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Old 01-10-2007, 04:02 PM   #1
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Will be traveling around the U.S.A. starting FEB .
What is a good cell phone service.
Thanks Dave

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Old 01-10-2007, 04:31 PM   #2
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we use Verizon and are basically satisfied, we went to the Northwest last summer from Florida and had a few dead spots in Oregon, Washington and Montana. We went to Vancouver Island and told our kids not to call unless they were taking their last breath as the price per minute shot sky high

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Old 01-10-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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I have Sprint and have had good luck. they now have a plan that even if it is roaming it doesn't cost extra just against your time.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
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Look at the coverage maps for the big three (Cingular, Sprint, and Verizon). Consider the areas you are going to travel thru. Each provider has better service in various areas. Supposedly the biggest network is Sprint. Next is Verizon and then Cingular (they get a lot of little locals to carry their calls. There are still some places where you get no siginal from any provider. I have had both Verizon and Sprint. Several years ago I got fed up with the Sprint customer dis-service so I switched to Verizon. Then this summer, Verizon started messing with my service and wouldn't give me straight answers or fix the problems. Back to Sprint. Not much better. I had been using EVDO (data) with Veriszon and now use Broadband with Sprint.

What really irks me is the areas where one or two wireless companies have a monopoly and charge outrageous roaming charges. Much of Wisconsin is that way. I even found some areas on the east coast that are nnot covered.

Shop the plans hard. Right now Sprint plans are cheaper than Verizon. That could change tomorrow. Also, be aware that many phones are not transferable from carrier to carrier. You can keep your phone number, but probably will have to get a new phone if you change carriers.

Verizon Coverage map
Sprint Coverage map
Cingular coverage map

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Old 01-10-2007, 06:02 PM   #5
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I use Cingular. I had AT&T until they merged.
There are several things to consider. Roaming charges are a big one and long distance calls for somebody traveling are another biggy.

My plan has no North America roaming charges and no additional long distance charges. And if I'm calling another Cingular phone that time doesn't count about my minutes.

As was said shop around.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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We use Verizon. We have for many years. This year they took away the free internet that was part of the plan and said we would have to pay $60.00 a month for internet. We priced all the other services through other dealers and looked at deals and read consumer reports that said over all Verizon is best. Yesterday, we finally broke down and got a broadband card. $60.00 a month plus the $25 for the cell phone but it is only for a year and the amount we use the internet on the road is worth it. Just be sure to ready all of the fine print and deside if the buy out if you have to leave early is worth it. We paid an extra $40 for the broad band card to keep the contract at just one year.
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #7
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It depends on where one travels; looking at the coverage maps linked above will give some good ideas. When I was researching the subject a couple of years ago, using the Yahoo Group Internet by Cell Phone (lots of good info in their files section, which should be read before posting), most of the FullTime and heavy-use RVers there where using Verizon and/or Sprint (some folks had phones in both systems).

BTW, I know it is possible to make a temporary change in many Verizon plans to add Canada/Mexico to your plan for something like $10/month, with the drawback being that it must start and end with your billing cycle and be in full months.

I also know that once a contract expires, if one is careful to make no new agreements (like use the New Every Two), the plan will continue to be available on a month-to-month basis.

Right now, if one is lucky enuf to be in an AllTel service area, they have a data plan that is very inexpensive compared to others.

My brother and his wife recently were traveling around in their motorhome with a Verizon (America's Choice Plan) phone each, plus a Verizon phone ($10/month each) for each of their adult children so they could remain in full contact without using plan minutes, plus they didn't need plan minutes to talk to me because I also have Verizon. So, what other folks have that you may want to talk to a lot may influence what carrier you use.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:41 PM   #8
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I use Cingular. I had AT&T until they merged.
There are several things to consider. Roaming charges are a big one and long distance calls for somebody traveling are another biggy.

My plan has no North America roaming charges and no additional long distance charges. And if I'm calling another Cingular phone that time doesn't count about my minutes.

As was said shop around.

We use Cingular.........our phone( DH as gone on Brothers only Trips) has been from Tx to Alaska up thru Washington & montana then this past summer from Tx to Cal.There have been a few times that the reception was not real good...but he could always get thru. We go to Mi a lot and even into the UP ( Hello Al like your neck of the woods a lot) we have never had any problems going that way.

