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Tri City Tn Coverage

Discussion in 'Southern US Wireless Forum' started by JearBear1, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    sqfreak,
    While I do agree with your overall point that different providers are better choices for different locations, I do think that he was referring primarily to the fact that Alltel plans are a much better deal and the general concept that Alltel consistently provides good coverage in areas they cover.

    It is interesting to hear your summary of coverage though. The reverse has been true for me in Charlotte and even though it's been several months since I used VZW down there, I still hear a number of complaints about them there. I also wander what might be going on in Winston-Salem because the call quality for me has been fine. Maybe there's a tower that's having a problem somewhere that the techs can't correct but I've not been on it. Perhaps just the tower near your house and Alltel is routing the calls to your # through that tower. Interesting though, I'll listen for that next time I'm down there.
     
  2. JearBear1

    JearBear1 New Member

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    Thanks for getting things back on track. This has really been helpful and informative. I still have a couple of questions. Advice on phone insurance? I still don't like the text situation. If someone sends me a text msg, I pay for it whether I want it or not? Or am I missing something? What about sending pics? Is there an additional cost for that adn does it use your minutes? I was comparing the costs between alltl adn verzn.
    Alltel 75 / 1000 min family 10 extra line 10 txt per phone = 95 + taxes
    Verzn 70 / 700 min family 10 xtr line 10 text =90 less 15% + taxes

    Not counting costs of phones. Vrzn seems to come in 15 less per month... That's assuming the circle of friends equals your mob to mob with verzn users...
    What am I missing???
    thanks
     
  3. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint and alltel
    Phone insurance is .... your call. I don't go with it. Remember that most phones come with a 1 yr. manufacturers warranty. But if anything happens to the phone in that second your or you damage it or lose it, it's worth it. But between the cost of insurance and the deductible I don't have it.

    You're not missing anything on texting, without a text messaging plan, texting does charge incoming and outgoing. With Alltel, Picture messages count the same as a text message with a texting plan and it doesn't use minutes, I think without a texting plan though, it does use a minute to send one along with the 25 cent charge for a pic message. I do believe the Verizon plans are very similar in this regard.

    About your comparison:
    Are you comparing prices for 2 lines or 3? Because those prices include the 2nd line so if you're throwing in 9.99 for the additional line, that would be the 3rd line.

    About the texting first, I saw you added in $10 for each carrier. Alltel has a $5.99 texting plan if 300 texts will do for the month. For Alltel's $10 texting plan, it offers 750 texts compared to Verizon offering 500 + free texting to Verizon customers. This many texts should do you but you might find each line can get by with 300 texts and only pay $6 through Alltel.

    About the plans, primarily you are comparing a 700 minute plan to a 1000 minute plan. For 2 or 3 phone lines, 700 minutes/month works out to very few minutes per line. If you need more than 700 minutes, the next step up is the 1400 minute plan for $89.99 which is comparable to the Alltel plan you are considering for $75. With the Alltel plan you are looking at, you get more anytime minutes, nights & weekends starting at 7pm, and MyCircle (which gave me 3000 minutes last month). Basically, when you compare those plans, the Alltel plan will give you a lot more time.
    Another Alltel plan to consider is the 900 Minute plan which is $69.99 for 2 lines. It includes MyCircle but is closer to Verizon in that nights don't start until 9pm. It will still give you 200 more anytime minutes than the Verizon plan. You might find that you can go with this plan and avoid eventually going with the $89.99 1400 min Verizon plan because of all the minutes you can get out of MyCircle. You can change those numbers daily by the way.

    Also note calls to voice mail, either yours or somebody elses do not count as Mobile-to-Mobile/IN calling with either carrier.

    Sorry to go on but I hope this all makes sense and is the information you were looking for.
     
  4. JearBear1

    JearBear1 New Member

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    Yes, you are right about the 3 lines. Alltel gives free unlimited incoming text plus my choice of # outgoing. How easy is it to track how many messages have been used? Does Alltel have a number you can call for checking plan usage? And pics are be considered a text message. I'm not really interested in the texting, my high school son 'is', that's what concerns me. I can see how the circle would benefit me. The circle includes landlines as well as cell numbers? Alltel does have a lot of positives to offer. Do the alltel phones have an option forcing the Alltel network, to avoid roaming charges when out and about? And did I understand correctly, that voice mails dont' count? How are they handled?
     
