My short time with T-Mobile: the good, the bad and the ugly

After 15+ years with AT&T Mobile I decided to switch to T-Mobile. The reasons I switched to T-Mobile are in the Good section. The reasons are went back to AT& are in the Bad/Ugly sections. I was with T-Mobile for five days and used the phone in the Bay Area (east bay and San Francisco).

The Good

  • Excellent customer service. Any time I reached out to them on Twitter via DM, I’d get a reply within 10-15 minutes. They genuinely want to help you 👏
  • Price. T-Mobile monthly price per line is usually $10-$15 cheaper than AT&T or Verizon. For example, right now they have a promotion where you pay $40/line. For three lines it is $120 and the nice thing is that all taxes and fees are included. In California, you get close to $5/line in taxes and fees. They also include Standard Netflix subscription (with 2 or more lines), that’s another $10.99 🤑
  • I like their Un-Carrier principles 🙌
  • It’s also fun to watch their CEO John Legere tweet and make fun of the competition 🤪
  • Extra benefits such as texting and data abroad (although at very slow speed), free in-flight texting on Go-go enabled flights (and one hour free internet) ✈️
  • If coverage where you live is not good, T-Mobile will send you a free CellSpot or signal extender for free. CellSpot connects to your WiFi and creates a mini cell tower right in your house 📶

The Bad

  • Coverage is weak. In places where their coverage map shows strong coverage, you get weak coverage. My service was showing 1-2 bars most of the time 👎
  • T-Mobile support will offer you a free CellSpot or signal extender if coverage where you live is not good. I think they know their coverage is not good so they right away offer these units for free 📡
  • Call quality (voice) is not as good (at least compared to AT&T).☎︎
  • Many other people are also reporting that they have bad service/coverage 📴
  • Anytime you tweet about bad coverage (like here), T-Mobile support will respond (that’s good) and tell you they will help. After a few tweets like that you realize there is nothing they can do (they can’t magically add more towers) 🙅‍♂️
  • T-Mobile CEO John Legere making of the competition is fun at the first. When you realize the service is far behind the competition, these tweets are not as fun anymore 😶

The Ugly

  • Coverage inside buildings is very bad and in some cases non-existent.  I was in the heart of San Francisco with virtually no coverage inside an office building even thought their coverage map said it was in strong coverage area 😡

The Disappointment

I was eager to try T-Mobile due to everything I listed in the Good section. I was genuinely surprised and disappointment at how poor quality their service/coverage is in 2019. I always knew that T-Mobile was behind AT&T and Verizon in coverage but I didn’t realize how far behind, even today. I complete understand that each carrier has some areas where coverage is not good but I was expecting much stronger service/coverage in the San Francisco Bay Area and coverage inside buildings is even worse 😔

I think T-Mobile knows its network is not as good and so has to be different than AT&T/Verizon on something else – and that something is lower prices (and that does attract new customers).

I like T-Mobile and what they stand for. T-Mobile is in the process of merging with Spring. I hope after the merger is finalized, they will significantly improve their coverage and I will give them another try 🙏

Social Networking: past, present, and future

There is a great 3 series post on TechCrunch on Social Networking: The Past, Present and Future. It’s a very good read, I highly recommend it.

If you ask a teenager today what is social networking, we all know the answer will be Facebook. But, I don’t think social neworking started with AOL or even with online community called “The Well” (founded in 1985). I think social networking has been here since the very beginning, since the start of civilization, obviously in a much much different form. Toward the end of last century we had the wireless (mobile) phone, before that it was a regular phone and before that it was the telegraph. These are all tools for social networking. Television and radio can also be considered social networking tools. All these tools made it possible to share information. Fast rewind to beginning and we get social tools such as fires, beacons, smoke signals, pigeons, human messengers and mirrors. I think all these were tools for social networking in one way or another.

My blog on mobile devices

Many web sites now specially formatted when accessed from mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android and others, I had to join the party. I installed a nice WordPress WPtouch plug-in (free version is available) that formats a site to be viewed on a mobile device. When you access http://mkblog.exadel.com from your mobile device, the site should look like this:

Enjoy.

How I use social media?

I was thinking about this for the past few months, how do I use or how should I use all the social “stuff” out there? As I thought about it, this is the picture that surfaced. It works for me, maybe it will work for you, maybe not. Maybe I’ll change some things in the future. I use the three main social sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

Facebook
Facebook is purely personal, I will not accept any professional invites. I only connect with family and friends. Sorry, I just don’t think someone who I met at a conference needs to see my family pictures.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is of course a professional networking site. I will gladly accept invites to connect with people I met at conferences, trade shows, trainings and probably anyone else. Usually if I get a business card and I will look up that person on LinkedIn and send him or her an invite. I think it’s much better way to keep in touch than saving the business somewhere. I always connect to recruiters that are posting job ads, you just never know how they can help you in the future.

