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Best Coverage

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by FVJ48, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. FVJ48

    FVJ48 New Member

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    Which cellular carrier provides the best coverage in Maine? I live in Buxton and work in Scarborough. My game plan is to get rid of my land line and go totally wireless if signal strength exists.

    Also, how do you find out which carrier roam or share with one another?
     
  2. jjbottone

    jjbottone New Member

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  3. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    Also, both T-Mobile and Cingular have street-level coverage maps:


    T-Mobile coverage map


    Cingular coverage map


    Of course, the only true test is to test the signal reception of a particular phone in the places you need to go. Have fun!
     
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  4. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    Sorry Steve my mistake.....:)
     
  5. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    Joseph - not sure what you mean. All is well. :cool:
     
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  6. josephd

    josephd Tomorrow is another day.
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    I posted a Cingular site link, although different it still led to the same thing you gave them. I should have explained before, and stop calling me Joseph you can call me Joe.;) :)
     
  7. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    OK Joe, will do. :)

    One thing I like about the emergence of these street-level maps is that it makes it easier to answer the perennial - Who has the best coverage? - question. Takes it out of the realm of "I like X", "No X sucks, I have Y and I'm happy". Too much confabulation of different devices, different travel patterns, etc.
     
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  8. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    The problem with the current CING street level maps is that in many areas, they don't show "Street level" signal strengths, they simply "zoom in" & show street names from the larger less accurate maps.
    In my area, I checked a couple of places where Cing has poor signal, but on the "larger" sized map it's all solid red ....... When you zoom down to street level, the signal "strength" doesn't change, it still shows all full red at street level ..... Even though most of the visible map should have been swiss-cheesed with lower signal colors....
     
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  9. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    the covergae for Sprint and Verizon look pretty good in the Eastern and Southern Maine but most of the carriers don't cover western and some of Northern maine.......cingular is no good and tmobile is no good......i would go for sprint or verizon or alltel
     
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  10. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    No Alltel in Maine. I agree with the GSM statements though. I am from New Hampshire and GSM has some catching up to do in northen New England. I am not saying that GSM is not good, it just has a little more building to do mostly "outside" of town. Verizon, Sprint and USSC should be good although I am not sure if USCC is available in Scarborough. USCC usually builds out very well. I had them when I lived in NH and they were awesome!
     
  11. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Do they Have Coverage where you Buy Lobsters?
    GSM Coverage is always stronger on Canada's Border Lines.
     
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  12. bheb

    bheb New Member

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    We had Cingular last year when we moved to Maine. We were first in Scarborough, then moved to just outside Augusta. No service at our home. My husband travels extensively in ME & NH & had crappy service most everywhere. We ended up getting Cing to cancel our 2 lines of service because they couldn't resolve the issues. Issue was Unicel not allowing roaming partners access to their towers. We switched to Unicel because at least no contract required. Service still not great, even in Portland where it should be. Lots of dropped calls in 295. Now we are looking at switching, maybe VZ as they are moving into Augusta/Bangor.
     
  13. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    Well, this is obvious, but if they don't have many data points in your area, there is no more detail to be gained by zooming in. I agree with you, though, that even if this is the case, it seems unusual that the map is solid red - you would expect an average value.

    They don't tell us how far apart the data points actually are, so we are just inferring from the map behavior. In my area of eastern MA, the maps do what you would expect - they show more detail at higher zoom levels. While we might assume the data resolution to be uniform everywhere, it probably isn't.
     
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  14. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    I will never understand why everyone wants to try Verizon instead of the little guys. Do not buy cell service by name only. When Verizon moves into the area, they will be new and will not be building completely out for years. They may also decide to just build near towns and interstates. Read some threads from the Southern Forums re:Verizon's recent expnasion into eastern North Carolina. Not to many people are happy. Also remember that Verizon in Augusta will be 1900Mhz. Give USCC a try. They are 850Mhz and tend to focus on the communities they are in with lots of focus on building towers and signal strength. Like I said, USCC beat the pants of Verizon in Central and northern NH. I am sure it will be the same in Maine. And when you leave the USCC area you will typically be roaming free on Verizon anyway. USCC would most likely be cheaper as well. Don't let those Vzw commercials brainwash you. I am not saying that Verizon is all bad, but there ares some places where they are not that good. Usually the smaller, outer lying communities.
     
