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SW Minnesota customers pushed to Unicel???

Discussion in 'Alltel Forum' started by JasonWells, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    Location:
    South Dakota
    My Phone:
    AT&T i phone
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T, VZW
    Yesterday, a friend said we customers in parts of SW Minnesota are getting pushed to Unicel. I called and this is true. Ok, fine. However, I DO NOT want to be a Unicel customer. I checked Unicel plans, and they aren't as comprehensive on coverage or minutes, and many things like voicemail are extra$. So, any ideas or suggestions I can still do to get back to Alltel? When calling CS, it goes to Unicel. When checking minutes of use, it goes to Alltel. Certainly things are in transition, so maybe I can get with Alltel. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

    Perhaps this is why my phone will not accept the latest Alltel PRL update.

    Does anyone know Unicel's roaming partners?
     
  2. music4praise

    music4praise Senior Member

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    You are apparently part of the portion of the old Western Wireless network that Alltel had to divest when they bought Midwest Wireless. If you are under contract, Unicel will have to honor the plan you are on for the remainder of the contract. If you are not under contract, you are free to leave. However, I would suggest waiting until the transfer is fully complete before porting back to Alltel to avoid any weird issues. Hopefully you are not currently under contract at this time.
     
  3. Dogma

    Dogma Senior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
    Alltel/Verizon
    I would wait for the Midwest Wireless stores to change to Alltel stores, it should occur within the next month or so.
     
  4. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    Thank you for the help. I am now angry at Alltel. After extensive calling, they are honoring our plans as Unicel customers until Oct 1st. Our service will be supported by Alltel. I called Alltel and they have no record of me ever being a customer, nor could they help me in any form, except to say that if I didn't send back my phone to them, I will get charged the ETF! Unicel has been nice. They offered a national plan with 800 anytime minutes, free incoming calls, unlimited nights&wknds starting at 6pm and free incoming texts for $55. Voicemail is $4, though. They don't have a 50% roaming rule. They said if it works, use it as much as you like. If I moved out of area, or used roaming steady for one year, then they would send a letter.

    For roaming, they stated the phones will operate off of the strongest signal, with no particular preference to a certain carrier. Opinions on this? The nice thing is that a Moto V710 (reception monstor) is offered!

    I appreciate your opinions and advice!
     
  5. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T, VZW
    I was told July 26th is the day Midwest Wireless changes to Alltel...well, officially/visually anyway.
     
  6. Dogma

    Dogma Senior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    Moto Razr
    Wireless Provider(s):
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    The phone will go to whoever is highest in the PRL, and your phone should be on a Unicel tower whenever one is preset. The PRL lists carriers in order as far as the romaing totem poll goes, as these agreements are set up between carriers.
     
  7. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    No it goes with what is in the PRL, the person you spoke to is just trying to make a sale. The v710 is a nice phone, only knock is no evdo. I would wager that the roaming rule does exist as well, though they may be very very lax about it like alltel.
     
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  8. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    Thank you for the help. I greatly appreciate it. I also thought there would be a PRL list for roaming, and I believe you that there must be an order in the PRL for the Unicel phones-lol. This has been a most discouraging situation. If they have to honor the contract I am on, I will leave well enough alone. I was told they have the option to cancel out customers they don't want, but we will see. If there are any leads as to Unicel's PRL for roaming, let me know. I have had good luck with Alltel's roaming, especially compared to my friends with Verizon where there must be so many SIDs marked NEG, they were emmbarrassed to have no service. Anyway, thanks!
     
  9. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    AT&T i phone
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T, VZW
    I spoke with a nice Unicel rep that was helpful. She said the PRL in Unicel CDMA phones is 702, and she thought it roamed first on Verizon, and from there she had no idea. Any info?
     
  10. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    AT&T i phone
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T, VZW
    After having many reps tell me that Verizon is the only company with the same technology as Unicel, and that Sprint uses SIM cards and is the same as TMobile and AT&T, I found a nice rep that transferred me to Unicel tech.

