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Northern Arizona coverage (short)

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by AnthroMatt, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    I drove up to Page from Phoenix today. I had native Sprint until north of Flagstaff, where I first roamed on Verizon (SID 1026) and then as I got closer to Page, I went over to Alltel, which is what I am on up here (no Sprint in these parts).

    What I find odd is that the Alltel SID up here is 53, which is the same SID as down in Phoenix. Yet Alltel has a SID for Coconino County (1025). I am not sure if the 1025 is inaccurate or if my phone is giving an odd reading or if there is some other reason the Phoenix SID is being used up here...maybe it covers a lot more land than do other carriers' SID for the Phoenix area?

    Anyway, Alltel is great up here. They even have EVDO service, which surprised me. Sprint still hasn't put EVDO in Flagstaff (former affiliate market) yet, but Alltel has it up here. Good for them.

    Tomorrow I am heading up (by plane) to Bullfrog Marina in Utah...I have no clue if anything will work up there or not.

    P.S., my GoPhone from ATT no worky up here. I am not sure who the GSM carrier is up here? Dobson/CellOne? I thought ATT bought them though?
     
  2. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    its a go phone, the service area is much smaller.
     
  3. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    I know it is. regular ATT users work up here on "partner coverage' which is why I asked who the provider here is. I looked and it says ATT and TMobile are licensed here, the ATT coverage map shows this area as partner coverage...so what does that mean?

    BTW, I don't care that GoPhone has a smaller coverage area since it isn't my primary phone, but I think it is lame that if ATT (or any company, I don't want to seem like I am picking on ATT) offers a service somewhere, the exclude their prepay customers from using it. What purpose does that serve? I can understand not permitting roaming or charging hefty fees for it (like Alltel does with their prepay phones) but to deny the actual native network seems puzzling.
     
  4. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    ah lol sorry i was confused. i did a look up of where you mean.

    id guess old Alltel GSM networks is who they roam on there probably.

    also the reason they dont give you the full network capability is to intise people to move up to post paid plans, but generally from the maps the go-phones look like 75% network, pick your plans look like 98% and post paid full. its just a part of business strategy for cell company's i suppose.
     
  5. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    I figured that was the case, but I wouldn't be enticed to switch to AT&T if I brought my prepaid phone here, it didn't work, and so I concluded AT&T doesn't work up here.
     
  6. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    i can see what you mean. thats definetly a roaming area, but post paid you wouldnt notice.
     
  7. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Interesting, at&t must have made some changes since I was there just about a year back. Page was one of the 3 places that had "410".

    I had my Verizon phone with me, and roamed on Alltel in Page also, did not note the SID.

    At the risk of being wrong again :p, I am going to say I am positive there is no native at&t coverage in Bull Frog Marina.


    Good report btw.
     
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  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Verizon actually has two cell sites near Page in Arizona, and one outside of Big Water, UT and another one on Navajo Mountain so I am surprised to hear that you were needing to use ALLTEL in Page.
    In the summer of 2006 there was no Cingular native service in Page, and there was no native at&t service in Page there a few months ago when I went there for the day.
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    ALLTEL does use SID 53 in Page. Both Verizon and ALLTEL have EVDO service in Page. I have not seen, nor used SID 1025 anywhere I've been to in Coconino County on ALLTEL.

    Bullfrog Marina you will get service from Verizon's and ALLTEL's cell sites located on Navajo Mountain and Commnet Wireless has a tiny installation at Bullfrog Marina as well (not sure if Sprint allows roaming on them). Enjoy your stay there, it's beautiful.
     
  10. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    I was on Alltel because I recall a forumite friend giving me deatiled instructions on how to force my phone to Alltel and recommending I leave it on Alltel in UT and AZ. ;)

    About at&t, I wonder if I noted that wrong then, I have 310-410 writen down for Moab, Kayenata, & Page.
     
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  11. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I wonder who that forumite may have been. ;)

    To be honest with you, as far as I know Moab is the only 410 "hot spot." Kayenta is roaming on Cellular ONE of NE AZ and Page and the Lake Powell area roams mainly on ALLTEL's GSM roamer network.
     
