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Best Wireless Providers for Seattle Area?

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by Shockwave13, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Shockwave13

    Shockwave13 Junior Member
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    I am moving to the Seattle Metro area next year, and I would like to find out what is the best provider or providers for that area? I would prefer to hear from some people that live in that area, as to what really works well up there? But I will take advice from those who have been to the area and used a provider that is also local to that area :D

    I want a provider that will give me National Coverage and some good phones, so that more than likely means one of the big 4 providers. I want a carrier that offers high speed network, I am spoiled by Alltel's EVDO service and good coverage where I live now. Sadly Alltel is not in the Seattle area, or anywhere even near to it. Even though I would be covered on the plan, I know that using PIC/VID messaging has issues in Seattle using roaming partners, and signal sometimes isnt the greatest. I will also be using the phone in some of the surrounding areas, as a few friends of mine that already live up there like to go into the mountains so I am sure they will drag me along :p

    So fire away with suggestions, thanks for reading.
     
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  2. BillRadio

    BillRadio Wireless Consultant
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    I go there with 4 phones and can't find a preference. The only place where I could finally lose service was out on the Olympic Penninsula. Once you're west of Port Angeles, it's only AT&T and Verizon, and going a little farther it's only Verizon. But how often will you go there?

    You can pretty much choose by price or phone. Of course you should test drive whichever you choose. T-Mobile & Verizon would be the top of my list, but if Qwest is your home landline(most likely), you would do well to choose their bundle. On the strength of Sprint's network, Qwest performs very well, and I like their DSL.
     
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  3. Steve B

    Steve B Bronze Senior Member

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    Well, let me be the first to welcome you to Emerald City, hehe. Anyway, The wireless networks here in Seattle are pretty much built out very well by all the carriers. I live in the West Seattle area and I have used Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and I'm currently using Sprint. In terms of coverage, I would put the carriers in this order of best to least best; Verizon, at&t, Sprint, T-Mobile. I should also mention that if you use Verizon, you can roam on Sprint and visa versa. I have to make a comment about T-Mobile, in comparison to the rest of the big 4, T-Mobile's coverage is lacking. To me the only reason why someone go with T-Mobile is because they needed the extra bit of minutes for what they pay but, they loose value in other parts with T-Mobile such as lack of coverage, etc.

    In terms of pricing or best bang for your buck, I would list the carriers in this order from best to least best (T-Mobile, at&t, Sprint, Verizon). As I pointed out, T-Mobile tends to give more minutes but, I believe that to be because they lack in other areas. The rest of the 3 carriers have almost identical pricing structures. What really only differentiates them is the extras. With extra in mind, the rest of the 3 would go in this order; at&t, Sprint, Verizon. at&t has rollover, its GSM (easily switch phones) and their phones aren't crippled like Verizon's phones. Sprint being next in line, you might be able to get SERO, unlimited night and weekends starting at 6pm for a fee, 7pm is standard. Sprint's phones are a bit crippled but, not as much as Verizon's phones. Last, but not least, Verizon has a strong solid network. Extras with Verizon do cost; such as the ringers because unlike at&t or T-Mobile where you can put your own ringtones on your phone, Verizon blocks that ability to make you buy the ringtones from them, etc.

    So lastly, it really depends on what is high on your priority list. Its really a trade off. If coverage and having a solid network is extremely important to you, Verizon is the way to go but, you get stuck with crippled phones and you pay a premium for good service. With Verizon, if you pay your bill on time and are a good customer and are kind to them when you have an issue and need to call in, they will bend over backwards for you. They did for me. Anyway back on track, if the ability to easily change phones and not have them crippled, either at&t or T-Mobile would be for you (at&t has more coverage then T-Mobile). If pricing best bang for your buck is the most important to you then T-Mobile would the way to go. Sprint is just kind of their in between. The only thing keeping me with Sprint is SERO. Other than that there is nothing really that would make Sprint stand out. If you want to know what SERO is, go to Sprint Employee Referral Offer Just a reminder, you have to be referred to get SERO. The sight explains it all. I hope all this information helps you. Good luck.
     
