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Albany, I87, Adirondacks, Champlain Valley

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by UpstateNY, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Vikochka

    Vikochka New Member

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    Coverage in Albany (Cingular) geting better and better. Now it is started to work in my basement :)
     
  2. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    Tough question. However, Unicel is really stepping up the bar! They have two sites in the Town of Moriah that cover a large area. I believe the site in Port Henry is GSM only and the site on Belfry Mountain in Mineville is GSM, TDMA, and AMPS. These sites cover part of the large dead spot on the Northway near exit 30. Also north to Westport and almost to Elizabethtown, south to Crown Point and east to most of Addison County Vermont. And Vermont has many Unicel sites that cover the lake side towns in NY.

    I have heard from a Unicel field technician that they are in the process of placing sites in Westport, Ticonderoga, and North Hudson and there will be more sites in the future. They already have a site in Schroon Lake among other places in Essex County.

    Read this article from the Unicel website:

    http://www.unicel.com/aboutus/news/detail/4

    Unicel is also trying to obtain the contract for C.O.Ws. (Cells On Wheels) along I87 between exits 28 and 33.

    If you are traveling north from exit 30 to Plattsburgh, Unicel GSM definitely outperforms Verizon CDMA. Unicel has a new site in Keeseville that covers the exit 33 and 34 area really well. There is no service at all in the exit 32 area near Lewis.

    Verizon will roam analog on some of the Unicel towers but the coverage is not that great. Verizon has a tower on Mt. Defiance in Ticonderoga that covers the Ticonderoga area fairly well and Unicel will also have a site there soon. Unicel works in Ticonderoga now, but I think it is picking up the Vermont towers.

    I do not have experience with Unicel south of exit 30. I know Verizon has no service south of exit 30 until you hit exit 28 in Schroon Lake.

    I have also noticed many times when using Verizon in Essex County it will look like you have a good signal, but when you go to place a call the signal will decrease and the call will fail. This happens in numerous places with different Verizon phones. The service on a Verizon handset will jump from digital to analog constantly and you will eat batteries up quick. Also, with Verizon it seems that the signals are very inconsistent. One minute you will have full digital signal strength and the next you will have no signal strength at all. Very frustrating!

    I am very curious as to why Verizon is not putting more effort in expanding their coverage area in Essex County and the Adirondacks like Unicel is. Maybe Verizon is afraid of the mighty APA.

    I guess I would say Unicel may be your best bet with Verizon being second. I guess it all depends on where you will use your phone the most. By the way, I live in Moriah and I am thinking about getting rid of my Verizon home phone sevice and using just Unicel.

    If you do go with Verizon you will definitely need a tri mode phone (CDMA. TDMA and AMPS) that has very good reception capabilities.

    I hope this helps.

    "Can You Hear Me Now" - No! not very well in the Adirondacks!
     
  3. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    So VZW Most Reliable Network is a Myth.
     
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  4. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Did you mean this?

     
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  5. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    Yeah that is the article. Here in the Adirondacks Unicel seems to be placing a lot more effort into providing coverage for the large dead spots in the Adirondacks along I87 and the Champlain Valley.

    I have never read any press releases or anything about Verizon trying to improve their network in North East New York. I have even talked to a few Verizon sales associates and they do not know of any new or proposed sites going up in this area. All they say is that it is imposible with the strict APA zoning regulations.

    Unicel seem to be making progress with the APA.

    If anyone has any information about Verizon's effort to provide better coverage in the Adirondacks would you please share it with us.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    How recent is this information you provide about Verizon service? I heard that they launched service in some of those areas mentioned, specificially I87.
     
  7. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    This information is current. In fact I have been performing tests on the two and Unicel GSM is definitely the way to go in Essex County. Read the post about the comparison.

    There are now new Verizon sites in this area.


     
  8. macsesso

    macsesso Senior Member
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    No more a myth than "More Bars in More Places"
     
  9. ushutup

    ushutup Junior Member
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    I know Verizon is looking to place a tower somewhere in Hague. There were 3 sites looked at and think they are favoring the firehouse on rt 8.
     
  10. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Most reliable is More Myth because of too Much ADS.
     
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  11. macsesso

    macsesso Senior Member
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    Most people would disagree with you. Just check the forums.
     
  12. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    OK, Our Unbiased Judgement:
    UNICEL is Most Reliable Network in this Area.
     
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  13. macsesso

    macsesso Senior Member
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    I won't believe it until you post a map and press clippings ;)
     
  14. RedSoxFanEB

    RedSoxFanEB New Member

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    I was googling this topic and I may be able to give some insight to Verizon's coverage in this area. I go to school in Plattsburgh (which is in the Champlain Valley north of Ti). I live in Clifton Park, which is in Saratoga County and I travel the I-87 from Albany to Plattsburgh at least 10 times a year. There is only one very distinct dead area on the northway and its from Exits 29-33, over the past 2 years I have been at Plattsburgh, Verizon has improved coverage along the Northway greatly, they recently added a cell phone tower in Schroon Lake, which gave cell phone coverage from Exits 26-29, and I know that since all of the "Emergancy" phones died a few years ago, the DOT is pushing for them to have some cell phone service along the northway for saftey reasons since the route is traveled by many people a day going to Montreal. I hope this offerers some insight into the topic.
     
