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Best call/Voice quality?

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by Wireless525, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Ok, I know this has proably been done before. But really which company IS THE BEST for voice quality?

    I'm guessing the best voice quality is between Cingular and Verizon?

    I'm going to be using the cell phone in Southern California, so which provides provides the best coverage (and call quality) overall in So-cal? (Los Angeles and Orange County areas)

    Like when I talk to someone on the phone, I want it to be CRISP and CLEAR as possible. (and only going to be using phone in the two areas mentioned above). I noticed that when I use sprint to talk to someone, it sounds okay, but when I tried using someones Cingular phone it actually made the person sound more clearer and crisp than my sprint phone. Does cingular have the best voice quality in southern cali?

    I tried looking at the different provider maps, and by the coverage maps it seems like Nextel has the best coverage in two areas I mentioned above. But does having more towers in the area mean better voice quality, or just better reception?

    Also does anyone know how accurate this site is: http://www.cellreception.com/towers/

    I did the tower search, and it seems like nextel has the most towers around this area, and also ones closest too my work, etc. Nextel has 2 towers in the same city, and another tower in the next city over. So perhaps that's the best choice, assuming that site is accurate in the tower placement. But I don't know, does Nextel has the best call quality? I don't talk on the phone much, hardly ever, but when I do I want to sound really crisp and clear to the person I'm talking to!

    Also how does call quality work? Like, if the person sounds really crisp and clear to me, is that due to MY cell phone network having good voice quality, or is that due to the OTHER person's network having good voice quality?
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Hi,

    The reason you are finding so many NEXTEL towers is because NEXTEL is required to license all of their sites, at least that's what I thought.
    If I do a search in my area, ALL NEXTEL sites show up, but it's pretty unreliable for every other carrier.

    Call quality differs from area to area. I'm surprised you are saying that people on Cingular sound the best to you, especially in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. I have heard endless complaints about Cingular in Southern California after the AT&T Wireless merger where Cingular kept the inferior AT&T network, and gave the well built out network to T-Mobile.

    For the best coverage and voice quality in your area, I would suggest looking at T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. Either of those three should give you the best coverage(of course depending on your exact location one carrier may be better than the others), but overall I'm sure most will agree that those three carriers are currently among the best in Southern California.
    Sprint is currently adding CDMA to NEXTEL iDEN sites all over Southern California. Even though Sprint's coverage is already great, it will only get better. (Of course that's not to say that other carriers are not investing in their networks there).
     
  3. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    The type of phone also makes a difference for sound quality. Some brands and models sound better than others (even on the same carrier). Send me a PM and I can tell you where all the Sprint and Nextel towers are located near you. Just give me an address or cross street.

    As Andy mentioned, Sprint towers won't always show up on FCC registered tower database sites because they use 1900 Mhz frequency. Sprint actually has more towers than Nextel in So. Cal.
     
  4. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Hmm, yeah, I dunno. I used a cingular phone to call my manager, who has cingular, and it just sounded more clearer and better quality then when I earlier used my phone (sprint) to call the same manager. Not majorly, but just enough so I could notice a difference. And both the sprint and Cingular phones had full reception in the same spot, but cingular just sounded a little better quality. Maybe it's the cingular to cingular thing that made it sound more clearer? Or maybe cingular has better quality than sprint? Hmmm, I have no idea.

    T-mobile, I want, only because the main person I care about talking to also has t-mobile. Although i want the clearest call/voice quality when talking to them, I don't want to sound "far away" or kinda staticy. (which is how it was when I called my friend, I have sprint and they had T-mobile, and they said they couldn't hear me well, etc).

    I could try Verizon, but for some reason I have a hard time believing they have the best voice quality. Verizon seemed to kept dropping the calls, phone not ringing, etc. (my mom had Verizon).


    I know that it depends on the exact location, but overall in general in southern cali? Or how about this for example:



    I'm one on so and so blvd, in southern cali, and have full reception with Nextel

    I'm on the SAME blvd, and have full reception with Cingular

    I'm on the SAME blvd, and have full reception with T-mobile

    I'm on the SAME blvd, and have full reception with Sprint.

    I'm on the SAME blvd, and have full reception with Verizon.

    Now, assuming they all have great reception on that blvd, and i make an outgoing call, and the person I am calling also has great reception where they are at, which provider would provide the clearest call/voice quality? I know, hard question, but someone out there has probably tested out every provider over and over again and might know.

    All i want is when I have a good signal (3 bars+), with any provider, is to have the best Voice/call quality. Which company would that be?
     
  5. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    You didn't mention what type of phone you're using. Brand and model #.
     
  6. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    I currently have a Sprint A-640.

