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Old 03-14-2005, 09:50 AM   #1
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Cell Phone for full timer

I am going full time on May 15th and need advice on cell phone.
I will be calling all over the place from all over the place!! Need best covarage and best price.
Any Advise welcome.

Don

PS: Since this is my first post since canser surgery, I am about 70% back too normal, and they think they got it all. So ready too get on the road.
Trailer come's back from body shop 03-17-05. Had it painted silver too match my 05 F-250 which I picked up 01-04-05.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:19 AM   #2
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Cellular Service

Semper Fi Gunny, We've had Verizon for years and like it fine. They have good rate plans and a really good coverage area. I believe they were rated overall best among the major carriers recently (on things like coverage area, cost, customer service).

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P.S. Thank you for your service to our country.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:41 AM   #3
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Semper Fi, Gunny:

I'm own a telephone answering service, and I concur, Verizon will give you wide coverage at a reasonable price. Nationwide the only one that HAD a better rep was AT&T, but as you know they are being bought out (whoda thunk) so their long term superiority is in question. AT&T is virtually flawless and their price were quite high for nationwide.

I'd go with Verizon as the best price & quality combo. Everyone else please remember if you are in the boonies of Montana, in high mountains or very deserted places you should not bet your life that your cell will work. Tell someone reliable where you are going, when you will check in "alive & well" and exactly who to call if you don't check in. A local rescue actually saved a couple of idiot boaters 15 miles out at sea by finding their cell phone signal. If the boat had a radio, emergency GPS locator, etc. they didn't know how to use it. These drunks still had fuel when found. They said got disoriented once they lost sight of the coast!

You might be a redneck - if you can't figure that if you sail out of Virginia Beach and the sun sets in the west, you point your boat toward the afternoon sun and land WILL appear...

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Old 03-14-2005, 11:24 AM   #4
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Cingular has more coverage at cheaper rates and none of that "In network BS". In network is no roaming out of network is roaming. Cingulars current plans are no roaming EVER within the US and that includes Hawaii, Alaska, Porto Rico and US virgin Islands. All the phones Cingular sells are "world phones" so they will work in Europe. I would recommend a Quad band if you are going to be a world traveler. International roaming is about $1.50-180 a minute but a Quad band product will support a Prepaid SIM that will get you rates around 25 cents a minute while you are overseas.

Also if you are calling Cingular or AT&T users its free 24 hours a day no matter where you are or they are in the US. Many of the Cingular products will also support Edge Data (high speed data for lap tops) with a adapter cord. If you are close to a EDGE enabled tower you can run up to 120k line speeds (thats near slow DSL). More phones at better prices as well.


I'm a little bias....I sell Cingular.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:57 AM   #5
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I vote for Cingular/AT&T(I started with AT&T, my son has Cingular)...I live near the Cal Coast northen Coast which has very few opportunities for reception and manage to get more windows than those with other plans...it seems to rotate back and forth between Cingular and ATT depending on the signals...also the free moble to moble min between Cing and AT&T are great(my son never exceeds his min and gets rollover min since this started)...so is the No roaming...I also have a triband if that makes any diff.I think it all depends on where you will be traveling and needing phone service.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:59 AM   #6
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Cell phone coverage

I circled the USA last Spring & Summer. I researched the coverages and settled on AT&T with TDMA. This is being phased out (so they tell me), although the new world phones mentioned, I believe, are GSM. The GSM towers are being constructed and phased in.

When out West, Oregon, Washington, middle Calif. (away from the Big Citys and away from the Interstate highways) other travelers were always saying "Do you have a signal? I don't". They all had GSM and were borrowing my phone.

If I stayed near the Big City or the Super Highways, I would persoanlly get GSM. Well, I don't so my choice was good for me. From Mt. Rushmore to Glacier NP, to Banff to Yosemite I could always make a call when I wanted.

I am not a technician, & do not profess to know what I am talking about, just my personal experience LAST YEAR.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:59 AM   #7
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Oh, and from a "sailor town" - They say I'm rotten to the corps, but great to the fleet!

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Old 03-14-2005, 12:03 PM   #8
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59toaster, I have had Cingular since 1989 and am no techie but want to know about hooking up a notebook computer to wireless when camping. I was told that I could subscribe to internet for 9.99/month and get 2 mgbs/mo. and just hook my computer to my Motorola V60 with a 39.99 cable. There was a less expensive option where I could pay by the partial mgbs but I don't remember exactly what it was, maybe .99/half mgbs. That was all the CS rep at the Fayetteville Cingular store could tell me. She was new to the internet offering at the time. I haven't checked back since I'm in no big hurry right now.

Can you offer any more info?
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:08 PM   #9
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Other than the 'rubble' in this thread, you should find some good information.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...=free+internet
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:32 PM   #10
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We have att/cingular gsm service. We have no roam charges, free long distance and plenty of mins. BUT..... in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Monatana and Wyoming, when we leave the interstate corridors we have no service! They say they are putting up more cell towers..... I'm waiting.....
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Old 03-14-2005, 01:08 PM   #11
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I have the Verizon America's Choice plan. Been very happy with coverage AND no roaming charges. They also have free night and weekend talk times.

Dennis
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Old 03-14-2005, 02:00 PM   #12
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I went with Verizon, but be aware that I did not go with the America's Choice plan since I felt there were too many holes in the coverage area that would be considered roaming. Instead I went with their nationwide plan which covers the entire US. This plan gives you fewer minutes (or is more expensive than America's Choice) but I wanted something where if I had signal, I would use it.

