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Old 01-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
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Angry iPhone experiences on the road


I recently dropped Sprint and went with AT&T and a new iPhone 3G. I did this primarily because of poor connections in the hill country around Austin where we live and because of no service in Port O'Connor, TX where I bay fish quite a lot. The change has been dramatically better. I even got my wife on the phone 15 miles from shore. Reception is great. 3G service is unbelievable especially the "Maps" section and locator ability. It is not as nice as some navigation devices but heck it is just a phone ( and computer and camera and e-mail device,etc)

So has anyone had experience with the iPhone out on the road - like WA, OR, CA, Yellowstone, Montana, and Alaska??? We are hoping to go to Alaska in the near future. Denny

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Old 01-11-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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I can say that Richmond KY does NOT have 3G coverage. My wife and I bought ourselves Iphones for Christmas and 3G coverage is noticeably missing there. However when 3G or Wifi coverage is available its amazing how well the phone performs.

So far I am definitely pleased with the phone and what it can do. I've been busy the last few days downloading a lot of the Free apps and playing with them.


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Old 01-12-2009, 02:19 AM   #3
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I've had an iPhone since the 3G came out over the summer, and I've done about 7,000 miles from Tucson to the east coast and back out to the SF Bay Area in CA where I'm currently parked.

Overall, I've been pretty impressed with AT&T's coverage -- they have come a very long way in the past five or six years. In most urban areas (or nearby) I was able to pick up 3G coverage. On the way back out from the east coast, however, we made a point of avoiding interstates and big cities, and there were quite a few times when I could not pick up a reliable data signal of any type. Not entirely unexpected, though, since we spent a good percentage of our time in the boonies.

As far as the phone hardware goes, it's held up well. Twice I was in a rural area with no coverage, and upon returning to a coverage area, the phone would not detect the signal (kept saying No Service...), but I was able to do a hard reboot (hold down "home" and "power" until it goes blank) and it came back up with no problems. A minor annoyance, but something to look out for.

Good luck with the phone... it's served me well...
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:49 AM   #4
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All of the carriers provide maps of their coverage areas. Easily found online.
One company might excel in a given location, but, not another. Depends on where you live.

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Old 01-12-2009, 04:11 AM   #5
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Our iPhones (original, not 3G) have traveled extensively in Montana, Yellowstone and WA. As mentioned above, not every service gets coverage everywhere, but we've been very happy with the coverage we've had.

When there's a mountain between you and the cell tower, no cell phone is going to work.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:06 AM   #6
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Some nice 3G coverage maps here: Cellular Map Net-AT&T 850, 1900 MHz & 3G Coverage
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:36 AM   #7
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The lack of AT&T/iphone coverage in the Four Corners area has saved me a lot of money! My wife has a Blackberry with wireless connections and I have the cheapest Motorola, both with Alltel coverage. I suspect that Virizon will screw up the great Alltel coverage when the merger is complete. Great service in Alaska from a cruise ship by the way.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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The Iphone wifi works very well. I would think anywhere your wife's blackberry works on wifi the Iphone should do the same thing.

So it looks like its time for you to spend some money .

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Old 01-12-2009, 10:07 AM   #9
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A few words about the iPhone that you may or may not have noticed.

If you don't plan to use 3G, or don't have it avail in your area, turn it off. Battery life increases dramatically.

In addition, if you don't need or use Wi-Fi with it turn that off too.

I found that turning both off when not needed gave me a lot more battery life. Even turning one service off was an improvement.

I have noticed that iPhone does do a good job of keeping as many bars as possible, even in some remote areas and in what were normal cell black holes.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Greetings Denny and all mobile hams,

I've just released an iPhone/iPod Touch application for ham radio operators and am about to "go public" with it--you can see the site here:

FreqLoader: iPhone companion for the mobile ham and scanner/amateur radio enthusiast

I still have a few "promo codes" available (Apple limits the number) that allow people to download the app from iTunes for free, and I'm hoping to find iPhone owners that'd be willing to try it out, and keep it, in exchange for giving me some feedback on their experience...

If you'd like to play with the program, and are willing to write me a few words concerning your experience (likes, dislikes, issues you had, things you'd like to have) after a little bit, it would help in making the program more useful for all amateur radio operators.

So, if you've got an iPhone or iPod Touch (firmware version 2.1 or above) and are interested, please head to:

FreqLoader: Become A Beta Tester

and submit the form. Note that the promo codes only seem to work with the U.S. App Store...

Thanks and regards,
Pat Deegan
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:34 PM   #11
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FWIW, I travel quite a bit for my company. I carry with me a company cell phone (AT&T) and a personal cell phone (Verizon).

I can tell you without a doubt that the Verizon coverage is much better, especially in the more rural areas that I frequent.

I have been in a few areas where the local service provider had better coverage (Bluegrass cellular in Kentucky and Edge Wireless in the Teton Valley), but these are the exceptions.

I've not been "everywhere", but I think Verizon is the way to go.

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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I would agree Verizon coverage is better. Many more "dropped" calls with at&t (like, every day, here in New Orleans) but the phone itself is amazing and the 'map' function alone has saved me several times already. Say you want "Levi" blue jeans and you're almost to Baton Rouge. It hits the store (call ahead if you like) and gives you a map there and you go buy jeans. I did this last week and it was perfect. (514 "slim straights" by the way...)
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:03 PM   #13
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I love my iphone but it, as well as my last cell phone do not work while inside the Airstream, which in a way, makes me feel good, but can be frustrating. have others experienced this? Is there a remote antenna for the Iphone that I could use to speak on the cell while inside the high quality aluminum double skin of my 1960?
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:11 PM   #14
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My wife and I travel extensively and have the earlier version (Edge technology) but with wifi. Although ATT coverage in this area (central florida at the moment) is poor there is local campground wifi service. So along with Starbuck's locations, public wifi, and ATT service we get along.

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