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Have to agree. I myself was a LONG time AT&T loyalist. I owned stock in the original "Ma Bell" pre-breakup. Every telecom account I had was AT&T (I tend to be something of a brand loyalty sucker.) Then I went to work as a lobbyist at the state Capitol in Sacramento. I moved to a neighborhood not far from downtown Sacramento. What I discovered was that i could be walking down a corridor near a major hearing room in the Capitol and my "more bars" would drop to zero bars. What I found at home was that I had to walk outside on my front porch to take or make a call. I also found significant areas in downtown Sacramento where signals and calls just disappeared. As a lobbyist, we are heavily reliant on (addicted to) our cell phones. They are a critical productivity tool. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BE OUT OF CONTACT WHEN A KEY BILL IS UP FOR COMMITTEE VOTE and we are trying to round up absent legislators.

As a the owner of a small lobbying firm, we have to be available to our clients on a nearly 24/7 basis ... They often don't understand why the have to wait for us0 to get dressed so we can go out on our front porch to take a call.

Frankly, I have found the "more bars in more places" tag line in AT&Ts ads to be worse than laughable - it is a rude joke that verges on the criminal, at least in Sacramento (a town where cell phones are more common and more important than oxygen.)

I finally had to bite the bullet and dump AT&T. I briefly moved to T-Mobile, but found some of the same limitations (though not NEARLY as bad).

THE ONLY carrier that has provided me with 100% reliable service has been Verizon. Never dropped a call inside the Capitol or from my home, or elsewhere in the SAC metro area. Period. The system has also proven reliable up and down the I-5 corridor, in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii ... Mexico and Europe.

While I have to admit that the web services via Verizon / Vodaphone leave much to be desired versus the AT&T 3G network, my ability to access my email, text and phone traffic more than make up for these weaknesses.

If your concerns are about staying in touch with important clients, rather than being able to do internet searches or watch the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows on the road, then I would seriously consider going with VERIZON over AT&T.

I would KILL to be able to move from my Blackberry 8830 to an iPhone (I am a Mac guy, own several iPods, including the iPod Touch, and too many Mac computers to count) but to date the iPhone is locked to AT&T - and I simply refuse to go back to AT&T's crapy network coverage, continuing promises of "future upgrades in your area" and crummy customer support.

As for AT&T's tag line of "more bars in more places," I suppose it works for the single-under-30-bar-hopping crowd, but for those of us who rely on our cell phones for our livelihood, it is nothing but a rude joke.

BTW: This experience led me to dump my AT&T "baby bell" stock some time ago.

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