?

Log in

t-mobile, iphone, etc - brad's life [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Brad Fitzpatrick

[ website | bradfitz.com ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

t-mobile, iphone, etc [Aug. 6th, 2007|09:05 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
[Tags|, , ]

T-Mobile has one again somehow decided that my phone (Blackberry Pearl) can't receive MMSes, instead sending me a text message to go to a website and login with a username and password to get my pictures.

Except the MMSes I'm getting now (from lisa) aren't even pictures... just plain text (she's sending an MMS instead of SMS?), so I'm getting a text notification to go log in to a website to get a text notification. This feels like MySpace/Friendister/Facebook/Pownce/Vox, etc. "HERE IS A MESSAGE THAT YOU HAVE A MESSAGE! GO LOOK AT OUR ADS!" I hate you so, so much T-Mobile. I paid how much for this phone? Doesn't it advertise itself to your network? I know you know ... when I log in to your website, you show me it as my profile icon.

If I didn't want picture messages (and I don't care much, really, except when they're broken), I'd just get an iPhone. My biggest qualm was lack of Bluetooth modem support, but I guess you can just do an ad-hoc Wifi bridge and SOCKS proxy on the iPhone, and that works?

Gah.

Cancel T-Mobile? Number portability doesn't work across state lines, unless I change my billing address and credit card info to my parents' info for awhile, then port number, then switch back. No way.

Maybe change down to $5-$10/month plan, just for call forwarding to new Cingular plan? Does Cingular suck in San Francisco? (I mean, worse than everything else?)

Then I could just keep my Java-illegal-argument-exception Blackberry (it crashes if I type too fast?) and only use it while traveling abroad?
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: ydna
2007-08-07 04:31 am (UTC)
I suppose this is more bragging than helpful information. I paid close to $900 for the privilege of moving to the iPhone and cutting my ties to T-mobile. The lack of a the bluetooth bridge (to EDGE) is a very minor loss for me. It seems I can plug in or hop on a wireless network just about anywhere I go with my laptop. I just frickin' love this iPhone. It's a stand alone complex. I think traveling abroad with the iPhone will sucketh for a while.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brad
2007-08-07 04:47 am (UTC)
I just need to comment on the backwardness of this comment:

It seems I can plug in or hop on a wireless network just about anywhere I go with my laptop.

If I could get on WiFi, I wouldn't be complaining about lack of Bluetooth modem, would I?

I use it surprisingly often. EDGE is fast enough to do an "svn up" or download my new mail.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: radven
2007-08-07 06:59 am (UTC)
Indeed.

Often I am connected via Bluetooth/Treo/Edge even in places with WiFi - but just not free WiFi.

Paying for connectivity in an airport just to check my email? Hell no.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ydna
2007-08-07 02:12 pm (UTC)
It is backwards. Backwards insofar as you do a bit more traveling on the road less WiFi'd. Me, not so much.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: agnoster
2007-08-07 04:31 am (UTC)
Haven't tried the iPhone SOCKS proxy over WiFi yet, though I'm planning on doing it. FWIW, I've been told by someone who *would* know in a veiled and suggestive way that they are working on a proper solution for that - either by supporting Bluetooth tethering or making something like the WiFi bridge a built-in option. (I could see Apple wanting to do something different just for the sake of being different, and in some ways the WiFi solution actually seems more elegant to me.) Of course, even if you can share the connection with your lappy, you have to deal with EDGE. Yech.

Of course, there's always a flip side to the fact that Apple can roll out software updates easily - you never know if third-party stuff is going to break. Sure, they might release an open SDK - but they could also go the Sony-brand Idiot route of breaking third-party app support. So far they haven't, but it's a moving target in hostile territory. *sigh*

For some reason I thought you had an OpenMoko test unit - does that do something like what you want?

