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Alltel Native Coverage in Western NC

Discussion in 'Alltel Forum' started by KyleAndMelissa22, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    Alltel Reps say that there is Alltel native coverage in western NC (Asheville area). So someone can live there and be happy with Alltel. Even Alltel's website will let you sign up, Asheville's main zip code is 28801.

    But it's the exact opposite.

    I was just there today and there was still only Verizon & Sprint (also USCC, but solid Roaming).
    There are no towers or stores with anything Alltel within 25 miles of Asheville.
    The closest region you'd have to go would be northeast TN, upstate SC, or the Charlotte area for native coverage.

    Why does Alltel insist there is native coverage in WNC when there actually isn't?
     
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  2. AndThenScottSays...

    AndThenScottSays... Junior Member
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    I thought Alltel had fired up PCS spectrum in Asheville?
     
  3. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    Is it pending? Their native coverage map is still empty for WNC,
    everywhere else in the Carolinas has native coverage.

    The main areas in WNC with no native Alltel signal:

    I-40 going west, Burke County is the last county with an Alltel signal.
    From McDowell County westward on I-40, there is no native coverage.

    North of Iredell county on I-77 (around mile 68, north), no native Alltel.
    Carolina West is preferred on I-77 from Yadkin county to the VA state line.

    No parts of I-26 in NC have Alltel either.

    ...

    Yet, Alltel reps insist that there is.
     
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  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    ALLTEL doesn't update their maps very often- so I would not count on those to reflect new coverage right away...it will be a few months at least is my guess until the maps reflect this.
     
  5. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    The closest Alltel SIDs are 74 in NE TN, 114 in Charlotte, & 116 in Greenville/Spartanburg.

    The only SIDs usuable in WNC are 139 (vzw), 4376 (sprint), & 246 (uscc, roam)

    I haven't heard anything about PCS going to this area.

    I believe the spectrum in this area belongs to USCC.
    Similar to the SunCom area situation, no t-mobile where theres SunCom (except for Augusta/Savannah, GA)
     
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  6. royc

    royc Junior Member
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    Alltel does have PCS licenses in North Carolina. See this map:

    http://people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/alltel_pcs.gif

    There was no Alltel service in Asheville when I was there 2 years ago (roamed on Verizon SID 139). Alltel may be broadcasting a signal on PCS there to keep the license, even though they are not offering service to customers.

    royc
     
  7. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    I don't think there is any Alltel PCS available yet in Upstate SC either.

    SIDs over 4000 are for PCS.

    There are no SIDs belonging to Alltel that are over 4000 in the Carolinas that I know of.


    There is still one SID in the GVL/SPA area that I don't know the exact info, 5595, but i believe it is Airgate PCS.
     
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  8. royc

    royc Junior Member
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    PCS SIDs don't have to have high numbers, although they often do. In my area, Verizon is rolling a new PCS network where they do not have 850 MHz licenses. Their PCS network is using SID 32, the same SID as in their adjoining 850 MHz licensed areas.

    royc
     
  9. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    If Alltel had a PCS license to service WNC, how could they get revenue out of it, unless they let their customers use it? Is it for roaming:confused:

    Hopefully, with all the popularity around other parts of the Carolinas, Alltel will be mainstream someday in WNC :cool:
     
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  10. royc

    royc Junior Member
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    Obviously they aren't getting any revenue from their PCS licenses in WNC at the moment. However to keep the license, they must prove to the FCC that they have "service" in those areas. That just means that they are transmitting a signal on that channel in populated areas. The signal does not have to do anything very useful. Alltel probably will build out the more populated parts of the licenses and offer service eventually -- but it's not likely to happen soon.

    royc
     
  11. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    Reguarding US Cellular, Alltel reps have told us that it's ok to use our phone anywhere in the Carolinas, even if there was a solid R. Because all of the Carolinas are in the home area.

    For example, a few months ago my mother made a call that lasted over 100 minutes. When she hung up, the was a solid R on the display.

    We called CS and they said we wouldn't get charged in the Carolinas, and we didn't.

    How is the contract with US Cellular & Alltel in this area?

    USCC's SID for WNC is 246.

    I've heard on WirelessAdvisor somewhere that USCC & Alltel are free roaming (i guess in some places).
     
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  12. royc

    royc Junior Member
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    This is true for Greater Freedom customers. National Freedom customers will probably get charged for roaming on USCC SID 246.

    royc
     
  13. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Yes it may be just greater freedom, as i cannot find that sid on the prl I would assume national freedom has to pay. But there is no way to know without having access to Alltel's billing system some how.

