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Best Carrier for Pensacola, FL area

Discussion in 'Southern US Wireless Forum' started by rthomas268, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. rthomas268

    rthomas268 New Member

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    Location:
    pensacola, FL
    Hi,
    I'm pretty ignorant about cellphones. I have an 'analog' with Alltel which I carry in my car for emergencies. I received a notice to upgrade since analog is being phased out next year. So I'm researching and attempting to learn the 'language' which describes all the possibilities and features of 'digital cellphones'. I believe the first real issue is who is the most competent, service-oriented, and accessible carrier that services my area of northwest florida. Anyone have any rave reviews or Do Not Use 'X' advice for me?

    Appreciate your help.
     
  2. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
    Senior Member

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    I havent been to Pensacola in a long time; but i know of a person who visits Pensacola on a regular basis. She seems to be happy with her Alltel service in these areas; she just upgraded from a Moto v262 to a W315. Alltel provides near blanket coverage in the panhandle. You will enjoy vastly better coverage and sound quality on your new phone.

    When I went to Pensacola with my Verizon phone, the reception was so-so; Verizon primarily services the cities/coast of that part of the panandle, largely roaming on Alltel in less populated areas.

    AT&T may be worth looking to as well... AT&T is second behind Alltel in coverage; If you decide to try att, you have 30 days to decide whether their coverage/CS/etc is to your liking.

    I hope this helps... most folks in the panhandle seem happiest with att or alltel
     
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  3. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    Location:
    Hampton Roads, VA
    My Phone:
    Palm Centro
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint and alltel
    Welcome to Wireless Advisor rthomas. I'm not sure what kind of plan you are currently on, but it sounds like you're not a real heavy user, so you may want to think about a pre-pay phone like AlltelU, which offers calling for 15 cents/minute, or a GoPhone from At&t, though on prepay a deposit must be made on the account every so often to keep the minutes from expiring. Some people don't like the prepay though, because when they need the phone in an important situation, that's a bad time to find out that your minutes have expired. But it may work out better for you than a $30-40 monthly plan if that is what you're currently on. Although with a newer, better sounding phone, you may decide to start using your cell more in the future. As soon as I got one, it's the phone most people started calling me on because I could always be reached on it, and soon, I cancelled the landline.

    A newer digital phone should sound much better and give you very good coverage in your area. Most carriers haven't paid much attention to the quality of their analog networks in a long time and I know most analog calls I've made in the past have been full of static. I've never been to Pensacola, but I've heard several people echo the comments of Quint in the past, and alltel coverage is generally very good in my experience. Alltel should also work out to be less expensive overall because they have a local calling plan if you don't travel much, and you shouldn't have to pay a new account activation fee as you might have to with another provider, since you're already a customer. You can also select from a wide variety of 'bells and whistles' now available on newer phones, or just a more basic phone, but if you need any help with that just let us know. I will say that it really depends on what you want, I was surprised when my grandmother, who is approaching 80, was showing me the last phone she got and how many Pictures she had taken and how useful the camera was.
     
    #3 UFO, Dec 4, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  4. PCSuser

    PCSuser Senior Member
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    Location:
    Southern US; Born a Brit!
    My Phone:
    PPC-6700 w/ WM6
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint PCS - happily holding crystal clear calls!
    Hello, and welcome to WA.

    I am from FL. I can tell you from traveling the state many times. That...

    Native Network wise (no roaming);

    Sprint is probably one of the strongest, when you are in a Sprint area... its great service. Sprint is good for metro/highways/suburbs... not so good natively in rural areas -- but they do use the Alltel network for free roaming. Therefore you get Sprint and Alltel network coverage for the Sprint price! Customer service is good - if you contact the Business Care Division. - 7PM Night and Weekends are nice. Sprint has what is called a SERO plan which for $30 you can get 500 anytime minutes, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, 7PM Night and Weekends, unlimited text & picture messaging, and unlimited internet phone usage. That is a national plan. Sprint also has Area-Wide/Regional Plans available via telephone/in-store which may suit your needs better.

    Alltel is also a great choice for your area (if they are available). Alltel has good plans, and a great network especially in rural areas. Customer Service is OK. - MyCircle is good (only on select plans). Lowest plan is 39.99 with 500 minutes, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, and 9PM Night/Weekends (NO mycircle). Alltel also has local plans.

    T-Mobile is a good company. Good deals, coverage is very weak outside of metro and highway areas though - not too much roaming in the panhandle either. Customer Service is good though. MyFaves okay (but Sprint can match it - and Sprint available on all plans; T-Mobile is avaialble only on select). For $29.99 you get 300 Anytime Minutes, and Unlimited Nights Weekends at 9PM.

    AT&T is alright. They are restrictive in their roaming in the state. They don't have any. So its either AT&T or no service. Customer Service is okay, can be a hassle sometimes. And their plans are a bit pricier - m2m and rollover are both good though. $39.99 gets you 450 anytime minutes, 5,000 n/w @ 9PM, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile.

    Verizon Wireless is probably your least desirable choice. They restrict who you can roam on by neg (or barring) certain carriers. So in some places where Sprint (or Alltel) can roam freely VZW can not. Verizon is very expensive. Their customer service is good. They lock down their phones with a UI (User Interface) that is not too friendly, and they cripple bluetooth. Their service in Florida is not very good either. $39.99 gets you 450 anytime minutes, unlimited n/w @ 9PM, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile.

    So... I would say check out Sprint, then Alltel. Let us know how it goes.

    All plans include: voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, 3-way calling.

    As always use the 'free trial' periods of each carrier (usually 30 days). Also check out their service maps to make sure coverage is where you need it to be. And roaming is at no extra cost on all carriers listed above (except Alltel has remote areas in which they charge .59 per minute).
     
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  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I visited Pensacola two years ago and can vouch for what Quint and UFO said- ALLTEL is stellar in that area. My best friend's Family lives there and they all use Verizon. While their experience with Verizon there has become increasingly positive as Verizon has invested in that area, they do fall back onto ALLTEL in a lot of more rural areas.

    With ALLTEL's Consumer-friendly plans and their generally good customer Service and excellent coverage, I would definitely go that route.

    I would stray away from Sprint- their SERO Plans are attractive, but it is not worth the troubles. Just my two cents.
     
  6. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
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    I have to say that while Verizon has the least amount of native service in Florida, in the cities where they do offer service, the service is great. In Florida, they do roam on Alltel and Sprint... As far as the crippled bluetooth, they are not the only ones... most carriers have phones that arent fully bluetooth enabled ... the UI is a subjective experience... Pricing isnt all that great, but Alltel gives you the bang for the buck with myCircle.

    As far as Att and their no roaming policies... there are few areas where TMobile outdoes ATT... ATT'S coverage is more than adequate in northern Florida (almost on par with alltel); I cant explain TMobile's refusal to roam on them as their service is nonexistent once you leave the main roads.
     
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