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Pencil_Pusher

Which cellular company to choose?

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Hey all, I'm thinking of upgrading to whatever century we're living in and getting a cell phone. There are a few providers to choose from, I was wondering what y'all thought of the various ones and their coverage?

All those schnazzy extras don't mean much to me (games/text msg/photos). I just want one to talk on while I weave slowly in the left lane.

Thanks mucho.

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I think Verizon or ATT probably have the best coverage, if that's what you're after. I have a T-Mobile GSM phone, and while the coverage isn't great I do get a ton of minutes for cheep. If you get analog service/dual mode/tri-mode you're probably going to get better coverage. The rest of my family lives out on the Olympic Pen and they all use Verizon because it has the best coverage out there.

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I'm not a huge fan of any phone company. That said, Verizon seems to be the best choice for most people I talk to. Sprint's coverage is sorely lacking.

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Verizon and TMobile got rated best in customer service. Don't forget about the phone. Ericcsons are notorious for shitty reception. Nokias known for the opposite. AT&T has a pretty sweet new deal on a Nokia (24 bucks) that features EDGE tech, which will be the next upgrade to the network. THe phone is small with a color screen too.

 

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Verizon has the best coverage on Rainier, without a doubt. They have tuned their towers to increase the reception/calling abilities on the moutain. ATT works at times, but it's not as reliable (their digital vs. analog settings are set differently, so if there's even a tad of digital signal...but not enough to connect, it won't switch to analog and then it doesn't work on either band. At least that how it was for a long time; may have changed). Verizion seems to reliably connect just about everywhere around Rainier, and I've connected as low as Paradise.

 

Verizon seems to work pretty well in other mountain terrains as well.

 

Nokia's are working OK for me, especially with some larger LION batteries (work well in cold).

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Verizon also works well on Baker and it is possible to get reception on Glacier as well. There is a rumor that a cell tower is going to be installed near Mazama which would provide better reception in Washington Pass.

 

Jason

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PP One more vote for Verizon. I spend a lt of time between Darrington, Big Lake, and Anacortes. I often have better reception than others in my group. Next best is NEXTEL but their way more expensive on minutes.

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For those choads that simply MUST stay in touch, the Globalstar system is sweet. It's a regional satellite voice and data system that will keep you connected even on the mountain or the boat. The phones operate as a cellular phone capable of either digital or analog calls when within a cellular coverage area, and as a satellite phone when out of cellular range. This option gives you flexibility in keeping charges low as you only pay for Globalstar satellite service when you need it. Costs of the phones are now down toward $400 with $20 per month service fee and $0.99/minute service. If interested you can check it out at www.globalstar.com

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A search of the site yielded this thread. I did not check it for content regarding your particular request. I leave that to you. That is all. wave.gif

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Pencil_Pusher said:

There are a few providers to choose from, I was wondering what y'all thought of the various ones and their coverage?

 

I've been using Sprint for many years and have been fairly happy with them in-city. Their covferage is excellent in Seattle and along I-90. However, over the last year their "collection tactics" on past-due bills have made me pretty unhappy and I've considered switching because of it.

 

Does anyone know if there is a provider that can be used in both the US and Canada?

 

Alex

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My wife's a worrier. I usually call from the peak, especially if I'm going solo. Verizon has very good coverage in OR, WA, & CA. Both along the major highways and from mountain peaks.

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Any of the digital-only (e.g. Sprint) providers will be essentially worthless in the mountains. Gotta have somebody with a sizable analog (there's always the $$$ satellite option, of course) network, which pretty much means just Verizon or AT&T these days. But even those guys are planning on phasing out all the analog stuff, which will be a real loss for use in remote areas. The only way to maintain coverage in remote areas after switching to all digital will be to have a tower on just about every peak. Not good.

 

I have good reason to believe that Verizon's network is much more extensive than AT&T's in remote areas, especially here in Oregon (and probably in Washington). I'm currently an AT&T customer, but I'm considering switching to Verizon for just that reason. I was in the Wallowas this weekend, and I was roaming (presumably on Verizon's network) all the way back to almost The Dalles. And, for some reason, AT&T hasn't bothered to pursue the booming Central Oregon market. That's pure Verizon territory. I assume similar areas in Washington face the same issues.

