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Alltel N.MI.digital transition.. New Phone?

Discussion in 'Central US Wireless Forum' started by thebeav, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. thebeav

    thebeav New Member

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    My Alltel bill says that in March of 2008 my phone will no longer work on their network. I have a Nokia 5165 analog/digital phone which is capable of operating in digital mode only. I live in Northern Michigan ( Beaver Island & T.C). As far as I know this a result of analog-to-digital transition plans. If my phone is digital why am I being told I must upgrade?

    I am reluctant to switch phones unless I'm forced to do so. These old Nokias have excellent signal reception in rural areas. If I must switch what Alltel compatible phone has the best signal reception for the money?

    I have reposted this mesage from the Alltel forum here in hopes of getting some "local" input...Sorry if you had to read this twice.
     
  2. Buickman

    Buickman Gearhead/Gadget freak
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    Your old Nokia uses the TDMA digital standard, which is being phased out. That's the same thing AT&T and Cingular used to use, then they replaced it with GSM. Alltel ended up replacing their TDMA with CDMA which is what Verizon and Sprint use. Along with turning off the analog, they also want to shut off that old TDMA digital network, that is why you will need a new phone.
     
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  3. mframe

    mframe Senior Member

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    If you want an inexpensive, older, strong reception CDMA Nokia bar phone, I would recommend the 3585i (monochrome display), or 3587i and 6015i (color display). These would all be previously used, of course, from eBay. You should also be sure that the phone is Alltel-branded.
     
    #3 mframe, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  4. cellular_freak

    cellular_freak Senior Member
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    Right.

    I have some friends that are from that area (Cadillac) that have Alltel and they have LG AX8600s. They love them. My friend also has the LG VX8600 through Verizon, which is the same phone, just through Verizon and it gets amazing reception even in fringe areas. I live in the woods and while my Verizon phone gets 2-3 bars, my friend's phone will get full service (4 bars). I would really recommend that phone through Alltel or any Motorola phone like that RAZR2 V9m.
     
  5. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    If you spend alot of time on Beaver Island Cellular One (now AT&T) actually has better coverage.
    Alltel only has a TDMA / Analog Extenda Cell (Cellular extender) The CDMA is run off a repeater.
    The Alltel repeater is on the old Township/Fire Tower by the airport. Repeater sites will not have the same performance as a regular cell site.

    Cell One has 2 towers on the island, one out at the township hall and one at the hardware store in ST James, these are both full blown towers and will report when then are down or having problems a repeater will not.

    Alltel is a good company and you will be happy with one of their CDMA phones and plans. CDMA will only work with a 2 mile radius of the Township tower on Beaver Island and will not work on the south side by the light house anymore. With your old phone (TDMA) you could pick up towers on the mainland but the with CDMA the distance is to far. Alltel has real respectable CDMA coverage both Voice and Data on the main land.

    Upgrade just the battery life alone is worth it.
     
  6. thebeav

    thebeav New Member

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    Thanks for the input. I'll probably try one of the old nokia bar phones mframe mentioned. Shipping will cost more than the phone. If I stick around with Alltel eventually I'll get something like the LG AX8600, those look like sweet phones. I don't use my cell phone much on Beaver Island & when I do its at my East side home. I get great reception across the lake right now. My home is in a dead spot for Cellone, however there are three 180' towers going up on the island, one is almost in my back yard. Alltel will need to upgrade their service out here sometime. Maybe they'll get on t he tower near my house with some CDMA equipment.

    I was under the impression that Alltel owns the towers on Kings Highway that Cellone uses & that it was only a repeater on the hardware store. There is no cell equipment on the fire tower, Alltel uses one of the towers on Kings Highway as far as I know. How long do you think Alltel will keep their TDMA service on Beaver anyways?
     
  7. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    There are 2 towers side by side out on Kings Hwy one is Cell One which is on the left with the White building. The tower on the right behind the old township building has the Alltel repeater on it.

    The Cell One tower at the Hardware is a full blown Site not a repeater. Both Sites are pushing 45 watts as compared to the 20 watts on the Alltel repeater. When GSM was added it wouldnt reach town so Cell One added the hardware site.

    Once Alltel turns the Analog off you wont be able use your phone on the Island unless your out near the airport. Current you can use your phone and it will pick up Alltels Stutsmanville tower on the mainland.

    CDMA wont reach the island as its to far.

    There was a power outage on the island a couple of summers ago when I was out there I could see Digital CDMA on my Alltel phones but signal was un-usable and my Cell One GSM was the same both signal were coming from the mainland as everything on the island was dead. On my Cell one TDMA phone I could see both Alltel and Cell One.

    Alltels a good company, if you like the TDMA phone CDMA will be a big improvement as there are more CDMA than TDMA towers. The new towers on Beaver Island are for TDS Wifi Project.
     
  8. Scott Watson

    Scott Watson New Member

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    Alltel doesn't want to cut you off. Have you called them to see what free phone they are offering to customers like you? Do it fast. Alltel said they were going to turn off TDMA and analog in MI on 3/31/08, but have extended that, but only a few weeks. They have not improved the TDMA network, but the CDMA network is better in some areas. Call them today and they can have a phone in the mail tomorrow.
     
  9. thebeav

    thebeav New Member

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    Alltel sent me a free phone. My procrastination paid off & I got a cheap Motorola. I had two lines with Alltel so I'm going to keep one for now and cancel the other. I'm waiting to see if any carriers place equipment on the new towers going up on the island.

    These towers are not part of a TDS wireless project yet; TDS just started DSL service out here. The towers were built by local speculators who used a start-up newbie wireless company as an opening to build three 180 ft towers. I guess they figure once their towers are up any cellular company looking for an improved foot print on the island will have to deal with them.

    I really hope that some cellular company takes advantage of the tower space. I'm still getting a signal from across the water but I believe that its analog & will be gone soon. Island wide EVDO would be great but I won't hold my breath.

    The Motorola phone works great on the mainland with the Alltel service.
     
  10. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Should show "A" in the square for analog. D digital obviously....you probably already knew this though...haha
     
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  11. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Good luck with Alltel their a good company. There is only 2 choices that work in the crazy terrain of Northern Michigan thats Alltel and Cellular ONe (now AT&T)
    Alltels better some places and Cell One is better in others.
    I doubt any carriers will build on Beaver Island as it only gets any sort of population during the summer. Most carriers only shoot for major cities and highways and the larger resorts.
     

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