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T-Mobile in Wisconsin

Discussion in 'Central US Wireless Forum' started by lilkasey1, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. lilkasey1

    lilkasey1 New Member

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    I am currently in La Crosse, Wisconsin but will be attending school in Minneapolis. I am currently with US Cellular but haven't been to pleased with them and aren't thrilled with their phone options. I am thinking of switchin to T-Mobile with a family plan because my parents are on it as well but they will be staying here in La Crosse, WI. T-Mobile's web site says it has 850 roaming here. Does anyone know if the coverage here is good enough for them to have a phone here while I am in the cities and when I come back to visit, will the service be okay as well? If someone could let me know how T-Mobile works in La Crosse that would be great. Thank you!
     
    #1
  2. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    T-Mobile's roaming coverage is provided by Einstein PCS. Here's their coverage map. Take another look at T-Mobile's map, the city coverage isn't 850 MHz.

    Cingular's map shows good city coverage, but they don't sell service in the 54601 zipcode area. T-Mobile shows a patch of 850 MHz roaming, but it's over in MN.

    My recomendation would be to drop a line from your USCC plan, leaving two lines for your parents. Then get the T-Mobile plan (and phone you crave) in Minneapolis. You'd have good roaming coverage whenever you were visiting home.

    COtech
     
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  3. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    I know this thread is a couple days old but if you've not made a decision yet. May I suggest Alltel. I've never been there, but the reviews of Alltel in La Crosse are very good from this site if you enter your zip code.

    http://www.cellreception.com/

    All of the USCC and T-Mobile reviews are very poor so you would probably see an improvement in reception with Alltel. I also have family that live in Western Wisconsin that thanked me for recommending the service to them and they saw a huge improvement in reception. They have never had any problems anywhere in Minnesota or Wisconsin they have been that I know of. Alltel also offers native coverage in Minneapolis although I can't find any reviews of it. They generally do really well coverage-wise when they move into an area. Their coverage maps also show very good coverage for both regions. Although I will warn you, they don't have the best phone selection, but they do have some nice options. The Alltel plans are also fairly priced and you can rack up minutes at no extra charge with MyCircle. I am in school now and it has really helped me keep in touch with my family back home while not worrying about minutes even for conversations before 9 pm.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2006
  4. COtech

    COtech Bronze Senior Member
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    UFO, the biggest problem is that there are just one wireless company that operates both in La Crosse and Minneapolis. For example, Alltel and US Cellular are in La Crosse but roam on Verizon in Minneapolis. Cingular and T-Mobile are in Minneapolis, but roam on Einstein in La Cross.

    Sprint is in Mineapolis and La Crosse with their own coverage, but doesn't have those neat GSM phones. You'd also want to see if Sprint had local numbers in La Crosse, so lilkasey1's parents could bring their phone numbers with them via WLNP, wireless local number porting. There's a store in Onalaska.

    My daughters had college city cell phone numbers during their four years, and changed to new local numbers upon relocation after graduation.

    COtech
     
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  5. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    How sure are you that Alltel isn't native in Minneapolis COtech? :confused: Alltel is indeed native in both areas according to their corporate map which is a very good indicator of their native markets.
    http://www.alltel.com/corporate/media/downloads/usmaphires.jpg
    I believe Alltel roams on Verizon beginning just North of the city. The Alltel website will sell service to all Minneapolis zip codes I tried on their website, 55443, 55478, 55455, and 55486 indicating that they are indeed native in Minneapolis. But if there are any problems as far as their coverage goes, yes, they do allow free roaming on Sprint or Verizon and they pretty much allow you to roam on those networks as much as you want. I'm sure they would, one way or another, give him great coverage in both places for a great price compared to other options unless he just wants one of those cooler GSM phones and it's worth the price and coverage difference.
     
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  6. music4praise

    music4praise Senior Member
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    Alltel is not native in Minneapolis--they roam on Verizon mostly. The map showing where Alltel owns licenses in Minnesota that you posted is white where Minneapolis is located. I grant you that the coverage map for a Greater Freedom plan on Alltel's site will work with the Minneapolis zip. If you go to www.shopalltel.com and pretend to order service, you won't be allowed to use a Minneapolis zip, however.
     
