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Verizon vs. Cingular in upstate north east NY

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by vroberts, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member
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    I'm a long time Verizon custromer who is considering a switch to Cingular for various reasons. I live in the Albany - Saratoga region of upstate NY but travel extensively in the easten and central Adirondacks, plus down the East Coast to NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, parts of Vermont, Fla, and business trips may take me anywhere in the country.

    The main reason I like Verizon is their extensive coverage, but the Cingular GSM system has certain advantages that I am discussing on other places on this board.

    So, my question here is ... is there anyone who has recently switched from Verizon to Cingular or Cingular to Verizon who can comment on the relative quality of coverage between the two?

    Thanks to all.
     
  2. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member
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    Here's a bit of info I just got from the Verizon and Cingular web sites.

    I checked the village of Long Lake in the Adirondacks. Cingular has no service in this area, but since Verizon has only analog service that will be of no use with a new all digital phone.

    I then checked Lake Placid, also in the Adirondack Park, but a much larger village than Long Lake. Verizon has digital service in the village and along the major roads to and from. Cingular has no coverage.

    So ... I'm now leaning back to Verizon.
     
  3. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Cingular has no native coverage in that area, but digital GSM service is covered by their roaming partner, Unicel, http://www.rccwireless.com/

    There was a pretty extensive report just in the last 2 weeks by WA member Blaise, in the Northeastern Forums. Check it out. Blaise reports that Unicel GSM is more reliable than Verizon CDMA...not accounting for analog roaming.

    http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/northeastern-u-s-wireless-forum/13323-verizon-wireless-cdma-system-vs.html#post115041

    and http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/northeastern-u-s-wireless-forum/13377-i-87-adirondack-park-area.html are examples.

    There is GSM service in Lake Placid,NY
     
    #3 viewfly, Jan 14, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2006
  4. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member
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    Sorry to be so ignorant - but if I have a Cingular phone I assume from this discussion that it will automatically roam on other available and compatible networks, such as Unicel, if there is no Cingular service. (I've been on Verizon too long :) ) Am I also correct that I may be charged a roaming fee, but only if I use the service, not just for being "on" the network - like in the "good old days".

    If all this is correct, then Cingular may work for me, since my use of the phone in these remote areas is only for emergencies such as car breakdown. The areas where I use the phone a lot are covered by Cingular.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Cingular Nationwide plans, just like Verizon's plans, are no roaming plans so you would not be charged roaming.
    Your phone will automatically lock on to the roaming network, but your display will still show "cingular" regardless.
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    No roaming fee is charged. Cingular long ago dropped all roaming charges in the US for all the Nation wide plans. Also, it is an all digital network, so you have GPRS. It is also true that your free Night and Weekends, free mobile to mobile are still intact, and SMS, email, even when you roam.
     
  8. walkguru

    walkguru Wireless Guru
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    there is also a 30 day trial period. good luck.
     
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  9. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    I live in the Adirondacks and travel all over Essex County for my job. I have both Verizon and Unicel. While there are some spots where Verizon may have a slight edge over Unicel, overall Unicel GSM seems to be a lot more reliable and provides better coverage.

    Unicel has native GSM coverage in just about every spot that Verizon has coverage (native digital and analog roaming). Unicel also has coverage in some spots that Verizon does not.

    The problem with Verizon is that it relies heavily on Unicel for its coverage (analog roaming). So if you don't have a tri-mode phone the coverage area is really limited. My tri-mode Verizon phones always switch back and forth from digital to analog - constantly. Besides really eating up the battery, there is a lot of dropped calls. Also with Verizon, quite often I am unable to get calls to go through even if I have 2 or 3 bars. Unicel connects on 1 bar all the time.

    Also, Unicel is actively upgrading there system and adding new sites. Unicel provides coverage on I87 (The Northway) in places where Verizon has no service. Verizon reps and technicians that I have talked with do not know of any new network expansions in this area. Verizon has basically provided the same coverage for years now.

    If I were you I would probably go with Cingular. As stated above, Cingular uses Unicel's GSM sites in this area and Vermont.

    As a matter of fact, my Verizon contract is up and I am thinking about dropping Verizon and strictly staying with Unicel.

    I hope this helps. If you have any more questions please let me know.
     
  10. vroberts

    vroberts Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the useful information. It does help.
     

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