Comments on: Drops Unlimited Service Plans

(Updated 6:15pm) Palm Inc has quietly dropped its unlimited wireless data plans for the service. is the sole wireless service provider for the Palm VII series and i705 handhelds. Plans that used to cost $35 a month could now run over $200 with the same usage patterns.
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Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…

Greg @ 1/22/2003 2:13:56 PM #
Not surprising, Palm always seems to take one step forward and two steps back. This is the status quo for Palm, screwing over people who supported the company through the good and the bad. I use a Palm i705 and live near Detroit, my coverage is terrible, it works in some areas and not in others. I currently use the unlimited plan but would never pay for more for shoty service. I really like Palm products but the customer service is not what it used to be either. I am looking forward to seeing the wireless providers offerings, at least they are reasonable.

RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
abosco @ 1/22/2003 2:23:07 PM #
Palm.Net was never a good idea. It cost too much, plain and simple. People don't want to have to pay $40 a month to get wireless emails. My phone can do that, and it cost me $20 with a $20 per month plan that includes minutes, free talk mobile-to-mobile, and data services. It makes doing it on a PDA for $40 per month impractical.

The T|W is a way to ween (sp?) the users off Palm.Net because it's too expensive for Palm SG. Good move, IMHO.

Hopefully, they'll make it back into the black.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3

RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
frauen1 @ 1/22/2003 2:51:48 PM #
I assume that the number of customers has never been that high, that Palm has not satisfied some contractual number of users to satify Cingular, and that Cingular has used this to renegotiate the terms. Remember that this is a pager network, and pager network operators are not particularly fond of unlimited usage plans in the first place. Add to this that Palm is end of life-ing this technology, and it's a no-brainer that this change would happen.

I agree that this is an "end-of-life" scenario.
mikemusick @ 1/22/2003 4:24:47 PM #
Especially in anticipation of the Tungsten W with its SMS and GPRS. Palm's network solutions are (thankfully!) moving away from a single-vendor solution.

RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
Foo Fighter @ 1/22/2003 4:31:09 PM #
Yeah, really sucking, IMHO. Too expensive...too slow...too limiting. Overpriced, and under-performing. I'll wait for the sequel.

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
mashby @ 1/22/2003 5:41:54 PM #
This is NOT Palm SG's fault. If you read the article again, you'll see that this is due to the Mobitex network (run by Cingular) that is raising it's rates. So, if you want to be upset with someone look to Cingular. :)

And this isn't just that is facing this problem. Several CPDP carriers are raising their rates as well. So, this could be a sign of the times.

Michael T. Ashby

RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
Take1 @ 1/23/2003 6:55:48 AM #
This is going to really make Palm unattractive! This pricing plan stinks. Regardless of whose responsible, $0.10 per kb is a rip-off and won't be received well!

RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
MikeInDM @ 1/23/2003 8:27:10 AM #
Do you guys read? First, Cingular made the change forcing Palm to up the pricing. Second, how could this make "Palm" unattractive? This only impacts the VII series and the i705's, not like they are the number one sellers for Palm (or even in the top 10%).

So many people here have knee jerk reactions to things that won't even show up on the radar of most people buying Palm OS devices. And of course, we are always the victim (being taken to the cleaners yet again??) and it always represents the "end of Palm"...

RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
jmarks @ 1/24/2003 12:02:39 PM #
Well, according to an email ad K just received from Palm Inc., Palm's marketing response to the situation is announce a three day sale of the i705 at $149. The only mention of is a small statement saying that it is a subscription service. The linked i705 purchase page doesn't say anything about subscription rates either.
RE: Palm taking us to the cleaners yet again…
Take1 @ 1/24/2003 2:40:51 PM #
Perhaps I should have said it would make Palm wireless units which use services unatrractive compared to better pricing using other means of always-on communication. If you use more than 1 MB of data per month or do not wish to count he KB on a regular basis you'd probably want to look elsewhere.


sford @ 1/22/2003 2:52:36 PM #
...that explains why the coverage has never been good. I've always loved the web clipping concept, cuz I've never seen why I would want to surf the web on so small a screen. Specifically targeted information retrieval was what I wanted, and web clipping seemed to be *the* answer. In practice, however, the horrible coverage and ridiculous speeds made it so that what I got out was never worth what I (well, my employers ) put in.


