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Thinking of Cingular in central NJ...

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by dorkus, May 20, 2005.

  1. dorkus

    dorkus Junior Member
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    hi all,
    i was with VZQ for a couple years and didn't have any but wanted to find cheaper family plans so i could get my mother in central NJ (Princeton) a phone. i decided to try T-mobile but the signal in her house is very weak, and even for me in the NYC metro area i find it is very spotty. it's too bad because i like the phone i got (Samsung e315) for the most part.

    i'm not ready to give up on GSM just yet so i thought maybe i'd give Cingular a shot. their basic family plans aren't really much cheaper than VZW (we only need ~500 minutes total) and i can't find a phone that i like as much as the e315, but maybe i'll give the Samsung P207 a shot. should the coverage be pretty good relative to T-mobile in jersey, or should I just head back to VZW?

    cheers,
    dorkus
     
  2. zamboni77

    zamboni77 Supreme CadGuru
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    Cingular has great coverage in middlesex county, NJ
     
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  3. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    Princeton isn't in Middlesex County, it's in Mercer County.

    The area around Princeton and the next civilised part of the state (North Brunswick) is not well-covered by T-Mobile. Cingular should be better -- they have the old Comcast network. Try it, if you don't like it, then go back to VZW, who have solid coverage in northern Mercer and southern Middlesex counties.
     
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  4. dorkus

    dorkus Junior Member
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    thanks for the info guys. i think zamboni was just responding to my general query about coverage in jersey, not specifically princeton.

    one thing that has really bugged me about my e315 on T-mobile is the absolutely abysmal reception indoors in the city. i know there are physical limits to how well RF can propagate through structures, but it is far weaker than my old Samsung A530 on VZW... i am constantly losing people in my office where my VZW was a bit weak but servicable. is this a GSM issue and i'll have similar problems with Cingular, or maybe my phone is bad?
     
  5. zamboni77

    zamboni77 Supreme CadGuru
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  6. Critic

    Critic The Digital Ruler
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    Actually, just for the record, "Princeton" is in both, depending on what part of Princeton you're talking about. I think it might even nick a corner of Somerset, but don't quote me on that.

    I have VZW, and as far as coverage, I've had no complaints about coverage in Mercer or Middlesex counties. I have some friends with Cingular, and they've had no complaints with their service. My friend's wife has TMobile, and she's ok with it, but she doesn't use her cell phone all that much.

    Your best bet is to utilize the trial periods. Don't worry about number porting - you can always do that after the fact. Try out the services (say, Cingular and TMo) side by side in various places, and see what works better.
     
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  7. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    For the general part of the state, I can say Union Cty and others around here are good with Cingular as well.
     
  8. dorkus

    dorkus Junior Member
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    btw, i live in Jersey City (on the water right by the Holland Tunnel) and altho the T-mobile signal is strong outside (5 bars), inside my apartment it is terribly patchy... i can barely carry a conversation and half my calls have gone completely blank. i have had problems with Verizon calls dropping in certain parts of my apt before as well so i'm sure there are general RF issues, but T-mo is basically unusable. i hope i have better luck with Cingular...
     
  9. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Depends on where you are in Jersey City.
    Since it's mostly rooftop panels
    and buildings blocking another building.
    And Carriers don't share the roof
    w/ one another.
    Carriers here added Digital Only Panels
    in other buildings.
    I have friends who Live here.
    Other carriers are stronger in other apartments and
    some just drop calls.
    As what some says here 1900 MHz tends to go
    around Buildings rather than penetrating them
    or Better yet going through walls.
    All these carriers Now owns/operates
    1900 MHz with the exception of Nextel
    in this area.

    So good Luck.
     
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    #9 jones, May 21, 2005
    Last edited: May 21, 2005
  10. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Beyond the highways and main town centers, T-Mobile barely has any coverage in central/south Jersey. The same goes for Nextel and Sprint. Verizon and Cingular are the only carriers worth a look in this area.
     
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  11. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    If you check out this photo by bobolito, It shows a Cingular antenna right by where you live, if it's an 850 band antenna site & you are by the Mall, this may give you the coverage you need there. You can get a GoPhone & try it 1st before making your decision, then keep it as a back up or sell the phone on Ebay.
    http://gallery.wirelessadvisor.com/showimage.php?i=65&c=34
     
  12. dorkus

    dorkus Junior Member
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    funny, i drove right by that today. that does look promising, altho there is still the possibility my apartment building is shielding everything - my unit faces the river away from the tunnel area where this antenna is. actually i think my phone is often straddling between signals, maybe a NYC transmitter and one on the jersey side. i've notice my phone getting confused when i walk around my apartment, usually there's one bad spot between the the dining room and living room where my calls get dropped 50% of the time, even though it is at least 3 or 4 bars.
     
  13. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    I'll second that... my grandmother lived in one of the innumerable old people priso^H^H^H^H^H communities in southern Monroe and T-Mobile and Sprint had absolutely zip zero zilch nada as soon as you exited 8A off the Turnpike. Verizon had full coverage.
     
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  14. Darrkman

    Darrkman New Member

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    Have to disagree. I have Sprint and currently live in Middlesex. Been from exit 7a up to Hackensack and never had any problems. In the tri state area Sprint is pretty stable.
     
  15. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Are you talking about off the Turnpike a couple of miles? I know along the turnpike everyone has excellent covearage. And I do know Sprint has been adding alot of towers by me in Union County, don't know about Monroe or the towns by it.
     
