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Old 09-21-2008, 03:00 PM
Pete Paxton
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 716
Default Who's Your Carrier and How's Your Coverage?

Here's the reason I ask: Last December when I switched to AT&T, I was told that the coverage in my area is considered "good." Even on their website coverage map it's considered "good." I would say that 90% of the time I cannot place a call from my home. I often see "No Service" on my device. Luckily I have a land line (which I wouldn't have if I had better coverage) and I also have WiFi so I can access my email, wirelessly sync my PIM stuff, and surf the web. But it's still frustrating that the reps and the maps show coverage that I'm just not getting. Other devices with either T-Mobile or AT&T are the same here. My wife's phone with Verizon does fine. I find my coverage is spotty. So I ask you, how's the coverage in your area? Are you happy with the over all coverage when you go places? Can you still get coverage in department stores?

Tmo Dash
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 61

(Netherlands, T-Mobile) it was the coverage tool on the site of T-Mobile who made me sign a two year contract. It was the actual coverage who made me cancel the contract. In the area were I live and work there is almost no 3G although the coverage map showed full (outside) 3G coverge.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,108

I'm on AT&T, though my area is served by the former Dobson/Cellular One network. Coverage is mostly good, though there are a few dead patches, and getting a signal inside a department store is a losing battle. I wouldn't mind if they upgraded the local network, but 3G would be a much bigger deal to me than improved coverage.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 69
Send a message via MSN to Cattle-Dog

I have very good coverage in the burbs of Cincy and have ditched the landline (including VOIP). We seem to have mostly 850Mhz towers around, so even inside of large buildings are no problem. It's also the only service I can receive when I go camping in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 96

I switched to AT&T (from T-Mo) when I purchased my Tilt, and I've never been happier with the service that I receive. Though coverage with T-Mo was Ok (occasional dead spots), there was only one spot in my house where my phone work and even then it would never get Edge speeds.

Since I've switched to AT&T I've only come across one place where reception was non-existent (the lower levels of a hospital). Even in my house I have signal everywhere, though it does drop from 3G to Edge when in my living room.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with my decision to switch to AT&T. Coverage has been fantastic., the speed of the 3G network has been great (most times), and even their Customer Service has been good. If you're in the Rhode Island, USA area, I'd highly recommend AT&T for your wireless carrier.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 75


I live in Western Maryland about 1.5 miles from the Mason-Dixon Line. At my home coverage is bad with my iPhone but better (2 more bars) with my RAZR VXX. I'm hoping the Touch Pro or Treo Pro will have a better cellular radio. My coverage is VERY dependent on which phone I use.

Hence my recurring statement to the smartphone manufacturers...... IT'S A PHONE, STUPID! At least for me, the reason I carry a smartphone is for the benefits derived from only having to carry one device to cover all of my communications needs BUT my primary use is dependent on its functionality as a phone.

I have yet to find a smartphone that functions as well as my old RAZR, when it comes to phone functionality.

My $0.02 (USD)
Current: 16GB 3G iPhone. 32GB iPhone 4G Gone: Can't tell ya'... My wife might find out
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 98
Send a message via AIM to cgavula

It's not just a matter of AT&T/TMo vs. Verizon/Sprint. It's not just GSM service vs. CDMA.

Your problem doesn't sound like a coverage problem, rather it sounds more lik a building penetration problem (based on the examples/questions you raise).

Typically, CDMA will have better building penetration than GSM. More importantly, though is the frequency. The higher frequencies (like AT&Ts older 1900MHz range) don't penetrate buildings well, whereas the lower frequencies, like their 850MHz frequency, tend to do better. That's part of why the 700MHz auctions erlier this year were so important to the winner.

What you should do is find out what frequency tower signal you are picking up. I'm betting you're in a 1900MHz zone. I only wish somebody would product maps that showed the coverage as a function of frequency rather than just "carrier" coverage.

Where I am, Verizon/Sprint cover well - but only if you are near the freeway. AT&T / TMo cover more area, but coverage strength is often mediocre. Not a great choice to have to make! The 3G expansion plans of the big boys are starting to change that landscape, however - stay tuned!
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27

For years I had At&T then Cingular, when I bought my house I couldn't get service in my house but if I was outside it was ok. I switched to T-Mobile after getting a pre paid sim with a few min on eBay and I get service even in my basement.
A few months ago I was online and the AT&T site has a map that says I should get strong service in my area so I tried again, I really wanted 3G service and it doesn't look like the Metro DC area will be getting it soon with T-Mobile.
I still didn't have any luck, I could hold a conversation but many times the call would fail. I know T-Mobile doesn't get a lot of respect but they are the only GSM carrier that works where I live and if Verizon would let you use a SIM or switch phones online I might switch but until them I am using T-Mobile.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:04 PM
Rob Alexander
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 667

I'm on Alltel (CDMA) in a relatively rural area and the coverage is basically there, but irritating in how frequently I am roaming. It used to be better, but my college put in both AT&T and US Cellular towers. Before those towers, my phone (HTC Touch) would get a low, but serviceable signal from an Alltel tower. Now it grabs onto the US Cellular tower, drops me into roaming minutes and won't connect via EVDO. It's darned frustrating.

I considered moving to AT&T with them having their own tower at the college, but they are very borderline at my home 7 miles away. Family and friends who have visited with AT&T phones have been about 50-50 in being able to get a signal at all. I figure we're right at the fringe so that only the strongest phones connect. Since smart phones seem to be among the least reliable for strong connections, I think AT&T is a non-option for me.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2

I'm ditching AT&T when Verizon gets the new Samsung global phone. Coverage in our area is very spotty - in downtown Omaha! We'll have 5 bars and a few blocks later no bars. Forget about using it from the house. Our friends can use their Verizon phones in our house, so we're going to switch to them soon.
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