    There are some USCC free roam sids though.....
     
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  14. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    I though there were less restrictions with Nat'l Freedom:confused:

    About a month ago when I was on my way to NJ, I went through Western VA and got USCC's SID 309 on different parts of I-81 (solid R). So I guess USCC in the southeast should be avoided for Alltel customers.

    I don't have to deal with USCC in Upstate SC, so it isn't a big concern.
     
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  15. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    The Greater Freedom plans are purely geography based and it doesn't matter what the roaming indicator says. So if you plug your zip code into the greater freedom map on the Alltel website, you shouldn't be charged anywhere in the dark blue even if you're on a solid triangle. But outside of that area, even if you're on Alltel you get hit with roaming. I imagine that there are problems in border areas though.

    I've roamed on SID 309 several times north of Charlottesville. That is an interesting point why Alltel and USCC free roam on each other sometimes, sometimes it's a pay roam, and other times they're NEG'd out like in several places in Eastern NC.

    But if you were on the interstate, chances are it picked up 309 as you were leaving Alltel territory before it switched over to Sprint or somebody that's a free roam. It'll happen to me sometimes on 64. Sometimes it's annoying because once it locks onto that pay roam solid triangle, the phone won't scan again for several minutes to look for an Alltel or Sprint signal even if you're in an area where you can pick it up. I can certainly see how somebody that noticed this would become a little frustrated at getting a solid triangle on the interstate.
     
  16. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    Yup, there was a solid Roam as soon as I entered VA on I-77 near Galax/Mount Airy area.
    It switched over from Carolina West at the state line,
    and it was there for a good 5 miles (up that mountain near Fancy Gap).
    Then my phone got Verizon SID 502 most of the way until I got to Harrisonburg/Staunton area.
    But there were times north of Roanoke that i still got 309 for about a minute or two.

    The only time I got Alltel was @ the I-77 / I-81 intersection on SID 74 for NE TN.

    I never got Alltel SID 424 on I-81 even though I-81 comes within 35 miles of Charlottesville

    Isn't there some VA Alltel coverage pending for Northern VA on I-81 near Winchester/Woodstock?

    Alltel's most recent native coverage map shows that they do service areas in VA north of Harrisonburg.
    I didn't pick up an Alltel Signal in this area.
     
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  17. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Yup, that about matches my experience there, SID 74 for Alltel covers a large area, all of NE Tennessee and SW Virginia up to past Wytheville, right around exit 85 on I-81 is where it cuts out at, just past the 77-81 interchange. It's suppose to stay on Verizon (502) that entire strip but Verizon has up and down coverage on the interstate on that part of 81 that's not quite as good as USCC. I hate making a call there because the Verizon network sounds horrible. I'm not too familiar with I-77 in that area because when I go to the Carolinas it's usually either from I-95, 85, or going through NE Tennessee.

    Before you got to Staunton you probably switched over to 1759, which is a new Alltel SID from their buyout of Virginia Cellular and it should stay on it past Harrisonburg. I remember as of last Summer I would be on Verizon in that area. I never really travel north of Harrisonburg so I'm not sure exactly where it cuts out. On I-64 at the very top of Afton Mountain is the dividing line from 424 and 1759. So I-81 never sees the Charlottesville 424 SID.

    I may be wrong, but when Alltel bought Virginia Cellular, the deal also included PCS licenses for up around Winchester, but the system's not built out yet. That's the only reason I can think of why Winchester is a dark blue on the native service map. Virginia Cellular was a very small provider that survived mainly on USF funding and tried to compete against Verizon, Cingular, and Sprint ... but you know the deal. Alltel seems to be doing pretty good in that area though since moving in. Last time I was there it wasn't too hard to notice people with alltel logos on their phone, but I'm not sure if or when they actually plan on building out around Winchester if they do have that license now.
     
  18. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    I think 1759 was very localized, and I didn't see it on the phone for more than a half hour on 81.
    I may have seen it between exits 220 & 260.

    But shortly after Harrisonburg, i picked up VZW SID 1912 towards Winchester/Woodstock and then
    Sprint SID 4195 into Martinsburg, WV & Hagerstown.
     
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  19. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    1759 doesn't cover a lot of land, especially on the interstate, but it wasn't a very expensive transaction if I recall correctly and it does cover several cities. Staunton and Harrisonburg on I-81, including JMU. Waynesboro on I-64 and Stuarts Draft. On 81, usually I notice it around exit 213-215 just past the big truck stop exit depending on when my phone re-scans for a signal. Hopefully they'll continue to build it on out with the PCS license up through Winchester.
     
