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Myths and truths about wireless carriers

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by larry, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Gideon H

    Gideon H Quase Três Anos Com WA!
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    More like most of Arizona, lol. I couldn't even get good coverage in Glendale or some parts of Tempe when I had them 1-2 years ago. Plus I couldn't get any coverage in Massachusetts with them, either.
     
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  2. WiggyFife

    WiggyFife still knows nothing!!!
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    I have had VZW since 11/2003, & am all around the East & West Valley in Phx, & I have had seamless coverage all over. I haven't found 1 place where I could not get coverage...
     
  3. roamer1

    roamer1 In Memoriam
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    If you're on a GAIT plan and pay for M2M option, yes.

    If you're on a GSM plan, no, since there are still lots of places with no GSM coverage.

    -SC
     
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  4. roamer1

    roamer1 In Memoriam
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    Even VZW has weak native coverage in some markets -- Mobile AL comes to mind -- and roaming problems in others (for instance, VZW phones are largely useless in much of Talladega County AL because of switching back and forth among weak/unusable VZW coverage, SPCS, and with tri-mode phones, Unicel AMPS)

    SPCS doesn't work well for me largely because of the amount of time I spend in rural areas where I'd be roaming -- places where other carriers have native coverage or where they roam but where all features work (unlike SPCS.) Plus, SPCS has weak coverage in parts of Atlanta where I spend a lot of time...they have their strong parts of Atlanta (Cobb County, which has dramatically improved) but they still have weak areas (like much of DeKalb County.)

    -SC
     
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  5. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
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    All I am going to say about Verizon is that they are overated in some areas in alot of there areas are cellular all they have to do is upgrade network (properly) and find the deadspots and overload areas, builtout network to cover deadspots and overloads. Verizon has done this very well. For PCS providers they had to build from the ground up and Verizon in many of there PCS markets might be #2 or worse. Some Verizon PCS only, markets might be #1 due to AT&T wireless failures.
    Verizon will still have the largest network in terms of coverage even after AT&T/Cingular merger happens. In terms of customers that will be another story.
     
  6. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    You'd be surprised to know that Sprint and Nextel have larger networks than Verizon. The reason why Verizon's coverage is larger is because of the roaming partners.
     
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  7. roamer1

    roamer1 In Memoriam
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    SPCS, Nextel, and T-Mobile do have an advantage of having native coverage in virtually every city of any significant size. VZW lacks native coverage in huge areas of the Midwest (guess who has no licenses in Oklahoma City...), while Cingular lacks native coverage in the Mountain states, even in major cities like Denver; AT&T lacks native coverage in a fair number of mid-sized cities because of affiliates (Charleston SC = SunCom, Richmond VA = SunCom, Cincinnati = CBW, etc.) and overreliance on Cingular (Columbus GA.)

    -SC
     
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  8. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
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    I just returned from Myrtle Beach--I recently read somewhere that VZW completed their buildout of native coverage there on 1900Mhz. Their coverage is terrible where I was (in between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach). The signal fluctuated a lot when I had it. Whenever I went into a building my phone switched over to Alltel 800Mhz Extended Network.
     
  9. MSE Environmental

    MSE Environmental Junior Member
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    I guess I am a true rookie when it comes to cell phone service, but I have had plans (through places where I have worked) through Cingular, Sprint, and Nextel, and now Alltel.

    It really doesn't matter to me whose system is the largest, what matters to me is being able to use my phone in the areas where I travel.

    I found Nextel to be very good on the Interstates, but pretty shoddy in rural areas. Free incoming is really nice, but does no good if you are not in an area to be able to receive the call.

    Cingular (I had the old Bellsouth Mobility) I found them to be pretty good, but with some really bad gaps in coverage. (This was three years ago, so it is probably better). It used to irk me to no end to see a Bellsouth Mobility sign on the interstate and I would not have coverage. (I think I had GSM).

    Sprint PCS was also pretty good, but still a lot of places where there was no coverage. I have not had them in a little over a year, so my information might not be very up to date.

    Alltel is very good. The only places where I have not had coverage is in very, very rural West Virginia. Of course where this was I couldn't even get AM radio stations, so that was a little out of the ordinary. I could not care less if Alltel is using Verizon's system or if Verizon is using Alltel's. All I want is the ability to use my phone in as many places as possible.

    Mike
     
  10. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
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    Verizon for Myrtle Beach is made 1st or maybe 2nd level buildout completed. They are not by no means at 3rd or 4th level buildout yet. Verizon is just like all the rest PCS carriers it will take a year or 2 until they have good coverage everwhere in that market.
     
