I was excited about getting my Nokia Communicator 9290 today. I went down to VoiceStream (the only US carrier that supports it) to activate the phone and sign up for the iStream data service. Here's what I learned:
1) The Communicator will only work on VoiceStream's circuit-based network (not GPRS) at 9600 bits per second
2) This service is NOT always on, but the phone must dial up to an ISP
3) VoiceStream's iStream service is available for Pocket PC PDAs and not the Communicator
4) The vendor recommended that, if I was interested in data and not just a voice connection, I should return my Communicator to Nokia and get another device (not from Nokia) that would exploit the higher speed, always-on, packet-switched GPRS network VoiceStream operates.
At this point, I feel like I've bought a $599 pig-in-a-poke. I have a PDA and could have added a 9600 bits per second modem at any time.
Unless, and until, another US carrier offers higher speed access for the Communicator, I can't recommend the Communicator to anyone interested in data and voice applications. Until then, if you're happy with 9600 bps data transfers over a circuit-based network, and you already have a PDA, it would make more sense to add a $150 modem than buy a $599 Communicator.
I inquired about other US carriers that might be supporting the 9290 in the near future. A couple were mentioned, but since these are under active discussion, I won't mention the carriers by name.
However, when I visited the carriers' web sites, I discovered all of them are embracing GPRS for their high speed data network. Since the 9290 doesn't support GPRS, this effectively means the 9290 will not be able to take advantage of the high speed, always-on, IP-based data networks offered by any of the US carriers mentioned, including VoiceStream. It will only operate over the older, slower 9600 bps circuit-based networks designed for voice, not data.
Will someone from Nokia please tell us that my information is incorrect? Please tell us what US carrier will be offering high speed, always-on data access for the Nokia 9290?
I wish someone had told me this before I spent 2 weeks being bounced around their tech support. I guess they didn't have the guts to tell me that it won't work for my connection.
Thanks for the info, I will be returning mine today.
I noticed Nokia hasn't bothered to respond to you either.