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Dobson and Alltel in northern Michigan (main roads)

Discussion in 'Alltel Forum' started by strunke, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Alltel v. Dobson in northern Michigan (voice)...

    I recently drove up to Marquette, MI with a Moto SLVR L6 (a Centennal sim card), my Alltel KRZR, and an Amp'd Mobile e816.

    I drove up 131 to Cadillac comparable coverage all the way up between alltel and dobson. VZW/Amp'd was mostly strong but not nearly as good as the other two. The verizon evdo in grand rapids was fun to try out.

    Then I took 55 to Lake City past houghton lake to us 127. This stretch is usually weak but usable signal had reception most of the way with dobson and alltel a couple spots where the gsm dropped out less then cdma but not many and not for long. Amp'd roamed on alltel.

    Then up 127 and 75, both had good coverage, gsm went back to centennial as I was back in their territory for a short time. Then back to dobson. Comparable coverage all the way to the bridge.

    Then in the UP on US 2. Both had comparable coverage, both going in and out at different times going from full bars to 2 bars or so ( i know its not all about bars)

    Then went north on 117, there was a gap before 28 on 117 with both, though the cdma was back sooner.

    M28 was pretty good coverage until about a 45 minute or so stretch where there was gsm but 2 bars of quality (i made a call during this stretch) cdma until about 10-15 minutes after 94 meets 28.

    Along the lake superior coastline area it was on and off for both. Oddly i picked up an alpha tag from Cingular just before munising (i think it was). It was fairly strong and also had NPI available at the time. The Alpha tag said NPI Wireless the whole way on dobson except in marquette, munising where it finally said cellular one dcs.

    Cellonetech (or anyone really)- Do you know if Cingular actually has a network up there somewhere or was that a old tag? It was a strong signal for a few miles.

    Anyway there it is for any who are interested. Not very detailed I know....

    Also too 77 back down instead of 117. Fairly good coverage with both....
     
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  2. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    Cingular doesn't have a network up here, their coverage map says that they have a tower in Alpena in northeast lower michigan, but they don't. It probably was an old tag, i think.

    Thats odd that it was displaying an NPI Wireless tag, you'd think that Cellone would have all the alpha tags up-to-date by now.
     
  3. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    I appreciate your honest and fair testing so to speak. I know you tend to take a pro CDMA and pro Alltel stand on things.

    Far as Cingular, Im not sure. I know they had some assets on the western half of the UP before they were Cingular (Ameritech Wireless?) You may have passed a license saver site.

    All of Dobson in the lower pennisula and the eastern half of the UP is using NID 680 which used to be NPI, our roaming partners have yet to correct this in their PRL list. The rest of Dobson uses a different NID so when you crossed over to the boandary you went on to Dobson regular NID so thats why the Alpha Tag changed.

    You were tooling around in my area. I have the western side of eastern side of Cadillac, Lake City all the way to Houghton Lake and down 127 to Harrison.
    I go down 55 almost daily. We have a 3 to 1 ratio over Alltel in that area. They have 1 tower covering 55 and we have 3. In Lake City itself we have 3 and they have 1. On 55 about 3-5 miles outside of Houghton Lake Alltel has the definate advantage, this is were our 850 ends and we only have 1900. You went past the tower I just built and Im doing another one half way between Houghton Lake and Harrison on 127.

    Cingular does have a tower in Alpena, we just put a site on it. We called Cingular and they forget they had it and asked us to take a picure of it.
     
  4. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    All of ours are up to date, the other carriers can programm into their sims what they want the Alpha Tag to read. Tmobile and Centennial havent updates their PRL so it still read NPI. On a Cell ONE hand set it will just read extended area if you are roaming.
     
  5. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Yeah both were good, and it's not the most scientific test. In the lower peninsula along those roads they were both pretty much the same as far as quality/usable signal goes. Only glaring difference was the stretch in the UP on 28, I was kind of surprised at that point because of the good coverage I had gotten on the way there with gsm. I had my SLVR network settings to "fast" instead of the default, I guess i might have put it on "continuous"....i'm not entirely sure whether that would cause any difference with the network showing up sooner. I did notice that while both had coverage along most of 55 the dobson had more "bars" when it did have service, haha not scientific I know. But I'm sure I missed some differences. I tried to glance down at the phones every now and then but it's hard juggling phones while driving :)

    Overall I'm very impressed with the GSM, it's come a long way in the past few years. I was thinking it might be a licenses saver site as well, it was very surprising to say the least, wouldn't have noticed it but Centennial has Cingular at a higher priority then Dobson on the phone.
     
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  6. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Yah we have made leaps and bound glueing both Dobson, NPI and RFB into one seamless network. Both NPI and RFB were in pretty rough shape. Its not where I think it should be yet but it has made some serious steps to being a great network. In alot of areas we have about 3 more towers than the next nearest carrier because of the 1900 NPI need to double and triple up on the towers. Some areas we have just 1900 so we will have good town and road coverage but Alltel will have the advantage in 360 degree rural coverage.

    The UP is a tricky one to cover. The UP was originally built by both companies as 400 foot towers with Bogner antennas with 50 watt analog transmitters, so you could get away with putting towers 30 miles apart.

    Unfortunately during the years not enouph towers were added by both companies during the different technology upgrades. Both companies have done some work to help out the UP. Alltel upgraded most of its sites from OMNI sites to sectorized sites. Dobson added high power amplifiers for the transmit and added tower mounted recieve antennas to help pick up far away phones.

    We have been building towers up that way so that should help.
     

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