  11. antidelldude

    antidelldude New Member

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    Ok guys. Sprint, by far, is the best for data services. NOONE offers unlimited internet for $15 a month that you can use your phone as a modem and plug it into your laptop. Secondly, If you have sprints roaming plan you actually have a better chance of making a call then verizon/alltel does. Mainly because SPRINT uses alltel's and verizon's towers to roam onto if you need to make a voice call. I have been in plenty places around michigan in the boonies and such where verizon was dead and sprint was just golden. Another test I did is I went on a 5 hour road trip from michigan to ohio. I brought verizon, sprint, and cingular/att. Sprint was on strong all the way there while the other were dead in some places. And the one 2 mile stretch of highway i didn't have a sprint ignal i had a full analog roam signal and my call got through just fine. Overall Verizon has the best outskirts of city coverage while all the cell providers have nice inner city coverage for that is where a lot of calls are made from. Get your facts strieght before you start dising providers. And by he way I have owned t-mobile, nextel, verizon, att, cingular, and sprint over the last 3 years and sprint has come down with the best eyectacher for I am never in a true "dead zone" for voice calls.
     
  12. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    True and I get unlimited internet for only $10/mo. :D
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    While Sprint's Vison and pricing for it might be great(much better than Verizon's mobile Web), I believe they have a very strict policy about using your phone as a modem for your laptop, unless I'm mistaken.
    Actually, while Sprint does use Verizon, Alltel and others, Verizon roams on much of the same carriers, and their New America's Choice Plans cover 290 million people, without paying LD or roaming charges.
    I respectfully disagree with your statement about the fact that all carreris have nice inner city coverage, that's not true in my opinion.
    I've also owned most carriers within the last 2.5 years.
    Again, Not trying to bash anyone here, nor trying to bash any carrier here, i admit that Sprint's vision is awesome!
     
  14. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
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    Wirelessly posted (Treo 600: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 95; PalmSource; Blazer 3.0) 16;160x160)

    Is Vision comparable to VZW's Mobile Web (i.e. WAP access) or is it like a pda data plan?
     
  15. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Vision is sort of in between. You are not supposed to use a regular Vision plan to tether to a laptop or PDA, but you can get away with it. Like PDA plans, Vision does not take away from your minutes and allows for "unlimited" kb usage. I say "unlimited" because if you are using your phone to download MP3's to your computer Sprint may terminate your data services.
     
  16. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    Larry, did you and your Gfriend have a kid? A Sprint loyalist is born everyday!!!!!!! LOL....... Talk about bringing a thread up from the grave!
     
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  17. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    Hey antidelldude:

    I almost thought you were some guy named YahooMan or CDMAMan... LOL... Are you? You guys sound very much alike in terminology and/or train of thought.

    We try to get along in this forum. We are friends here. We joke around but we don't "diss" anyone. You'll see. WirelessAdvisor is different than the "other" online mobile phone forums.

    I am happy you found a provider that works best for you in your area. Since you have used every carrier up there, hopefully you can shed some insight on your local coverage.

    Sounds like you have had good luck with roaming. Some don't have such luck so maybe you could give a few tips to enhance roaming performance? Do you find some Sprint phones to work better than others? Does your phone roam just as good in the 800 MHz cellular frequency as it does in the 1900 MHz PCS frequency? Do you find analog reliable in Michigan? Analog is known to be awful in Southern California metro areas.

    As you'll learn, some carriers work better than others in certain areas while the opposite may be true elsewhere. I always tell people that "No carrier is best for everyone even while one may be better for you." I'm sure you'll agree.
     
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  18. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Ha ha no kids for me. YahooMan has returned with yet another alias! ;)
     
  19. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
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    Wirelessly posted (Treo 600: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 95; PalmSource; Blazer 3.0) 16;160x160)

    Thanks AntrhoMatt, that helps. It sounds like Vision could be used for either a "regular" phone or for a PDA device. If so, WOW, that is cheap for data.

    I see that Cingular's PDA plans are now priced like Verizon's, so there is no difference there. That makes Sprint look pretty good to those of us who are heavy data users.
     
  20. antidelldude

    antidelldude New Member

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    Well in their contract they say no vision service will be given to phones that can be used as a modem. Obviously they havn't updated their contract in a long time. Plus, I can't believe sprint would allow (meaning no lawsuit yet) such products to use sprint phones as a modem if they didn't want it.
     
  21. antidelldude

    antidelldude New Member

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    Ok, basically sprint has recently gotton their act together when it comes to roaming performance. In there older prl's and on their older phones it favored the analog network over the digital network even though the digital had a better signal. But as of their recent phones and prl's they have a force digital roam option, also in the prl, the digital towers have the highest priority. (before this happened I had to force my own prl to my phone with digital roaming favored). In my area everyone has spotty coverage. There is no sole "good carrier". I live in a vally and get either no service or faint unreliable service... so i sucked it up and bought a cell repeater which is decent, 10 hours and $700 later. But mainly Sprint roam is the best deal going arond here because there is no "one spot" that you don't get service from either verizon or sprint. As for 800mhz vs. 1900 mhz, they both work the same for me although i have seen 800mhz signals staying stonger, farther, than 1900mhz cdma signals. Mainly I know this because I have verizon and sprint towers right next to each other and when i pull out my phone and look at both signals verizon is a bit stonger (800mhz) than sprints (1900 mhz) it could just be a matter of how Sprint handles installations (shorter towers and not taking the time to aim antennas). But as soon as sprint and nextel merge (hope they do) Sprint Nextel will hire in a company to make a super phone. It will be capable of recieving Iden (860mhz), cdma (800,1900mhz), amps (800mhz), and there is a debate in this topic but hopefully GSM 800mhz (which they already have) and GSM 1900mhz. Which if Spint has roaming agreements with Verizon, Nextel, (maby the small cdma companies) And the other gsm guys (t-mobile,Cingular/att) They will be unstoppable. Which will be a scary thought. (But ll the companies will be bennifiting greatly from the kickback of sprint using their towers) If anybody has comments please post. I'd love to hear them.