    I actually really like Sprint, a lot, I get reception so far everywhere I've been.

    But right now I might need GPS NAV on my phone, and the only sprint phones that offer it are blackberrys I believe.

    So what I might do is get a Nextel phone + plan +data subscription+ televnav, and use that, and then if Nextel doesn't have good service/voice quality, then I was thinking of getting prepaid something else.

    Whether it be Sprint, Cingular, Verizon, or t-mobile. (I don't think Sprint offers pre-paid though).

    I like sprint because it can roam, and almost always have a signal. But I thought my A-640 was capable of analog roaming. It says it is on amazon it can, and when I go to "force roam" sometimes it reads Analog roaming. Although when I try to make a call, nothing happens, most of the time the call counter won't even start up, although sometimes the call coutner starts counting up and all i hear is pure static, and it doesn't ring. When I try calling myself when in analog roaming mode, it rings a bunch of times then goes to my voicemail - but my phone itself doesn't ring at all. I called tech-support and they told me that my phone isn't capable of analog roaming. I said "but it says it is", and they said "well, it's capable of doing it, but it can't do it".. Ahh? lol. They said that the sprint towers are CDMA, and they won't relay an analog signal to my phone. How is that? There are analog towers I'm sure around here, so why doesn't that just relay to my phone? I'm sure that's what it's picking up anyways. I'm not sure why, but I've never gotten analog to work. Even when I have 2 bars of analog reception it still doesn't work. The person at tech support told me that only the older phone models work with analog, even though my phone reads "analog roaming" and says it's analog roaming capable. Doesn't make any sense to me.

    I'll be using my phone pretty much only in the northern and southern Orange county areas in California, but wasn't sure which provider has the best call quality around here.
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Analog in many parts of urban Southern California is useless. There are not enough channels available for analog calls to be processed. If you go into more rural areas of Southern California, you will have no problem with getting calls through.

    Your question about the blvd thing and who will have the best call quality cannot be answered honeslty. There are too many factos involved, even if all phones have full signal. Overall, and larry will agree, the three carriers I've mentioned will have the best coverage and call quality in Southern California. Like larry said, the phone can have a huge difference on your call quality and reception. Verizon is, overall, also very strong in Southern California, but just like with any other carrier, they have areas where they are not reliable and call quality is not the best. My general statements about the best carriers in the area may not be true for your exact area as they may be weak/unreliable at your exact location.
     
  8. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Your phone is absolutely capable of analog roaming. However the reason you can't use analog is because it barely exists anymore. Verizon has let it go and it's the reached the point of being unusable. I can't use it either. But you should be able to force digital roaming on your phone. I'm surprised it even looks for analog anymore. Have you updated your phone's PRL?

    Sprint has a prepaid service called Virgin Mobile and one called Boost Mobile. They have a few others as well like Disney Mobile.

    As to which carrier is the best is very subjective and you'll get different answers from everyone. It's not a question that's easy to answer.

    Voice sound quality will vary from phone to phone. Samsungs are usually pretty good with sound but I've found LG and Motorola to be the best. Sanyo is usually the worst. That's just my opinion. It's also very subjective.
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Does Sprint allow users to roam on Cingular AMPS? If so, how's that holding up?

    Last time I was down in San Diego county a few weeks ago, I tried accessing AMPS on my 3589i on Verizon and was actually surprised at how good the sound quality was and how easy it was for me to get through.
    Los Angeles was a different story though, even at night. ;) Areas outside the huge metro areas I have found it to be quite reliable though...is your experience different?
     
  10. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Bronze Senior Member
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    Maybe you just like the GSM codec better than the CDMA codec. It is a subjective thing - people lean either way on this.
     
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  11. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    No there has never been Cingular AMPS roaming here in So. Cal. Even going back to the old LA Cellular there has never been a roaming agreement with them. It's all Verizon. They do have some AMPS agreements with Cingular in other parts of the US but just not here in LA.

    Since I have an LG LX-350 I can no longer access AMPS on Verizon because it always looks for digital. :) So I don't know what it's like now. But when I had my LG PM-225 it was almost unuseable.
     
  12. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Ahh, yeah, I get what you're saying, Andy84094. I thought it was probably because there wasn't really an anlog tower close by, (because it was only picking up 0-1 bars of analog roaming). Although in rural areas they are probably more analog towers, so I'm assuming analog is mostly in rurals areas.

    I don't use analog much although sometimes when i use roam only, I get analog instead of digital. Not that often, though.

    So I'm guessing in urban areas/major cities Analog roaming is almost useless, but in rural areas it'd be usable then?

    As for the PRL list, what's that? And how do I update that?

