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Advice for good reception-Menomonie WI area?

Discussion in 'Central US Wireless Forum' started by tealwood, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. tealwood

    tealwood New Member

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    I'm near Menomonie, WI, rural area that is often a dead pocket. I'm ready to get a new phone, switch service providers ... hoping to be able to use my cell phone at home (not just on the road hooked up to an external antenna). I'd appreciate information regarding the following considerations:

    1. Who provides the best reception for this area? (someone mentioned Alltel being pretty good)
    2. Does digital vs. analog service impact reception?
    3. Does a "good" phone make an impact on reception? If so, any recommendations? I notice some have a small built-in antenna ... does that help? Regarding a new phone, from what I know at present, my top criteria is good reception. Would like speaker phone and camera phone but don't care about all the other bells & whistles.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated ... it's a time-consuming project just trying to research all this!

    Jenny :confused:
     
  2. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    Location:
    Hampton Roads, VA
    My Phone:
    Palm Centro
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint and alltel
    I do have a cousin that is currently going to school in Eau Claire and from what I hear, Alltel does do very well around that area. She has told me that the largest difference is in the rural areas where her friends with other carriers start to lose signal, hers is much better. Before you do consider Alltel though, there is a confusing story:

    Menomonie is not natively covered by Alltel, however, they are covered by Midwest Wireless. Alltel just bought Midwest Wireless. People in Menomonie that say Alltel has good coverage are getting their service through Midwest Wireless towers, but Alltel basically owns them at this point. They are just waiting on government to approve the buyout before before service is sold through Alltel. You will get the same coverage with either carrier because they are actually the same.

    Since Menomonie is not covered by Alltel and Midwest Wireless at this time, you could get service from either company and you will soon be with Alltel no matter which provider you are with when the transaction is approved. From what I understand, it's only if you live in an area covered by both providers that your service could be taken over by another provider. There is a Midwest Wireless store right in Menomonie according to their website but the closest Alltel store is in Eau Claire. I would shop both companies, pick the best plan, and try out the service, it's truly the best that the area has to offer.

    I'm not sure about the Midwest Wireless selection of phones, but if you go ahead and get an Alltel plan, the best phone with speaker phone and camera is probably the Motorola E815. It does very good with reception and even on low-signal, the call is clear. The Motorola W315 also does good with reception, but it's not got a camera. The LG AX355 isn't that far behind in terms of reception if you have a reason for liking that phone better and it does have a camera. The Razr isn't bad either but I'd stick to one of those 4 phones.

    Good luck and sorry for the confusion.
     
  3. tealwood

    tealwood New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying how the buy-out will work ... and the info on phones!
     
  4. Sali

    Sali New Member

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    Location:
    Menomonie area
    I live northwest of Menomonie, in an area that gets squat for reception; I work in Menomonie, and on the way to and from work there are several dead spots. I had Cell One for years, and was so frustrated with them, I quit and picked up Midwest Wireless, which was then bought out by Alltel. The reception is great, and no, I don't use analog at all and still have good reception. There is only one spot in my area that I sometimes--occasionally--get choppy but it's about 500 feet or less! I'm happy with Alltel for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the My Circle plan and the mobile-to-mobile, and of course nights and weekends. I use very few of my "paid" minutes because of these features. The phone choices are okay, not great, but they're introducing more all the time. Alltel is the only company I've not heard anyone complain about around here. Cell One, Verizon (TERRIBLE) and others just don't compare.

    And another nice feature of Alltel -- you can add or drop features without resigning a contract (I added nationwide for a couple of months for travel, then took it off.) Nice.

    :D
     
  5. TheDefiler

    TheDefiler New Member

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    Location:
    Knapp, WI
    So any ideas as to when this antenna will be upgraded to EVDO? I can only get internet at about 100Kbps where with EVDO i could get up to 2MB.

    Also any ideas about decreasing latency? I can play WoW but the lowest latency i've seen is between 600-700ms and its more likely around 1000ms.

    Thanks
     
  6. n9upc

    n9upc New Member

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    Location:
    Western WI
    My Phone:
    Blackberry Pearl
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Screw-Mobile (I mean T-Mobile)
    I live in River Falls and my wife works in the Menomonie area. You have a few options in your Menomine area: CellOne/AT&T, Alltel/VZW, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Nextel.


    Alltel has seemed to have good coverage in the area for a CDMA carrier. CellOne is the other major choice for GSM besides T-Mobile. Of course CellOne is now the new A&T.

    I seemed to have had good coverage with T-Mobile until the network issues of late in the area. I usually force roam over to CellOne and have great coverage with them.

    As for EVDO it is up in the air I would say as of course VZW has made the purchase of Alltel so many people are waiting to see what will happen.

    As for 3G with AT&T they have made some recent statements that they want to start building out on I94 down towards Chicago now that they own CellOne. However, no one can answer if the roaming agreements between CellOne and T-Mobile will stay in place or not.

    Alltel has a stronger foot hold on towers in the area from the old Cellulink days and RSA markets (old school from the early 90's). Alltel was good when I did have it for work for about 3 to 4 years.


    Nextel and Sprint tend to keep just to the I94 area/major highways and the EVDO Rev A is going to be going active within the year in the area.


    Good luck in your choice but as a word of warning make sure you talk to corp stores and not some local wireless providers.
     
  7. TheDefiler

    TheDefiler New Member

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    Location:
    Knapp, WI
    I have Alltel service that I access with a Blackberry Pearl 8130. I got it through the Alltel retail store in Menomonie. I learned from research and from Sali's post that the Alltel antenna is a former Midwest Wireless antenna. I was just curious if anyone heard anything about it being upgraded to support EVDO but with this VZW buyout hopefully it will be upgraded within the next year. Now I get about 3 bars here in the sticks and I am only about twice as fast as dial up. Also looking for tips to improve latency as well so if theres any help there, please post.

    Thanks!
     

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