  20. grazzzy

    grazzzy Junior Member
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    the solution to the virginia roaming is the TOTAL FREEDOM plan. the only thing you give up with it is that the night and weekend minutes are limited to 1,000 per phone. M2M is UNLIMITED as is the MY CIRCLE included in the M2M. but NEVER have roaming charges. on the subject of I-81, though, any of you experience dropped calls at milepost 36? i drop every trip through there. i also drop arount 98 (dublin) but continuous coverage from there through the I-64 exit. only time i can recall losing coverage returning from charlottesville to tennessee is when i took the parkway last fall into roanoke. coverage was sporadic on that route.
     
  21. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    All current Total Freedom plans do NOT allow unlimited mobile-to-mobile. They are all capped out at 1000 minutes, like the nights & weekends minutes.
     
  22. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    I went up to Mount Mitchell in NC today, along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
    On top of the overlooks and peaks, I was picking up loads of different signals and SIDs,
    but it was hard or impossible to actually place a call (even though there was a full signal in the open). Why is that?

    I was only able to make one successful call (on Verizon) atop the Mt. Mitchell Summit.

    ...

    Here were the different SIDs i was picking up at over 6600 feet:

    Sprint: 4376, 4694
    Verizon: 139, 93
    USCC: 246
    Alltel: 114, 116, 74, 368

    ...

    Hey here was one pic I took, as well as a postcard pic:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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    #22 KyleAndMelissa22, May 6, 2007
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  23. grazzzy

    grazzzy Junior Member
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    that's what the rep says, but it is NOT TRUE. M2M and MY CIRCLE are UNLIMITED. it says that right on my bill and i've only been a customer since september, using as many as 3,000 minutes per month in the M2M/M.C. category.
     
  24. grazzzy

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  25. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Since I've grown to have 4 phones on my account I need the extra anytime and N&W mins from National Freedom but I do have the Free2Roam add-on for E KY. The funny part with that $10 add-on, my plan is still cheaper than similar anytime minutes from Verizon or Sprint before I even factor in My Circle. So I really don't have a problem with it personally but then again I've never been burnt with a huge roaming bill.

    But just a thought, on SID 309, USCC in Central Virginia, I know the triangle is solid, but has anybody ever gotten a roaming charge on it? I made a 10-12 minute call on it about 3 weeks ago up on Hwy 33 and got my bill several days ago and it was not included in the roaming detail. I know that's the network it was on since I try to keep up with how many roaming mins I use. I'll update next month if it's on the roaming detail then. But I'm starting to think that Alltel is no longer actually charging roaming on it even though the PRL hasn't been updated to reflect the change.
     
  26. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!!
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    I made a 1-minute test call to an 800-number last week on USCC sid 246 when I was in Asheville.
    So, same here, lets see what happens.

    Also, last week on I-85, I was doing an experiment. I made a call on Sprint on the SC side of the SC-NC border near exit 104 in Blacksburg, SC (blinking R). Two miles later at the state line, the blinking turned solid right before my eyes, while the call was still in progress. I hung up immediately, and then the phone wasn't finding a Sprint signal. Again, in this case, NID borders determined where i could roam. I wonder if it charges for the whole call or just where it is solid.
    Or, since Sprint's SID 4376 is labeled a free roam SID in the PRL, would they charge at all.
    I use Sprint 4376 often in Spartanburg, SC and i've never got charged.
     
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  27. grazzzy

    grazzzy Junior Member
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    please excuse this ignorant question, but how do you guys actually know what tower you are on? there's obviously a phone setting that i haven't discovered yet, and would you be kind enough to share that info with me?
     
  28. royc

    royc Junior Member
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    My understanding is that the entire call is billed by the SID/NID where it originates. I don't think you'll be charged roaming at all for the call that originated in SC, even if it had continued for some time into NC.

    royc
     
  29. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    I'm not sure how to find the exact tower you're on. Some phones supposedly have ways of identifying the tower, but I think what you mean is what network, if it's Alltel or Sprint or whatever. On most Motorolas go to Menu > Settings > Network > Current Network. Other phones are similar, but essentially you are looking for a 'SID' or System ID, which is usually a number. You match that number up against the PRL at a website like PRL Interpretations or there's a few others. (The search or find feature is a huge help to scan the webpage for that number.)
     
  30. grazzzy

    grazzzy Junior Member
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    thank you.
     

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