Twitter
My Twitter feed is open so anyone can follow me, professional contacts as well as friends. Probably 80% of what I post is work related and the other 20% are articles that I read and some other interesting stuff.

My blog
I also run a blog. If you are reading this than you probably know about it already. My blog is mostly work related. Occasionally I’ll post something on my travel or any other interesting stuff.

Posting
As you probably know, you can connect your LinkedIn account with your Twitter account. Once you do that, if you add #in or #li to any tweet, that tweet will also appear in your LinkedIn feed (it’s also possible for LinkedIn to read all your tweets, without using #in or #li). I usually forget to add #in. I started using a service called ping.fm which allows to post to multiple sites.

There are also micro-blogging sites such as Posterous and Tumblr. I still haven’t figured how to use them for either work or personal.

Exadel on Facebook

You can now become a fan of Exadel on Facebook. Why would you become a fan of Exadel (I know.. we are not as fun as some other “celebrities” out there). Well, there is so much information out there today, it could be difficult to stay up to date. Facebook and Exadel’s Twitter is a great way to keep up with what’s happening with RichFaces, Flamingo, JavaFX plug-in for Eclipse and various events and conferences we attend.

2009

2009 was a good year. RichFaces is more popular than ever today. Exadel has participated in hundreds of RichFaces engagements this year. I don’t remember how many trainings I’ve done this year but just since September I had a RichFaces training every other week. The forum is very active. RichFaces now has two books, one is mine, Practical RichFaces (Apress). The other books is called JBoss RichFaces 3.3 (Packt). There is also RichFaces DZone RefCard available.

My blog traffic has been steadily growing this year. To make it easier for readers, I have tagged all my RichFaces howto’s, tips and tricks with richfaces-howto tag. Now you can find all the posts quickly. And of course I also started using Twitter (http://twitter.com/maxkatz) this year. My first tweet and my first follower @kito99 via http://firstfollower.com/

If you tried JSF 2 (and you should, it’s much better than JSF 1.2. Here is a great post by Andy Schwartz and here is my JSF 2 series), you will notice that core Ajax features in JSF 2 are very similar to what has been available in RichFaces for a very long time now. You will see that f:ajax tag in JSF 2 works very similar to the popular a4j:support tag (see this blog post and this for more info). The RichFaces team is already working on RichFaces 4 which will be based on JSF 2.

This year I attended and spoke at a number of conferences. I started with JSFdays in Vienna, Austria in early April. End of April I attended JAX in Maintz, Germany. In June, I spoke at JavaOne 2009 and beginning of September presented at JBoss World in Chicago. My final conference was JSFSummit in Orlando in December.

With trainings and conferences (and some personal travel), I flew over 150,000 on United this year which makes me 1K again. I’m looking forward to system wide upgrades (for international travel) and new unlimited upgrades United announced earlier this year. If you travel frequently, I definitely recommend trying to stick with one airline. Even if you just get entry level status, travel usually becomes more pleasant.

Next year already looks very interesting. I already have three trainings booked and two conferences. I will be presenting and teaching RichFaces workshop JSFdays 2010 in Vienna in February and presenting for the first time at TheServerSide Symposium in Las Vegas in March.

If you have been reading my blog, you will know that we have been doing some interesting stuff with JavaFX. Exadel has been working on JavaFX plug-in for Eclipse and Flamingo framework. We have also worked on JavaFX and JSF integration. Although we could wished for a stronger “acceptance” of JavaFX this year especially in the enterprise, nevertheless, the community has been growing very strong. I have approached Sun on two different occasions with an offer to work together on some of the enterprise features for JavaFX but never got a reply back. Now that Oracle-Sun deal is close to being final and once Oracle takes ownership of JavaFX, we hope it [Oracle] will start using more JavaFX in the enterprise.

2010 (how are you going to say 2010?) is looking to be very interesting year. We have RichFaces 4.0, our JavaFX plug-in for Eclipse is going to be open source and have been adding very interesting mobile feature to Flamingo such as connector for Android. JavaFX and JSF integration also sounds very interesting. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year!

Exadel blog re-launched

I’m guessing not many knew that Exadel had a blog at http://blog.exadel.com. One reason is that we didn’t post anything new there for some time. I’m happy to announced that we have re-launched the blog. We will make sure to post important and interesting information a lot more frequently. Welcome back to the social web!

Visit Exadel blog.

Eskimo's notes (Denis Golovin blog)

Denis Golovin (Exadel) launched a new blog where he talks about Eclipse and other things. Denis is one of the most talented Eclipse engineers. He leads JBoss Tools/JBoss Developer Studio projects on the Exadel side.