Contract Up, WANT S3 desperately. Which carrier should I choose?

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy S3' started by Tailgun, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Tailgun
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    Tailgun Member

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    I've had my first smartphone, a Droid 1 for two years now and my contract is finally up in 2 days. For months I have lusted after the Galaxy SIII and it is now within my grasp!

    The question I have is: which carrier should I go with, and for what reasons? I currently am a Verizon customer but am willing to look elsewhere; I liked the look of the Sprint unlimited data but have been reading a bit about how their network isn't very good and may be slow to roll out 4G LTE everywhere. I'm in the Lehigh Valley (Allentown) area of Pennsylvania - if that matters.

    I'm shopping on Wirefly/Cellular Choices because I used them for years to get other phones but are there any other, better deals for the S3 out there? I am thinking of calling Verizon anyway, just to see if I can squeeze a good deal out of Customer Retention.

    All help and advice is appreciated!
  2. 94lt1
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    94lt1 DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    You could look on Craigslist list or at our sister site, android forums.net.. and several other places to find better deals on the s3.. especially on vzw.. because lots of people used their last unlimited upgrade to get the s3 and are selling them... one option..

    T-Mobile is also doing unlimited again.. and could be another possibility perhaps???...

    Also swappa... check there
  3. sweeeeet
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    sweeeeet Well-Known Member

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    tough decision guess it matters most if you NEED unlimited or not.. me personally I do and since I'm locked on Verizon's unlimited im buying my s3 off contract... ive been shopping it but nothing reasonable yet (all over 400) but in time I'll get the one I want

    my friend went in store at tmobile (bad idea) and they wanted over 300+ closer to 400 which is just sick when getting a new 2 year contract

    if unlimited isn't a must stay w Verizon

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
  4. indywrenchin76
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    indywrenchin76 New Member

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    I'd stick with Verizon. They have 4g LTE in more places and have a very reliable network. Sprint sucks I wouldn't even consider them. T-mobile has no 4g LTE. At&t has LTE but not in many cities yet.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Droid Forums
  5. liftedplane
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    liftedplane Well-Known Member

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    Sprint is getting much better and as soon as they start rolling out their lte it's on like donkey Kong. They are still the only truly unlimited carrier and will probably try to remain that way for as long as possible..

    But for now stick with VZW

    Sent from my frozenly delicious bionic.
  6. Tailgun
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    Tailgun Member

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    Thanks for the answers, guys. I was looking over my past account statements and it looks like I've never really gone over 1.3-1.4 GBs of data in any given month and most of the time I seem to be around 500-700 MBs. But of course that was with my D1 which could never handle things like Flash content on the browser very well. I'd be willing to bet I'd use more data with the 4G phone.

    The deals I'm looking at now seem to be $150 with either new customer-Sprint or (possibly) upgrade-VZW (but I can't tell if I qualify for the upgrade offer on VZW) though Cellular Choices. I'll also look at CL, swappa and the sister site to see if there are better deals. Just went back to work after a long layoff and best price is a concern.
  7. Jon K
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    Jon K New Member

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    I live in bucks county and went to school in the lehigh valley - if you go with anything other than Verizon in that area you are going to hate it.
  8. Tailgun
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    Tailgun Member

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    Really? I'm in Walnutport, just north of Whitehall, about 15 mins outside Allentown. I don't mind waiting for Sprint to roll out 4G LTE if they would get it done before the end of the year. I just don't want to be sitting here next year, still waiting to use my new phone to its utmost.
    :unsure:
  9. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    To me, this is the biggest factor in deciding which carrier to go with - coverage in your area. Personally, I don't care if switching to Sprint or T-Mobile would save me $20 a month because their coverage where I live is terrible. I'd rather pay $20 more a month for strong, consistent coverage than save $20 a month and always be frustrated with dropped calls and a lack of signal. Where I'm living at now, AT&T only has edge, Sprint is extremely spotty, T-Mobile has no signal, but Verizon has strong LTE and 3G. So for me, it's an easy decision. I also travel quite extensively, and while different carriers have better coverage in various places, Verizon is still the most consistent because their actual coverage area is larger (this is particularly true if you get out in the country). Plus, Verizon's LTE network is the best available, and it's only getting better.

