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More dropped calls on Sprint vs. Alltel?

Discussion in 'Sprint Forum' started by David Clark, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. David Clark

    David Clark New Member

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    My family switched cell phone coverge after 8 years with Alltel. I wanted to get the UT STarcom smart phone with the best and cheapest EVDO coverage. My wife and daughter have the cheaper PVS flip phones.

    We are all experiencing dropped calls, which never happened on Alltel. In addtion reception seems to be poor.

    I'm wondering if we made a mistake, and should switch back to Alltel or Verizon? Any advice is welcome.

    Dave Clark
    Midlthian, VA 23112
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    If all of you are experiencing dropped calls and poor reception compared to ALLTEL it has to be the network. It would be a great coincidence if all of your phones were faulty.
    ALLTEL generally has great coverage in the areas they serve, and you may want to consider switching back to what worked for you within your Sprint trial period.
    May I ask why you switched?
     
  3. David Clark

    David Clark New Member

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    I switched from Alltel to get the EVDO broadband coverage on a device that would be a Pocket PC and a phone. Sprint was the first to offer a phone, from UT Starcom, that had a neat slide out keyboard. It works great.

    Alltel was reliable, but we got stuck with some real roaming charges when we went out of their area.

    But my wife wants to turn in her new Sprint PCS phone, saying it's too unreliable to call her mother outside of NYC (mom's on a landline)

    I'm thinking of returnng the two PCS phones and switching them back to Alltel, who has always seemed cheaper than Verizon.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    What plan did you guys have with ALLTEL? Their National Freedom Plans give you about the same coverage as a Verizon America's Choice Plan, plus the ALLTEL plan gives you access to some more networks with a roaming rate per minute. The ALLTEL Total Freedom Plans is a little more expensive, but has no roaming charges whatsoever as long as you can get a signal.
    ALLTEL surely is cheaper than Verizon, unless you do travel a lot into areas where you would get hit with roaming charges with ALLTEL.
    Could you let us know what areas you traveled to with ALLTEL and got roaming charges and what plan you were on?
     
  5. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Is your area served by an affiliate for Sprint, or at least a former affiliate. Sprint corporate markets are generally better for service.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Unless I'm seing something wrong, it looks like ALLTEL also has EVDO in your area...Sprint and ALLTEL now also do EVDO data roam, but if your Sprint coverage there is not all that great, I would suggest looking back at ALLTEL, because ALLTEL does not only DATA/EVDO roam outside their native coverage area on Sprint, but also data roams on other carriers like Verizon, which Sprint does not.
     

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  7. David Clark

    David Clark New Member

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    Thanks for the input. We had an Alltel National Freedom plan, but the roaming charges were when I was in obscure places like Dodge County Wisconsin, working for a company in the middle of a corn field. If Sprint would offer me no roaming charges when I'm really in the boonies, that's great.

    I did look briefly at the Alltel EVDO coverage, but only saw the map for Virginia; they didn't seem to offer coverage outside of Virginia. If they rely on Verizon, and they do that without additional charge to me, then that's worth looking at.

    It's always been my impression that Alltel was a cheaper cousin to Verizon, which was good if you wanted basic cell service. I was looking for more of a leader in the field, which is why I narrowed it down to Sprint and Verizon. Bottom line is that the Sprint EVDO service, even with the phone as modem plan (a tether), seems to be about $20 cheaper than the equivalent Verizon plan for unlimited data access. Plus I've read that Sprint is making a major committment to upgrading their EVDO network, and has endorsed the new WiFI standard from Intel that I think will be the ultimate winner. So Sprint seems to be headed in the right direction.

    But in the meantime my wife is bugging me about dropped calls, so I may have to go back to Alltel for her phone. I'm hoping I'm still in the 30 day return period <g>!
     
  8. CellGeek

    CellGeek Sprint is the BOMB!
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    WTF!? Is this really true? When will Sprint get data roaming on Verizon? All of the CDMA carriers need to cooperate with each other in this regard or the GSM carriers that already offer this service will kick their ___ especially when GSM increases their data rates.

     
  9. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    I've actually got some experience in the Sprint vs. Alltel in Midlothian and the Richmond area. I've actually got a good friend that lives there so I'm there quite frequently even though I'm living in Norfolk. I would strongly advise to switch back to Alltel for several reasons.

    The first reason is the coverage. I'm in the Richmond area and surrounding areas quite a bit and Alltel coverage is just much better. It is one of Alltel's best covered areas in the nation and they cover it very well. I always hear about people with Sprint dropping calls in places I will keep 3-4 bars with Alltel. I guess it's where Sprint is in the PCS band that and Alltel uses the 850 MHz band, but their coverage, especially indoors and on the outskirsts of town is much better than Sprints.

    As far as the EVDO coverage goes, here is Alltel's National Map:
    http://www.alltel.com/business/enhanced/mobilelink_coverage.jsp?state=nat
    But I don't think that map is completely updated with all the new Sprint EVDO areas we can use now!!