UZI4U182 @ 1/22/2003 3:22:08 PM #
Cingular sucks. My dad has a contract with them for his Nokia 3360, and they charge like $6 extra a month on your bill for data services, and it also uses up minutes. What a crock.

--Devan-- | Email me:
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RE: Cingular
abosco @ 1/22/2003 4:09:02 PM #
It really varies from plan to plan, like mine really rocks. I'm happy with Cingular, but my phone is flat out horrible.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
RE: Cingular
Altema @ 1/22/2003 4:26:21 PM #
Data access usually works well, but it is odd to pay extra AND lose the minutes. My plan has been rather amusing, seeing that I cannot login using the phone. I have to use the Palm for everything because no one at Cingular knows how to fix their own service.

It's been over half a year now with multiple visits...

Nobody from the store clerks to the CEO can fix it.

RE: Cingular
useybird @ 1/22/2003 8:03:32 PM #
Cingular is the biggest ripoff ever. I have cingular. The phones are boring black and white POS's and the only thing that makes my 3360 cool is the transparent faceplate and flashing battery and face. Their service is also a ripoff. Not only is their data plan a joke, but that have the nerve to somehow charge me $40 everytime I get my phone turned back on. As soon as my contract expires ( i don't want to pay the $200 BS termination fee)or cingular gets GSM/GPRS and color phones, I will get either a new phone or a new service provider. Not to mention the automated reply you get when you ask them a question online sucks.

Microsoft is the root of all evil.
Right, Bill?
RE: Cingular
stupidnewpolicy @ 1/22/2003 8:08:52 PM #
3360? I understand why you have such a low opinion of Cingular. You still have that CDMA/TDMA crap. Thankfully I'm in a Cingular GSM area, and have never had any complaints about my coverage or phone.

I don't use data services, but then I've never seen the need to have constant access to the Internet. Thankfully my job doesn't necessitate it. I'd probably be upset about it if it did. There are no decent wireless data carriers in my neck of the woods.

(BTW, if you can't tell the *DMA comment above is a blatant attempt to start a wireless technology zealot war, you obviously weren't paying enough attention)


RE: Cingular
Altema @ 1/22/2003 9:57:58 PM #
"Nobody from the store clerks to the CEO can fix it."

I stand corrected... I tried it again to see if my post caught anyone's attention at Cingular, and now data access on my phone is working! Not sure if updating MyWirelessWindow was the missing link that everyone missed (the handset model was missing, but it had worked before with no changes), or if someone in the know took care of things. Whatever the reason, it's now working for the first time in a long time, and I'm a happy camper.

RE: Cingular
covingto @ 1/23/2003 10:13:47 PM #
I'm actually very happy with my Cingular service, calling plan, and handset. I'm on one of their Nationwide calling plans (unlimited off-network roaming included) and have a Motorola V60t. Granted, I'm not using any data services, but I can't think of a single US-based carrier that is offering decent speeds and/or prices for data access yet, so there's no rush.

I think it's unfortunate, however, that Palm is dropping the unlimited service plans. The i705 was just released within the last year ... if anyone purchased it with the understanding (and the need) that unlimited service options would be available, this is really a show-stopper for them. I hope can compensate such users in one way or another (e.g., by providing refunds for the i705 to those users and/or upgrade options).

RE: Cingular
Altema @ 1/24/2003 12:43:05 PM #
Yeah, the wise thing for Palm would be to offer device upgrade credits. I know that some buyers of the i705 purchased with the service plan in mind, and now that it has changed, the device is no longer as appealing. The upgrade incentive would also push sales of the Tungsten W even further. I know that if I had an i705, I'd be drooling over the TW... dual processors, concurrent data and voice, and battery life that makes even the Handera seem like a flash in the pan. I'll probably go with the TT2 and maybe a bluetooth phone (which Cingular does not have), but the TW sure is tempting.

If you want data access on your palm, forget!

xps800 @ 1/22/2003 3:38:39 PM #
The answer to your problems is a Sprint 3G data plan or a vision plan. Although it's true you can only use two different palm-enabled devices with it(as of now), you can use any PPC using their compact flash wireless modem. The data transfer is fast enough, and there are unlimited plans availble which include voice....cheaper than cingular and attws, yet better and faster.

Better yet, wait till they offer bluetooth cell phones, and then anything is possible.

RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
mashby @ 1/22/2003 5:47:37 PM #
The new 3G networks offered by Sprint and the other carriers are clearly the way to go if you are a HEAVY user and can find a good plan. The higher speeds are nice and being able to use the same wireless connection for your Palm AND your computer is quite nice.

Michael T. Ashby
RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
gfunkmagic @ 1/22/2003 8:33:37 PM #
Agreed, Sprint's unlimited Vision plans are the best value around today. CDMA2000 and GSM/GPRS are the way to go today for always on email connectivity. was an old technology that quite frankly wasn't going to survive against BB's, BB-like Treos and new devices like the Nokia 6800 and T|W.

More interestingly, I think this annoucement brings new light to Palmsource's licensing agreement with HuneTec utilizing their ReFlex 2-way messaging technology:

Obvioulsy, there is still a market for this niche and
ReFlex may provide an inexpensive and reliable alternative to 3G networks...

RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
M3wThr33 @ 1/23/2003 12:08:16 AM #
Treo 300
Samsung i300
Samsung i330

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.
RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
rsc1000 @ 1/23/2003 1:10:32 PM # was always just a stop-gap solution - even Palm must have known this. Standardization on 2.5 and 3G networks was on the way when they launched this. I have never thought of the as a real solution to the problem of wireless net access, for the same reason that it seemed obvious as day that WAP technology was going to go down the drain: people want REAL internet access on their wireless/mobile device. Customers and developers don't want a wonky, proprietary solution - they want standard TCP/IP applications. Hell, the only reason SMS took off in Europe was because regular dialup wired connections are so damned expensive there. I just have to laugh at the out-of-touch idiocy on the part of North American service providers who thought that customers used to a cheap, media-rich, internet experience would be willing to pay double to go back to the stone age, just to have it on their phone. Well, WAP backfired big time, and although many North Americans find SMS nice - it still didn't take off like in Europe. Its the same thing with - people want the internet, not a lame limitation. I have used the service, and i can see how this would be great for some people, so i am not entirely slagging the technology. But in comparison to what people are used to this was too much to begin with - people are being asked to pay an insane premium for the fact that this is wireless bandwidth. With newer, faster technologies heading our way, Palm should be lowering their price not uping it - if they seriously plan to compete. Personally, i feel that this shows they actually want to get out of the game. I just feel bad for anybody who shelled for a Palm VII or worse, paid $$$ recently to get a Palm 705. The industry media should of done more to point out the obvious temporary nature of this technology.

RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
mashby @ 1/23/2003 4:23:47 PM #
First off, let me just say that I totally agree with you in regards to WAP. I never saw WAP as anything but a passing fancy.

However, I have to disagree with you on the use of the Mobitext network for the Palm VII and i705 devices. Palm creates devices not networks, so when it came up with the Palm VII, they had to find the biggest footprint that they could to launch the product. Although things in Europe are consolidated, as you allueded to, they are anything but consolidated here in the States. So, when Palm was looking for what networks their new device would run on, they chose Mobitext. For better or worse, it was (and IMHO still is) the only PDA that out of the box can be "connected" to the Internet.

I think it's a shame that the VII and the i705 have received such a bad rap because I truly think it's a kick ass product that delivers exactly what it promises.

You also need to remember that the VII was released in 1999 (! American data networks have come a long way since then. So, yes, the Mobitext network is a bit long in the tooth and there are plenty of other networks now to choose from, but back in 1999, there weren't too many. :-)

Still, I wouldn't call it a passing fancy. Yes, there are better networks out there now, but the Mobitext network did work well for the time being. It's a shame that Cingular doesn't want to maintain it any more, but it's been a decent solution for approximately 4 years.

Michael T. Ashby

RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
dvq @ 1/23/2003 8:36:19 PM #
There seems to be some confusion here.

Cingular Interactive which runs the Mobitex network is a very small piece of Cingular wireless. It has its own Corporate HQ in NJ apart from Cingular Wireless HQ in Atlanta.

Cingular Interactive is who maintains the Mobitex network. The infrastructure that Cingular wireless uses for their wireless voice/data system is not connected in any way to the mobitex network maintained by Cingular Interactive. There is no hardware relationship between the two. Period

Cingular Interactive Corporate continues to put money into building out the Mobitex network. I know this becasue I'm one of the engineers doing the work, now, today. In fact today I was on the upper east side working with Verizon installing a 56K circuit to replace the 9.6 ckt so we can add more channels to that base. We also continue to add capacity wherever it is required. While our Mobitex Network build out has slowed it has not stopped.

