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NEED: Cell Phone Plan/Phone Recommendations

My cell phone contract is up for renewal, and while I like my Blackberry 8703e and like US Cellular's phone coverage, I've found myself using the data plan quite a bit, and US Cellular's data network in Central Oregon is slower than dial-up. I've already talked to the business folks there, and have flat out been told that they have no plans in the immediate future to upgrade their network to EVDO or anything faster than they have now, so I'm exploring moving to other options.

I'm also looking getting a Windows Mobile-based phone so I can install WMWiFiRouter and a variety of other available applications (VNC Client, SSH client, Citrix Client, blogging client, etc...). My boss has given me permission to transfer away from the company's account with US Cellular to somewhere else and to get a new phone. Since times are tight, I'd like to try to get a deal to save my bosses some money, but I'd still like to get a phone and plan that will do everything I need and want to do.

While I'd like input on all this, here's my thinking. AT&T is out of the question because I can't port my number there because they're not local (though they do have good roaming coverage using Unicel's soon-to-be-defunct GSM towers), so the iPhone is out of the question -- though I don't think I'd want a phone that can only officially do what Apple says it can do via the app store. T-Mobile is out of the question (even though I already have an account there for my in-laws) because their 3G network network isn't going to be up and going for a while here (though their G1 is a pretty cool phone). Verizon also has a tendency to cripple their phones and over price the same models compared to other companies.

So that leaves me with Sprint, and I'm leaning towards one of their Everything Plus plans and their HTC Touch Pro (with a few hacks to disable the fancy TouchFlo interface as I don't need frilly crap). It has everything I need, and has a full Qwerty keyboard (as I can't stand touch-screen keyboards). It's also smaller than my Blackberry, and shorter and narrower (though thicker) than an iPhone 3g.

Anybody have any input either way, good or bad? Is my thinking flawed? Anybody have any contacts or hookups at any of these companies or on these phones that can get me a great deal (Sprint or otherwise)?

Update: And by the way: If anybody has a Sprint SERO plan they want to get rid of, contact me, as I'd be interested in taking it over.

Posted by Jake on 12/28/08 @ 10:13 PM
Posted in Jake, Local | Permalink

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