There has been some long and varied discussions going on over at the http://www.howardforums.com boards and at Pocket PC Thoughts regarding access to T-Mobile’s data network. I personally bought the $20 data plan back in 2002 with my Sidekick and then kept the $20 plan with my resulting Nokia 3650. Last fall (at least that is when I think I switched), I heard GPRS was free (with limited open ports) so I cancelled my $20 plan and used it for about 8 months for free. I could not access secure sites or use MSN Messenger, but I could get POP/IMAP email and browse most sites. Last Friday on vacation, my free GPRS access through wap.voicestream.com stopped working. I called up and ordered the $20 plan and was zooming away within an hour. The nice thing was that I could finally access my work Groupwise web access site (it is a https site) and use MSN Messenger.
Today, my Geek.com boss in Boston (I am in the Seattle/Tacoma area) told me his $4.99 T-Zones plan didn’t block any ports. So I called up this morning and switched from the $19.99 plan to the $4.99 T-Zones plan. I can now use MSN Messenger, access my work secure Groupwise web access site, etc. using only the $4.99 plan. I think the $20 plan is an excellent deal, but $5 is even better and I am willing to pay this for reliable access.
My loss of free GPRS access may have been a temporary deal, but I don’t mind paying $5 to gain MSN Messenger and secure access. You will read a lot of various opinions and stories about what works and what doesn’t work and I just recommend you do like I did and try out the different services yourself. You can switch around these data plans without any penalties. What has been your personal experience?
I use about 30-40MB of data a month and even though GPRS is slower than CDMA, you can’t beat the rates and my coverage has been excellent everywhere but at my house. I received a flyer from T-Mobile the other day stating they are adding towers and it has gotten a bit better at home.