Maybe I'll finally get around to setting up my iPhone with SOCKS and SSH... if/when I do, I'll let you know. Oh, and as far as AT&T/Cingular goes in SF - I've had very good results, both with reception and dealing with them in general. They're still heartless, venal psychopaths who would shoot a puppy in the face for a buck, but other than that, I've *personally* only had good experiences.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: agnoster
2007-08-09 05:08 am (UTC)
Just thought I'd follow up - it's certainly non-trivial to get the iPhone running third-party code, but it is a whole lot of fun. Got sshd, ssh, srelay, and even a GUI terminal app now. There's something odd with some sites I haven't quite figured out yet, but LJ at least works like a charm :-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: supersat
2007-08-07 04:41 am (UTC)
IIRC, forwarded calls count against your minutes.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: henry
2007-08-07 04:42 am (UTC)
Lisa switched to Cingular from T-Mobile and the difference in voice quality and coverage was night-and-day. I dunno about data though.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-08-17 06:29 pm (UTC)
night and day good, or night and day bad?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: henry
2007-08-18 01:32 am (UTC)
...to clarify, T-Mobile sucked ass, Cingular is heaven. And Lisa was sending only MMS because her SMS sent-message folder was full.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jwz
2007-08-07 04:50 am (UTC)
Hah, I posted my MMS flame before I read this! I am not blogstalking you.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-08-07 05:06 am (UTC)
I've been on Cingular / AT&T for three years now, first GPRS/EDGE and 3G for the past year, and haven't had any major reception problems at all...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: whitaker
2007-08-07 05:35 am (UTC)
I actually got the same message from Lisa last week (Cingular/AT&T). But when I went to login I couldn't even find the content. Then Lisa claimed she hadn't sent an MMS, so I was confused.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: robflynn
2007-08-07 05:48 am (UTC)
Odd...so far I have received MMS messages fine on cing./att but no luck sending them...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jesse
2007-08-07 05:46 am (UTC)
AT&T finally flipped the switch on their huge 3G network expansion in Los Angeles about 2 days ago. About darn time, but awesome now that it is up. ~800kbps. Couldn't bring myself to the iPhone without 3G. Went with AT&T 8525. Solid.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-08-07 05:54 am (UTC)
Yeah I was in Sherman Oaks, of all places, about 10 days ago - I was shocked to clock my internet connection (through Opera) at ~1100k/s (8525 as well). I'm "only" getting around 800-900 in SF, on average. LA area = faster than Tech Central... Ha !
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: crackmonkey
2007-08-07 05:55 am (UTC)
LNP doesn't work across state lines...? Since when? My wife took her Bay Area number up here to Portland without a hitch, across carriers even (T-mobile -> Verizon).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: substitute
2007-08-07 06:00 am (UTC)
Hilariously this post is directly under jwz's very similar post on my flist.

My AT&T phone does everything! Except all to often it says "unable to send text message," horks bizarrely for a few minutes, and then delivers a diarrheic load of new messages. Apparently sending tiny bits of information to and from a telephone is hard.

Every time the telecoms talk about convergence and how great it will be to get all services from one provider, a telecom, I get all shivery.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: decklin
2007-08-07 06:07 am (UTC)
i was going to suggest trying to reset things with the configurator but for some absurd reason you can't choose any blackberries on it. maybe you're right. :-P i guess you can pretend you have some other phone.

i doubt it is a settings problem, but making the message center send you an over-the-air config might convince it to clear your state. (yes, i am totally stabbing in the dark here.)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: vespa59
2007-08-07 06:22 am (UTC)
Cingular in San Francisco is great! Awesome coverage and 3G pretty much everywhere I've gone in the Bay Area. With AT&T acquiring them, it's only better.

I roll a Nokia N75 which, while lacking a QWERTY, is awesome. 3G is better than I expected. I've been able to tether my laptop (which doesn't have Bluetooth) and put it on the network and get good enough speed to jump on the company VPN and work on QA servers and stuff.