    And for Nexel.. It says on the site "Provides wide array of digital and analog wireless communication services, including mobile telephone and two-way radio dispatch, paging and alphanumeric ..."

    Digital AND analog? I thought Nextel's iden network is all digital, which part uses analog? Does the direct connect run off something else? I also wonder how that nextel direct talk sounds, probably really clear.

    Thanks for the replies though!
     
  13. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    PRL = Preferred Roam List. You can find the version on your phone by hitting ##786 or ##786# and view detail. Look to see what version your phone shows. Then I'll tell you if you need an update and how to get it.
     
  14. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    PRL: 10035

    No idea what that means?
     
  15. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I wouldn't go as far as to say that Analog is useless in every urban area. I have never gotten circuit busy/busy signals using Analog here in Salt Lake City(even though we're not really a metro ;) ). It works fine in other areas I've tried it, such as Denver, Phoenix, and some places back East.
    Even though there are still some rural areas with Analog only, they are getting less and less each day that passes. I travel through rural areas on a monthly basis and trust a digital only phone.
     
  16. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Hmm, yeah, digital only is pretty good now-days with the expanding coverage. Although until they replace all the analog sites with digital sites, then analog is still useful. Also analog reaches farther than digitial, so they'll need more digital towers.

    Although I'm still wondering why Cingular sounded clearer when I used it. Because both phones had full reception, but for some reason it just sounded clearer on the Cingular phone. Dunno.

    T-mobile, I don't think they'd have the best call quality. Isn't t-mobile on the lower end of quality, but you get more minutes? I mean I want t-mobile cuz the person I talk to the most has t-mobile, but I doubt they have better coverage than Nextel in southern cali. And they have no Telenav, which I might need.

    For Nextel doesn't their towers supposedly have the best pentration due to being 800MHZ, and in Los angeles and orange county, perhaps nextel would be the best, since they got lots of towers (and their towers reach farther and better). I don't know, hard to say. I have no idea how Nextel's call quality is either.

    I'm still debating on which company has better voice quality: Sprint, Cingular, or Verizon. Hmmmmm
     
  17. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Actually, just like NEXTEL, Verizon Wireless is also an 800 Mhz carrier. Just this, though, doesn't mean that their coverage is automatically better than other carriers. As Larry mentioned, and may I say, larry knows what he's talking about, Sprint has many more Sites than NEXTEL, and I trust larry when he claims Sprint to have better coverage than NEXTEL.

    T-Mobile currently has the better GSM network in the Los Angeles area. They inherited the network Cingular used to have- the network Cingular poured millions and millions of dollars in to make good. Now Cingular own the former AT&T Wireless network, which needs a lot of help in many areas. Most people I have read about and talked to, that use Cingular in Southern California usually don't like their service these days because Cingular moved most customers to their own network, which as I said needs a lot of help.
    The T-Mobile network in Southern California is stellar- I have used it plenty of times and never had problems. I have heard many people in the Los Angeles area switch from Cingular to T-Mobile and they are happy.
     
  18. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    You're only one version behind so I wouldn't worry about it. 10036 makes no changes here in So. Cal. However it does make a few changes outside of CA for data roaming. To get the update you have to call customer service and ask to have your phone flagged for an over the air PRL update. Once they flag it you call *2 back and press 1 for english and the update message should come on. You can also get the update at a Sprint service center store.
     
  19. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Yeah, I can tell Larry knows what he's talking about hehe. I wasn't saying Larry was wrong, I was actually just saying that I think NEXTEL has better coverage in Los angeles/Orange county than T-mobile. I can't really tell, but by the coverage maps that seems to be the case.

    As for the whole Cingular ATT#T, and T-mobile thing..

    So when Cingular bought out AT&T, Cingular sold out its old Network too t-mobile (only in los angeles sites, or all of it?) and Cingular started to use the AT&T network? If so, why? Was the AT&T network better or something? So basically now t-mobile runs off the former Cingular network?
     
  20. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I have access to the tower location map for both carriers and Sprint does have more towers overall. But Nextel does have a lot of sites for an 800 Mhz carrier. But Sprint is putting CDMA on any Nextel site where Sprint doesn't already have a site within 1/2 mile of it. :)
     
  21. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    What will that do for people with Nextel? Will it affect reception at all?
     
  22. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    T-Mobile actually was the big winner in that deal. They got the best network out of it while Cingular had to settle for the old and outdated AT&T system. So Cingular had to work very hard and fast to improve it.
     
