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Who choose in Hartford, County?

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by mnq99, May 16, 2005.

  1. mnq99

    mnq99 New Member

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    When I moved to Hartford County I forced myself to change from ATT (TDMA) to Verizon (CDMA) since the latter had the best coverage in the Rt. 66 corridor. I move mostly locally (Marlborough, East Hamton, Hebron, Columbia, Glastonbury and Hartford), mostly on Rt. 66 and Rt. 2. I do travel abroad but I have alternatives. I just love GSM and despise CDMA and Verizon, not to mention the limited Nokia phones they offer (I also cannot stand flip phones). Yes, I am a bit hostile, but also no fool. I have a feeling that I have to stay with Verizon for a while unless someone can tell me that they have coverage in these areas. Best, M
     
  2. mframe

    mframe Senior Member
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    I don't think that ATTWS TDMA account was ever a good indicator of Cingular's (GSM or TDMA) coverage, in CT. Cingular is excellent in CT, in general. Their 850 Mhz GSM is superb (and now they have ATTWS' 1900 Mhz, too). I get good coverage most anywhere I travel in CT. I can't say for sure how coverage is along rt 66, but rt 2 is great. Your best bet for good RF, will probably be Nokia phones.

    For only $30, you could get the SE T237 prepay phone, on the Cingular website. Then you can test the service with the 25 cents/min PayGo (formerly KIC) top-up cards/plan. I think the first $10 worth of service, even comes with the phone.
     
  3. mnq99

    mnq99 New Member

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    Good call. I will try that route. Thanks.
     
  4. mnq99

    mnq99 New Member

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    According to sales people in a Cingular store, they told me that the pay as you go phones are not a good indicator since they only ride on the cingular network and not on the former att celltowers... Anyone know if that is true?
     
  5. johnner1999

    johnner1999 Junior Member
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    does T-Mobile yet "roam" on Cingular's network? I'm still looking for a good low cost family plan and they have a 500min $50 for both phones! but if it doesn't work its not a good deal?!

    I'm also in CT but in Litchfield county and in Fairfield area?
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    They should work just fine on the whole cingular network, including the old AT&T side.
     
  7. mframe

    mframe Senior Member
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    Sounds like the sales people in that Cingular store were just trying to get you to sign a contract, so they could get the commission. GSM prepaid Cingular will access both networks, and the original Cingular network was/is stronger than the former ATTWS in CT, anyway.
     
  8. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    On a national coverage scale, the Cingular store is correct here. I don't know about ATT versus Cingular roaming partners, but this is what I can estimate from the coverage maps for prepaid and postpay...they are not the same. Prepaid has less coverage nation wide. For the Hartford area, they may be equal, but the general statement from Cingular is correct. From what others have told me, prepay does not use roaming partners, only the cingular network.
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Well, sure prepay might not roam, but it does use the Cingular network, which consists of the Blue and Orange side...
     
  10. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Cingular offers two types of pre pay service. Each coverage map is different and each different from post pay. Post pay gives you the most coverage.

    So I think the store is right. For someone to take prepay and then plan a trip in the US, there coverage will be inferior to Cingular regular post pay services.

    Advising someone to use prepay as a way to test service is not good advice. I think this is what the cingluar store is concerned about and it was good that they were upfront about it to the customer.
     
  11. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Of course PostPay gives you much more coverage than prepay since post pay includes roaming partners, but to see how Cingular's native coverage is in a given location(and in many areas where cingular thinks their network is good enough they even prohibit post pay customers from roaming) prepay would do good. Of course going on a cross country trip, post pay vs. prepay will be a day/night difference.
     
  12. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    But who cares (or most people don't care) what the native coverage is, when roaming is free? One just wants to know that they have coverage, all free roaming partners included. Strip away roaming partners from carriers like Verizon and Cingular the maps become a bit thinner.
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I completely agree!
     
  14. sju452

    sju452 Guest

    I'm relatively new to cell phones, so please bear with the newbie questions.

    I just got the 7-Eleven SpeakOut wireless program, which I understand uses the Cingular / AT&T network. I live in CT, and the service works fine. This weekend I went to Vermont, and got no service at all.

    Let me see if I understand this correctly -- from what I've read here, pre-paid services, or at least some of them, do not allow you to roam on other networks. In other words, if there's no Cingular coverage, I get nothing. Is that correct?

    If that's the case, are there any pre-paid services that do allow off-network roaming? If so, can my phone (Nokia 3595) be switched over?

    I really want to avoid having a monthly fee, since I won't be using the phone very much, but it's starting to look like I've got no choice if I want it to be useable in Vermont.

    Thanks for any info.

    --- Steve
     
  15. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    That right...if there is no native Cingular coverage (ie cingular/att towers vs. roaming partner towers) there appears to be no coverage for pre pay. The reason is that a provider cannot afford to have a bill come in a month later after the prepay customer dropped service.