  15. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    djjim does have a point......although i must say that regional carriers will probably give you the best covergae because they only have to focus on one area.....granted there may be roaming charges when you leave your home area and there may be long distance charges to numbers outside your calling area but most regional carriers will offer add-ons for roaming and long-distance

    i.e.

    IMMIX Wireless is a regional carrier for 10 counties in South-eastern PA:

    there 39.99 plan will give you unlimited anytime minutes
    unlimited m2m
    and unlimited nights and weekends

    roaming is 40c a minute
    long distance is 10c a minute

    when you move up to the 49.99 plan

    you get all of the above plus 200 roaming minutes and unlimited long distance


    now this is just an example........immix probably doesn't supply local numbers in maine because most of the coverage up there is probably roaming anyway...they have nationwide coverage through roaming agreements but only initiate service in PA


    but this is just an example of what most regional carriers will offer
     
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  16. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    Well, USCC is a pretty large regional carrier. They do offer national no roaming plans. I think many people are under the impression that if you have service with a local/regonal carrier than the phone won't work in other areas of the country which is just not true. For instance, I have Alltel and they are not present in most metro areas. I live in Charlotte, NC presently and I tried Verizon and switched to Alltel later. Alltel's service is much more reliable around here and we are a city of nearly 1 million people. More than the pop of Vermont! However my phone works nearly everywhere I go because of great roaming arrangements. I can only think of a few places where I have had no service.....I don't pay roaming or long distance and I get much more for my money than I could get from any Verizon or Cingular plan:

    1000 nationwide minutes with free roaming on Sprint, Verizon and many other regional CDMA providers.
    Unlimited nights & weekends starting at 7:00
    Unlimited calls to 10 numbers, any number in the 50 states. Can change the 10 numbers once very 24 hours.
    Long distance for free.
    Change plan anytime with no contract extension.
    2 lines of service for 75 dollars a month.

    I think they beat any the carrier out there. USCC will have good options too. You just hear less about USCC and Alltel and other regional carriers because they do not offer service to the masses in cities like Detroit, Boston, New York, LA, Miami, etc. Vzw, Cingular, Sprint have bought all the available spectrum in the major metros and have in theory locked out the smaller guys.
     
  17. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    i hear you.....but alltel's map makes it look like they have coverage everywhere......is that just because of roaming??? :confused:
     
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  18. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    Yes, free roaming agreements. I will admit that the coverage map is overly optimistic, but there are few places where I do not get covergae.
     
  19. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    Lets look at the options, in order, from what *I* consider best to worst:

    (Sorry I can't recommend the regionals. It just does not make any sense)

    Cingular: This is your best choice, especially if you plan to drop your landline. Cingular is the *ONLY* provider to offer 850 service in both York and Cumberland Counties. Scarborough is a solid Cingular market. Buxton also looks pretty good for Cingular coverage.

    Verizon: Scarborough is a solid Verizon market. Buxton is a roaming market, and the roaming partner is Unicel CDMA. The Unicel CDMA system is known to be spotty in York Co. You will pay NO roaming charges. You will need to use your work address for service as Verizon will not sign you up unless you are in their service area. You really need to find out if Unicel CDMA is going to work for you. Unicel is only providing CDMA service to pick up roaming revenue. They don't even provide 1x data service!

    Sprint PCS: Their maps are so bad that I can't really say what coverage will be like in Buxton. Their website says they provide service in both zipcodes. Scarborough is probably covered okay. Unless you already know that coverage is good where you need it, I would not try them first. Even if you have a poor signal but can roam, your phone is going to keep selecting the poor signal of Sprint.

    Nextel: Nextel site does not list Buxton as a valid service area, although the map shows it might be covered. Scarborough is covered. Since you can't roam on anyone, you best make sure it works where you need it!

    U.S. Cellular: Scarborough is a new 1900 system for U.S. Cellular. They might have special deals, however service could be spotty, hard to say cause their maps do not give you the detail necessary to determine that. Buxton is a roaming market, so you would need to be on the national plan, and not violate their 50% off-network rules when you would be roaming on Unicel CDMA. I think this option is off the table.

    Unicel: Buxton is a Unicel GSM market and coverage is probably ok. Scarborough is not a Unicel coverage area and you would be roaming on CIngular. Unicel has a 50% roaming clause, and you can't use many of your features off-network, so that would take Unicel off the table.

    T-Mobile: T-Mo puts a very poor signal into Buxton. Check their coverate map tool to check it out. Even if you can roam, your phone is going to keep selecting the poor signal of T-Mobile. They are NOT a consideration.
     
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