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Refusal of Service in Conn., not in Mass

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by abroadwithaview, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    I am visiting Canaan, CT from England. I have a Treo 650 and my network in the UK has an agreement with Cingular. As it happens I have another US Cell phone which is also a Cingular phone and my brother has a Treo 650 -- US Cell -- The Cingular reception is strong and the two US phones can be used with no problem. However, my English treo is refused connection -- Now the odd thing is that if I travel about 4 miles up Route 7 into Massachusetts, I connect to the cingular network no problem!

    I have contacted my network in England and also Cingular and can not get a satisfactory explanation as to why this should be. I know Connecticut has a reputation for being a bit of a 'black spot'. Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem could be?:confused:
     
  2. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    Perhaps the area in question is using 800Mhz, & The English fone can only access 1900Mhz, while the US fone can do both??
     
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  3. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    The Treo 650 is a quad phone which can be used world-wide. Besides, I was able to connect just a few miles up the road in Massachusetts!
     
  4. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Even though some devices are quadband, some carriers may modify the software to restrict certain frequency bands. That's seems to be what's going on here. I know certain areas of CT only have 850Mhz on Cingular while once you cross over to MA, both 850 and 1900 are in use, which seems to imply your device is only picking up 1900Mhz.

    Another thing you may want to check is if the Treo has some setting to select which bands you want to use.
     
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  5. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Usually GSM phones have 2 selections, one for 1800 and 900, and one for 850 and 1900, correct? So if he is able to pick up a 1900 signal, the phone should also be set to pick up 850 as well. But, I have no owned a GSM phone since my 1900 only Nokia 5190, so what do i know! :D
     
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  6. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    Indeed there are two selections on the phone and I have tried them both! To no avail. So frustrating -- The phone is definitely picking up the signal -- I just get a message that my phone is 'out of coverage, try again later' and then sometimes 'no service - SOS only'.

    It would seem that Connecticut Cingular needs to participate in International agreements or something.
     
  7. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    An odd problem. I have routine visitors from England and elsewhere and they have no problems...but that is more south than where you are.

    You might try this. If your brother's 650 and the Cingular phone both work fine in Canaan, place your UK SIM in either of them and see what happens. Of course, those phones will need to be sim unlocked, but if they are, and it works, then it is a phone problem.

    Just a thought, that you may have tried already
     
  8. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    I've had some 'interesting' phone conversations about this. First, I called Cingular International Service, who told me that it was a problem that Orange UK would have to investigate and then they would have to instigate an inquiry with Cingular as to the problem because they would have to look at the network from their side as it was their system, etc. etc. Then I called Orange -- of course their phone number is a 'mobile' number so I'm sure you can imagine it's costly -- but at least I've got an International phone card!

    Orange, UK was no help at all -- I was told that it's the phone that is enabled to connect to a network abroad and has nothing to do with them and there is nothing they can do -- it's probably due to a weak signal and/or the fact that their own customers get priority over foreign roamers.:loony:

    So I'm going to take a little trip down the road to Winsted, Connecticut and see if there is any improvement and if not maybe I'll drive to Torrington and see if anything happens there.

    All the feed back is much appreciated.
     
  9. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    It still sounds like, for whatever reason, your fone is only allowing access on 1900 & not 800.
    In some areas , the fone will pick up a 1900 GSM signal such as T-mobile, & the fone will display Emergency only or no coverage message, since Cing may not allow free roaming on the other system in that particular area. This explains why you see the fone picking up a signal, but not allowing use of it.
    This is also seems to be the only explination as to why "other" fones get CING fine in the exact same locations, but not this one particular model only.
    As another poster mentioned, try the SIM in another 800/1900 fone, if the "problem" moves from fone to fone with the SIM, there is something in that Sim's program that is not allowing 800Mhz.... On the other hand, if all is fine with that SIM in another fone, then the access to the 800Mhz channels problem lies in that one particular fone.
     
