Thoughts on Switching to Verizon from AT&T

With the iPhone 5, I’m switching to Verizon. I’ve been an AT&T customer since I got my first cell phone circa 1996, and have been loyal to them the entire time, but their lack of actual LTE in my area and insistence that their “4G” is 4G just pisses me off so this time around I am going with Verizon.

I have a few varying thoughts about this, so I thought I would share them here.

Simultaneous Data

The Verizon iPhone cannot do simultaneous data (where you talk on the phone and use the internet). This sucks, because even though it is not a feature I use often, it is a feature that I do use from time to time. I have a ton of questions about this, but the biggest of them is: what happens when you are using turn-by-turn navigation, get a phone call, and need to keep getting directions?

I have no clue what the answer is, but I hope the answer doesn’t suck.

Non-LTE Speed

LTE speed on Verizon is fantastic — my iPad is a Verizon LTE iPad — but non-LTE speed on Verizon is no where near as fast as AT&T’s speeds. So the gamble I am taking is that LTE will be expanded fast enough that the times I am not on LTE are far and few between (I hope I am right).

The flip side is that AT&T actually gets going on rolling out LTE and covers my area faster and better than Verizon — however I think history has shown that staking Verizon is a smarter play.

AT&T Hates Its Users

I’m more and more convinced that AT&T is greedy as hell and sees the need from its customers for better features and more data as their number one threat. They drug their feet with tethering, and now they sound like they are dragging their feet with FaceTime over 3G/4G.

While I doubt Verizon is much better, they do seem like the lesser of two evils right now.

Tethering to an iPad for LTE

A few people have mentioned that they would get an AT&T iPhone and tether to their Verizon LTE iPad when they need LTE speed. I’m going to call bullshit on this one.

It’s a great idea, but highly impractical. I’ve had that setup now since the iPad (3) came out and have yet to do it once, despite several times when I could have actually used the speed boost. I always just switched to the iPad instead of tethering. I would guess that most people would just switch devices too, rather than tether if they had both with them — it just makes more sense.

Honestly though, the times that I need the LTE speed on my iPhone are also the times when the iPhone is likely the only device I have with me. It’s a convenience factor and I am willing to sacrifice things to have that.

AT&T Family Plan

Right now my wife and I are on a family plan, and my number is the primary account number — I do wonder what happens when I switch to Verizon. To be safe I am going to call in and try to switch our accounts to separate accounts without signing a new contract — if I can’t do that I will try to assign my wife’s number as primary. Either way I suspect this will be a huge pain in the ass.

Friday

I’ve no clue how this will all shake out on the 21st, but I’m hoping it goes better than the 4S launch — that was a fiasco for me.

Originally posted for members on: September 14, 2012
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