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AT&T Buyout of Dobson - MI Improvement?

Discussion in 'Central US Wireless Forum' started by CaptainLoose, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. CaptainLoose

    CaptainLoose Member
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    There are posts in Wireless News and AT&T User Threads that reflect today's announcement of AT&T's acquisition of Dobson.

    Does this finally indicate better cell service in Michigan's lower peninsula? Sure wish it would happen before my vacation!!!:(
     
  2. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Depends where you are vacationing. Dobson's network starts north of Grand Rapids and eastward to the upper "thumb" area and into the UP. So if it is in that area yes. But below that, Cingular is 1900 and coverage is okay to terrible. The best overall cell service for the west/north side of the LP is Alltel. Dobson has been expanding though. Verizon's network is not very good either. They are very new to most of Michigan outside of Detroit.
     
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  3. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Actually take grand rapids and draw a straight line across the state and everything north is covered by Dobson and the coverage is actually better on the Northwestern side of the state being that was the first Dobson area.

    Coverage between Alltel and Dobson is pretty much neck and neck from Cadillac to the Bridge, Alltel is alittle better on the east side and in Dobsons areas around Mt Pleasant and Muskegeon but Dobson built a ton of towers in these areas and has started building more in the UP.

    On paper I believe Dobson has more towers in Northern Michigan but alot were aquired from buying NPI and are 1900 and some are on 100 foot telephone poles. So with Alltel 850 and being on taller towers it makes a world of difference. So in the areas that were 1900 only Alltel has the advantage.

    Dobson had been building tons of tower and making tons of upgrades in the past years and I hope it stays that way after the AT&T buyout. I hope we dont slowdown like Alltel did during the EVDO then buyout speculation then finally the buyout. I havent seen a new Alltel tower up this way in almost 2 years.
     
  4. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    So how does this affect you cellonetech? I would think they would keep you guys on right? Hope they do. You know the network and areas very well. Especially since AT&T is hardly in northern Michigan at all....
     
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  5. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    I think all the techs will stay as we have a higher than average tower to technican count. Alltel is at about 30 sites to tech, iPCS is about 30 as well, Nextel is about 30 but they have less techs and have to cover larger areas. Dobson is at about 40+ sites per tech.

    I think Michigan will be in good shape except management may have to worry and possibly some sales offices that are close to AT&T markets. The people that really have to worry are areas where AT&T and Dobson overlap which I dont think is much. I think AT&T will get to keep all of Dobsons 850 due to most of the areas I think we overlap were original Cingular where they had 1900 only.

    Cingular doesnt have crap in Northern MI except a few license savers.
    Cingular used to have about 50 towers they bought from a small company called Radiofone. Radiofone owned the towers and equipment but had Dobson techs maintain the sites and the towers were connected to Dobsons switching center. When Cingular bought Radiofone they keep Dobson in Charge of watching the towers, they a year later they sold those tower to Dobson straight out. I was re-assigned to some different towers last year and I got some of the old Cingular sites and some still had a Cingular equipment list mounted on the wall with the orange union jack logo.

    Im alittle bummed, it was nice being an independant like Alltel and growing by picking up smaller companies and making a name for ourselves.

    I like At&T, I did alot of contracting for the original ATTWS back in 2001 installing and testing the original GSM build out.
     
  6. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Cool. Yeah Michigan should be in good shape after it. They are gonna have a lot of spectrum in other areas that they may not need. Maybe they will sell it to another carrier, though I doubt it.
     
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  7. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    You gotta take the AWS auction too. Dobson recieves a ton of money from the federal government to build towers in rural environments under some sort of grant program called ETC (dont remember what it stand for). Anyways it was rumored that Dobson was going to be a big player for the new 700 mhz being a primary rural provider.

    I hope AT&T/Dobson will get some 700 to fill in the 1900 only areas. I doubt that they would sell, maybe trade.
     
  8. CaptainLoose

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    Interesting comments...my problem is that I vacation in Garland...I get VZW service in Greyling, Lewiston and Mio but in the "woods", I'm dead. I love the pristine beauty and playing golf w/ no one around (I cheat) but if I do make a hole in one, I can't call anyone and tell them!

    I think Alltel probably does have the best overall coverage in the lower peninsula but I don't spend enough time there to justify using Alltel...have to stick w/ VZW.

