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EarthLink Treo 650 Date + Price Set

In sharp contrast to another wireless carrier that we're all too familiar with (hint: name includes V and Z), EarthLink Wireless earlier today sent an email informing people that its Treo 650 would be available for $449 after an instant $150 rebate and a 12 month contract on May 31 (exactly 3 weeks from now).

As I wrote earlier, EarthLink Wireless is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that carries your calls using either Sprint's or Verizon's CDMA network.  However, although still unconfirmed, it appears that there will be additional benefits depending on which data plan you choose:

The Treo 650 that EarthLink Wireless is offering doesn't *only* work on the CDMA/1xRTT network.  It is fully EVDO capable.  Since Earthlink Wireless is truly just a CDMA carrier reseller, your plan with them determines if you get Verizon service or Sprint service as your primary service, then through the partnership, you can roam to the other carrier without roaming fees.  The catch is that if you get the higher priced plans, you actually get Verizon as your primary service provider (Sprint is just a roaming partner) and you get access to Verizon's EVDO network. The lower priced and more "family oriented" plans will give you Sprint as your primary (w/ Verizon as the roaming partner) and will only get you 1xRTT data and *won't* let you onto Sprint's EVDO as they roll it out.  [Thanks A. Davis]

I don't have any experience using EarthLink Wireless and therefore cannot comment on their service infrastructure one way or the other (even though the company describes it as 'award-winning').  However, if you are considering the purchase of a Treo 650 and want to use it on a CDMA network while benefiting from a service that is likely going to be quite dedicated to your needs (since it is the only phone that the company offers) then I would strongly suggest that you check out EarthLink Wireless.

UPDATE: Please note that stated that potential EVDO support was 'unconfirmed' in the post and in this sense I was sharing what I believed to be an informed rumour.  With Verizon's Treo 650 now becoming available for business it has however become apparent that it will NOT be EVDO capable.

Treonauts like carriers that place their Treo center stage...

Posted by Andrew on May 10, 2005 at 04:42 AM

Wireless Carriers

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by Dave | May 10, 2005 9:37:26 AM

Uh, no - EVDO requires a new radio - the Treo is a 1xRTT device...

by Ryan | May 10, 2005 10:21:46 AM

PalmOne did promise an EV-DO device this quarter, right? Maybe this is it... if this is true... it's REALLY good news (I always viewed the lack of EV-DO as a major shortcoming... especially with VZW dragging its feet so long. It's done so much "testing" PalmOne could have easily finished development on an updated product... I know it's wishful thinking - but maybe this it it).

by Aleta | May 10, 2005 12:38:54 PM

Just spoke to my Verizon rep. He indicated that the Treo 650 will be available tomorrow. I'm going in tomorrow A.M. to purchase my Treo 650, which will be shipped to me next day!

by Steve | May 10, 2005 1:05:24 PM

Is the price you quoted for 1 year or 2???

by Andrew | May 10, 2005 1:27:37 PM

Steve - just updated the post. It's $449 with a 12 month contract.

Cheers, A.

by A. Davis | May 10, 2005 4:33:29 PM

Unfortunately, regarding the EVDO issue, we'll all have to wait and see. However I have a contact at Verizon that has told me quite a bit over beers the last few weeks.

1) He has mentioned that the VZW 650 *will* have EVDO support, but can work on the 1xRTT network just as the GSM 650 can operate on EDGE or on GPRS.

2) He also explained the Eartlink Wireless and basically said that they are waiting for Verizon to release their own. Apparently, they could've already started shipping the 650 with only their Sprint partnership in place, but opted to wait for two reasons:
A) the EVDO capable 650 that Verizon is testing and
B) he says that Sprint's network coverage "still sucks" compared to Verizon's. He says Sprint customers rome to the Verizon network "a hell of a lot more" than Verizon customers roam to the Sprint network. From a marketing standpoint, we all know that hell will freeze over before Earthlink gets to offer a VZW happy 650 before VZW themselves offer it. My VZW rep (not the same guy I get info over beer with) placed my order for a 650 and said it'll be here by the 19th (I already have a GSM 650, but one of my users wants to upgrade his VZW 600).

3) Lastly, as I've already stated, my VZW contact says that Earthlink Wireless will have different plans. Your plan will determine what you get. The current Sprint 650 only offers 1xRTT which means that even as Sprint starts to rollout a EVDO network, their 650's can't use it. The Verizon one is supposed to have EVDO support. So the best guess is that we'll see an Earthlink Wireless branded 650, but their will be at least two different models: one will only do 1xRTT and will have Sprint as the primary carrier. The other will have EVDO support as well as 1xRTT and will have Verizon as the primary carrier. Which one you get will be determined by which plan you get and your needs. Of course I must offer my standard two-part disclaimer which is that:

A) this was all said over many beers &

B) this was from a high-up at Verizon, not anyone from Earthlink. That said, I'm pretty confident we'll see an EVDO capable Verizon 650, but I'm 50/50 on the Earthlink stuff.

by A. Davis | May 10, 2005 4:42:30 PM

And for the doubtful... my friend's comments do have some merit:




"The big news, however, is that palmOne announced at its fiscal 3Q conference call that an EVDO-capable Treo is in the works, and new products will be announced before the end of May"

So imagine that both the LifeDrive *AND* the Verizon EVDO 650 are announced before the end of May. If you ask me, the timing is right... unless release dates slip.


