which is best for you? That depends mostly on which carrier
covers your area best and which company has the BlackBerry model you
want. Consumer Reports
ranked AT&T fairly low on customer satisfaction in its recent
report, but that’s likely due to the major drag that all those iPhone
customers put on
the network. Their contract with Apple is nearly up and some of that
data congestion may clear up soon. Sprint/Nextel, on the other hand, is
one of the
more average cell phone providers wielding neither the vast
selection of handsets offered by AT&T or the extreme coverage of
Verizon – but depending on
how the 4G battle pans out and where the iPhone ends up,
Sprint/Nextel may be a major dark horse in the smartphone carrier