    He(tech) said the PRL is quite expansive. It first prefers Verizon, then Alltel, USCellular, Sprint, etc. The handset will continue searching until it finds a signal on other regional carriers, if nothing else is available. He said there are 2-3 SIDs marked with NEG, but that is all. And if a customer has troubles with that area, they will modify the handset. I hope this holds true. It was finally nice to find someone with answers.

    This should provide coverage similar/same to Alltel. And I will have to learn to change the phone's settings to give a good signal. I like how NAM 2 on the Nokia 2865i lets me select A-side or B-side carrier to use. And NAM 1 is the standard Alltel settings. The NAM 2 works well in metro areas where the NAM 1 prefers Sprint, but Verizon may have a better signal. I hope a Motorola V710 is the same.
     
  11. Sudsman

    Sudsman New Member

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    I'm an Alltel customer from western WI who works in western MN (Alexandria), and I have a problem similar to this. Here's my situation:

    I have a MotoRAZR. In Alexandria - which is covered well by Sprint - I have no problems calling out. However, when I go back to where I live during the week - about 15 miles south in a rural area covered best by Unicel - I get a crappy signal. Sometimes I'll lose a call, then miraculously I show a strong signal. When I try to call I get a recording from Unicel: "We don't recognize your mobile equipment ... blah blah blah ... 12A, CDMA." I'm getting a strong signal, but they won't let me use their tower.

    The tech chick from Alltel was really very helpful. She had me press #073887*, security code 000000, then to Extended NAM, NAM1, then change my Country Code from 311 to 000. Still doesn't work. Any ideas?

    I want my phone to work well when I'm back home in WI, but am having trouble living with this while I'm away all week. I'd love to talk to my family in the evening, and it's too hot to stand outside in my "special spot" where I have no place to set my beer. :)

    HELP!!
     
  12. Dogma

    Dogma Senior Member
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    It sounds like you are in a marginal area of coverage for Sprint, which is numero uno on Alltel's PRL list. Your phone appears to be confused and must be going from Sprint to Unicel (when you have full bars) and then back to sprint service (when you have poor coverage). Thats a tough spot and there may be nothing they can do. I'm not sure where Unicel lies on the PRL list, and it sounds like you mobile is not accessible to their network.
     
  13. Sudsman

    Sudsman New Member

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    But if I can somehow gain access to Unicel's tower, won't I be OK? I'm getting a great signal from them; they just won't let me on. I assume PRL means "Preferred Roaming List" or something like that. My friend gets a terrific signal on his Unicel phone; all I ask is the same from America's Largest Network. :D

    As I say, the tech from Alltel has been really helpful. IMO, she's gone out of her way and then some to provide good service. I'm VERY pleasantly surprised.
     
  14. Sudsman

    Sudsman New Member

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    Well, I just heard back from her, and she had bad news.

    It seems Unicel's towers lack a piece of equipment or something (a FOX?) that would allow it to recognize my equipment. The aforementioned fix was the only workaround she knew about, and it looks to her like there's nothing they can do.

    I suppose I could call Unicel again. I did this once and talked to another very helpful person who lives not far from where I'm staying. At the time she didn't have much information, but if I gave her the recording number maybe it would help.

    What are these SIDs that were mentioned earlier, and this NEG designation? I'm really on a mission to fix this thing.

    By the way, I'm a new Alltel customer. I used to be on US Cellular, and my Kyocera didn't have quite as bad a reception problem, and never got the recording from Unicel. Then again, I believe it also accepted analog, which may be part of my problem. :headscrat
     
  15. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Wirelessly posted (MOT-24.0_/00.62 UP.Browser/6.2.3.4.c.1.123 (GUI) MMP/2.0)

    This problem may be solved eventually with verizon's purchase of unicel...doesn't help much now though.
     
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  16. Dogma

    Dogma Senior Member
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    That doesn't make sense to me, not to mentioned a FOX?:confused:...never heard of that before.