  5. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    No, I do think I confused you a little bit. With Alltel or Verizon, incoming or outgoing texts are 10 cent without a data plan. With a data plan, such as 300 texts, incoming and outgoing texts count against that number.
    Very easy, it's always online under your account at the alltel website.
    Yes, #668 I think. You can also send a text and you will get a response.
    Yes, with a text messaging plan, pics are considered the same as a text message. Without a texting plan, they are 25 cents instead of 10.
    MyCircle does include landlines as well as cell numbers. Anybody else that you know with Alltel is covered under their free mobile-to-mobile so you wouldn't need to include them in your Circle.
    It's not anywhere near as simple as Sprint phones. You have to go into the programming menu. But Alltel phones will not pick up a roaming signal unless there is just no other signal available, this is why only some of the most rural places in the country do roam with Alltel. If you are ever in a spot where you do roam for a period of time, Alltel offers 100 free to roam minutes/month for $9.99. This option can be added or removed to your plan whenever you want. They also have the Total Freedom plans that can be switched to for a month or two without extending your contract. You will know if your phone is ever roaming because you will see a solid triangle on your phone display. A blinking triangle means you aren't in your home area and your calls are free, a solid triangle is what you need to watch for. They won't just surprise you on your bill. I do doubt you will have any problems with this though.
    For Alltel and Verizon, voice mail calls to others and even to check your own voice mail are counted against anytime minutes during the day, and night and weekend minutes starting at 9pm or 7pm on that one Alltel plan. Mobile to mobile does not apply to voice mail. I'm not sure what happens if they're in Your Circle, I would think it would still be free and not count but I can't promise that.

    Hope the way I quoted you makes this post a little easier to sort out.
     
  6. JearBear1

    JearBear1 New Member

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    Thanks very much... Just one more 'small' question regarding the where to.
    Your thoughts on lets talk were positive? Any ideas on "wirefly"? Or others? I really dislike waiting for rebates, but for a free rather expensive phone, they are hard to pass up. Thanks again.
     
  7. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    The Verizon plan you get through work is 90 dollars after the discount or before?

    MyCircle is best for landlines that you call (home phone, work numbers, whatever you call the most) you can change them whenever you want. You will already talk to eachother and any other Alltel customers for free, so you don't need to your family members in your circle. I don't know about you, but our cell phones call our home phone and others work numbers a lot. The "IN" minutes do not quite equate to MyCircle. I believe you will find yourself with a surplus of minutes everymonth because of the MyCircle offer. We have 4 lines, on an older 900 minute a month plan. We use maybe 500 anytime minutes, the rest is mobile to mobile and MyCircle in 3-5 thousand range.

    You really don't need to worry about roaming too much. The only area where I see this as a problem for you is the hills of eastern Kentucky. If you even ever go there. If you ever get roaming charges while in the dark blue area of the map then you will be refunded my Alltel. That has never happened to me, but if their tower were to go offline for some reason and no friendly roam was available then it is helpful.

    From what I have heard, LetsTalk is reputable and I haven't known anyone to complain about them.
     
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  8. JearBear1

    JearBear1 New Member

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    I was estimating that cost based on the 69.99 for 700 minutes, plus one extra line (10) plus 10 worth of text for my son. That's 90 plus tax, and then 15% off the monthly total.
     
  9. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Location:
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    Letstalk is very reputable. They are actually the ones that operate the Alltel website so it's being dealt with the same people who would deal with it if you bought directly from Alltel. Through letstalk you're just not paying letstalk and Alltel extra commission fees. I would definitely go that way with it.

    edit: There's an Alltel store in Kingsport on East Stone. You could always go there to look at the phones and see what you like and then come back home to order it. Just tell the employess you're 'just looking' and 'thinking about it.'
     
  10. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Oh ok I see. UFO are you sure that LetsTalk offers the 75/mo thing, it might be special pricing for alltel.com. Even then you might have to call and tell the person you want that plan...


    Edit....

    I just went through the checkout for letstalk. They do offer it. You actually have to checkout with the two line family plan and then add a line to the cart at the end.....
     
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  11. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    So if you went with Alltel you would be paying...