    Cingular coverage in VT, for regualr post pay, is not the greatest anyway. It seems that Verizon is better, but I just looked at the Verizon pre pay maps and they cut services drastically compared to Verizon regular service also. Also they charge you $1 a day whether you place a call or not..ie $30 a month. In that case, get just regular service. But at least with the verizon pre pay there appears to be some service in VT, where Cingular has no pre pay service. Look at the web maps for yourself.

    Good luck and it's unfortunate that complete service cannot be provided to pre pay customers.
     
  16. sju452

    sju452 Guest

    Thanks, viewfly, that's what I figured. My brother's Cingular phone works there, but he's on the Nationwide plan, so I guess he's allowed onto other networks.

    My son is 12, and he's talking about wanting a cell phone, so I may be looking into a family plan soon, anyway.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    --- Steve
     
  17. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I had the same worry with my daughter. I had the pre merger cingular KIC prepay plan. It worked in CT, but at that time not in NYC for the same reasons you have now (back then Cing roamed on Tmobile in NYC). After 3 months I just switched her to a family plan and in the end it was cheaper and I didn't have to worry about her minutes running out all the time.

    Viewfly.
     
  18. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    The SpeakOut phones only work on the Cingular networks, they cannot roam off-network. Cingular does not have any native coverage in Vermont, a postpay customer would roam in Vermont.

    As a T-Mobile postpay customer, I can roam in Vermont on Unicel, and the coverage now, is non-stop from Exit 15 on I-89 in New Hampshire, straight into Vermont and up I-89.

    Both TracFone and Verizon offer off-network roaming on their prepay services. A GSM TracFone I took to Canada last fall, roamed in portions of Vermont along I-89, most likely on Unicel, but I understand the network was not as built-out then, as it is now.
     
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  19. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Thanks for the information. Verizons roaming fee is $.69/min I see, but the vermont footprint portion looks smaller than the normal post pay to me.

    I'll have to look into tracFone for a friend.

    How to they handle roaming fees? I guess they have the accounting system worked out better than Cingular.
     
  20. sju452

    sju452 Guest

    Well, we're down more toward Springfield, so I won't be able to take advantage of that. Most of the coverage maps of the bigger providers show a huge hole in southern VT. Is there any way to find out who the major provider is there?

    --- Steve
     
  21. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    With TracFone, the phone itself keeps track of airtime. When a customer purchases and redeems/activates an airtime card, they input codes into the phone as provided by TracFone, this adds the number of units (minutes) as well as the expiration date for the current service.

    GSM phones - no roaming charges: 1 unit/minute for both local and roaming calls.

    CDMA and TDMA phones: 1 unit/minute for local (on-network calls), 2 units/minute when roaming.

    I also took a CDMA TracFone (activated on Verizon) on the same trip to Canada. In Vermont, the phone briefly roamed on U.S. Cellular, then it picked up Verizon in Vermont, all the way up I-89.

    With the CDMA phones, at initial activation (codes provided by TracFone are input the same way as a refill card), in addition to the phone number, initial airtime and expiration date, it also programs home SID's (system ID's) into the phone. It programmed SID 28 (Verizon - Boston) and SID 119 (Verizon - Connecticut/Western Massachusetts) as the home networks. All other networks (including Verizon outside of MA and CT) are considered roaming.

    Cost wise, with the purchase/activation of TracFone's one year of service with double minutes (for one year) card (I think this is $129.99), then a subsequent purchase of their 400 unit card at $79.99, would result in 800 units being added instead of 400, at a net cost of .10/minute.
     
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  22. EdwardP

    EdwardP Bronze Senior Member
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    Have a look at CellGuru. I believe most of the Vermont coverage is Unicel.
     
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  23. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru
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    A little off topic from the OP, but since we're talking about Tracfone ...

    Southern VT is covered by U.S. Cellular (CDMA-800/AMPS and still running TDMA) and Unicel (GSM-800 in some places, and is still running TDMA-800/AMPS). U.S. Cellular's system is solid. Unicel's TDMA system is solid, but their GSM system is still limited in SVT.

    A CDMA or TDMA Tracfone will work fine in SVT. A GSM Tracfone will work ok where Unicel has coverage, but will be dead other than that.

    There is a huge coverage gap at the MA/VT border on I-91. Cingular is about the only signal I could find.

    In northern MA along I-91, coverage is provided by Unicel (GSM-800/CDMA-800/TDMA-800/AMPS) and Cingular (GSM-800 and still running TDMA-800/AMPS).

    A CDMA, TDMA or GSM Tracfone should work fine in just about all of MA.

    Of course TDMA & AMPS are being phased out over the next 3 years.
     
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