    I'd even consider an iphone if I could get service in Garland! maybe ;)
     
  9. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Yeah Lewsiton, Grayling, and Mio is actually Alltel you are roaming on. There are not enough people in some of these wooded areas for companies to provide coverage, especially on a golf course because it is typically so far from the road. Alltel and Dobson are the only companies there. You would get similar coverage with either.
     
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  10. RadioFoneGuy

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    Verizon just recentley built a small network in Northern Michigan with some frequencies they bought from Cricket Wireless. Their towers only cover from Cadillac to Petoskey and only cover the main cities and US 31 and 131 for the most part. Verizon doesnt sell its service in Northern MI due to not having enough spectrum.
     
  11. PCSuser

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    Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.50 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/4.0.8462/20; U; en))

    You Can Say Hi To More Towers. But Say Goodbye To Quality Due To Halfrate Codec.
     
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  12. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    I have to say I don't have any issues with Half Rate Codec & from my understanding when they go to 3G this goes away & people that have complained about Half Rate are very happy with the improvements on voice quality.

    I guess we are lucky here in the NYC/NJ area with voice quality, others here haven't complained about it either.
    Maybe since Dobson is not using it they will not change it?
     
  13. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Dobson is using half rate. Half rate used to have to be manually set on sites that were blocking calls and equipment couldnt be added because the equipment was maxed out or tower issue or whatever.

    Half rate or Full rate is automatically adjusted by the cell site on Nortel GSM.

    So anyone using a GSM carrier using Nortel will be able to tell the difference.

    So Tmobile and the original Cingular network will notice a difference.

    The old ATTWS used Nokia and im not sure if Nokia came out with auto half rate.
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Even though I have never been to this area, this has been very informative. CellOneTech I also hope that everything will stay the way it is for you, or even get better- sometimes working for a bigger corporation can be a good thing; sometimes it can be a bad thing.
    Please keep us updated once the merger goes through whether or not AT&T is starting to slow down the build out process.
     
  15. RadioFoneGuy

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    Overall it will be a good deal for Dobson and its subcribers. Im alittle worried that new tower projects will slow down after the At&t buyout just because they already have alot on their plates with buyouts and changing to 3G.
     
  16. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    I hope your wrong on this & I am sure that any projects in the works won't get scrapped.
    I also hope they start building more towers in area's that need it but can see where 3G has been a priority right now for them.
     
  17. Bsilvertab

    Bsilvertab Junior Member
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    It will be interesting to see the dobson towers on the detailed cingular maps. I really hope that ATT desides to clean up a lot of the holes.
     
  18. adamjaskie

    adamjaskie New Member

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    I've been thinking of switching to Cingular now that my Alltel contract has almost expired. I heard, however, of people getting cancelled because of "roaming too much" if they spend a lot of time in the UP. Sounds like I don't have to worry about that anymore!

    I go to school at Michigan Tech, but it looks like when I get out of school I will be in Ann Arbor for the forseable future. I would rather have a phone in this area, since I'm only going to be in Houghton for another year, and Cingular seems to be my best bet. If they were going to drop me for roaming in the UP for the school year, though, I wasn't going to consider them.

    So does this mean I'm safe going with Cingular?
     
  19. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    My guess is that you are safe going with Cingular as I highly doubt they would drop anyone because they are roaming too much on a network that Cingular is in the process of converting to their own. That wouldn't make much sense.
     
  20. skimi1

    skimi1 New Member

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    ATT reception on Dobson system??

    I am in Boyne City MI and I had a friend come to my house from Detroit on his ATT/Cingular Blackberry phone. He had perfect reception, 4 bars, and data usage at my house. I have VerizonWireless from Detroit and probably roam on Alltel and get NO service at all.
    I am looking to switch to ATT to get the coverage. I assume that the reception is on the Dobson Cellone towers that ATT just bought out, yes? If so, how can i find out what frequency he was getting? I would need to switch equipment so i don't want to buy one that is missing a frequency that i would need for the same service my buddy received. Any help?
     
  21. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Re: ATT reception on Dobson system??


    Any phone you buy from AT&T or Dobson in that area will be 850/1900 which is what you want/need for anywhere in the country as well as in Michigan.
     

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