I don't know what's up with Lisa sending MMS's, but I'm getting them from her too. I just figured she was wasted.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: daveman692
2007-08-07 06:41 am (UTC)
I have an unlocked Nokia N73 if you want to try it out.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: wyntermoonwolf
2007-08-07 07:08 am (UTC)
My work voicemail used to call my cell and leave a voicemail that I have voicemail.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jahiel
2007-08-07 07:14 am (UTC)
Relevant brain-dump:

* My thoughts on the Treo 650 were pretty similar to yours. If I weren't an environmentalist, mine would be sitting at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay. Instead, I gave it to my grandma.

* I had the Cingular/ATT/HTC 8525 for about 6 weeks until I dropped it in downtown Santa Cruz and didn't realize until 2 hours later. I found that the battery life was pretty bad, the call quality was awful, the phone was super buggy, and it was physically huge and awkward. Otherwise it rocked.

* After I lost the 8525 and realized that yes, I really do need a cellphone, I picked up a Samsung Blackjack. (Still with ATT/NSA.) Amazingly enough, I'm actually really happy with it! The call quality is by far the best of any mobile phone I've used since my Nokia 2160 circa ~1997. The battery life is excellent if you use the "bandsel.exe" program to manually select the GSM 850 (~128Kbps) protocol and only use 3G when you really need it. Bluetooth tethering (using the "internet sharing" program) to my MacBook Pro took 10 minutes max from "Hey, I wonder if..." to "Flippin' sweet! It works!" The phone came with two batteries - a thicker higher-capacity one and a thinner look-at-me-I'm-so-sleek one, which means that I rarely have an oh-shit-I-forgot-to-charge-last-night moment. It's vendor-locked and a bit buggier than it should be (it's Windows, so that's a given), but it can almost keep up with my typing and generally works pretty damn well for a phone that only cost $100 plus a 1-year contract extension.

With regard to ATT/NSA vs. T-Mobile, I dunno. I've never used T-Mobile. I can't say I'm happy with ATT/NSA, but the coverage and service has been better than with Verizon. Coverage within SF has been great. It depends a lot on the phone, though.

I've used this combo (ATT/NSA and Samsung Blackjack) with great success in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento area, Portland Oregon, up I-N from Portland to British Columbia, and in various parts of urban/suburban British Columbia. Usage gets pricey across the Canadian border, but that's the state of things right now.


I'd only keep your Pearl if it's unlocked. If so, then yeah, just use it with local prepaid SIMs when you travel. Either way, personally I'd do whatever song and dance is necessary to get your number ported to a Blackjack on ATT. I'd also wait for a 2nd-gen iPhone before making that leap,
but that's just me.

I assume the Openmoko (GTA01? or 02?) is too immature to consider for day-to-day usage? I'm looking forward to seeing how that matures.

FWIW, I don't think call forwarding will also forward your SMS/MMS messages. Not sure, though.

BTW, if you want to take this opportunity to get fancy with your phones, I'd definitely recommend playing with Asterisk. AskoziaPBX on a Soekris net5501 was my point of entry into Asterisk - Askozia is still pre-1.0, but damn does it flatten the Asterisk learning curve in a hurry! The lead developer is great, too.

Good luck!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: quelrod
2007-08-07 07:33 am (UTC)
Cell phones suck. The best we can hope is to find the least sucky one and use it infrequently. I've found using my work phone and VOIP at home makes my telecommunication life suck less.

Don't know how your minutes are. Between my work and voip phones my cell barely gets 10 minutes a week. I'm headed to prepaid land.

