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Old 12-06-2015, 06:51 PM   #15
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Our plan is to have phones with two different carriers for a while as a test. It really doesn't cost anything other than time.

Thanks son, I see the coverage maps, Quite interesting. T-Mobile shows coverage in Canada on their maps, probably using a local carrier.
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Old 12-06-2015, 07:04 PM   #16
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I was up at Mt. Baker Wa. on Tmob and had voice but was unable to get data until I got back into range in Northern Co. I came down through ID,MT,WY. I could not do campground look ups or any googling on the web at all. They are okay in Major metro areas but dont do very well for data away from those areas. JMHO
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:07 PM   #17
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This is an interesting thread to me. We live in a rural area in E. Ohio. The only cellular coverage we can really count on is Verizon. In the past we tried using their MiFi for our internet(no cable). It kept saying we were using above our allotment, bumping us up to larger plans. So I tried an experiment and shut off our Mifi(even removed the sim card), shut off the internet in our phones. Waited a week or two before going into Verizon to check our usage. Oddly, it showed the same amount of excessive data usage. The verizon rep had no answer as to why, agreed to let us out of our MiFi contract, but refused to refund any of our previous billing. I've never felt the same about the company since, but they are the only coverage for cell phone that we can depend on, here at home (we have had friends here with AT &T and Sprint-neither had service). We have since found a wireless provider for our internet that is mostly dependable and can watch Netflix or You Tube for $35/month. Verizon was charging us $250/month for 2 phones and 20 Gig of data for our internet that almost NEVER worked.
So , I am hoping someone here will have a good solution for when we start to travel.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:00 PM   #18
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And for those in/travelling within Canada - here is the Canadian coverage:
http://www.comparecellular.ca/coverage-maps/

And a quote from my son, (former employee of MTS)


"Though in a nutshell, Rogers and MTS have the best Canadawide coverage, and Bell and Telus have the worst."

It's good to have kids that are techies
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:42 PM   #19
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I tried Tmobile. Left Verizon to save money. I live in the Indianapolis suburbs and there were lots of places I could not get a phine signal, data signal or neither. Lots of big patches of no service, even if I was willing to settle for 2G. I am a Realtor and my mobility is important so I had to switch. The new Android phones could not be used on Verizon or Sprint so ai had to use AT&T. At least I had no contract to break. I love my $150 ZTE Zmax phone though. The last time I camped, I got an infinity wifi connection and used Hot Spot to throw it to my laptop and watched TV and a movie on demand. It did use a lot of data - 1 gb for a 2 hr movie.. My AT&T plan is $175 for 30 gb of data to share between 2 phones with 1 month rollover. So I cant do a movie every night. The campground had free wifi for email and internet access and it worked with the live TV. So I only needed to use my AT&T data for the movie. I am putting a small TV w/ a DVD player ao we can use Red Boxl rentals and not need to use data for movies much. I am also going to check into the wifi antennas you can put on top. I hear you can get a Digital Antenna on top to pick up local TV broadcast in some cities. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:46 PM   #20
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We have had T-Mobile a few years now, and like it but coverage in remote areas is not good. For a cross country trip we are planning for next year I am considering getting a Verizon wifi hotspot device to use in addition to our T-Mobile phones.

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Old 12-07-2015, 04:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by OhTom View Post
This is an interesting thread to me. We live in a rural area in E. Ohio. The only cellular coverage we can really count on is Verizon. In the past we tried using their MiFi for our internet(no cable). It kept saying we were using above our allotment, bumping us up to larger plans. So I tried an experiment and shut off our Mifi(even removed the sim card), shut off the internet in our phones. Waited a week or two before going into Verizon to check our usage. Oddly, it showed the same amount of excessive data usage. The verizon rep had no answer as to why, agreed to let us out of our MiFi contract, but refused to refund any of our previous billing. I've never felt the same about the company since, but they are the only coverage for cell phone that we can depend on, here at home (we have had friends here with AT &T and Sprint-neither had service). We have since found a wireless provider for our internet that is mostly dependable and can watch Netflix or You Tube for $35/month. Verizon was charging us $250/month for 2 phones and 20 Gig of data for our internet that almost NEVER worked.
So , I am hoping someone here will have a good solution for when we start to travel.
Thomas,

Your situation is not explainable though Netflix can chew through any data plan. When we gave up broadcast TV and first switched to streamed TV we were using over 100 gigabytes of data a month.