"First off they confirmed plans to release new products (notice the plural) "

by Mark | May 10, 2005 8:56:22 PM

Just got off the phone with my rep, she is ordering my 650 first thing in the morning, (May 11). FINALLY!!!!

by Permanent4 | May 11, 2005 12:23:04 AM

A. Davis:

You're using ME as a source for your rumor? All I did was write what another web site reported. Since then, it's become pretty clear to me and others that the Treo 650 will NOT be an EVDO device. If anything, maybe the NEXT Treo will support 3G technology, but this one certainly won't.

You should be a little more careful with your attributions. We might have to start calling you A. Delio.

by Jim W. | May 11, 2005 1:28:23 PM

What's the verdict (from somebody who has it) EVDO on the verizon 650 or no?

It's the deal breaker for me.

by A. Davis | May 11, 2005 2:10:54 PM

Permanent4: I'm not using YOU as my source. I simply pasted in a few links from the internet to back up the rumors I'm getting from my Verizon source. If one of those links was your own, then so be it...

As for the EVDO support, as I already said, we'll have to wait and see. My Verizon rep placed an order for a 650 for my company yesterday, saying I'd have it by the 19th. She was unable to confirm if it has EVDO support or not. According to her, the sales team has a part number for it to place orders, but aren't receiving sales packets on the device until Monday. She did put me on hold and asked a tech, but he said the same thing... he gets manual's and spec's, info, etc on Monday and that he's getting tech support training from Verizon sometime next week. In my case, I ordered the 650 anyway cause it doesn't matter to my user if he gets EVDO or 1xRTT, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

I guess the most unsettling thing is that Palm has a tendency to *allow* rumors before their actual product announcements and in this case, there have been no *leaked* rumors directly from Palm regarding EVDO support.

by Jim W. | May 11, 2005 2:54:32 PM

EVDO vs. 1XRTT is a huge difference for wireless data...I don't even want to think about how slow WirelessSync would be without EVDO.

by joel s | May 18, 2005 11:50:39 AM

My question. Is there any reason I shouldnt get the earthlink phone as opposed to straight from verizon?

by jsimon | May 18, 2005 4:41:41 PM

I called earthlink. The person I spoke with knows nothing about verizon and says there service for the 650 is with sprint only. Any comments?

by Ben | May 19, 2005 9:51:09 PM

Hey, I was wondering if you knew when the treo will come out for t-mobile. I emailed them and their response wasa that the reason it hasn't been available is because PalmOne decides when to releaes the phone.

by Mark Helle | May 23, 2005 1:12:42 PM

Just spoke w/Earthlink phone Rep about the new product. Rep said they are using Sprint, not Verizon, that Data Plan will be $39.95, unit will not support EVDO, and that voice will range from $39.95 for 500 minutes to $109.00 for 2400 minutes / month. Rep said that they will start taking orders around the 24th-26th of May.

Of course this was from a first level phone rep, so the actual offering may vary. With a 12 month contract, unit will sell for $449 per an email I received ...

by Alex | Sep 12, 2005 2:05:23 PM

I've lurked on this site for a while and let me start by saying that it's a great resource. It's been a while since anyone posted to this thread but I have a few follow up questions...

I've run to the end of my Cingular/AT&T contract with my Motorola V50 phone and I plan on switching from my Clie NX-70v (which I love) to a Treo in order to condense the number of devices I carry around (some of my colleagues have half-jokingly given me the nickname "Batman" due to the cellphone/PDA/pagers (yas - multiple) that I carry when I am on call).

In review of the current wireless carriers for the New York area, I am stuck with the unenviable task of having to choose among the pros and cons of each service. Much of what I'm saying here we already know but please correct me if you find any of my logic flawed.


Pro: Suprising improvement in call quality, customer service and overall satisfaction in the most recent J.D. Power and Associates survey, ranks at the top.
Con: No Treo service, however, therefore not an option.


Pro: From everything I've read, they seem to have the best coverage and fewest dropped calls.
Con: *Expensive!* You pay through the nose for the service (voice and data) and all of the best phone deals lock you into a 2 year contract, won't let you get your initial phone purchase "rebate" back for 180 days. Plus many Treo features are disabled.