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  7. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Now I'm confused :confused: But that's just what I did with the zip codes I listed above. The Alltel site lists the available plans you can purchase and the website even lists the city of Minneapolis as your residence. Once again, the zips I tried are, 55443, 55478, 55455, and 55486. I found those zips online as some of the ones that belong to Minneapolis. Might Alltel have just expanded there in the very recent future or are those not really Minneapolis zip codes?
     
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  8. syncmaster

    syncmaster New Member

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    From the looks of it Sprint PCS has service in both locations, plus ample roaming around as well, you may check them out the Fair & Flexible 700 is $69.99 for the first two phones a $20 for the third....

    http://www1.sprintpcs.com/maps/mkt/large/Minneapolis_MN.gif

    http://www.sprint.com

    The Samsung A900 (Blade) is the competition to the Moto RAZR and I personally like it better than the RAZR (and I'm a diehard Moto person). Might go to a Sprint Store or Rep to check one out.

    Hope that helps! :biggrin:

    -Charlie
     
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  9. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    Sprint is indeed the only provider that is native in both areas and they have some good plans and are a much better deal pricewise than VZW or Cingular. They wouldn't be a bad option. The only reason I continue to recommended Alltel though was that they have MyCircle on any plan 59.99 and higher which is a really good deal for a college student to keep in touch with his or her family and friends back home. They also have a family plan that can't be beat by anybody else for 1000 min+M2M+MyCircle+N&W@7 for 2 lines @ 75.00 and additional lines at 9.99. It's just the best value for the college student.

    It also appears that Alltel and Sprint are the only providers that consistently got good reviews in La Crosse so I would definitely go with one of them since he is looking for a family plan. It doesn't really matter if Alltel provides native coverage in Minneapolis because they would free roam off of VZW otherwise. But if he wants to pay a little more and not go with a family plan, he could go ahead and get T-Mobile (and it sounds like he/she wants a phone carried by T-Mobile) just be prepared to not have very reliable coverage in LaCrosse.
     
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  10. music4praise

    music4praise Senior Member
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    I tried 55401 which is the first code in the list from the post office for Minneapolis. It does not work at shopalltel.com. It appears that some Minneapolis zip codes do work, however. I have heard there is native coverage just to the south so those zips you used may be there. Here is a useful link for checking the city associated with a zip code:

    http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/citytown_zip.jsp
     
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  11. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
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    But if T-Mobile works perfect while roaming, than you'll be fine because you'll get more minutes at a better rate.
     
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  12. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    But that's just what I would be extremely weary of. If the OP is going off to college, he will eventually be back home and need reception in La Crosse. T-Mobile's map show's reception through Einstein PCS for most of the zip, but the only review for La Crosse on cellreception.com has no bars for T-Mobile and describes the whole area as a giant black hole in their coverage.

    edit: None of the reviews for Cingular were that good either making me think that GSM just wouldn't give him good coverage in the region.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
  13. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
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    Cell reception is not always the best source. You never know until you try it.

     
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  14. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    That is true on occasion, but it sounds like the OP is leaving home soon and he doesn't have the option to try out several different carriers in his home area. So Cell reception is the only source we have to go by. I definitely wouldn't want to enter a 2 yr contract when it doesn't look good for having good coverage, or any coverage, in the area I lived and spent the summer in from college. And I definitely wouldn't want to go with a family plan if his family is staying behind when there are complaints regarding coverage from people with T-Mobile and even Cingular. Plus, don't they each have a 50% roaming rule. It sounds like he/she is tired of getting bad coverage with USCC, so why not go with a company that gets good reviews for coverage in the region instead of taking a chance, hoping the family gets reception, and going off to college?
     
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
  15. Etorres777

    Etorres777 Life is good for now..
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    You can do a one year contract. You can also ask other people in that area. That post at cell reception might be outdated or even in a particular area where the OP doesn't even go to.

     
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  16. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Asking other people would be the best thing, but most people don't resort to asking on the internet if they know anybody with the service. And a one year contract is still a long time to go without service whenever he comes home.

    The date was July 22, it was focused on the main highway that runs through the area. A hard to avoid location and I doubt Einstein PCS would ignore the highway if they had coverage there.

    I do agree with you that if he really wants T-Mobile he should try it, I'm sure it would be fine in Minneapolis. But I don't think there's anybody around able to confirm he will get reception in La Crosse so he should be prepared to not receive any when all the GSM review for the area are bad. But when he/she is home for the summer, doesn't T-Mobile have a 50% roaming rule anyway so isn't this conversation moot?
     
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