What has happened to cause this announcment from Palm I believe is that there are a small amount of unlimited users that are just hogging most of the available BW. These are not just palm users. Because a few of these Data hogs can hose an entire base that serves 500 other moderate users by trying to download/sync the entire contents of their inbox every day, Available BW has become an issue. We need to reel-in some of these non-stop data hogs.

Yes we have a mature network, perhaps even closing in on geriatric, but bottom line is it continues to be reliable and work well. Yes I know there are places where coverage is poor. But in major metro areas coverage is generally good.

Corporate America continues to be addicted to the Service. I know this because we continue to install coverage enhancement equipment in their corporate HQ locations. Two months ago I was investigating an interference problem at Big National Company HQ. I needed to take the base down for 1 minute to connect the spectrum analyzer. They would not permit me to do it. I told them 15 seconds and after much discussion and phone calls the IT guy let me take it down. "It is vital to our execs, they dont want it turned off even for a second" is what I was told.

On more time
Cingular Interactive runs the Mobitex network that RIM, Good,, GE, Sears, Airborn, RPS amoung others use. Cingular Wireless runs its own independant network and owns Cingular Interactive, but so far has pretty much left us to ourselves.

RE: If you want data access on your palm, forget!
mashby @ 1/25/2003 1:57:01 AM #
Thanks for the clarification DVG. That helps explain things alot.

Michael T. Ashby

Copy of the letter and other comments

rickyspears @ 1/23/2003 4:42:20 PM #
If anyone would like to see the actual letter that Palm is sending out, you can see one at: (112k)

Since the i705 marketing focused on its "always on internet" I think that we may see a class action here, possibly against both Palm and Cingular. (I'm not a lawyer. I don't play one on TV. This is just a consumer's observation.)

Palm is saying that only 4 percent of the subscribers will be affected. Are we to believe that they don't make enough extra on the other 96% to cover those 4%? Sometimes one has to break even in business one venture in order to maintain a customer base. We have deployed over 60 Palm units and have made the decision that we will not deploy any more Palm hardware. We may stick with the OS, but not the hardware.


RE: Copy of the letter and other comments
Marshall Flinkman @ 1/23/2003 6:17:47 PM #
The likelihood of a class action suit would depend on the fine print in that marketing, (i.e. the lawyer reviewing it to determine the viability of a suit), so it depends on the lawyer. On the one hand, Palm's lawyers are bound to give them some wiggle room on things like this; on the other hand, we live in a litigious society and some people out there seem to file lawsuits at the drop of a hat.

So, while I won't count out the possibility, I'm not holding my breath.

Any Other GPRS/GSM Providers for Tungsten W?

dmenahem @ 1/23/2003 5:28:50 PM #
Is there any reason to believe that any of the other GSM/GPRS providers (T-Mobile and Cingular) in the US will not support the Tungsten W? I would be disappointed if I couldn't stick my t-mobile SIM in the T/W and not have it work......


RE: Any Other GPRS/GSM Providers for Tungsten W?
Marshall Flinkman @ 1/23/2003 6:27:55 PM #
No reason so far... check out Treocentral's discussion boards for people using GSM Treos on AT&T--should work much the same. limiting when Cingular/Mobitex goes unlimited!

007in803 @ 1/25/2003 5:43:50 PM #
Palm is obviously changing their unlimited policy because they are phasing out

I talked to 2 sales reps for GoodLink this week and they confirmed that Cingular is changing pricing on their Mobitex network on Feb. 3rd. Their new pricing will be this:

1 MB per month
$.08 per KB over 1 MB

3 MB per month
$.05 per KB over 3 MB


This is what people will be paying for their Blackberry and GoodLink devices using the Cingular/Mobitex network.

Since uses the exact SAME network this is probably one of several steps to move people off of IIVxs and i705s and onto Tungsten-Ws. The Mobitex network has a larger footprint than GPRS and will for some time to come.

I'm in the process of trying the GoodLink server and Good G100 devices for a few companies.

Go to

cinematique @ 1/26/2003 2:52:19 PM #
All of their plans are now $40/month unlimited. Somehow, I bet Earthlink is gonna take over the i705 network if someone lets it go to the way side.



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