Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Data Service Frustrations

Last August, I upgrade my regular cellphone to a smartphone. I was a proud owner of the LG Spyder II and traded it in for an Android-powered Motorola Milestone with service from Cellular South. So far, I like the phone, but the data service has been somewhat frustrating.

At the onset, I was very excited to do the upgrade. I had envied other people who talked about the different things their app-laded phone could do. So when Cellular South finally released a smartphone with a physical keyboard, I jumped on it. The physical keyboard is one of my requirements for a smartphone. It's one of the reasons I never went for an iPhone. Being a heavy txt'er, I just preferred the tactile sense a physical keyboard has as opposed to the virtual ones. As far as the Motorola Milestone is concerned, it's a nice phone. It's basically the same as the first generation Motorola Droid from Verizon, so I really won't be reviewing it. Everyone out there who knows how to use Google, can easily find a more detailed review than I could ever do.

The reason I'm posting is that in the last couple of months of using the phone, I have found myself progressively being annoyed by my weak data signal that I get in Pensacola through Cellular South. 4 out 5 times that I need to use my smartphone indoors, the phone has a weak or no data signal. The only time I can get a stable signal is if I am standing outside my house or at the parking lot at work. I can get a true 3G signal only if I drive out to the Pensacola Beach, but anywhere else it's been a crap-shoot. Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near the beach.

So far, the only response I have received from CS about their crappy data service is this:

"We currently do not have any information regarding changes to the data network in Florida. We are working to improve our data coverage throughout our calling area."
I guess that there really won't be any immediate improvements to Cellular South's data service for customers in Florida. One thing I will give CS is that their voice/phone coverage is great. I have never been anywhere that I could not get a phone signal to make a call. It's their data service that really needs some major work.

At the point, I'm keeping the phone service for at least another month or two. I'll give them a chance improve their service, but if they don't do anything, I am dropping them like a hot potato.

I can already attest that the Virgin Mobile's prepaid service works really well in Pensacola and now that they have recently released an Android-powered phone that has a physical keyboard they look like contenders for winning over my business. Looking at their rates, I may actually also save $25 per month if I go with them.

Right now, I'm paying a little over $100 per month for the unlimited everything plan with Cellular South and the only thing unlimited I'm getting is annoyance from the crappy data service that I'm getting.