    1000 anytime, unl. M2m, unl. n/w, MyCircle, 7pm nights, 300 text msg for 90.98 + taxes

    Verizon....
    700 anytime, unl. m2m(IN), unl. n/w, 9pm nights, 10 for tex msg 89.99 + taxes - 15%?
     
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  12. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    I think that was before finding out that Voice-Mail wasn't included as free m2m. 700 minutes on 3 lines goes quick. It works out to 233 minutes per line. I know I call voice mail several times a day and use 60-80 minutes/month on my phone alone but I use it more than most. And then I mentioned Alltel's 900 min family plan with MyCircle for 69.99 so I'm not sure specifically what jearbear is considering now.
     
  13. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    We now now why TDan feels like he does...I could care less about any of these issues. I just want good service and fair prices. I disagree with Alltel's poor CS, I think their CS is just fine and I Rarely drop a call no matter where I go on the east coast. But, to each there own...
     
  14. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    The reverse is true for me too! JearBear, there may be a way to get a 10% discount on service with Alltel as well...no guarantee, but maybe...
     
  15. wwjd100

    wwjd100 New Member

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    Well from ALL the replies I would think Alltel would be the best bet. I would think their corporate policy toward providing good service at a good price would be the number one issue. Also at the same time making a profit. After all they are in the business to make money.

    GO ALLTEL

    :twocents:
     
  16. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Jearbear,

    You might want to look into Cingular also. I know that they have built about 40 sites in the Tri-Cities area this year. But which every way you go try them all out. Most companies have a trial period they run from 15-30 days. Good Luck:browani:
     
  17. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    While Cingular is getting better in this area it's still not up to par with Verizon or even Alltel. Especially in rural southwest Virginia where Cingular mostly has no signal at all.
     
  18. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Cingular is incredibly spotty there. Most people don't realize how spread out the Tri-Cities area is but it usually takes about 30 minutes by interstate to get from Ksport to JC. Not only that but Bristol and K-sport are very spread out as to the downtown areas and most residential sections are a number of miles away. With all the mountains, it's just hard for a PCS band carrier like Cingular to provide reliable coverage in the region. Most of those sites were places around the interstate and to give ETSU good Cingular coverage in JC. No offense to Cingular, it's just an area they don't cover near as well. Not to mention SW Virginia. Southwest and Southside Virginia are huge holes for GSM where they have no service at all.
     
  19. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Just to clarify some of Verizon's TXT/PIX rates.

    $5 per line for 250 TXT/PIX.
    $10 per line for Unlimited IN Messaging plus 500 other TXT/PIX.
    $15 per line for Unlimited IN Messaging plus 1000 other TXT/PIX.
    $20 per line for Unlimited IN Messaging plus 2500 other TXT/PIX.
     
  20. JearBear1

    JearBear1 New Member

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    Everyone here is really great!!:) The info is really helpful. After discussion with family, we are leaning toward Alltel, esp for the Circle. Being able to call Iowa and California "during the day" and not worry about minutes or $$ is a huge plus. I was thinking about asking Alltel if they have an employer discount that might apply, I'll try that tomorrow while out looking at the phones. How difficult is it to changes your numbers on the circle of friends? They allow you to change every day? Can you add 800 numbers to the circle, say to talk with computer Rep/support? Or do 800 numbers take your minutes? One last thought I had, being able to drop my current long distance provider would just about even up the 15% discount... Don't know if I'm brave enuf to drop local service as well...:loony:
     
  21. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    It is definitely worth it to see if they have an employer discount which would save you even more.

    It is very easy to change the numbers in your Circle. Just go to alltel.com and register for My Account (You need your account number and telephone number for this). When you go into My Account look for the "My Circle Numbers" button under the "My Services" section. Click this button to access your Circle. MyCircle numbers can be changed at any time, but all changes take place at midnight. Usually I'll make all my changes by 11 just to be safe. You can make changes every day if you want.

    About the 800 number, here is what I got from the Alltel site about limitations: You cannot designate your own wireless or voice mail number, directory assistance, international, or 900 numbers as any of the ten available numbers. You can include any other number on any network – anywhere in the U.S. This includes wireless, home or office numbers.

    It doesn't say anything about 800 numbers so I would assume they would be fine. You might want to double-check with the sales rep at the store tomorrow just to be absolutely sure.