If you get Verizon remember to occasionally update your roaming tables (*228) in your home city (the city where you get your phone). Verizon is constantly updating cell towers and roaming partners so its important to update once a month or so. Be aware that you need to do this only when you are in your home city.

I have had occasions that even when in a Verizon city, I have had some weak signals (due to me being inside some buildings) which caused my phone to roam. In those cases calls are still free, whereas if I was in America's Choice, I would have paid a roaming fee.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 03-14-2005, 02:00 PM   #13
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Best Web Wireless Services & WISPs

Strictly my professional opinion - I have had the opportunity to test all major wireless web providers and use three of them for assured coverage.

Although all providers have hot and dead spots, the best of them overall in my limited utility tests has been Verizon Wireless. Nextel came in second due to lack of coverage issues, and Cingular came in third. That might change now that Cingular acquired AT&T. Check out http://www.bbwexchange.com/wisps/ T-Mobile was not reviewed at the time because of very limited coverage areas.

We use dozens of laptops that have Sierra Wireless brand access cards inserted into the PCMCIA (PC) ports. These are lightning fast on the upgraded Verizon "EVDO" network. Cingular/AT&T offer their EDGE network equivalent.

Reception can be improved noticably by using an external antenna on the laptop cards, and a few phones will still permit such an attachment.

I was surprised when a number of forum members suggest that I offer to do a more extensive report on wireless services, land and satellite-based, GPS enabled devices and related security services for the new Airstream magazine (what? on paper?) because so many Airstream owners do not have access to the web, or know how to easily get it. A good reality check for me.
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Old 03-14-2005, 02:02 PM   #14
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Anyone out there using Nextel?
Verizon phone service, with free anytime in the continental US, 2-way radio service.
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Old 03-14-2005, 02:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastalview
Anyone out there using Nextel?
Verizon phone service, with free anytime in the continental US, 2-way radio service.
We use Nextel for the business side because of the 2 way feature. Problem is coverage is way too limited for use by someone traveling in an RV.

Jack
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:32 PM   #16
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Jack, makes sense to some degree, that the radio portion of Nextel doesn't work outside most metropolitan areas, but for us, we have found that in some areas that are remote, with any kind of elevation, this feature worked, when cell service was weak.Jeff
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:05 PM   #17
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I'll throw in a quick plug for T-Mobile. T-Mobile was the only service available at both my camp in Maine and my condo in Florida. They offer all of the bells and whistles just like the other guys. Travelling down the Eastern corridor from Maine to Florida I was never without good to excellent service except on one occasion. That was when we made a "last-minute" stop at a nameless campground somewhere in Virginia! Once we were set up for the night, it turned out the Interstate Highway was about 100' above us on the side of the mountain - so I wasn't too surprised. The rest of the time, when parked for the night, we generally had good coverage from inside the Airstream.

As an aside, we had a very expensive experience when we ported our old cell phone numbers from U. S. Cellular. We were told by U. S. Cellular that they would waive the cancellation penalty since we told them at the time we renewed our most recent contract (---and upgraded our phones) that we would possibly be moving to Florida for the Winter. U. S. Cellular acknowledged that they could not provide service at our Florida home and, when and "if" we moved, we could simply cancel the contract without penalty. They honored that agreement - but we were never told about the +/-$130.00 per phone charge for porting the numbers to T-Mobile! Everyone beware! This is a somewhat hidden charge that the cellular phone companies have been tacking on. Alternately, obtaining new numbers would not have been a big problem in our case as the phones were not used for business. By the time we found out about the charge it was too late.
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastalview
Jack, makes sense to some degree, that the radio portion of Nextel doesn't work outside most metropolitan areas, but for us, we have found that in some areas that are remote, with any kind of elevation, this feature worked, when cell service was weak.Jeff
I pretty much based this on our physical facilities staff who used the 2 way but once they went out of town, they used to complain about cellular service on the road once they got off the interstates.

Jack
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:54 PM   #19
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Very true

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I went with Verizon, but be aware that I did not go with the America's Choice plan since I felt there were too many holes in the coverage area that would be considered roaming. Instead I went with their nationwide plan which covers the entire US. This plan gives you fewer minutes (or is more expensive than America's Choice) but I wanted something where if I had signal, I would use it.

If you get Verizon remember to occasionally update your roaming tables (*228) in your home city (the city where you get your phone). Verizon is constantly updating cell towers and roaming partners so its important to update once a month or so. Be aware that you need to do this only when you are in your home city.

I have had occasions that even when in a Verizon city, I have had some weak signals (due to me being inside some buildings) which caused my phone to roam. In those cases calls are still free, whereas if I was in America's Choice, I would have paid a roaming fee.

Regards,

Jack
Semper Fi, from Illinois :-)

Everything that Jack says is TRUE.. we have used Verizon for years and don't have any complaints.

We did have a BIT of trouble getting a signal at the base of the Rockies, in Colorado Springs :-)

I do keep our phones updated w/ *228, but they ARE 2 years old now. I'm getting new ones in a week or so, and won't leave Verizon.
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Old 03-14-2005, 05:05 PM   #20
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Reach out & ...

I've never used this, although I picked up this site through this Forum.

http://www.smoothtalker.com/

I do know that a few years ago, when Analog still was in use, when at the farm the only way I could get service signal was with a 3 watt booster that was sold in a 'bag phone' - I installed the booster in the truck and always had signal.

This may be just as good ... or not.
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