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Unicel GSM vs. Verizon Wireless in VT?

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by crazy25, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. crazy25

    crazy25 New Member

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    Hello all!

    I have Virgin Mobile prepaid service in the Burlington/Plattsburgh area and while the service performs fairly well (some signal issues do occur, but that is typical with any provider), leaving the area though, provides me with no coverage at all, since I can't roam off the Virgin Mobile (Sprint PCS) network.

    So, I am looking at postpaid provders (Unicel and Verizon) and am wondering what provider might fit my needs. I am looking for my prospective carrier to provide adequate (I know, not perfect) coverage, in specific, the Burlington/Plattsburgh area, Newport/St. Johnsburry area, Montpelier area, Bristol/Vergennes area, White River Jct. area, coverage along 1-89 and anywhere in between would be great :)

    So, in short for anybody in the know, is Unicel's GSM service up to snuff yet in the state yet or would Verizon's CDMA + AMPS network be a better choice at this point? (I am leaning towards Verizon right now).

    Thanks in advance for any feedback :)
     
  2. bmkarnes

    bmkarnes New Member

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    Well I don't know how Verizon coverage is in VT, I'm southern Virginia but just my 2 cents worth, I'd tell anyone to go with CDMA overs GSM any day I've used both and by far CDMA is a much better way to go. Like you seem to know already there is no perfect carrier, I just always pull for CDMA better call quality in my book.
     
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  3. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    You are MUCH better off with Verizon (CDMA) at this time.

    Check out www.cellguru.com for comments about Unicel's recent problems with its GSM network. Some time in the future, GSM may provide equal coverage to CDMA, but it does NOT now. Verizon provides vastly superior coverage in Vermont, either thru their own native towers or US Cellular's (on which they roam).

    In New Hampshire, US Cellular has the most widespread excellent coverage, with Verizon active in only the southern areas (although they are building out some of the other areas). US Cellular and Verizon roam on each other's networks.

    -way
     
  4. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    unicel
    Hope this Link helps
     
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  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I agree with waywith, from what I've heard, Unicel GSM is just not up for primetime yet, so at this point, I'd suggest going with a CDMA carrier, like Verizon.
     
  6. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    However,
    T-Mobile and Cingular shows
    roaming Coverage in Vermont.
     
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  7. vermontcellboy2

    vermontcellboy2 New Member

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    First off, while Unicel GSM coverage is far inferior to Verizon now, at the end of the overlay it will overall be equivalent to (native superior) to what they have now. They only roam on USC in the southern part of the state, as you know, and depend on RCC Unicel when you go into a smaller community in Vermont, or sometimes even a few miles out of somewhere like St. Johnsbury (Danville Anyone?)
    Have you looked at Nextel? They've been building out in the Newport/St.Johnsbury area and have excellent coverage on I-89 and Route 4 as far as the major routes, and should serve every place you mention. Nextel has I-89 better built out than Verizon, and probably about equivalent to Unicel.
    I reccomend Unicel or Nextel. Unicel if you can wait for the GSM overlay to be complete.


    NOTE: My reccomendation does not cover Coventry VT, where Verizon is presently the only servicing carrier.

    PS: Some members may know me from Vermontcellboy on HoFo, due to e-mail issues I had to make a new account. I have in excess of 2300 posts there, but who cares! heheh.
     
  8. crazy25

    crazy25 New Member

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    Thank you everybody for all the feedback on my question! Since GSM is still young in the state of Vermont, I will most likely be going with Verizon for a 1 year contract (since their service seems more bulit out, according to their online coverage maps) and go from there, depending on how their service fits my needs. Thanks again :)
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Good luck with Verizon, or whatever you decide on, but be sure to try the service out during your 15 day worry free guarantee, since,even in what seems to be a solid coverage area, all carriers have their bad spots.
     
  10. crazy25

    crazy25 New Member

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    Thanks, I will definitely use and take advantage of VZW's 15 day "Worry Free Guarantee" when I get the serivice, most likely sometime in the next three months. Will update this thread (if still on the board) with my experience :)
     
  11. SQFreak

    SQFreak Moto's Not So Bad Anymore
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    Does RCC Unicel still sell TDMA in Vermont? If so, that'll provide the best coverage in the state by far. There are still plenty of major dead spots for CDMA in VT (i.e. just north of Waterbury on I-89).
     
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  12. crazy25

    crazy25 New Member

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    Actively, no. They are pushing their GSM plans now. I called Unicel and asked if TDMA plans were still avaliable and the response I was given was they could try to arrange a plan for me, as long as they could find a compatible phone (I have no idea what that may of beent, I want a color screen picture phone and I don't think they offered that on their TDMA network). Otherwise, from what I have seen of Unicel's TDMA network on other people's phones, it seems well bulit out in the state. I am sure one day, GSM will be well built out in the state of VT, just like their TDMA network is. That will take time though. CDMA + AMPS coverage should be good enough for me in the meantime, thanks for the advice :)
     
  13. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    What about Vermont Governor's
    Plan of 100% coverage using
    Tax money?
     
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  14. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    So Did you Hear Anything about
    the Vermont Governor's Plan?


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. crazy25

    crazy25 New Member

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    I have heard about the plan, but don't know much about it, sorry :( Good idea though, their are still many places in this state where cell phone reception is still needed.
     