  16. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Unless you go beyond the highways and main towns you won't see any problems with Sprint, T-Mo or Nextel in NJ. They seem to work better in north NJ than in central/south NJ, but still not good enough for me to recommend them. Once you use Cingular or Verizon in NJ then you really see what good coverage is all about especially once you hit central and south jersey where T-Mo, Sprint and Nextel are quite limited. You are just coincidentally moving within their skinny coverage area so you'll never see the lack of coverage.
     
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  17. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Sounds like you may be in a noisy RF area where your phone is picking up interference. On what floor you live? Sometimes if you are too high up, cellular networks work worse because your phone starts to pickup signals from too far away which causes interference with the local towers.
     
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  18. Critic

    Critic The Digital Ruler
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    Zaph - nice. I always thought Rossmoor and Clearbrook seemed a little too 'prison-camp'-like...like one of those white collar prisons, where it LOOKS nice, but it's not like you can leave...

    I think I know the spot you're talking about, too. Right along Forsgate Drive, where it picks up Applegarth. Maybe the snooty golfcourse people didn't want an antenna?
     
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  19. zamboni77

    zamboni77 Supreme CadGuru
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    yeah bobolito, I remember when I had cingular south jersey expecially 202. and backroads by barnaget was spotty..but verizon no problems

    I remember when bell atlantic didn't consider LBI to be home calling area back in the single rate days
     
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  20. Darrkman

    Darrkman New Member

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    Still disagree. Been to Skillman with Sprint...good service. Been to Morristown with Sprint...good service. So far the only place I didn't get good service with Sprint is Upstae NY (Binghamton) and Russelville, AK. Funy thing is a good friend had AT&T / Cingular and couldn't get service off of 7A at the Jackson Outlet Mall. Go figure.
     
  21. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    I was down there last Sunday and had no problems with coverage on Cingular Blue, and that area, Orange has 850 so he should have picked up there tower for coverage, I even had full coverage in Great adventure (could be they are on the tower in the parking lot)
     
  22. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Like I said, as long as you happen to stay within their range of coverage, you won't notice any problems. However, those of us who have different (and broader) traveling pattern than yours have discovered many more places where Sprint/T-Mobile/Nextel is weak to non-existant in NJ where Cingular/Verizon excel. Take a trip to Hunterdon, and Somerset county in the rural areas or go to Bridgewater or surrounding areas and stay away from the highways, go into the residential areas and you'll see your Sprint phone "Looking for Service" or roaming on Verizon with full signal. Maplewood, Garret Reservation Mountain in West Paterson, Franklin Lakes, are other places where Sprint is forced to roam on Verizon. If you make an observation and study the carriers people in rural NJ prefer, you'll see very few people using anything other than Cingular or Verizon. My job is located in a semi-rural area and most of the residents of this area have either Verizon or Cingular because they are the only ones that are worth paying a bill for in this area. It is very difficult to find a Sprint or T-Mobile customer that lives in West Milford, but very likely to find Verizon or Cingular customers. There's a reason for that. Point in case, I am not saying that Cingular and Verizon are perfect. There are some spots where they work worse than Sprint or T-Mobile, but I'm sure I can show you far more places in NJ where Cingular/Verizon work fine but Sprint, T-Mobile and Nextel can't pull a single bar. Just look at their coverage map.
     
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    #22 bobolito, May 24, 2005
    Last edited: May 24, 2005
  23. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    SPRINT HAS A TOWER lOCATION MAP
    with yellow dots which you can check.
    Sprint also is adding towers that we know.
    Cingular and VZW exit 7A by jackson outlet
    will see when we go to
    Six Flags Great Adventure
    this Summer.
     
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  24. Critic

    Critic The Digital Ruler
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    I seem to remember a thread from last summer where we discussed coverage at GA - I think we established that Sprint, Nextel and TMo had panels on a tower in the parking lot.
     
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  25. dorkus

    dorkus Junior Member
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    hi bobolito,
    yeah, that is a possiblity. there's a ton of wifi signals and what not in my area. i am also in close proximity to the city, so i pick up the spillover carrier signals from there as well. i'm on the 9th floor of a highrise, facing southeast on the Hudson river right by the Holland Tunnel.

    btw i just got my Cingular phone (a Samsung P207 and a Nokia for my mom, i forget which). the Samsung is kind of tacky looking (the shiny black plastic feels a little cheap) and the keypad is cramped, but it's otherwise ok.

    most importantly, i can actually carry on a phone conversation with the new phone/service. every call on the T-mobile Samsung E315 i tried was excruciatingly futile, i don't think i had a single call (even with 5 bars outdoors in midtown Manhattan) where i wasn't constantly dropping out. something is definitely wrong with that phone. in my apartment and in the city, the Cingular P207 has been pretty good - maybe not quite as reliable as my old Verizon service, but the sound quality is much better IMHO. i'm looking forward to trying in Jersey as i drive down the Turnpike to Princeton tonight. i'll be on the road a lot the next few days so it'll be a good test period.

    btw, going back to my apartment - while the Cingular phone is better than T-mobile, all three services (including my old Verizon) would drop out if i ever wandered into a certain area between my living room and dining room. there must be a nasty node or interference right there. it's conincidentally closest to my WiFi router, but that shouldn't really be the issue.

    let me just add that while the phone support reps were pleasant and knowledgable, Cingular's web order fulfullment is TERRIBLE. my two phones came with both SIMs and phones unregistered, the automated activation of my ported number did not work, and none of my features (voicemail, MMS, etc.) were activated. it took 3 different phone calls to get one phone completely working; the other one is not active yet as i had them remove the assigned phone number so i can attempt a 2nd port tomorrow.
     

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