    So, I really think that looking into which network has the strongest, most consistent coverage in the areas you're frequently in should be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) deciding factors. Verizon might be the best where you're at, but then again they may not.
  10. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    T-Mobile is starting up truly unlimited again.
  11. liftedplane
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    liftedplane Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully this is the beginning of a new trend toward unlimited data again.

    Sent from my frozenly delicious bionic.
  12. syndicate0017
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    syndicate0017 Well-Known Member

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    Just for the companies that can't compete with Verizon's LTE coverage map and coverage in general. I do believe we are trending toward getting more data for our buck though.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
  13. Tailgun
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    Tailgun Member

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    Has anyone heard specifics on when nationwide 4G LTE coverage will be a reality for Sprint/T-Mobile? It seems whomever I go with will be for a new contract so I can afford the phone.
  14. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    Very true. Sprint, as the third-place carrier in the U.S., has hung onto it in an effort to have something that stands out from AT&T and Verizon and might draw in a few more customers. T-Mobile, sitting in fourth place, has decided to do the same. I seriously doubt Verizon or AT&T will bring back unlimited data because they have no reason to.
  15. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    T-Mobile's LTE network won't start up until sometime in 2013 (I've read "summer" several times). And like with all of the other carriers, it will be limited at the beginning as far as active markets. I haven't seen a target date for the entire network to be active. Sprint is hoping to have their entire LTE network up an running by the end of 2013.
  16. Tailgun
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    Tailgun Member

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    Thanks for the info! Looks like I'd be waiting quite awhile for assurance that I'd have 4G coverage for my shiny new toy. Guess I'll try customer retention at VZW and hope for the best (I'm sure they won't grandfather in my current unlimited data plan).
  17. liftedplane
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    liftedplane Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully when sprint gets their lte up and running they'll be able to start competing again and may force vzw into giving us better deals. It might take a year or two (more like 4) but i could see unlimited coming back once everyone has lte up and running.

    Sent from my frozenly delicious bionic.
  18. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    Personally, I don't see that happening. Faster speeds means more people will be using the network more often and for lengthier periods of time, especially as devices get faster and operate more smoothly. LTE is one of the main reasons why AT&T and Verizon have shifted away from unlimited data. If everyone on either network had unlimited data, things would get overwhelmed extremely fast. Sprint's overall coverage will expand a bit when their LTE deployment is done, but it still won't be as far reaching as Verizon's. So, I don't see Sprint being able to force Verizon or AT&T into offering unlimited data again. Sprint's able to continue offering unlimited data because they don't have a customer base that's nearly as large as AT&T and Verizon. And if they're able to add a sizable amount of new customers, I wouldn't be surprised if Sprint starts moving away from unlimited data as well.

    If something major were to happen, and Verizon were to find itself taking a major nosedive as far as market share and customers go, it's possible that they might run a limited promotion offering some form of unlimited data, like they've done with double data in the past. But I really don't see that happening anytime soon.
  19. cybertec69
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    cybertec69 Well-Known Member

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    If you have an unlimited data plan with Veri:icon_ devil:zon, I suggest you go out and buy a S3 on eBay or Craigslist and be done with it, or you can buy the unlocked version directly from Samsung, all the other carriers are WAY behind Verizon and their network. I surely do not trust a company that consistently plays commercials "T-Mobile" stating they have LTE, HSPA+ is NOT LTE.
  20. syndicate0017
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    syndicate0017 Well-Known Member

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    T Mobile doesn't say they have LTE. They say they have 4G. And according to a ruling, HSPA+ is, in fact, considered 4G. To be fair, technically, none of the providers offer true 4G yet.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2