  12. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    So I got 1 out of 3 right? Geez, what can I say, my mind must have been on vacation also.:D

    Here is what else I I had noted down:

    Lincoln & Kearney, NE 310-450..................Viaero Wireless

    Leadville, CO, 310-590..................................Western Wireless

    Pagosa Springs, Cortez, CO 311-040..........Commet Wireless (The only one that was "EDGE" btw)

    4 Corners, Chinle, 310-320............................Cellular One of NE AZ

    Zion & Bryce, UT, 310-590..............................Western Wireless

    I do remember being on Alltel GSM sometime and the reception was very poor. The reception at Moab & Pager were both very good.

    How do these compare with your experience?


    PS: Sorry Mr. Big Meanie, didn't mean to hijack your thread on coverage report.
     
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  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Personally I have not used GSM in most areas you've mentioned. I would assume that Commnet's GSM network was pretty good in the areas you used it.

    As for Cellular One of NE AZ I have heard pretty good things and at&t pays quite a bit per minute to roam on them. I don't think T-Mobile even allows roaming on them.

    It does not surprise me that your experiences with ALLTEL GSM in Southern Utah were not the best, their GSM network is simply put up for roaming revenue and they don't care how it sounds. I've had a GSM phone with me on a lot of my travels through ALLTEL GSM roaming areas and had issues with voice quality and connecting calls.

    Moab, as well as Highway 191 connecting Moab to Interstate 70 have at&t native service, which is the smart thing to do, considering the thousands of people who go to Moab every weekend and at&t probably got sick of paying roaming.

    Commnet has GSM at Wahweap Marina(before this Commnet site GSM was dead at Wahweap) and I *think* Commnet even has GSM in Page itself, so you may either have been on ALLTEL or Commnet and Cellular One has native service in Page as well I think. I know that even last time I was in that area, no at&t service anywhere close, but I didn't pay attention who they were roaming on.
     
  14. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Just back from my brief excursion to Bullfrog. My phone roamed on Commnet (SID 3002) up there.

    No data services whatsoever, SMS and voicemail notifications worked fine, calling out worked, but based upon the messages that people left me, every single incoming call went straight to VM.

    Charlyee...I didn't even bother to bring my ATT phone. ;)
     
  15. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Wirelessly posted (Treo 750: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.6) UP.Link/6.3.1.17.0)

    That's too bad, you missed an opportunity for a genuine "at&t sux" post :p
     
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    #15 charlyee, Apr 16, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  16. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Good report Anthro.

    Also. good to see you back Andy!:)
     
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  17. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Yeah it seemed like your sms was fine. Do you think comnet just does not have data period or does not allow data roaming?
     
  18. mframe

    mframe Senior Member
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    Actually, I think AlltelU is quite generous with free roaming (on Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, etc). I was looking at the AlltelU coverage map just the other day, and it is showing even more free roaming than it used to. From that map, it almost looks like the only (very little) extra charge roaming areas would be about the same few spots where even National plan postpaid would pay extra.
     
  19. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Not sure about Comnet and their lack of data...I am going to guess they don't have it though, since when data is available but roaming is not permitted, usually Sprint phoens will show the data icon with a slash through it. Unless that has changed.

    I roamed again on Comnet in Apache County (US 191), AZ on my extended drive back to Phoenix. No data there either. I will provide more details about my trip back when I am off work.
     
  20. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    All right, now for the rest of my journey.

    I headed east on AZ 98 towards Kaibento and US 160. Outside of Page, once I lost Alltel service I was on Verizon (SID 1740) until I crossed Chinle Wash west of US 160, when I was back to Alltel on SID 1039.

    I was on Alltel all the way to the Four Corners Monument. I then backtracked to US 191, and headed south towards Chinle. On US 191 I switched back to Comnet (3002). I found it interesting to note that Comnet was broadcasting the time in Arizona time, despite the fact that I was on the Navajo Nation, which observes DST.

    Anyway, I stayed on Comnet until the Ganado area (just south of the US 191/AZ 264 junction, where I switched over to Verizon wireless again (SID 110). I was on Verizon until about 3 miles north of the 191/I-40 junction, where I switched over to Sprint.

    BTW, this is about the same time my GoPhone started working for the first time today.