Number portability for the WTF.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: deemon
2007-08-07 07:54 am (UTC)
Last time you were in SPb, remember I've been bragging about my e61 that has qwerty, WiFi and Skype? Methinks that's the way to go
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lisa
2007-08-07 08:14 am (UTC)
ok apparently I'm sending MMS messages and everyone else knows this but you're the first one to tell me?? also wtf does my phone even have an option to send stupid text as mms. i guess i'll check my settings.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mart
2007-08-07 10:04 am (UTC)

I actually just transferred to T-mobile. I guess (hope?) T-mobile US and UK don't have much in common. Here in the UK, T-mobile seems to be the only provider that'll give decent rates on data.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: egonomics
2007-08-07 01:39 pm (UTC)
in Moscow it's OK, Brad
I just have Nokia 5140
so... sir...no problem, sir!!! )))
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: scsi
2007-08-07 03:45 pm (UTC)
No problems with T-Mobile here on my Treo.

I get SMS/MMS/Pictures/etc and have never gotten a "visit our webpage" message.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: rynfitz
2007-08-07 05:46 pm (UTC)
I ported my out of state number when I switched to cingular. Did they switch policies in the last ~2 years?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: xaotica
2007-08-07 07:17 pm (UTC)
I work for a telcom which has no issue with LNPing numbers across state lines. that said, I have tmobile and have never received a message saying I needed to go to a url and log in to receive an mms.

maybe she is sending a text via email in html format? I had someone email me a text msg via gmail once and it came in as a mms instead of text. I assumed it was cuz the email was html formatted...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: askbjoernhansen
2007-08-08 01:07 am (UTC)

huh?

Didn't we go through this already.

Just. Get. The. Darn. iPhone. Already.

:-)

"Cancel T-Mobile? Number portability doesn't work across state lines". From what I read it might work: http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2934 (although that was just different areas in the same state).

I don't think there's such a thing as a $10 plan you could just for Just Forwarding (and it wouldn't forward SMSes, would it?)


- ask
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cranberryman
2007-08-08 10:40 pm (UTC)
I work for T-Mobile and it just sounds like you need the MMS/WAP settings reset to your bberry. they can do that with PDA customer care and its a matter of them sending them and you receiving/enabling them.

also, if you do switch, number partability SHOULD work across state lines. I have never been in a situation where i couldnt port a number in to t-mobile no matter what area code (except hawaii, but they're supposedly working on that).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brad
2007-08-18 01:42 am (UTC)
I've done that several times already, and it keeps reverting.

So: I switch to Cingular today, after 8 or 9 years with T-Mobile. (back when it was Voicestream)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2007-08-09 12:02 am (UTC)

Re: huh?

I'm over here on the other coast, but I chose then-ATT wireless from a then-limited set of GSM carriers (because I wanted a SE with bluetooth that sync'ed properly with a Mac... yes, this story ends with my now owning an iPhone), and I chose that because they had reasonable coverage even outside of urban areas (T-Mobile? Not so much. Still!) I'd heard bad things about Cingular, so I was concerned when the bought attws, but all was well. I've good coverage everywhere around here and in the midwest, including driving around various more rural areas.

I also haven't gotten around to the various iPhone hacks, because I'm waiting to see what balls may drop from Apple about prevention (although: none have yet... that recent firmware update was just for the published security issues, not, so far as I can tell, to prevent any getting into the phone, even though I figure that's against the terms of use). Note, btw, that tethering is technically against AT&T's terms without paying for a package you can't get with the iPhone as a handset, but it's clear that they couldn't tell the difference if you're really just using the iPhone as a proxy.

I like mine, but I regularly tell people it's not for them. I think it is for Unix-like-centric people who use Macs (especially, running Mac OS X) for most of their interactions, but who are perfectly capable of setting up IMAP/S and TASL/SSL for SMTP for their own email. (I'm pretty sure that means you, brad.)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mytmouse
2007-08-13 12:01 am (UTC)
Do not fall into the hands of AT&T / Cingular. Be patient with T-Mobile, they have a lot on the horizon that no other provider will be offering (i.e. 3g). They purchased all the auctioned bandwidth for 3G a few years ago, beating out Verizon, Sprint, and Cingular. I'd recommend going to a T-Mobile direct store (not those mall things) and having them get customer care on the phone. It may just be a temporary issue.
(Reply) (Thread)