is the availability of that service very
reliable in the service areas they specify?  Is it limited to your
in-service area? Or is it nationwide where that service is available by

Like voice, I think that will vary by carrier and plan.  In my case, I use a
Treo 650 with Earthlink.  But they are just a "virtual provider" running on
Sprint's network.  I get nationwide voice service with no roaming charges,
even when it has to use a network other than Sprint's.  By contrast, at
least some Sprint plans charge for voice roaming when off their network.  In
both cases, the data connection is not available while roaming.  Other
carriers or plans could well be different.  YMMV.

Regarding service reliability, it seems like data is not much different than
voice in that regard.  You may have locations where coverage is poor.  In my
case, I get a much stronger signal from a roaming carrier and a very weak
signal from Sprint at my rural location home.  So the phone switches itself
to roaming which disables my data access, unless I configure the phone to
not allow roaming.  But then I don't get a good enough signal to use data

So I put in a cell phone repeater, which is a higher-gain outdoor
directional antenna which then gets rebroadcasst wirelessly in my office.
This allows me to connect to Sprint so I still have data access since I am
not roaming.  (I also develop Palm OS based applications, and need to be
able to test my apps which do net integration stuff.)


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