    I then took I-40 west until I got to Heber. I headed south on AZ 77/377/277. Once i got far enough away from I-40, my GoPhone was dead again and my Sprint phone was back onto Verizon (SID 1028). It stayed on Verizon until I got to Payson, AZ (AZ 260/AZ 87). In Payson I was back to Sprint, which also is now EVDO. The last time I was in Payson about 15 months ago, there was no EVDO service.

    South of Payson on AZ 87 I went over to Alltel (SID 53) for a while, before getting back to Sprint service around the Shea Rd/AZ 87 intersection. The remainder of my trip (all 15 miles of it) I stayed on Sprint.
     
  21. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Matt-
    Thanks for the great review.
     
  22. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Nice review Matt. I still have not ventured into to those parts of AZ.
     
  23. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    You should...absolutely beautiful out there.

    BTW, I should mention that much of US 160 between AZ 98 and the NM state line is without reliable service of any kind. I had long stretches with no service. Maybe analog is still up and running there...I don't know.
     
  24. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Interesting report.
    You were on Verizon's Navajo Mountain cell site east of Page with SID 1740(Southern Utah).
    When you refer to ALLTEL 1039 I am betting you actually mean SID 1739 as that is ALLTEL's Southern Utah SID.
    Commnet has done a great job building out some of the rural areas in Northern AZ. I have roamed on their system numerous times myself.
    -A
     
  25. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Yeah, sorry, that was a typo...the Alltel SID was 1739.
     
  26. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    After those pictures you sent me I know where my next trip to AZ will be. :)
     
  27. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    With the way my plans to travel the state go, you will probably beat me to it. :(
     
  28. Scott Watson

    Scott Watson New Member

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    These are interesting reports since much has changed in the area lately. All of Commnet's sites except for the 2 at Chinle are outside of the Navajo nation and therefore should transmit "Arizona" time. I think their site at Gouldings is actually in Utah even though it is in Monument Valley, so i hope it transmitted "Utah" time.

    What is especially interesting to a user like me is that you are roaming with a Sprint phone and you get the best of Verizon, Alltel and Commnet. Alltel and Verizon phones don't roam on each other in the area, and those phones with an older PRL may not find some of the Commnet sites as well. A big win for Sprint.

    4CornersWireless (AKA Cellular One of NE AZ) covers that area very well mainly because they get federal funds to serve people too poor to afford a landline, but can get a cell phone for as low as $1 a month. They are one of the carriers who see no need to offer cheap roaming rates, so lots of phones are just plain dead in the area except AT&T post-paid.

    The 310-590 MNC's you reported in the areas are now Alltel. Alltel certainly makes a good chunk of change from GSM roamers, I can't help but think they could actually raise their roaming charges some day.

    I hope you didn't travel through Page without stopping at Antelope Canyon. It looks like an Indian tourist trap, but it's not. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In 30 minutes i took several HUNDRED pictures, each one gallery-quality. If you go, schedule your trip in around noon when the sun illuminates the canyon as if someone painted it. Of course the whole area is a great photo op.
     
  29. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Thanks for the additional information. I will make a note that 310-590 is now Alltel.

    I was very pleasantly surprised to find my GSM phone working as well as it did, specially in the Chinle area. I think I had the worst coverage at Bryce and at Cortez, CO.

    We went to Page specifically for the Antelope Canyon, I posted some pictures in this thread. Yes, it is beautifiul there and we would go back in a heartbeat.

    http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/the-roaming-zone/62916-pictures-from-my-vacation.html

    Btw: Welcome to WA. :)
     
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  30. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Do you think in the community of Many Farms, AZ, I was on a tower from Chinle? The two are only about 13 miles apart. The time was definitely on AZ time (as opposed to Navajo time) in Many Farms. I doubt I could have picked up a Commnet tower from somewhere outside of the Navajo Nation at that point, as that area is about 80 miles from the nearest "non-Navajo" territory.

    I didn't make it to Antelope Canyon on account of my work schedule being up in the air until the time I left Page (it didn't permit me to schedule a trip to AC in advance). I am only 5 hours away, so I plan on my next trip being for pleasure rather than business and my girlfriend and I will definitely go to Antelope Canyon. We will also duplicate some of my drive, so we can stop at Canyon de Chelly on the way back. :)
     

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