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a carrier to serve both Philadelphia, PA, and Boston/Cambridge,MA area

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by monai, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. monai

    monai New Member

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    Hi,
    I am looking for a family talk plan (with 2 lines) that will enable me to keep in touch with my family in Philadelphia, PA, while I stay in the Cambridge/Boston in MA. Since I will be inside university buildings for the most part, I prefer a carrier and phone that has good reception in BOTH enclosed/indoor and outdoor spaces in these areas.

    1) I am debating between Verizon and Cingular. Which should I choose? Feel free to suggest any other carriers and plans that may be suitable.

    2) What phones (model &/or specs) would you suggest?

    3) Are handsets available that I can use even if i switch from Verizon to Cingular or vice versa, or do i have to change the set?

    Thank you
     
  2. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Cingular coverage in Philly is good, I haven't been to Boston in years so I have no idea how their coverage there is. As far as your handset question goes Verizon and Cingular use 2 different types of networks and there is no phone available that will work on both.
     
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  3. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    In Massachusetts, 30 new sites are now providing expanded coverage for
    customers. Cingular has more cell sites in greater Boston than any
    other wireless carrier, as a result of its merger with AT&T Wireless.
     
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  4. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    NOBODYs service works everywhere indoors especially. Where in Philly? Verizon works in may colleges in Phila. and in Boston , Like Penn, Villanova, Drexel etc. Verizon is good at Boston U. Cingular less so,there.
     
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  5. mframe

    mframe Senior Member
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    Cingular and Verizon are about equally the best providers in both cities. I'm not sure if you can get local numbers for each market on a Cingular Family Plan, just yet. You could call them, to be sure.
     
  6. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    for indoor coverage
    Cingular's interactive mapping tool, available at all company retail locations and by calling 1-866-CINGULAR, can answer specific coverage questions based on a customer's address, a street intersection, zip code, state or landmark. The service can even estimate the likelihood of coverage in various scenarios - inside a building, for example.
     
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  7. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    YOu know, honestly, I don't think that any computer could honestly tell you how indoor coverage is going to be since there are a lot of factors involved, like the material the building is made out of, where exactly in the building you are, other electronic devices inside the building, etc. etc. I just don't think any computer could honestly tell you what indoor coverage can look like.
     
  8. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    I agree, if the building is a 2 hour fire resistive outer shell, that's alot of building material alone for the signal to go thru, then walls & rooms depending on how deep the building is, and as you stated other electronics ETC... there is no way they can give an acurate in building coverage, unless they have the Verizon "can you hear me now" guy going into all the buildings & taking readings, like they do on the streets.
    Maybe they can hire some of us to do that for them. :)
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    We'd probably know more than a lot of the field techs out there :rolleyes:
     
  10. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    :lmao: And we could give a whole lot better & more accurate report as well, and even post it within a day or 2.
     
  11. monai

    monai New Member

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    Anyway, does that mean that both Cingular and Verizon are about the same??

    And what make of phone should I go for? - motorola, samsung, sony, nokia etcetc.
    thanks
     
  12. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    Which school will you be going to? I have friends at a whole bunch of the schools in that area so I can ask them.
     
  13. monai

    monai New Member

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    Oh, that'll be great !!
    i will be going to Harvard Med School (in Boston), but my apartment is in Harvard Square which is in Cambridge.

    thanks
     
  14. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Cingular has more cell sites in greater Boston than any
    other wireless carrier, as a result of its merger with AT&T Wireless.

    so it has the most coverage.
     
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  15. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    I would recommend Motorola as they seem to hold onto signal the best. I frequent areas that have poor cell coverage and Motorola handsets have worked better than comprable handsets by other mfr's. If you go w/ Verizon I would recommend the V710, Cingular I'd go w/ the V220 unless you want bluetooth then go w/ the V551 or V3
     
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  16. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Also if you like the Nokia candybar style phones, and go with Cingular I would suggest a Nokia. They have the best Rf of any phone for GSM, if you want the Motorola's then Jay2theRescue's suggestion's were excellent.
    For Verizon I hear the LG or Samsung's are good choice's as well as the V710
     
  17. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Having the most cellsites on paper does NOT mean having the best coverage, nor does it mean this carrier has the best voice quality. On paper, yes, but real life is different.
     