  16. SpeedyZ

    SpeedyZ New Member

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    I live here up in Maine and have used Unicel for over 12 years and with the new GSM system it has bnever worked better then it does today. Also no one Verizon, AT&T, Cingular, ect. can even compare to the plans Unicel offers with NO CONTRACTS!!!! and flip phones as low as $70. Up here in Maine Unicel uses AT&T towers and I cant remeber the last time I dropped a call since the new GSM. Let's not forget Unicel offers for $45 a month total Unlimited calling in and out 24/7 with no charges period as one of ther plans. Find a company that gives you that. My package 1000 minutes with total free incomming anytime and total out and in on weekends and after 6pm and all for $40 a month.

    Thanks Unicel
     
  17. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Cool, Unicel finally did it.
     
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  18. SpeedyZ

    SpeedyZ New Member

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    You seriously want the goverment to get involved in our sell phones, I mean like man give me a break. Why should non cell phone users pay anything for towers and stuff and hell its not like too many ereas are not covered anyways. To think the goverment could do any better then our private companies is totally stupid.

    I say give the goverment the least power you can. They could f*ck up a wet dream.
     
  19. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    I went through Vermont last week, made calls with two phones, T-Mobile (roaming on Unicel) and on Verizon.

    With calls made back home, the Verizon calls from the Williston and Georgia rest areas on I-89 were clearer than the Unicel call, but with the exception of a couple of very brief elevation-related issues with Verizon (one mile or so), service on both Verizon and Unicel was continuous on I-89 right from the NH/VT border, until I turned the phones off about 20 miles from the Canada border.
     
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  20. swishman

    swishman New Member

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    I went to the new Unicel store in Williston yesterday. The base GSM plan is now $45, 1000 min. don't know if that includes M2M or free incoming. Home area is smaller than my TDMA plan. But no roaming anywhere in US, you just start using your 1000 min.

    My current TDMA plan ($40) gives me a home area of 10 states (DC to Maine) with 500 min. but if my wife has to go to FL she's roaming.

    Sales guy told me that they are already pulling down TDMA transmitters in less populated areas, so if you stick with your current TDMA phone your coverage is going to start to shrink. Don't know if he was blowing smoke at me or not.

    If I look at the coverage maps that I found on www.cellguru.net, I'd be crazy not to switch to Verizon. Coverage everplace else in the country is better.

    I know that right now if I leave VT in Poultney and travel down Rt 22 and get on the Taconic Pkwy, I won't be able to make a real call until I hit I-84 in Fishkill, NY.
     
  21. kidsrfun

    kidsrfun New Member

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    I have been trying to find out if there is any cell phone service in Poultney. My daughter is going to be starting college at GMC in the fall. Is there any service there at all? I currently have Cingular GSM but am willing to change if she can get service though another company.

    Thanks!
     
  22. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    I doubt you will find anybody on here, either, who is in or has experience with service specifically in Poultney. Maybe I am wrong -- I hope so.

    -way
     
  23. kidsrfun

    kidsrfun New Member

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    The reply before mine (from Swishman) talked about Poulney. That's the only reason I posted. I thought the he might know since he wrote about it.

    He wrote : I know that right now if I leave VT in Poultney and travel down Rt 22 and get on the Taconic Pkwy, I won't be able to make a real call until I hit I-84 in Fishkill, NY.
     
  24. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    You may have to ask
    those who Live there.

    Hope this is Not
    like our Sharing Accomodation
    in the POCONOS, PA
    Nothing works there
    whatever carrier you Have.
    This is the Boonies
    so coverage here is doubtful.
    But who knows a particular carrier MAY have
    coverage in this particular town.
     
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    #24 jones, May 14, 2005
    Last edited: May 14, 2005
  25. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    Why don't you ask the admissons councelors there...seriously. Call the school and ask. They would probably be able to give you the best answer.
     
  26. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    He says he asked them several times previously and got answers, but wanted an "update" on coverage there. He doesn't want to keep bugging the school.
    Huh, the way I look at it, he is paying big bucks for his daughter to attend that school, he is entitled to some of their time to answer simple questions like this.

    Because of the small size of Poultney, I think it will be a looooooong time before coverage gets much improvement. Those towers cost big bucks, and there are few potential customers to pick up those costs.

    -way
     
  27. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Just looking at coverage maps, NO personal experiences, it looks like there is some Analog signal out there, since Verizon's coverage locator shows Analog Extended Coverage for Poultney...who knows, it might be digital by now.
     
  28. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    My search says service is available with:

    Nextel
    Verizon
    US Cellular

    So your best option honestly, go to the schools website/phone directory. Call The schools securuity and maintenace departments and ask what THEY use. It osuld not suprise me if on campus Nextel works really well.
     
  29. kidsrfun

    kidsrfun New Member

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    Thank you for your responses. I called the school again. I talked to 5 people total, and not one of them owns a cell phone. So they wouldn't know if anything changed and service has inched it's way in. One person said that last she knew, Unicel was very spotty on campus. But she hasn't heard anything since the beginning of the last school year.

    Oh well, I'll send her with her cell so she has it for the drives home, and if anything changes in the next 4 years, we'll go with whatever service comes into Poultney.
     
  30. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    The response from the school is very telling. Even in rural Vermont, to find 5 adults with no cellphones tells you that the things must be virtually useless there (in that town, anyway).

    Recent studies have shown that well over half (maybe more like 75%) of adults in the USA have cellphones. To find five out of five with none is very unusual.

    Hopefully, the school still has a few old fashioned payphones in the dorms, so your daughter can keep in touch.

    Kind of refreshing, actually, to find a place where cellphones don't function. Guess that is the nostalgia in me coming out.

    -way
     

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