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topdog1961

Cell phone service?

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topdog1961

Noticed any changes in your cell phone coverage recently?  If so, what is your carrier?  I have Sprint, and since they merged with T-Mobile, they are claiming over twice the number of towers.  I’ve noticed better coverage.  I was in extreme NW Ohio yesterday, Williams Co, a very rural area where I never had coverage before, and yesterday I had LTE coverage.  

 

Meanwhile, AT&T historically had the best overall signal around here.  My nephew’s whole family has been on it for years, and they complain that AT&T coverage has gone to pot lately, and not just around here.  I was on a trip to Cincy with them a couple weekends ago, and they couldn’t get signal for long stretches on I-75, one of the busiest interstates in America. I asked if they complained, and they said complaints about AT&T are all over public media. I wonder if their decline in AT&T coverage could somehow be related to the Sprint/T-Mobile merger?  Perhaps T-Mobile was previously sharing towers with AT&T in rural areas?

 

I’ll give a shout out for Sprint service also.  My son dropped is I-phone XR a couple months back.  He claims it was in a case, but the display was damaged.  The screen was not cracked, but the display had lines down the right side of the screen.  He suffered with it because he didn’t want to give his phone up long enough to get it fixed.  But recently it started crashing, some apps would no longer work, and he finally got frustrated enough that he could no longer live with it.  He was ready to go buy a new $1,100 phone (I don’t buy the insurance, to many phones on the plan to cost justify), and this one is not even paid for yet!  We checked and all his memory was consumed.  He hadn’t backed up his phone in over a year, and it wouldn’t even back up to the cloud.  He deleted a ton of videos and pictures, and still nothing worked and his memory was still full.  Instead buying a new phone, I talked him into taking it to a Sprint store Saturday with me.  They determined he had some bug that was eating up all his memory.  I watched them work two hours to get his phone to back up.  He had to leave it overnight to complete the back up. Once they got it backed up, they wiped the phone clean of software (and the bug), reloaded software and his data, then replaced the display.  My son picked it up yesterday, it functions great, and the total charge was $75. Kudos to Sprint.

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Lurch

My job has me all over the place testing vehicles from Death Valley to northern Canada. Between work and personal phones, we've tried most of the big carriers, and Verizon usually has the best covereage based on where I've been. On the northern tip of Baffin Island, nothing worked so we scabbed onto santa's wifi.

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Big Al
44 minutes ago, Lurch said:

 Verizon usually has the best covereage based on where I've been. 

 

Verizon is very unreliable in Montana.  I don't have service more than I do have it. 

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WI Outdoor Nut

I run att and started to when I began a lot of international travel.  The downside was in Northern WI the coverage was terrible.  It has gotten very good the past few years, so yes, would say it is better. 

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insanelupus

Verizon in NW MT had been progressively and consistently worse year to year.  Verizon finally admitted there was more demand than their tower could accommodate but wouldn't commit to another tower or making improvements.  Ive been watching this T Mobile merger and AT&T is making ground too.

 

Sad really,  Verizon has simply grown too big for their britches.  At one time their customer service was second to none and their coverage was outstanding.  

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Greg Hartman

FWIW, I have Verizon and Nancy has AT&T.  This is a deliberate choice for when travelling.  Usually we find Verizon has the better coverage, especially in remote areas of the west.  But it is not uncommon for Verizon to have no service while you get still get AT&T.  No perfect answers here.  It seems to me (knowing nothing about the cell phone business) that there would be much better service (and much less uselessly expensive duplication of towers, etc) if all the providers agreed to use one another's towers.

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Mike Connally

It’s my understanding that many towers are shared by different carriers. A tower company will choose a location for a tower based on how many carriers will contract for it. 

