Quest for a Nokia 6340i
There is one positive thing about migrating to Cingular: it is possible to use a GAIT phone on Cingular. A GAIT phone essentially gives you the best of all possible worlds in terms of coverage in the USA: GSM, TDMA, and Analog. These kinds of phones were created as a result of carriers like Cingular and the former AT&T Wireless migrating their networks from TDMA to GSM. The problem with technology migrations like this is that customers who use the “newer” technology (GSM in this case) would experience significantly degraded network coverage as a result of the newer technology not being deployed everywhere. Some would say GSM still hasn’t equalled TDMA and analog in terms of coverage.
GAIT phones are a bridge that Cingular used in many markets to give people “the most coverage,” or at least ensure more of it is native Cingular coverage. Cingular still offers GAIT phones in a few markets where GSM is not completely deployed, but it appears that all recently added Cingular customers, including migrations from the blue side of the house, can use GAIT on their account. At least it shows as an option on my bill.
Even though GSM coverage is pretty good around Seattle and most of the places I frequent, I like the idea of having a phone that will work most anywhere. The Nokia 6340i is one such phone. Being a Nokia fanboy, that’s the one I’d go with. Cingular no longer sells this phone, but they are easily obtainable on eBay.
On the other hand, I am a cheap bastard. Given the number of phones I already have, it’s not like I need ONE MORE (maybe I should sell some of the other phones I’ve got on eBay . I can’t really justify spending a lot of money on the phone. I hope I can manage to get one really cheap on eBay.