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Sprint vs Verizon in NH

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by ces, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. ces

    ces New Member

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    Any advice out there on the best plan for NH (mostly Concord area, but also interested in how service is statewide as well as coastal ME)? I like some features of Sprint - free digital roaming, and free evening calls start at 7 instead of 9 - but it seems Verizon has the market locked in terms of best coverage. The Sprint salesman says that doesn't matter, as they roam on Verizon, but I don't know how this translates into actual use. Experience and opinions?
     
  2. macsesso

    macsesso Senior Member
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    You might get useful information here.

    http://www.cellguru.net/
     
  3. ces

    ces New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, macsesso. Cellguru is a fantastic website; that's how I found this forum. What I am wondering, specifically, is if the Sprint coverage in NH is truly equivalent to Verizon as I was told, since Sprint uses 1900 CDMA and Verizon has the 850. I haven't seen much feedback about Sprint on the site - good news...or not so good? A second question now, is how good the US Cellular coverage is in south/central NH? USC seems to be the top choice in the White Mtns, but as of the last entry that I read, it was still not operational in Rockingham and Stafford counties.
     
  4. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    Location:
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    USC has native 850 service in all NH counties EXCEPT Rockingham and Strafford, as you mentioned. USC does have some 1900 towers, I know of at least one in Portsmouth. USC does not have 850 service around Portland, its 1900 there. The basic USC plans do not have N&WE minutes, but have free incoming instead. That does not work well for most people I know. If you are going to spend any amount of time in the two eastern NH counties, and Boston, you really need the national plan.

    The Sprint salesman is correct, Sprint will roam. Last I checked, the Sprint PRL lists USC with a higher priority than Verizon, so you'll probably be roaming on USC. The problem with Sprint roaming is that if there is ANY Sprint signal at all, its going to lock on, at least for awhile, and you can miss calls, and it kills battery life. If there is no Sprint signal then thats better, as Sprint will look for its signal once in a while, not find it, and continue roaming. I hear that Sprint will now data roam on Verizon for free (1x only, no EV/DO).

    Any of those services will probably work fine for you in Concord. The Sprint coverage map is pretty good, the Verizon map is ok, and the USC map is horrible.
     
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  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Even if Sprint native coverage is not the best in your area, they do offer plans with Free Roaming, and in a lot of areas around the country, Sprint's roaming is much more liber than Verizon. Most, if not all new Sprint phones now come with an option to "Force Digital Roaming". This could be used in a situation, which dmarkson explained above. If you are interested in Sprint, who is a great option with their free roaming, be sure to get a phone that can force roaming like that and you'll be in great shape!!!!
     
  6. ces

    ces New Member

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    Thanks, both of you. And dmarkson, I have ben poring over the cellguru site. It is phenomenal-what a great service to provide for all! I was planning to post there, but lucked out with your reply while I was waiting for my account to activate.

    A couple more questions if you'll let me tax your patience. Force Digital Roaming: in essence, that means I can insist on VWL (or USC in the north country) coverage, using my Sprint phone? Because, right now I am using an out of state Sprint phone and account, and am tired of what appear to be dead pockets in areas where I am almost certain there is coverage between the carriers. Is that what is causing all those delayed voicemail messages, the ones that come in much later (and were delivered when I was in a so-called covered area)?

    This may also help the patchy service (at best) I've been getting in midcoast Maine-past Portland? Or does DFR lock on one frequency or the other, i.e can it switch between 850 and 1900?

    Also, I will need a family plan, between my work and teens on travel teams. Does that change any of the advice given?

    It seemed that the age-old split between a desirable plan and better coverage, but never both togehter, may be solved with FDR-I definitiely need to look into that. Now if I could only get SERO....
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    What Sprint phone do you have? If in the Network Selection setting or whatever, there is a setting that says Digital Roam Only or something like that, you can always force a roaming partner and use them 100% of the time if their coverage is better...Otherwise, just leave your phone on Automatic, and that *should* make it switch to a roam signal in Sprint dead pockets. If you have your phone on Sprint ONLY, it will not do anything in Sprint dead spots other than sit there with NO SERVICE.
     
  8. ces

    ces New Member

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    It's a Sanyo SCP-8100. The only roaming settings are Sprint, automatic, and analog, and it's been on automatic. I'm assuming a newer phone with Force Digital Roaming will perform differently?
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Yes, newer phones will perform differently because you can force something other than Analog, which in a lot of areas isn't all that great anymore.
     
  10. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    I can make my V3m roam on Verizon in the city if need be. The force roam is NICE now.
     
  11. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Especially now that Vision will even work while in roaming mode. :)
     
  12. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    Verizon's AC II PRL indicates Rural Cellular Corp. (dba UNICEL) has service in Portsmouth, NH (SID 484), yet when Portsmouth's zip code is input at UNICEL's web site, it indicates the zip code is out of their service area...

    Otherwise, Verizon is king of coverage in New England. :)
     
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  13. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    that's because UNICEL gsm roams on Cingular in Portsmouth, NH.
    And Unical has ended Analog roaming with VZ.

    there's always a 1 month trial period
    to cancell.
     
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  14. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    In my pesrsonal experience, USCC runs circles around Vzw in many parts of Northern New England. Go to Weirs Beach, Downtown Laconia or Downtown Franklin and put your Vzw phone next to someone with a USC phone, you will see what I mean.
     
  15. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    As usual, everyone's mileage may vary. :)

    I recall in the Spring of 2005, a TracFone activated on Verizon, briefly roamed on USC along sections of I-89 in New Hampshire. It picked up both SID's 445 (USC/Manchester) and 1484 (USC/NH-Coos).

    Since then, it has been all-Verizon, even with my Verizon postpay service.
     
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