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  4. CellGeek

    CellGeek Sprint is the BOMB!
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    This is not entirely correct! Sprint is the only carrier that will let you *FORCE ROAMING*. It is not possible to do this on Verizon, Cingular, or T-Mobile. Those carriers will hold-on to a navite signal even if it is very weak to the point of dropping calls and poor audio. If I am in an area where Sprint is weak, I can force roaming on Verizon and have the best of both worlds. Note that a Verizon phone cannot force roaming on Sprint. Also, Verizon phones don't support Java Apps and also are crippled. Sprint phones are not crippled and I have many free applications like OperaMini on my phone.

    Kudos to Sprint. I really get tired of hearing everyone bash them. Sprints customer service is the worst, but their network is so good that you don't need customer serive. I had Verizon for 10 years (Airtouch) and can really speak from experience here.
    [

    QUOTE=Steve B;473381]Well, Sprint is just kind of their in between. The only thing keeping me with Sprint is SERO. Other than that there is nothing really that would make Sprint stand out. If you want to know what SERO is, go to Sprint Employee Referral Offer Just a reminder, you have to be referred to get SERO. The sight explains it all. I hope all this information helps you. Good luck.[/QUOTE]
     
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  5. Steve B

    Steve B Bronze Senior Member

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    Forcing roaming may or may not be all that important to the OP. It looks like a big thing for you. However, in the area where I live which if you read is the same area where the OP is asking about, Sprint's network is built out really well as I mentioned in my post. I never have to force my phone to roam which is why I didn't mention it in the first place. I didn't bash Sprint, I said they were in between. Forcing roaming isn't all that spectacular in the big picture anyway. Also, i have to point out where you complain of people bashing Sprint but in your next sentence, you do exactly that. I pointed the up and downs of some carriers in the context of where he might want to go (carrier wise), I didn't pick a carrier and beat them down.
     
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  6. danny boi

    danny boi Dazed and Confused
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    My cousin lives in Seattle and drives between home and Tacoma quite often. He swears on Verizon as does his friends. He used to use T-Mobile, but he kept running into dead spots so he tells me he finally found a winner.

    They have a 30 day no risk trial period which is one of the best in the industry so you can't really lose in this regard. If I were you, I'd go with "reliable."

    Your other option is to simply take your Alltel phone up there first and test the local network. Unless I'm mistaken, you'll be roaming off of Sprint so you can test the local Sprint network without having to actually subscribe to the service and having to deal with those in-store or over the phone retail yahoos.

    Good luck and share your experience.
     
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  7. danny boi

    danny boi Dazed and Confused
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    Dang, you still have to force your phone to Verizon in the OC? Even when I lived in Aliso Viejo and RSM between '03 and '05, I never remember losing service anywhere with VZW. There were weaker Verizon areas due to the hilly terrain, but I didn't drop calls. The "network," was always there. According to my sister in law who lives off of Pacific Park in Aliso Viejo, the local VZW network has improved in many key areas.

    Now I took my T-Mobile phone out there and it was a paperweight inside her home. Sad.
     
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  8. larry

    larry Go Lakers!
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    I don't want to speak for Jim but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have to force roam anywhere in the OC. More than likely he was talking about places out in the rural areas or mountains. I NEVER have a need to roam anywhere I go these days.
     
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  9. Shockwave13

    Shockwave13 Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the information, I am going up that way around the end of dec or first of jan so I will have to see how my Alltel phone works up there. I appreciate the information that has been given here, it should be helpful in making my choice.
     
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  10. Steve B

    Steve B Bronze Senior Member

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    Yeah, when I used T-Mobile here in Western Washington, I ran into the same problem with them as you described, the dead spots and a lot of dropped calls. For me, that is why I told people T-Mobile gives you more because at that point that is all they can do. They were somewhat lacking in other areas so they have to give you more minutes, etc. I haven't used them in a few years so maybe they improved by now.
     
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  11. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    [/QUOTE]


    What does a good network have to do with not having to call customer service, Jim? Obviously people call for hundreds and hundreds of reasons other than network coverage. :rolleyes:
    Maybe the cheap plan that some people are on and the good coverage make up for the bad customer service- that argument I could understand, but not what you mentioned.
     
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  12. larry

    larry Go Lakers!
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    Not everyone calls customer service on a regular basis Andy. I can't even remember the last time I called. Some people are always on the phone with them and some people like me never need them.
     
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  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Larry, I did not say anything about how often someone calls customer service, all I was trying to point out was that, for any wireless company, there are reasons other than the network why people would have to call customer service, that's all.
     
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