    :p The cell phone is the only line I use and many more people are doing that. Good luck with it if that's the way you decide to go. As long as you are getting good service, I personally don't see a need for a landline but good luck in making that decision. I hope everything works out very well for you but I think you'll be happy with Alltel. :)
     
  22. JearBear1

    JearBear1 New Member

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    Thanks UFO. I wonder how you would change the list if you didn't have access to the net? :rolleyes: Go to a store? Right now, that's what's holding me to a landline. My area of Kingsport doesn't have DSL :mad: the phone lines are old with terrible data rate and cable is a little expensive, but will have to bite the bullet soon for my son. :eek: If I remember correctly, you rec Moto phones. Any I should steer clear of?
     
  23. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    :headscrat That is a good question. It would make sense that a store would have access to it and be able to change it for you but I'm not sure. Funny point though considering this is an internet forum. Yeah, it's about hard to believe that anywhere in Kingsport doesn't have access to DSL and I know exactly how you feel. When I was back there we ended up having to get cable thru Adelphia at $45/month or something really expensive. I think Comcast bought out Adelphia in SW VA though but I doubt the prices have changed. Hopefully they'll get those lines upgraded soon for DSL because they've been talking about it for years.

    But yeah, the Motorolas and even Nokias are always good phones to go with, the E815 is my personal favorite because it holds onto a signal really well. Don't even look at a Samsung and I would personally stay away from all LGs other than the AX355 just because the reception on older LGs aren't that good. But Motos and Nokias are generally the best, the LG AX355 is decent, and some people swear by Kyocera but others hate them. Just stay away from Samsung and most LGs and you should have a quality phone.
     
  24. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Embarq's (formerly Sprint) DSL coverage in Kingsport sucks. A lot of Kingsport as well as the Tri-Cities can't get DSL because of how poorly of a job Sprint has done building out DSL in this area. Luckily you should be able to get cable modem which is generally faster than DSL anyways although it is more expensive.
     
  25. SQFreak

    SQFreak Moto's Not So Bad Anymore
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    My family had Centel Cellular which became Sprint Cellular which became 360 Communications which became Alltel. Same phone number since the mid-90's. (The phone number was actually a BellSouth number handled by BellSouth switches that was bought by Alltel, making it essentially unportable.) The call quality was always terrible, no matter where in the city we were, and there were zones where you'd always drop a call in business districts. Now, I haven't used Alltel in Winston heavily in two years or so, but I have yet to hear a single person say that Alltel is superior to VZW in coverage or call quality in Winston.

    But all this is highly off-topic. My point has already been made - it was made on the first page - so I'll shut up now.
     
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  26. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    You could always get a data cable for your phone and setup a connection to the 1x or evdo:browani: They still haven't put a stop on it, so if you use your phone as a modem dialing #777 you can get speeds of 100-600 kbps. It only uses minutes.

    I reccommend the E815, RAZR, AX355, the Nokias, haven't seen the new one yet. The new Samsung looks ok, but reception wise the motos and nokias are the best. Solid basic phones are the Moto w315, and the Nokia 6235i. I would avoid the Pantech, haven't heard much about it reception wise.

    LOL @
     
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  27. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Neither Alltel or Verizon has EVDO yet in this area yet. The Tri-Cities is listed as having EVDO in the near future with Verizon Wireless though. Sprint has EVDO in this area now but the coverage is VERY limited.
     
  28. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    EVDO also makes cable internet rates look like a deal.

    It could probably be done with Alltel in Kingsport but it would be at their 1x rate which is like 1/3 the speed of dial-up and it would use plan minutes.

    I also wander if Alltel has plans of putting EVDO there. Last time I called Alltel tech support I asked about it and was told that I couldn't get EVDO in that area yet. The yet part makes me wander if they do plan to do it though. Sorry to get off topic.
     
  29. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    1/3 speed? I get 1x at about 120 kbps which is double dial up......QNC would be slower then dial up though 14.4.....is that area's 1x that much slower? I wonder if you get Sprints evdo in Knoxville.....
     
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  30. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    Yes, you are right. I wasn't thinking at all. Kingsport is 1x and it would be much faster than 14.4, it would be around 120 kbps. I was thinking about the rural areas to the north. There it is pure digital and not 1x and it is 14.4 in that area. Sorry. That would be a pretty good option then for when it's needed.
     

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