  18. 0oLakeShoreo0

    0oLakeShoreo0 Senior Member
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    I lived in Boston for 6 years, and I think that Verizon has the best coverage there. I had AT&T the first three years and I found the coverage to be really sporadic, I had problems dropping calls downtown and the customer service was awful--this was three years ago, but I still recommend Verizon for Boston!
     
  19. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Congratulations, My Daughter is takeing her MCAT next week. And making applications.

    Any way Verizon worked in Cambridge for me when visiting Harvard and in the shops in Cambridge. It should work at the "T" stations as well (thats the sub way, just in case). It worked well around the commons and down town too. And as I said at Boston U. Also MIT.
     
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  20. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Another option if you want to is get a Go Phone from Cingular & a pre-paid phone from Verizon & try them while being up there to see how the coverage is, or if you know of some friends with both carriers & they are willing to loan you there phones for a weekend, you could try it that way as well.

    I do agree having the most towers in an area doesn't always mean better coverage, depending on how the system is layed out, so that doesn't mean Cingular will be better just because of the amt. of towers, but if it's setup right then it would make a difference, I think either carrier should be a good choice for you & right now with the integration going on it's hard to tell how good the coverage will be with Cingular for the next few months, whereas Verizon isn't going thru that process & may be more stable.
     
  21. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    you are talking about Cingular Blue.
    But Now it's Blue and Orange Network.
    Double the coverage.
     
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  22. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    How about this... You sign up for both Cingular & Verizon and after 2 weeks you decide which one will be best for you. Cancel one of them before the trial period ends.
     
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  23. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    Normally that would be excellent, however in this case knowing people in both places and having communicated in both places we have experiences all carriers. Verizon has no problem, Cingular was less reliable and T mobile was actually good in Boston including on the "T".

    In Philly (I live in the suburbs) it works well with the exception of known holes. Boston is a more compact city and better covered. Our friends in Boston at the Universities have moved to Verizon. I used it al around there too, including Harvard, MIT, Boston U and in town as mentioned above.
     
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  24. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Hopefully when this 150 new sites are added it will be better.
    Where I live i'm almost in the middle of 2 cell sites,
    southeast of me is a cell tower about 0.9 miles
    and northeast is another roof site 1.8 miles.
    And this 2 sites are in the same town,
    So i always get strong signals.
     
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  25. Jerro

    Jerro Bronze Senior Member
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    are you near Philly or Boston?

    they have 55 sites Up if you mean Cingular, So far.
     
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  26. Rasputin

    Rasputin Bronze Senior Member
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    Verizon and Cingular are both excellent, you should find out what other people are using at the University and how they like or like others have stated test out both.
     
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  27. 0oLakeShoreo0

    0oLakeShoreo0 Senior Member
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    I wouldn't use reception on the T as a judgement for Boston though. Only some of the newer cars are equipped with antennas, and you can only occasionally get service at some of the stations that aren't too deep and/or have lots of open stairways up the the surface. I would count on your cell NOT working on the T... (not like it's such a great public transit system that you'd never want to get off!)
     
  28. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Sometimes these 10'x10' dead spot is a BIG Deal to a Person 'cuz
    this may be their Dorm room.
    But just because there is 10'x10' dead zone in a University
    campus does Not make a carrier bad.
     
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  29. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    That's very true, unless it's your Dorm & you ned to use the phone there the most, then the carrier would be bad in the eye of the user. That's why it's always good to try the phone out where ever you will use it & they give a 15 or 30 day trial period, people should use there phones as much as possible all over the place to make sure it's what you need.
     
  30. temporaryjake

    temporaryjake New Member

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    LOL...when I got to college, it turned out that the 10x10 Cingular dead zone was my room. I was really disappointed..and because I signed my contract at home several months ago, there was no option to switch carriers. My phone would still function...though with really crappy service. However, halfway through the year, Cingular installed a tower right outside my window (on Comm. Ave, as part of their new service improvements in Boston)!
     

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