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Sprint in Northern Michigan

Discussion in 'Sprint Forum' started by mpickl, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. mpickl

    mpickl New Member

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    Thinking about switching to Sprint service, but we spend a lot of time up in Northern Michigan (Petoskey/Walloon Lake area). Does anyone have any experience with Sprint in those areas? Does it work at all through someone else's towers? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. syncmaster

    syncmaster New Member

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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    Service in Petoskey is pretty good, but only as good as iPCS wants to make it. Travel around the area and you roam on Alltel quite a bit, I just spent a week in the area in August and didn't have any problems while roaming on Alltel, and never didn't have service.

    Now that the data roaming is coming into play also it'll be less of a loss to use roaming, now if only Sprint and Verizon would get along and allow data roaming, I know, fat chance.

    -Charlie
     
  3. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    mpickl,

    Why don't you consider just going with Alltel in the first place. I've not heard many good things about Sprint's affiliate in Michigan so you will probably get a weak signal in many places and you can't leave your phone on the Alltel network without worrying about the 50% rule.

    Alltel has very good coverage there and very nicely priced plans. Alltel also allows data roaming on Verizon and Sprint unlike Sprint which doesn't allow it on Verizon. Send a private message to Strunke on these forums, he's from an area close to there I think. But Alltel's coverage is nice there and there plans offer MyCircle and more minutes than Sprint for the price. You should give Alltel a try in that region if you're thinking about switching, especially if Sprint primarily uses the Alltel towers there.
     
  4. syncmaster

    syncmaster New Member

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    Location:
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    Nextel, Sprint PCS
    The 50% rule is no more, it is now unlimited roaming with all qualifying plans.
     
  5. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    I do know that with the fair & flexible plans they no longer charge you for roaming anywhere, but I was thinking they retained the 50% rule to protect themselves from excessive roaming to allow them to cancel those contracts? I could be wrong but I would still try to avoid iPCS in MI because of coverage issues.
     
  6. syncmaster

    syncmaster New Member

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    Right, I would avoid iPCS at all costs, but if you are in areas that are generally not covered by iPCS but rather corporate Sprint areas then it shouldn't be a problem. About the roaming, Sprint corporate has unlimited, affiliates such as iPCS may have other rules.

    -Charlie
     
  7. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Hello, yes I would avoid Sprint if you will be spending a lot of time in Northern Michigan. Alltel is the best choice there. You will run into the problem where your phone will try to latch on to an unusable Sprint signal and be unable to roam onto the free roam Alltel coverage.

    There is no native Sprint coverage in Petosky itself, so you will roam for free on Alltel there if your phone doesn't latch onto the weak Sprint signal coming from Bay View. You will also be on Alltel in Walloon Lake. The closest coverage there is in Boyne and it is very limited.

    Overall I really wouldn't reccommend Sprint for northern michigan you will run into dropped calls/garbled calls and unusable signal very often. You would probably have better luck with Nextel. But even Alltel beats Nextel out there. If you ever travel to the UP you will have a paperweight with Nextel. The Sprint phone would roam on Alltel.

    Who do you currently have Dobson/CellOne or Alltel or someone else?

    You can check Sprint and Nextel coverage maps here http://coverage.sprintpcs.com/IMPACT.jsp?mapzip=49770&returnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww1.sprintpcs.com%2Fexplore%2Fcoverage%2FServiceArea.jsp%3FFOLDER%253C%253Efolder_id%3D1460119%26CURRENT_USER%253C%253EATR_SCID%3DECOMM%26CURRENT_USER%253C%253EATR_PCode%3DNone%26CURRENT_USER%253C%253EATR_cartState%3Dgroup

    Don't use the "hybrid" map it doesn't show you real coverage. Select Sprint or Nextel to see the coverage. Keep in mind the dark green in northern Michigan has dots in it, which means "Signal strength not available". Thats Sprint talking not me:)
     
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  8. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Hey syncmaster...where about in Petosky did your phone start picking up native Sprint? If the city itself doesn't have any weak Sprint spots were the phone latches on and goes from Alltel to Sprint then it might be a non issue for those two cities. Because he will definately be on Alltel in walloon.....
     
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  9. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    I'd go with Alltel. Alltel dominates any other provider in Northern Michigan, and has awesome service in Potosky, I go there 4 times a month, nobody really has Sprint in northern michigan because their sevice sucks.
    The only good carriers from first (being the best) and last (being the worse)
    1. Alltel
    2. Cellular One
    3. Nextel

    That is it. :)
     
  10. mpickl

    mpickl New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions/opinions. We are currently on Nextel family plan. We spend 3 days/week At Walloon. Nextel works okay, but our daughter who is at school in Ann Arbor has trouble with Sprint service when indoors in AA. She desparately wants to switch to Sprint, since we can do that within the Sprint/Nextel family with no penalty of ending Nextel contract (we just re-uped for 2 years). It doesn't sound like Sprint will work for us from the comments on this thread. Thanks for the help. Go Blue!
     
  11. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint and alltel
    How long ago was it that you re-uped, if it was in the last 30 days it might still be considered your trial period and you can return your phones and everything. But Nextel probably will be pushy about not letting you cancel without paying a $200 ETF per line unless you go to Sprint.
    If she is wanting to switch to Sprint because it offers better coverage, Alltel does roam for free off of Sprint in Ann Arbor as well as Verizon. So you would be using Alltel coverage in the more rural places where it is best and she would be using Sprint or Verizon towers at the school where it is best. The best of both worlds if you were free to go with any provider. But unless you don't care to pay the ETF that doesn't sound like an option.
    If you do switch over to Sprint though, I think there is a way to force your phone over to the Alltel network in Walloon, but I'm not sure that you can do that, how to do that, or if you would want that because of all the hassle and no guarantee that would work. It does sound like a sticky situation though.
     
  12. syncmaster

    syncmaster New Member

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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    I was picking up the Sprint signal from the South side of town on 131 as well as all along 31 in town and all the way to Charlevoix (had service there too), it dropped Sprint about 2 or 3 miles east of Petoskey though and used Alltel. This was all on my A900. I also had a very weak signal in Boyne, but it worked. While in Petoskey I had the signal in several places, we went to Pizza Hut one night for dinner and had it there as well as just driving around town. Keep in mind that any Sprint PCS service in Northern Michigan is all iPCS.

    Without a doubt my Nextel phones worked better though, except for at Boyne Mountain, where I could only briefly pick up a Nextel signal and had full Alltel on the A900 and my S620.

    The weird thing about my S620 is that it was roaming on Alltel (had an Alltel ip), but the PCS Connection Manager said I wasn't roaming, see here: http://www.charliej.net/sprint/alltel.jpg

    -Charlie
     
  13. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    Nextel is fairly good in northern lower michigan, but in the U.P it's got nothing at all. Nextel does not roam.

    Sprint doesn't have good coverage in the northern lower, but they roam off of Alltel, and Alltel has better coverage than Nextel. Correct me if i'm wrong but Sprint roams off of Alltel in the U.P??

    I don't know how often you would go to the UP but it's just another thought.
     
  14. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Yes that's correct. There is no other CDMA provider in the UP.
     
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