    Jonathon
     
  22. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    That's a different perspective. I assumed Sprint would rather migrate former iDEN users onto CDMA in the future as opposed to pumping a lot of money into making quad-network phones: CDMA-iDEN-AMPS-GSM. Doesn't Sprint and Nextel already have a similar native network in terms of POPS coverage and geographic coverage since they already cover all 100 major markets natively? Would there be any advantage to having CDMA-iDEN-AMPS-GSM phones other than CDMA-AMPS-GSM roaming for Nextel users?

    That would definitely be a first in the industry if that's true but seemingly a waste of money from a carrier aspect IMHO. I could only see adding GSM capability useful for global roaming customers. Sprint already has a CDMA-GSM phone capable of being used worldwide.

    As far as I know, US and European GSM providers are already bracing for a network using a WCDMA interface so I assumed they were ready to change over too. Imagine adding WCDMA or UMTS to the already mega phone? Imagine how fat and bulky that phone would be?
     
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  23. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Yes, both carriers generally cover the same areas, whereas both cover areas others don't. Here in UT, for example, Nextel's network is much, much better and more built out in areas Sprint has no native footprint. Also, I'd imagine, that some Nextel locations will benefit Sprint, even in areas they both cover.
    ~Andy
     
  24. antidelldude

    antidelldude New Member

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    Exactly. Sprint and nextel may have Service in the same areas but the quality or signal strength might be different. I went up to the boonies where i was stuck in analog roam for that was the only option but my buddy had a nextel phone with almost a full signal. I Think sprint will come out with a super phone for the first few years for iden and cdma users and then slowly migrate all iden towers to cdma or vice versa. But looking at cost perspective, It is a hell of a lot cheaper to create a super phone then migrate over 20,000 nextel towers to cdma :) Plus who said the super phone would be cheap for consumers. Like cingulars gait plan you have to pay extra to have that capability of having 2 standards. I think sprints super phone will be around $700 when it first comes out.
     
  25. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    The reason Nextel is going with Sprint is so they can save themselves the expense of having to build a new network from scratch. VOIP or a better technology may allow them the ability to use eachother's PTT/Readylink Solutions into a single standard. This may be cheaper than having to create handsets with multiple technologies in them. At some point, the joint venture will cease to activate iDEN lines and activate CDMA phones with the enhanced PTT that will work inter-technology. In fact, by the time this happens, we may see more than one carrier allowing PTT to work across multiple platforms.

    Gait is a free add-on to any Cingular Nation plan as long as you have a dual-network phone.**

    **Not available in all areas.
     
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  26. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Well, if that's the plan then nobody will buy it.
     
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  27. Blue_Tech

    Blue_Tech Member
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    Who knows what their going to do since Nextel is running that 4G trial down in the Carolinas. According to what I'm reading so far, if the trials are successful, we could see something more along the lines of a WiMax network from Sprint Nextel.

    "Could" being the operative word.
     
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  28. antidelldude

    antidelldude New Member

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    Now thats a very good point. Wireless data technologie are on the rise. Who knows how long cdma or iden will stay around for. Mainly because wimax will be fairly cheap to setup on existing towers.
     
  29. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    It wasn't a 4G trial since it was based on a non-cellular wireless technology called OFDM by Flarion http://www.flarion.com/

    In any event, the trial is over and Nextel has no plans to implement it now that they are merging with Sprint.
     
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  30. Blue_Tech

    Blue_Tech Member
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    It will be interesting to see what exactly is introduced when Sprint Nextel gets serious. The wireless industry is evolving so quickly that there will be a cost effective solution to merging their CDMA and IDEN networks.

    Whether it is VoIP of some sort via WiMax is yet to be known or WCDMA perhaps. Personally I think the packet switched networks are where its all headed eventually. Continually adding services to the RF Carrier as is done now will not work forever. Bandwidths are getting too small to support the content that customers are demanding. Alot of CDMA 1X sites are only using one carrier channel per site, delivering voice and data services via the same channel. They want to push these phenominal data rates which is in turn eating up the bandwidth so they add more carrier frequencies which costs alot of money and time (database engineering is very meticulous and time consuming). And other times, the option of adding the second carrier is not viable if not enough spectrum is available in a particular area. Thats not so much a problem with larger carriers but the smaller guys are taking the spectrum hit.
     
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