Pro/Con: Similar to the above comments for verizon except that the phone/deal prices are slightly better and the coverage is slightly worse.

Pro: Markedly improved data plan pricing, fewer disabled features
Con: Their network is not as robust, call quality / customer satisfaction seems still lower

Now here's the interesting part. I recently decided to take a look at Earthlink a more *nontraditional* provider and talked to a 1st level rep last night
here's what I found out:

Pro: Best phone pricing ($200) while only tying you into a 1 year contract. 30 day return policy - no questions asked. Full features (no DUN disabling, etc). Customer service / purchasing rep seems helpful and they seem to provide excellent quality for dial-up ISP service. I can only hope that will transfer over to their wireless service for Treos.
Con: They rent their towers/airtime/etc from Sprint and are therefore inherently linked to the quality of Sprint's network. Also, voice calls perform similar to a VOIP setup. In areas where Sprint's data network is active, voice calls from an Earthlink Treo get converted to data packets that get sent over Sprint's *data* network. In areas that the data network is not active, the phone drops back to analog mode and uses Sprint's voice network.

I don't know how well this setup works and I also don't know how/if the Earthlink Treo is modified to prevent it from being used on Verizon or Sprint's CDMA network should I want to change after a year with Earthlink.

1) Any thoughts on the above comments / assumptions?

2) Anyone have an Earthlink Treo in NYC, or elsewhere, to comment on the service (or lack thereof)?

3) Is it time for a new review of service providers now that Verizon, Sprint, Cingular and Earthlink have had the Treo 650 out for a while?

Thanks, in advance.

by Alex | Sep 12, 2005 8:12:56 PM

Here's some additional info on my situation:

1) I'm a singular (*not* a typo, no pun intended) user and don't work for a company that pays for my phone/service plan, so the monthly charges really *do* matter. I'm getting the Treo more for its ability to consolidate devices in my life. That being said, I am an admitted geek/techie and love the idea of having the capabilities of internet/email access when needed. I'm at home or the hospital every day and check my e-mail 1-2 times/day. Some people *live and die* by their e-mail or cellular access. That's not me - anyone who really needs to get me can do so by pager since I make every attempt not to use the cell phone in the hospital (as an example). I prefer to keep my cellular number private - pager for incoming, cellular for outgoing or family.

2) I rarely travel out of the country, so I don't *need* GSM capabiliy. Not to say that it wouldn't be *nice* but when I go out of the country, it's on vacation and I don't *want* to be in contact with the real world. If they need to, family can get me a whatever hotel I'm at.

3) I just looked at Earthlink's website again and now their deal is $200 for the phone with a *24 month* contract! I may be going past my previous level of nuts, but I could *swear* that no more than 2-3 days ago I saw their website showing this price with a 12 month contract. That's what spurred me to take a closer look at the deal. Anyone else remember this? Maybe it was a special that just ran out or I was looking at an old link. I talked to an Earthlink rep today who said that hey had a special months ago but that all of their current Treo plans are for 24 months. Guess it's an industry standard....Ho hum...

I may still try it out since the 30 day no-return policy stands, the rebate comes back quicker than the rest, the price of the phone is still pretty darn low and the monthly charges for the unlimited data and smallest voice plan are lower than those for Cingular or Verizon.

Any thoughts? - Alex

(cross posted at mytreo.net)

by J.Tehero | Sep 28, 2005 4:09:17 PM

Please somebody respond to Alex's Earthlink questions. I'm a riveted by the discussion as I try to figure out which carrier to sign with. Earthlink has the best overall deal, it seems...I'm a veteran of T-mobile (sucks in NYC area), ATT (just a bit better, highly dependent on the phone, flip phones are no good) and know cingular is a decent balance between service and price. The sprint vs. verizon issue is a big one for the Treo, I'm interested in the best Treo value, so a split between voice/data service, customer service, plan features and device performance.

So anybody that can offer some decent info on Earthlink, please do! I want this treo bad! But refuse to fall victim to some big telecom marketing scheme.

The focus on performance in the NYC area is especially important...the right carrier can make or break your wireless phone situation out here.

Thanks, -JCT

by David Shin | Dec 28, 2005 2:14:59 PM

Just signed on with Earthlink's service a few weeks ago out in Southern California, and my Treo actually gets better reception than my previous Verizon phone (LG VX8100). I'm actually very impressed with their customer service as well as the phone service, both of which far exceeded my expectations. So far, I'm very pleased with my choice. Can't speak for NYC area or any other area, but Earthlink is great in the LA area.

by S Russell | Jul 31, 2007 7:45:36 PM

My earthlink contract will expire in Feb 08 how do I renew or change the plan. Since there is no such thinh as an Earthlink store. However the service has been great.

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