I was wondering what provider you are now using.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:14 AM   #22
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Interesting topic...I find that coverage is far more important than some other features. My primary reason to own a cell phone is to call and be called.
Coverage maps often fail to note the many blind spots with no coverage.
I live in the Adirondacks in upstate NY and also spend a lot of time in Northern
Maine and most companies offer little coverage, spotty coverage or no coverage at all. My advise is not to trust their coverage maps or the tall tales the sales people spin when you ask about coverage.

If the phone companies would just switch to satellite based systems and give up their antique cell towers things might improve. As I understand it Europe does not rely on cell towers but satellite based systems for proper coverage.

If you live and/or camp in the boonies you already know the penalty you must pay for peace, quiet and country living...it can all be frightening when you can't call 911 or anyone else in a life and death emergency.
Where I live even land lines are unreliable.

Good Luck whatever plan you choose!!
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Thomas,

Your situation is not explainable though Netflix can chew through any data plan. When we gave up broadcast TV and first switched to streamed TV we were using over 100 gigabytes of data a month.

I was wondering what provider you are now using.
Hi Norm,

Our current provider is Verizon for cellular (no choice due to reception) and when they had our internet, it would never load hardly anything, let alone a video.
Our internet provider now is a very small 3-4 person(RAA Data Svc) company that has a tower in the next town over. He puts up relays where possible and then aligns a receiver on the side of your home, cabled to a switch inside and your router. The owner is a character, a hard working entrepreneur, that said "every customer is $1 a day, doesn't sound like much of a living, until you add up all the customers".
I can't tell you how exciting it was to be able to watch a movie here without driving to a video rental store--magic. It reminded me of when I was a boy and a neighbor had the first color tv. None of the area stations were broadcasting in color yet, so we all went over and watched the static in color (red, blue, green).
Armstrong Cable stops 2 houses away. I went to their office and asked what it would take to get the cable up to our house (say 400' max) and the manager quoted me $9000.00, and that would just get it to the pole in the cornfield across the street ! Then I would also have to pay to run across the street and then the 175' down to our house. Needless to say....
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:36 PM   #24
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Cable ??? I had cable TV and could not wait to get rid of it. I switched to Direct TV and I can say it is the best run company I have ever delt with.
Cost and variety beats cable hands down. Cable is just overpriced.
Direct TV= better picture quality, greater variety, better sound quality and fantastic HD clarity!!! Plus great customer service.
Everyone who switched to Direct TV from cable at my suggestion is 100% happy.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:09 PM   #25
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Smile T Mobile here

Our son bought us a T Mobile phone while we were visiting him in Honolulu several years ago.
We have kept up the subscription ever since. Once a year we renew for $100 for 1000 minutes. That works out to $8/month. We hardly ever use it but they do carry over unused minutes if you don't let the subscription lapse. Coverage isn't the best, but it suits our needs.
For internet on the road, we use our laptop at McDonald's or other restaurants that have WIFI connection.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:17 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Thanks son, I see the coverage maps, Quite interesting. T-Mobile shows coverage in Canada on their maps, probably using a local carrier.
I suggest you ask T-Mobile who their roaming arrangement is within Canada. Then check which bands/services their arrangements provide.

We only have a few actual carriers here, many of the companies resell the biggies.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:45 PM   #27
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With declining service at home from Verizon over several years even with a range extender hooked to DSL, we switched to Consumer Cellular which is on the ATT network and we couldn't be happier! No contract, low cost build your own plans of talk & data, great reception, and 2 new smart phones for me & wife for well under $200 and we have no complaints! Our bill is now half what it was
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:58 AM   #28
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Looking for a phone for on the road, I asked here. From the the responses we went with Tracfon. A simple phone was $20. For $20 we get 90 days and 120-150 minutes. Ours is a GSM phone so I suspect it uses AT&T. So far, so good but I'm told if you need customer assistance you will need to learn a new language.

Up until recently the only way we could get internet at home was a Verizon mifi. While the technology is fast, our data rate was slow. At times close to dial up slow. Lots of folks on with insufficient capacity. I doubt T mobile would be different. So while they advertise free streaming, will they have the capacity to pull it off?
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