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Thread: Cell Phone Service Provider Signal Strength (November 2012)

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    Default Cell Phone Service Provider Signal Strength (November 2012)

    I did a search and did not find anything too recent about cell phone service on the Mountain. What's the latest skinny on cell phone service provider signal strength? My present provider does not get a good signal, but that may be due to the age of the phone (it's so old, it has a rotary dial!)

    Thanks Much!
    OldManDave

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    There are some old threads floating around (e.g. http://www.shannondale.org/forum/sho...n-the-mountain), but basically these days you seem to be mostly subject to your home's location in regards to your provider's nearest cell tower. Thus, these threads always tend to generate a ton of specific answers, but none of them will apply to you. e.g. Our neighbors get Sprint great; we can't get them at all.

    Just remember all phones can be returned within a few days, so be sure to test them around the house.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    Just remember all phones can be returned within a few days, so be sure to test them around the house.
    This is good advice. But, keep in mind that around here cell coverage is a floating target. Where you get full coverage today, may be a dropped call next month.



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    We use US Cellular and it seems to work fine. My neighbor uses Verizon and was able to also purchase a cell phone extender for the house, it does not drop signal

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    It depends on where you are..
    There are lots of dead spots, lots of good spots, and even more so so spots as you move around.
    - My house, 1 to 2 bars... my neighbors, 0 bars as an example.

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    We had a similar problem due to our home's location. We got in touch with Sprint (our cell service provider) and got them to send us what is called an Airave (pronounced Air Rave). This device transmits your cell phone signal over your cable/dsl/broadband internet connection (if you have one) and you get a perfectly clear signal (with 3G and all). The Airave hooks either directly to your modem/internet connection device or your wireless router. If you have Sprint I would suggest giving them a call. We got ours for free!

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    LazerFlash (11-10-2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatDingee View Post
    If you have Sprint I would suggest giving them a call. We got ours for free!
    Yeah, well, you were lucky. When T-Mobile tweaked their local tower so that Wal-Mart could sell their Family Mobile service, we went from full coverage to no coverage. At some point, some tech suggested a product similar to Airave, but we'd have to buy it. Thanks, but no thanks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazerFlash View Post
    Yeah, well, you were lucky. When T-Mobile tweaked their local tower so that Wal-Mart could sell their Family Mobile service, we went from full coverage to no coverage. At some point, some tech suggested a product similar to Airave, but we'd have to buy it. Thanks, but no thanks...
    Can't say I blame ya there, certainly wouldn't want to spend any extra money on a service that you already have to pay for. That's why we didn't go for the signal booster antenna, they're like $200.00 or bettter and no guarentee that it would work.
    Last edited by PatDingee; 11-10-2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: typo

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    We use boost mobile its sprints prepaid phone and we have great signal on the mtn.

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    Airrave==femtocell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femtocell

    All of which illustrates my point. One person needs a femtocell to access Sprint, the next says it works fine for them all over the mountain! From what I've heard, femtocells tend to suck up a lot of bandwidth, so if you're trying to watch a movie and someone gets a phone call your movie is going to have to be paused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazerFlash View Post
    Yeah, well, you were lucky. When T-Mobile tweaked their local tower so that Wal-Mart could sell their Family Mobile service, we went from full coverage to no coverage. At some point, some tech suggested a product similar to Airave, but we'd have to buy it. Thanks, but no thanks...
    We've had T-Mobile for about 10 years. When we started we had to go outside to get a signal but for the past 4 or 5 years we get full strength inside the house (except for a couple times like last June/July when the power to the tower went down). I complained on a survey to them about bad coverage in Harpers Ferry and Summit Point and someone called about 3 weeks ago and I went over their coverage shortcomings in detail. The woman kept telling me that they wanted to keep in our good graces and would investigate.
    Not Shannondale
    Mountainside Road

