Cincinnati Bell Wireless tries to soothe upset customers

Ever since Cincinnati Bell Wireless announced it will be selling its cellphone division to Verizon Wireless, WCPO has been receiving questions and complaints about the service.

In the past month, it has become the company with the most questions and complaints to WCPO 9 on Your Side. Many of those complaints concern the uncertainty and frustration of trying to switch to a new carrier.

So Cincinnati Bell Wireless is trying to ease some of those frustrations, with a generous gift to its thousands of remaining customers.

Bonus to Current Customers

All Cincinnati Bell Wireless customers will now have unlimited data, talk, and text until the service shuts down on February 28, 2015.

That's a great reason to stay with Cincinnati Bell for another 6 months: you won't find such a good deal elsewhere.

Verizon Switchover Issues

But that still doesn't resolve the biggest complaint, which involves customers trying to switch their service to Verizon. Many assume the Verizon transition would be painless, given that it is buying Bell's equipment and service.

But they're finding they can't keep their current phone.

The problem is that Verizon and Cincinnati Bell have completely different networks, and the phones cannot be transferred (See full explanation below).
Cincinnati Bell says you will need to buy a new phone if you are switching to Verizon.

In most cases, you can use your old phone if you switch to AT&T or T-Mobile.

However, not all phones can be "unlocked," so some customers are finding that even with a transfer to AT&T, they may still have to buy a new smartphone.

What You Can Do

A Cincinnati Bell spokeswoman has two suggestions:

  • Stick with the service until the end of the year: there's no need to switch to a more expensive plan now, especially with unlimited data, talk, and text.
  • Look for promotions from other carriers during the holiday season, when smartphones will be sold at half price, or almost free.  That way if you have to buy a new phone, you will be able to get it at deep discount.

Click here for a FAQ page addressing most other customer issues with the transition.

As always, don't waste your money.


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Cincinnati Bell Wireless Statement on Verizon Phone Issue

Here’s the answer your question, “Why can't Cincinnati Bell Wireless customers take their current phone to Verizon?”

Unfortunately, you cannot use your Cincinnati Bell Wireless phone on the Verizon Wireless network. Your Cincinnati Bell Wireless phone uses GSM / HSDPA technology and is not compatible with the Verizon Wireless CDMA network. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM / HSDPA technology.

Wireless carriers in the United States operate over two different networks: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM).

Though each technology transmits voice and data, they do so in different ways, making a phone incompatible if you do not have the right plan. As a result, you can't take a CDMA phone and use it on GSM or vice versa.


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