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  10. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    Location:
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    I think you must be right. Unfortunately, my phone is locked and my brother with the other Treo is travelling so I can't swap sim cards around to test. I'm a bit nervous about unlocking the handset myself, however, I understand that Orange will unlock the phone for me on the basis that I can not use the phone with their sim card when here. We'll see about that! ;)

    It does blow me away, though that I can use my phone no problem just 4 miles away in Massachusetts. (But no luck across the border into New York State).

    Cheers and thanks
     
  11. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    One final thought. Are you an Orange Pay-As-You-Go customer? If that is the case (and Orange allows international use for pay as you go), it might mean your coverage map is less than Cingular's post pay map.

    It has to do with roaming partners
     
  12. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    Location:
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    No, I'm not pay as you go -- I've a monthly contract.
     
  13. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Ok. Well I'm sorry that service in our 'New England' is not as friendly as England has been to me when roaming over there.

    Have a good visit.

    P.S. It is possible that the problem does not reside with Cingular, but one of Cingular's local roaming partners that is not letting you in. That could be a simple accounting error. Does your phone's display always show Cingular or perhaps Tmobile, Alltel, etc.

    You might visit the cingular store in
    Torrington. They have a computer coverage map that will tell you if it is pure native or roaming coverage in your area.
     
  14. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    My phone shows 'Cingular' -- but thanks for the info about Torrington. I'm going to try to drive over there later today and check out that map. Now for me it's really a matter of wanting to know WHY!!!! :D
     
  15. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    This could also be a misconfigured LAC in Cingular's network prohibiting access to roamers from Orange UK. Of course, Cingular's customer service won't know about this, but it is a possibility.

    If I am not mistaken, Canaan is in Litchfield County in CT which is one of the areas Cingular had to sell to Alltel after the merger with AT&T Wireless at the end of 2004. However, Cingular still has the other 850Mhz license in that area since they only sold their "AT&T Wireless" license in Litchfield which was also 850Mhz, so Cingular should have native service anyway. I don't believe there is any other GSM network in that area you can roam on except T-Mobile which I doubt has any reliable coverage there.

    In addition, I've known Cingular to use only 850Mhz in rural areas, so in western MA, they are probably using 850Mhz only as well, which probably means the Orange UK Treo is picking up 850 in MA, but not in CT. So I kinda doubt this is a 850Mhz vs 1900Mhz band issue.

    Now, once across the NY border from west MA, the story is different. I am not sure Cingular has native coverage in that area of NY state. It might be Dobson's area.
     
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  16. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    Thank you thank you thank you !!! This sounds like an explanation I can believe.

    Today I did drive over to Torrington and visited the Cingular store. The girl there did try to help, but she got the same kind of run-around-answer when she called the international service number that I got.

    BUT, what gives further credence to bobolito's explanation is that while in the store I turned on the phone and two networks showed up: T-Mobile and Cingular. And guess what -- T-Mobile let me in and Cingular would not.

    It would seem that Connecticut's cell phone network is as messed up as it's landline service. :thumbsdow

    Now to convince Orange that they ought to intercede on my behalf :D
     
  17. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    The last 2 times I landed in Paris, and turned on my Cingular phone and after it locks onto SFR, BT or OrangeF, the phone displays a short 'updating SIM' message.

    Abroadwithaview, I assume your phone worked ok when you landed in JFK or Bradley airports?

    What did the Torrington store tell you about native or roaming coverage at your address in Canaan?
     
  18. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    To my great embarrassment, I did not check my phone when I landed at JFK. :O I have a US tracfone that had lots of credits that were about to expire on the 30th of April and it never occured to me to check that my Treo was in working order -- really dumb on my part. (The main reason that I wanted to use the Treo was to be able to check my email -- I have found another way of doing that, but I wanted to have the Treo as a back up when travelling around)

    The Cingular store in Torrington told me that there was a Cingular tower in Canaan -- which doesn't surprise me because I've always had the strongest of signals here with US cell phones. One of the few places in northwestern Connecticut where there is a good signal. I believe I've read some where that T-Mobile is planning to have coverage in this area in the near future -- but who knows how near is near!

    I think the best solution for me is to get the Treo unlocked and to get a US simcard. But I suspect that too will be problematic.
     