    You are covered in many more places than just Virginia. Alltel also data/EVDO roams on Sprint and data roams on Verizon which Sprint does not, so that really sounds like your best option to give you the most coverage around the nation. Sprint is looking to advance their network technologically, but so is Alltel. There is a list somewhere of about 10-15 cities Alltel is preparing to roll out EVDO into. The Richmond area is just one place that Alltel runs circles around them and gives you many more options and coverage areas for voice and data. Just let me know if you have anymore questions.

    As far as the roaming charges with Alltel, they just released a new PRL this past week which added several new places as free roams, if you ever are in an area where you are getting a roaming signal, shown by a solid triangle, Alltel is really good about letting you switch coverage plans to a Total Freedom Plan for a month or two where there is no roaming anywhere without extending your contract. They also have 100 Free to Roam minutes for 9.99 a month if you want to stick to the National Freedom Plan.

    Edit: Also, if you're living in an area where you are dropping many calls with Sprint, your EVDO connection should be much faster with Alltel because the signal won't be cutting out as much. And I don't know if I'd call Alltel a cheaper cousin to Verizon. It's true their plans are generally cheaper and you can get MyCircle which will give you many minutes for a lot cheaper, but in the areas I travel in Virginia and the Carolinas, Alltel just has the best coverage, around the cities and in the rural areas.
     
    #9 UFO, Sep 10, 2006
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2006
  10. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Actually, like UFO said, ALLTEL's data and EVDO coverage stretches far beyond the piece of map I showed you. Sprint does have nationwide plans that also offer free roaming, but if your coverage at home is where it drops calls a lot, free roaming doesn't really help unless you want to force roam 100% of the time at home to get a better signal, but things like SMS and your data service may not work depending on what carrier you roam on. Also, your EVDO connection, like UFO said, will not be very good if you are already dropping calls at home.
    ALLTEL is very good about letting you change plans, so in case you go to an area like that again where it is pay roam. ALLTEL has a Total Freedom plan you could change to for just a month that has no roaming charges whatsoever...
    Hope this helps and be sure to make up your mind before your Sprint trial period is up.
     
  11. David Clark

    David Clark New Member

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    The verdict is in, and I've switched back to Alltel from Sprint. The culprit was the poor quality reception. I estimate that in the month myself, my wife, and my daughter used our three Sprint phones, about 40% (roughly) of our calls were unacceptable quality. It was mostly dropped calls, with some garbling and static. The dropped calls occurred inside our calling area, inside our zip code (23112). One instance occurred inside a school building, but near a window - that was a no signal. The final straw was when I used my phone to cancel my service with Sprint; I got dropped twice talking to two different representatives. You're talking away, and the next moment the phone says call disconnected (and yes, my battery was fully charged).

    On the plus side their customer service was excellent, and the calls that did get through were very clear. But a 40% drop rate is way too high.

    UFO's comments about Alltel coverage in Richmond/Midlothian were convincing. In our 8 years of Alltel coverage before switching, I don't think I ever had a dropped call. When I started seeing the Cingular ads on tv advertising fewest dropped calls, I was confused; I had never seen one of those, so didn't know what they were talking about.

    Another plus is that Alltel has signed a data roaming agreement with Sprint. I checked with the Alltel representative, and she initially said that didn't help me, as they only offered EVDO coverage in the 11 or 12 areas advertised on their web site. But she checked with a data support technician, who said yes, I could access the Sprint EVDO network freely. He then checked with his supervisor, who confirmed that was true, but wouldn't be effective until Nov. 3. Apparently the ink is not yet dry on that agreement, so no one knows about.

    I'm glad this is over. What a chore it is to pick cell phones and service!
     
  12. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Congratulations on getting through the entire process. It is a chore but at least it's better than having a sporadic signal where you live for the next couple of years. :)
    If you have any other questions or issues that come up feel free to drop back by WirelessAdvisor anytime. Good Luck ;)
     
  13. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Glad your Alltel service is good. I don't think you Sprint experience is anywhere near typical, but obviously they have weak coverage in your particular area if it was that bad for you.
     
  14. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    It's all about luck sometimes. If there just isn't a tower where you need it to be then it's not going to work out. This can happen with any carrier in any market.
     
  15. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    I am curious to know if there is actually a difference as to who is running the network. In Michigan Sprint is run by iPCS I heard. And Sprint is poor here as well. Maybe he is in an affiliate makert or something.

    But yeah that Cingular fewest dropped calls thing is false advertising anyway. That belongs to Alltel or Verizon. It mostly has to do with the fact that the other carriers use a lot of pcs which is terrible in buildings. Therefor causes more dropped calls.
     
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  16. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I believe he is in an affiliate area but not 100% sure. A good part of VA is run by an affiliate (or was formerly). Affiliates sometimes don't have the capital needed to make all of the needed improvements. IPCS is probably the worst affiliate of them all. The others have mostly been bought out by Sprint.
     
  17. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    I don't think Richmond is/was an affiliate area.
     
  18. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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  19. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Hey look at that the map is back up. :)

    And it even shows towers built within last 90 days!!!! :)
     

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