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Alex said:

Pencil_Pusher said:

There are a few providers to choose from, I was wondering what y'all thought of the various ones and their coverage?

 

I've been using Sprint for many years and have been fairly happy with them in-city. Their covferage is excellent in Seattle and along I-90. However, over the last year their "collection tactics" on past-due bills have made me pretty unhappy and I've considered switching because of it.

 

Does anyone know if there is a provider that can be used in both the US and Canada?

 

Alex

 

Alex - Sprint sucks. Static and dropped calls. They used to have the computer call me regarding my bill every month even though it was automatically paid by my company AMEX card...total pain.

 

AT&T works in Canada. The calls are expensive unless you sign up for the "Canada Plan" which is I think $20 a month and adds Canada to your home service area. You don't have to keep it for the whole year either. If you're going to be up there for an extended period and making lots of calls it might be worth it to add then delete when you get home. If you just want coverage in case you need to be reached, then pay the $1.50 per 1-2 minute call or just use the phone as an answering service and pull your messages using a phone card from a pay phone.

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Verizon is definitely the best coverage in this area, with AT&T coming in second. Even with my digital only phone, I could get verizon service at cascade pass and many areas around there. With a tri-mode phone you'll get even more roaming coverage.

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I was talking to a friend of mine who's vacationing in Kansas City, MO. Both of us have an Everett number with Verizon, and there was no long distance or roaming bullshit goin' on. Verizon's coverage extends at least that far. On the other hand, when I was in Montana this summer, I was roaming...go figure? hahaha.gif

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She called this morning and said she'd been shopping at the Cabelas Store. Said they had much more and cooler shit than REI and for much less money. Later she's going to the range to shoot some guns a friend that lives there is bringing along.

 

My kinda girl thumbs_up.gif

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trask said:

She called this morning and said she'd been shopping at the Cabelas Store. Said they had much more and cooler shit than REI and for much less money. Later she's going to the range to shoot some guns a friend that lives there is bringing along.

 

My kinda girl thumbs_up.gif

cabelas has many many camo designs. rei has none. how can you even compare the two stores? hellno3d.gif

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here's another vote against sprint. I drop calls all the time, even in the city. As soon as my contract is up, I'll switch. I was under the impression that AT&T had the best coverage, but that was just an impression not based on actual data. Sounds like Verizon is the ticket. (As for coverage outside of the PNW, Verizon seems to have the best coverage in the Northeast.)

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why do you guys all want to be talking on your phones when you are out in the mountains? Is it so you can call your friends and go "can you hear me now?" like a bunch of college freshmen?

 

 

i know about emergencies in the mountains, and a cell phone is a very very unreliable piece of rescue equipment. ten years ago cell phones weighed about two pounds and no one was lugging those POS up in the hills... did you all used to talk about optimizing your CB radio sets or a ham radio set you would lug to the top of glacier peak if it was stomy out?

 

I'm really taken aback at the amounts of interest in carrying and using cellphones in the mountains- are jon and timmy hosting mountaineers first aid and safety discussions in here now? Am i still posting to cascadeclimbers.com?

 

"i had my cell phone up on glacier peak, and it got stormy, and we got scared, so i called my mommy."

 

what a seriously disgusting thread this is, it's really got me thinking about all the mounties groups i see out in the hills asking me if i've got a cell phone...

I sometimes think they are needing to call for route beta

 

(gator at rainier tells me they get those calls increasingly every year...."this frostbite ridge, it really is a bit more difficult than we thought... we're at some ice cliffs and rock pinnacles, can you suggest which way we go?"...and calls like"this weather is bad, we're all hunkered down at camp, but can you send up a rescue party?" are frequently fielded by park rangers)

 

the_finger.gif

 

 

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how can you ever expect to drink beer at work if you carry a cell phone?

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iain said:

how can you ever expect to drink beer at work if you carry a cell phone?

Camelback.

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