  19. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    When you were in Torrington you said you were able to pickup T-Mobile. How about in Canaan? Does T-Mobile have service there?
     
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  20. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Perhaps, but it is always nice to have things work the way that they should!

    Probably the best bet is to contact Orange and have them work it out with Cingular for future visits. I bet a data file needs to be updated, and it has to do with the confusion after the merger with ATT and then the sell off Altel in that Canaan area.

    Someone has not udated the information that Cingular operates in that area and the Orange and Cingular roaming agreements apply. Bascially the same thing that bobo is saying.
     
  21. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    No, unfortunately, Canaan cannot pick up T-Mobile at the present time. Rumor has it that T-Mobile has plans for the area in the near future.

    I absolutely agree that something or another has not been updated with all the take-overs. But of course no one 'in the know' is going to admit to anything! It will be interesting to see if the problem is rectified for my next visit -- probably around Thanksgiving.

    Thanks for all the feedback on this. This is a great forum :biggrin:
     
  22. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    You can access this forum back in the UK. Let us know if your Orange Treo works as you drive down to JFK!
     
  23. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    I bet you it is a localized problem in the Canaan area. You could get service on the Treo back in the southern CT area and in NYC.

    This issue is something I would take up to Stan directly. The office of the president at Cingular has an email address you can write and explain your situation in a nice way. Chances are an experienced representative could contact you. Usually something in writing gets more attention than a passing phone call.

    stan.sigman@cingular.com

    Now, they may not get this issue resolved right away, but like you said before, it might be something they could take care of for future visits.
     
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  24. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    If I hadn't been having lunch with my Mom and my sister I would have replied using my Treo in Farmington, Connecticut! But again, it was T-Mobile I was connected to -- I tried to use the Cingular network but was again rejected :(

    I'll be in touch with you when I'm back in the UK to let you know how connections went on the way to JFK as well as in the terminal building! And many thanks for the email address. I will write (in a nice way :wink:) and keep you informed of what happens!
     
  25. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    See, this is where CDMA just kicks ___. It either just works, or it dosent work. None of this rejected from network crap. Even if you cant find a network with a roaming agreement, you can spend $4 a minute and make a call on the American Roaming Network.
     
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  26. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Same thing can happen on CDMA or worse. If your PRL is either outdated or set to deny roaming on a carrier with no agreement it will deny roaming and you won't be able to register on that network no matter what you do. GSM doesn't need PRLs that get outdated. :p

    At least with GSM you have the option to buy a prepaid SIM which is far cheaper than making those expensive $4/min roaming calls. With CDMA you'll have to buy a whole new prepaid phone.
     
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  27. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    And of course a person from England is not very likely to have a CDMA phone anyway, since GSM is the common wireless system.
     
  28. abroadwithaview

    abroadwithaview New Member

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    Greetings from the UK :)

    Well, here goes on the trip to JFK:

    No service from Canaan to the middle of New Milford on route 7 and then T-Mobile came in.

    In Danbury T-Mobile and Cingular were available, but only T-Mobile would let me in!

    Once in New York state no service until about half way to JFK and then I could get service from both T-Mobile and Cingular.

    In the airport itself the best reception came from Cingular.

    I plan to write to the email address from bobolito today or tomorrow and will let the forum know what happens.

    In the meantime, cheerio!
     
  29. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Thanks for the interesting report. FYI,when you write, I've been on that same route from New Milford, Danbury, I684 in New York to JFK, many times.

    I have nearly continuous Cingular coverage (or perhaps with roaming partners) the whole way. Clearly something is wrong with the roaming agreement database that Orange UK has with Cingular (and cingular's roaming partners).
     
  30. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Thanks for the Update,
    Cingular recent PR says
    Cingular customers traveling along Rte 7, as well as portions of Rte 202 and Rte 37, will benefit from two new sites in New Milford on Boardman Road and Park Road. In Harwinton, a new site on Hungerford Road improves coverage on Rte 4, as well as portions of Rtes 222 and 72. Cingular has also added a site in Thomaston on Chapel Street and on Industrial Park Road in New Hartford.


    http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/n...ew-cingular-cell-sites-litchfield-county.html
     
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