    If your mobile is scanning a PN from a nearby Unicel site it should also be able to register onto their network. IMO, your MIN or MDN is not entered correctly into the UNICEL switch. That maybe on accident or on purpose due to roaming agreements....that I can't tell you for sure. I would keep bothering them for some answers and try to get the issue resolved.
     
  17. Sudsman

    Sudsman New Member

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    I may have misheard her; she had a pretty thick Southern accent. At first I thought she said SOCKS, which I'd heard of, but not in this context.

    I wish I wasn't such a n00b; I really don't know what an MIN or MDN or any of these things are. That's why I'm here.
     
  18. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    MDN = Mobile Dialing Number. This is the number you and everybody else that has your number knows to dial.

    MIN = Mobile Identification Number. This is a number the SYSTEM uses to track the calls made and is used on handoffs. Often it is the same as the MDN but many times it is NOT the same - and you don't need to worry about not knowing it.
     
  19. Harstad

    Harstad New Member

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    The country code has to be either 310 or 311 and the IMSI has to be 00. On my phone the IMSI is labeled as IMSI_11_12.
     
  20. Sudsman

    Sudsman New Member

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    Thanks for the help, guys.

    I've reset my country code to 311. My IMSI is labeled 11_12:27. So I can change it from 27 to 00 and be OK?
     
  21. Harstad

    Harstad New Member

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    Change the 27 to 00 and it should work.
     
  22. Sudsman

    Sudsman New Member

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    Awesome - thanks! Just a couple n00b questions, though:

    1) Will this affect my phone in any other way?
    2) Do I need to do it when I'm in my home area (as with the *228 function), or reset it when I come home?

    Thanks again!
     
  23. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    Actually, MDN stands for Mobile Directory Number.
     
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  24. bikebryan

    bikebryan Senior Member
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    We'll have to agree to disagree on that. EVERY resource we have that defines MDN says DIALING, not directory.
     
  25. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    After a real quick search, phonescoop and wikipedia say directory. But it is irrelevant either one works....

    Sudsman- It should still work in your home area. But if you notice it acting funny just set it back to the way it was....
     
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  26. MOTOhooligan

    MOTOhooligan Former Mobile Data Addict
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    This is probably because you were (for some reason) routed to Alltel's normal customer service instead of the department which is handling the divested UNICEL customers until UNICEL (Verizon?) converts them to their own billing system.

    I have heard of other people from the divested market having similar issues... apparently not all of Alltel's CS is aware of the UNICEL divestiture. Just mention that you're part of the divested market in southern Minnesota and they should be able to get you routed to the correct department.
    You're right. It is irrelevant. It's just one of those pet peeves I have, like when people say, "ESN number." ESN stands for Electronic Serial Number so if you say, "ESN number," what you're really saying is, "Electronic Serial Number Number." :loony:
     
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  27. GoofyOne

    GoofyOne New Member

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    Location:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
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    Since you guys(gals) seem to be more knowledgeble on the subject of this divesting of users, please help. How about SE MN customers being pushed to Unicel?
    The history of my cell phone number: The number originally started with midwest wireless in Rochester, MN (507 area code); when my contract ended and because of my traveling (roaming charges from Midwest were making me very poor) I ported the number into Cingular; once again because of work I moved to SW Wisconsin, the problem then became that as I traveled away from the Interstate to my new house there was a lack of any signal what so ever (no roaming either) So, I ported the number into Alltel (note that I became an Alltel customer with a Wisconsin address, at my local Alltel office)
    So far my friendly CSR at my local Alltel store, tells me not to worry. But they can not access my information from their screens in La Crosse (they had to use the phone to access).
    I am unable to find any coverage/plan information because my Zip code is not in the covered area for Unicel, and the less friendly CSR from Unicel tells me I supposedly received or will receive information in the mail soon(4 weeks ago) on where to replace my current phone, because he tells me, my phone will stop working.
    Any suggestions, ideas, links that will help shed some light, will be greatelly appreciated:)
     

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