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arcturus

Cellphone Coverage & Experiences

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Is cell coverage adequate here in the GR area? Who do you use? Anyone using one of the prepaid providers ... Boost, Virgin Mobile, etc?

I'm going out of contract with Verizon shortly and with everything so dynamic these days I'm leaning to a prepaid service to avoid a new contractual obligation - for a while at least.

While many of the major providers have a prepaid option you can really get hosed by what they charge especially if you're a modest user like myself. Believe it or not I'm 10 minutes away from downtown and rarely get more than 2 bars with Verizon.

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I'll give you my experience with two carriers - Tracfone and AT&T. FWIW - Tracfone uses T-Mobile in Grand Rapids for their service.

Tracfone with an LG flip phone- I've never had a dropped call, inside or outside of my home of work. Downside with Tracfone is that you get what you pay for with regard to customer service... but it's cheap for me - about $10/mo.

AT&T with an iPhone - Drops calls quite a bit in both my home and at work. Downside (besides dropped calls) is the cost for the phone+data = $90/mo. I :wub: my iPhone and can not wait until it is available on another carrier... because I will switch to Verizon or T-Mobile in a heartbeat.

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AT&T with an iPhone - Drops calls quite a bit in both my home and at work. Downside (besides dropped calls) is the cost for the phone+data = $90/mo. I :wub: my iPhone and can not wait until it is available on another carrier... because I will switch to Verizon or T-Mobile in a heartbeat.

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In my experience, AT&T has the best coverage footprint, but the most reliability issues (network busy, dropped calls, etc.). Verizon's coverage is slightly behind AT&T (especially up north), but you're less likely to have trouble when your phone shows bars of coverage.

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In my experience, AT&T has the best coverage footprint, but the most reliability issues (network busy, dropped calls, etc.). Verizon's coverage is slightly behind AT&T (especially up north), but you're less likely to have trouble when your phone shows bars of coverage.

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The only place I've experienced dropped calls with T-mobile was in parts of Wayland and Byron Center. At the time, Byron Center was pretty much a dead zone for all services but Alltel; I do not know if this is still the case.

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Point of information: Verizon bought Alltel. As duplicative sites are turned down (goodby, stealthy antennas atop Union Square), the Alltel coverage will shift, as will the VZW. And some of you know why I can type the previous sentence with authority.

My personal carrier is AT&T.

Depending on where you plan to be calling from, Arcturus, you might look into each of the heralded coverage maps. (Rule of thumb: decrease coverage "cloud" by at least 10%.) If you often travel to, say, Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, the Soo, Howard City, Alpena, Three Rivers, etc., go with Alltel. (Those are all sites I worked on.)

HTH

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For now it looks like Alltel is a strong second. The leading candidate: http://straighttalk.com/

While I'm not exactly thrilled to learn they use Verizon they do offer a competitive package for the price for those needing voice & text messaging. I heard about this over at the slickdeals.net forums.

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Is cell coverage adequate here in the GR area? Who do you use? Anyone using one of the prepaid providers ... Boost, Virgin Mobile, etc?

I'm going out of contract with Verizon shortly and with everything so dynamic these days I'm leaning to a prepaid service to avoid a new contractual obligation - for a while at least.

While many of the major providers have a prepaid option you can really get hosed by what they charge especially if you're a modest user like myself. Believe it or not I'm 10 minutes away from downtown and rarely get more than 2 bars with Verizon.

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AT&T with an iPhone - Drops calls quite a bit in both my home and at work. Downside (besides dropped calls) is the cost for the phone+data = $90/mo. I :wub: my iPhone and can not wait until it is available on another carrier... because I will switch to Verizon or T-Mobile in a heartbeat.

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I'm not saying that's a bad thing - as I said before, I am a customer of theirs... but you get what you pay for. As long as you are an uncomplicated and non-demanding customer, you will probably do well with them.

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That's just it ... many are paying considerably more than need be based on their use and temperment. It's one reason the companies you mentioned are doing as well as they are.

With falling prices and more choices its no wonder people are getting wary about contracts. Verizon's CEO admitted yesterday they're losing customers not only to AT&T but customers who aren't renewing contracts in favor of prepaid.

With monthly savings now approaching $50 - $70 a month you'll see a ton more contracts busted unless the majors respond. Some are already. Another reason I'm staying away from contracts.

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I've had all of the big 4 over the past 6-7 years:

T-Mobile - loved 'em locally, but coverage sucked up north and even around big swaths of Muskegon (full disclosure: this was 6 years ago)

then I went to Verizon and coverage was good, but not worth the premium they charge over other companies

Sprint was next. Everybody thought we sounded like robots on our phones, and coverage was an issue when we moved from downtown to Caledonia (1 bar at home!), so we switched to

AT&T for about a year now - coverage is just OK. Most dropped calls out of anyone.

We keep a T-Mobile prepaid phone as our "home phone" and it works great. If you watch slickdeals you can frequently find a phone (cheap POS but a phone) + $25 airtime for $20 with free shipping. We've gone thru 2 of these so far without any problems at all.

We've got about a year left on our AT&T contract - hopefully when that's up, there will be some legitimate Andriod phones on T-Mobile for the picking. There's been a lot of grumbling lately about ATT and their iPhone exclusivity and now the Google Voice app being dropped is causing all kinds of PR headaches as well.

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