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jeff88

ATT here, have had it for a long time, it's a company device.  Have used it in China, EUR, all over the world for calling, texting, email.  Has been great for service/cell everywhere - until now.  We moved a few weeks back about 10 miles North and I have zero ATT calling service in the new house; email and texting is OK.  My wife uses Sprint, she has spotty calling coverage.  In our area Verizon has the best service so I am in the process of switching the company phone to them.  Now how can I get great ATT service in Manila, in Shanghai, in KL, in Spain, in Oz and NZ and not have reception in the county just North of Houston?  There is something really wrong with that.  

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WI Outdoor Nut
17 minutes ago, Greg Hartman said:

FWIW, I have Verizon and Nancy has AT&T.  This is a deliberate choice for when travelling.  Usually we find Verizon has the better coverage, especially in remote areas of the west.  But it is not uncommon for Verizon to have no service while you get still get AT&T.  No perfect answers here.  It seems to me (knowing nothing about the cell phone business) that there would be much better service (and much less uselessly expensive duplication of towers, etc) if all the providers agreed to use one another's towers.

You know what, you are correct.  My wife and the rest of my family have Verizon.  Last week we were boating the great lakes and I often had better coverage on the water than they did (so we could play our Bluetooth music) and Verizon sort of sucked.  If I head to the north woods, my main hunting partner has Verizon and almost always has better coverage. 

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OutlawTorn

ATT is the only carrier providing service to our house in Northern MN.  Anyone who visits with Verizon, Sprint, t-Mobile is on my wi-fi.  Although, my signal strength has gotten inexplicably weaker the last couple years across multiple devices.

 

It used to be that way for most of Northern MN, but many of my hunting areas are getting more Verizon service.  And, out in the western Dakota's I used to get no service on ATT almost anywhere outside larger towns ten years ago - but Verizon was fine.  Now my ATT service is OK in most areas of the Dakota's.

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quailguy
2 hours ago, Greg Hartman said:

FWIW, I have Verizon and Nancy has AT&T.  This is a deliberate choice for when travelling.  Usually we find Verizon has the better coverage, especially in remote areas of the west.  But it is not uncommon for Verizon to have no service while you get still get AT&T.  No perfect answers here.  It seems to me (knowing nothing about the cell phone business) that there would be much better service (and much less uselessly expensive duplication of towers, etc) if all the providers agreed to use one another's towers.

So far as I can find out, each cell phone company regards the location of their cell phone towers as Tippy Bippy Top Secret.

But, there are apps that will a help you find your local or even most/all cell phone towers.  An Apple app is called Cell Phone Coverage Map. There are others too.  

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Spin

Up in the Hurons in the UP Verizon had the best coverage overall. Still some dead areas but the best and widest. This is dated however and I'm not up to date on today's conditions.

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406dn
5 hours ago, Big Al said:

 

Verizon is very unreliable in Montana.  I don't have service more than I do have it. 

 

I used to have AT&T and there were LARGE gaps in their cell coverage. The gaps were in many of the areas that I hunted in. Verizon has much better coverage in the areas I frequent. None of them are perfect, for certain.

 

Most of it is we are in a huge state with sparse population and terrain that isn't always friendly to cell signals. One thing the oil boom did was greatly improve the cell coverage in NE Montana. Actually, everywhere I've been if there is energy development in the region,,, you can get a signal in some surprising places. I wish there was a decent signal where my brother and I elk hunt. There if I want to make a call,, it's either drive about six miles or ride my horse up on a ridge above the camp site.

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spring

In Georgia, AT&T works great in the more populated northern half of the state, but if you travel to our rural areas, you have to have Verizon. I've found having unlimited GMC Wifi in my truck eliminates most problems; feel like I'm pretty much good to go anywhere. 

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Marc Ret

I was with Verizon for a number of years but dropped them and went to AT&T eight years ago. AT&T's coverage is much better where I use a phone 90% of the time. Upstate PA's a different story though. I use a friend's cabin in NC PA throughout the year and have no service with my business phone. Picked up a cheap Samsung Galaxy off EBay that uses Verizon's towers and buy a Tracfone card (less than $100 for a year) for service. Best of best worlds. 

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