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    Quote Originally Posted by kconant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LazerFlash View Post
    Yeah, well, you were lucky. When T-Mobile tweaked their local tower so that Wal-Mart could sell their Family Mobile service, we went from full coverage to no coverage. At some point, some tech suggested a product similar to Airave, but we'd have to buy it. Thanks, but no thanks...
    We've had T-Mobile for about 10 years. When we started we had to go outside to get a signal but for the past 4 or 5 years we get full strength inside the house (except for a couple times like last June/July when the power to the tower went down). I complained on a survey to them about bad coverage in Harpers Ferry and Summit Point and someone called about 3 weeks ago and I went over their coverage shortcomings in detail. The woman kept telling me that they wanted to keep in our good graces and would investigate.
    We had been with T-Mobile almost from their beginning in the US - around 2001 or 2002, I think. At one point, we had five phones under our Family Plan. Unlike you, we didn't fair as well. After many, many months of calls to their customer service and then customer retention departments, we ultimately threw in the towel.

    I noticed that you mentioned bad coverage in Summit Point. While we don't live there, we are close (near the Pembroke sub-division). Literally overnight it seemed, we went from full coverage in the house to 0-1 bars at best; anyone in the basement was out of luck. For us, this was really bad, as we had 'cut-the-cord' a year before, and were totally reliant on our cell phones. The only way we knew what had happened was a bit of sleuthing, a bit of putting some of the pieces together and then finally someone with T-Mobile admitted what had happened. The upshot was there was nothing they could or would do for us, so they lost a long-time customer, Which is a shame, because there Family Plan is reasonable, their phone selection was very good and other than piss-poor coverage in this part of the county, they generally had a pretty good covera
    ge map. (And, the girl in their commercials is hot.
    )

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    In case anyone is interested, I decided to stick with Verizon and get one of the network extenders in addtion to a new phone. I may or may not get a signal booster for my car, but we'll see how that goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmandave View Post
    I decided to stick with Verizon and get one of the network extenders in addtion to a new phone. I may or may not get a signal booster for my car,
    By 'network extender' do you mean a femtocell? Remind me where you are that you can't get Verizon? Did you try any other network providers?

    And what is a 'signal booster' for a car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    By 'network extender' do you mean a femtocell? Remind me where you are that you can't get Verizon? Did you try any other network providers?

    And what is a 'signal booster' for a car?
    "Network extender" is what Verizon calls a femtocell.
    I think part of my reception issue was my phone. The decision to stay with Verizon was based on a little bit o' research, the aquisition of the network extender and a little bit of laziness. Changing / trying other providers would be a bit more work and from the diversity of repsonses, the risk / effort / benefit ratio was not there.

    Signal booster... something along the lines of this, but I need to do some a little bit more research first.
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Wilson+E...522457&st=cell phone signal booster&cp=1&lp=13

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    I know what you mean about 'inertia'. Often the urge to stay with what you have is so strong we'll jump through hoops rather than just try something else. I'm often guilty myself.

    The mobile signal booster seems a hoot. It's an outside antenna which should help in a metal car, but no cell phone I've ever seen has any method to connect an external antenna. So clearly these things must actually be 'repeaters'. Sure enough, this article uses the old term 'repeater'. And that's what we're reduced to - not only paying exorbitant monthly fees but also using tricks like femtocells and repeaters to actually get the darn things to work right!

    I really doubt you need a repeater around here. Sure, you might lose signal at some points, but it's really not a huge problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    I know what you mean about 'inertia'. Often the urge to stay with what you have is so strong we'll jump through hoops rather than just try something else. I'm often guilty myself.
    That statement reminds me of the decision decades ago that I made to buy a CP/M compiler so that I could modify a program to run on my old TRS-80 Model 4, rather than buck up and join the 'IBM PC clone' world that had pretty much left the Z-80 processors in the dust. You know that I spent hours tweaking that bloody piece of comm software and got another two years out of the old girl before retiring her and buying a Dell.

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    Default Cell Service - AT&T

    I have AT&T here in KFA. So I have a near straight shot to the tower behind the bowling alley. Still, I can be in the kitchen with four bars, and then walk to my bedroom and have one bar. In some rooms, my phone will make a call, but not receive one. I drive Chestnut Hill Rd. --- our only 'escape route' --- a lot, and there is really only two 'dead spots' -- one is where it intersects with Keyes Gap Rd., and the other is the ski slope that runs down onto 340.


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