  23. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    No Nextel's IDEN will still be unchanged and available at all locations. All Sprint is doing is adding their CDMA panels to the site and leaving the IDEN as is. Nextel is also putting out some big $$ to improve IDEN all over So. Cal as well. So they can do the same thing at Sprint only sites and add IDEN to Sprint towers. It's a win-win situation for everyone. :)
     
  24. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Very nice! So Nextel is adding a lot of new sites in southern cali? Nice.
     
  25. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Sound quality varies more because of the phone rather than the network. But if we are to take phones out of the equation, I would say the best sound quality is between Sprint and Cingular. However, that is an opinion based on my area. Sound quality also depends on location. I've always found Cingular to sound better in Connecticut than in NJ when using the same phone. So this may not apply to California.

    Now, if we add phones to the mix, then it gets more complicated because it depends on whether the phone is CDMA or GSM and the brand. The phones that sound good on CDMA don't necessarily sound good on GSM and viceversa. LG phones sound better in general on CDMA than they do on GSM. The best sounding phones on GSM are generally Sony Ericsson and Nokia.
     
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  26. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Yes they sure are. You can check out the Sprint/Nextel street level maps on the web site to see where some new towers have just come up in the past 90 days.
     
  27. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Definitely your area. :D
    Cingular's overcrowded network in Southern CA that's using Half Rate codec and doesn't have enough cell sites to handle the volume is definitely not among the best at least there. ;)
     
  28. Wireless525

    Wireless525 New Member

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    Ok, well still trying to figure this out heh.

    How about if I ask it this way:

    Overall, which carrier has the best call quality? (not best coverage, but best call quality). Let's say regardless of phone model.

    Like, for example:

    Let's say that you had SPRINT and there was a sprint tower .5 miles away.

    Let's say you had cingular, and there was a Cingular tower .5 miles away.

    Let's say you had Nextel, and there was a Nextel tower .5 miles away

    Let's say you had Verizon, and there was a Verizon tower .5 miles away

    If in those situations, regardless of the phone, which carrier would PROBABLY have the best call quality? I know no one really knows the answer for sure, but which carrier would PROBABLY have the best call quality?

    Also another side question for anyone: does your phone model make the calls sound only clearer to YOU, or does it make you sound clearer to the person you are talking to (or does it do both?).

    Currently I have Sprint, and I just set up a nextel too (I need it for Telenav). So now I currently have 2 contracts, and was going to just transfer my sprint account over to Nextel, that way I won't have to pay 2 bills. I don't use the phone much, so no way would I need 2 phones and 2 contracts at once!

    So I was thinking if Nextel doesn't have good call quality, then of keeping Nextel for it's Telenav and then getting prepaid for another carrier. I want the best call quality, not the best coverage. Remember they are two differerent things. For example, you can have great coverage with say, I dunno, say Alltell, but have poor call/voice quality. And then you could have say, Nextel, and have a smaller coverage map, but better call quality/voice quality when in your coverage zone.

    Although I wasn't sure how good Nextel's call quality is. Is it one of the best, or the best? I heard before on the news back a year or two ago that it actually was ranked the best (in terms of call quality, NOT COVERAGE).

    If nextel's call quality is superior, then I'll just stay with them. If not, I was thinking of Cingular or Verizon prepaid. Or maybe sprint, because I haven't had any problems with them. I just don't know how the call quality is, my friend says sometimes I sound far away, etc. And don't say t-mobile, lol, let's be realistic here.

    In my area, almost all carriers gets good reception outside, so seeing that I was wondering in these situations where all carriers have a great signal - which carrier is most likely to sound the CLEAREST and best? (regardless of phone model, just in general)
     
  29. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    This is a very subjective question, since everyone has different answers on what sounds better to them, as you can tell from the post's each person's feelings are different.

    As for the phone, that also matters on call quality and if one sounds better to you, usually the other person hear's a good quality sound as well.

    Basically it's a trial and error for you to find which works best, I know my Nextel can sound excellent in one area & lousy in another, where as my Cingular seems to sound excellent in 99% of the area's I use it.

    With towers in equal distance from you, sound quality can be good or bad on numerous variables, and the only real way for you to find out is to try different phones/carriers to see what works best for you in call quality.
     
  30. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    Best call quality is subjective. Some people say GSM services like T-Mobile and cingular sound best. Others say VeriZon and Sprint.

    Factors that will influence how calls sound are such things as which handset you are using as well as how far you are from the nearest base station. If you're in a fringe area call quality may be affected. Where the other person is calling from and what they're using to call you. Is it another cell phone or are they calling fro home or a noisy construction site. There's really no easy answer.

    Every service has their strong and weak areas as far as coverage. No carrier will do it all for you. Find the areas where you will be most often and find a service that works well in those areas and avoid the hype.
     

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