  15. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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  16. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    That Verizon cell site has been in Schroon Lake for years now! There is also a Unicel site in the same spot that covers the same area.

    Unicel is also curently working on a cell tower north of exit 29 which should be online in April. This GSM site should provide great coverage between exits 29 and 30. Verizon has no plans for any sites in this area.

    There is a Unicel site on Belfry Mountain (off exit 30) which allows you to get spotty coverage between exit 30 and 31. There are a few great coverage areas especially around the Lincoln Pond Rest Area (around mile marker 110). Verizon has no sites in this area.

    Unicel also has a GSM tower at exit 31 which will cover 5 or so miles north and south of exit 31. Verizon has no sites in this area.

    Unicel has a tower near exit 34 which provides good coverage a few miles before exit 33 and good coverage continues all the way to Plattsburgh.
    Verizon's coverage doesn't start until you are near exit 34.

    Overall, Unicel provides much better coverage then Verizon between exits 29 and 34. Unicel is also trying to get the N.Y. State C.O.W.S. (cell on wheels) project. Unicel is also in search of private landowners that will alow them to place sites on there property.

    I have talked with many Verizon reps in the area and none of them have heard of any upcomming plans to provide better coverage along I87 or in the Adirondacks.

    Also the emergency phones didn't die, they were taken out of service many years ago because it was costing the state to much money for maintenace. The state is now looking into making these into mini cell sites.

     
  17. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Normal Verizon reps will NOT know what the network department has planned, so unless you've talked to a network tech, your information is useless...sorry.
     
  18. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    I have talked with network techs.

     
  19. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I think we can take the word of a wireless user who lives in the area and apparently has done a bit of research and comparison for himself.

    It is so hard to beleive that Cingular may actually have more reliable coverage than Verizon in some part of the US?
     
  20. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    Cingular does not have service in that area. This is Verizon vs Unicel.

    With all this talk I am going to have to take a trip out that way with my suite of phones in field test mode, and see what is what.
     
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  21. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Cingular having better coverage than Verizon? Actually I do believe it, and you know why, because there has no Cingular native coverage there, but a carrier that Cingular roams on has done a great job building out coverage.
    Very harsh words, viewfly, I must say.
     
  22. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Concrete thinking. Cingular has service through a roaming partnership with Unicel GSM service. It is pretty clear what I meant.
     
  23. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I think a little more respect should be shown to newbie's that give such detailed reports for an area where they work and live. We need more of this, and less of users offering advice from out of state, on a carrier service they don't even have.

    I'm interested because I vacation in that area. The Adirondacks are beautiful, almost 6 million acres of state park, about the size of Vermont and 3 times the size of Yellowstone. Have you ever visited, it really is wonderful?
     
  24. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Don't get me wrong- I have a lot of respect for him, he doesn't seem to be a 'newbie'. He seems to have done his research and said that he has talked to Verizon reps- he didn't specificially mention network reps; I just ment to say that normal VZW reps- even CS will not know of upcoming plans from the network department.
    Yes, I have visited the area before and it is a very beautiful area. I have family that lives in the NE so I visit from time to time.
     
  25. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    When doing your tests with Verizon make sure you try to make numerous calls, don't rely on the number of bars alone. I have noticed quite often even with 3 or 4 bars you can still not make a call.

     
  26. UpstateNY

    UpstateNY New Member

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    The OP here, much has been said to derail thread..no biggie tho. Thanks to everyone who helped me make my decision.

    I went w/ Verizon, through a store in Rens. County across the river from Albany. In comparison to the Mall stores, this one is amazing. No lines or any trouble. I thank everyone again for their input, when I went into the Crossgates Mall store, I knew more then any employee and was easily able to confuse him (unintentionally of course) ;-)

    The store I purchased my phone from was great, the CS was also better then I expected. They were appreciative of my knowledge of the tech and what I wanted. I went w/ the E815. Great phone. Service is amazing compared to TM. I have since traveled multiple time to my parents. I get service all the way up to exit 28, and almost half the time to Ticonderoga (impressive feat considering Rte. 74 hugs mountains almost all the way to Ticonderoga). While I do not get reception at my parents, seeing as how they live in a valley w/ mountains on all sides, above Ticonderoga, I only need to travel about 1 minute before I get reception again, a price I dont mind paying. By the way, I get all my bars when I actually do get reception, granted that may not be the best judge of coverage, but calls were easy to hear both ways.

    The E815 has great battery life, and I love the phone. I recommend it to all. The only thing I dont like is the small availability of the cards to use for extra mem space so I can use mp3's.

    Once again Thank you to everyone for their help, whether constructive or not.
     
  27. ushutup

    ushutup Junior Member
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    Glad it works for you. Nice view from the top of 74 above Ti.
     
  28. UpstateNY

    UpstateNY New Member

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    I saw that view everyday of my life just about, when I was growing up. That view is amazing at all times of the day or night. At dawn though, on a clear morning, you can really appreciate the whole valley.
     
  29. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    Are you talking about Chilson?
     
  30. ushutup

    ushutup Junior Member
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    Yes, gorgeous view from the parking area on 74 above Ti.
     

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