I do agree Check the coverage areas and the coverage Plans ( we use Nation Wide Coverage Plan) Take your time,if you can, and shop around you will find what is right for you.

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Old 01-10-2007, 07:54 PM   #9
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We use Verizon with a family plan with our daughter. For the most part, it has worked well. We subscribe to unlimited Internet and use my Treo phone to maintain email and web site connection. I have used it to post messages here when we were camping. Signal strength has been adequate except for parts of SW SC and in Yellowstone. It has helped my husband and I continue to do our job responsibilities while on the road.

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Old 01-11-2007, 09:10 PM   #10
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Well, .....I'll put in my .02 cents worth on this one.

I have Cingular "Nation Wide", and have no Roaming charges anywhere, Nor do I have any Long Distance Charges. Calls to other Cingular customers are free. Nights and weekends, I have over 16 hours per month of free time, to call anyone from anywhere to anywhere.

Best consideration, ....we were in a State Park outside of Grand Junction, Colorado, sitting next to a Verizon customer. She was lamenting because she had no cell phone service, and while we were talking, my phone rang. It was my son from Baton Rouge, and we had a crystal clear conversation.

Needless to say the verizon customer was Pis.........!

Just remember, ...."Your mileage my vary"
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:34 AM   #11
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We went wirless about two years ago -- we took the phone and answering machine out of the house and now rely on our cell phones completely. (The phone company does leave the phone line "live" for 911 calls.)

I got rid of the home phone:

(a) because I was spending $35 per month to get calls from telemarketers at home. If I was home I just hung up on them, but when we were not home they filled up my answering machine and it took 30 minuets to clear them off.
( my phone bill consisted of $23 for phone service and $12 for taxes and fees -- it just irked me.
© We weren't ever home anyway -- anyone who knew us and really needed to call us always used our cell phones anyway.

We bought TracFones and haven't be dissappointed with the service or the price. If you buy the minutes in 400 minute chunks it costs about $130 per year for service and 10 cents a minute for calls. If we are out of our "home" area it costs 20 cents a minute. We find that we spend about about $50 per month for two phones (separate phone numbers).

Note: We don't use phones much anyway -- about 250-300 minutes per month for the two of us. Also the service and connections have been excellent but we mainly travel in the south -- as far East as Savanah/Charleston, as far south as New Orleans & Tampa as far West as Missouri and Oklahoma/Texas, as far north as Tennessee (north?). Never had a problem with service. We've been with campers who had Nextel, Verison, or Cinguar and they were surprised that we had phone service and they didn't.

Since we had the cell phones, dropping the home phone save us about $420 per year -- almost enough to cover the cost of the cell phones.

One nice thing is you can try the TracFones and if you don't like them -- no long term contract.

Anyway -- they work for us.
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:49 AM   #12
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I'll jump in here as well. We have two providers; our home cell service is with U.S. Cellular, but my work phones are with Verizon with a 900 minute nation-wide plan. I've traveled extensively to the West Coast and made and received calls in Anchorage on the plan.

There are areas for each provider that have no coverage... period. If you have a specific need, like wireless internet, then shop that plan. Sprint is great along most of the major interstates and in the bigger cities, but is next to useless in most of the rural U.S. Verizon does probably cover more areas geographically with useable service. (my daughter had Sprint for several years and cussed it regularly when outside a city).

My folks have a company called "I-Wireless" that leases another company's towers in South Texas which works well for them since they spend half the year in Iowa and half in south Texas. Pricing is about the same as everyone else's, but they couldn't get coverage from Verizon at their house in TX; the other tower provides coverage there. Sprint has no cell coverage where we live.

The other thing to remember is that the service maps change regularly. Leases expire for specific cell towers, and new ones are negotiated for other nearby towers, and the general service area remains the same, but the actual service varies by tower location.

I don't think you can say there's a "best" company, it's the company that has the service and plans that fit you and your traveling plans.

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Old 01-14-2007, 10:11 AM   #13
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Like Bob and Judy, I am completely wireless for exactly the same reasons.

I have Verizon Americas choice for phone. It has failed me in southern Oregon and at Cambria. There is a stretch along I-5 near Medford it has no service as well.. BUT.. they are upgrading all the time, and I have found in the few spots I had bad experience in prior, that the next time I am there, the service has improved.

No roaming, free long distance, 35 a month, I never go over my 400 mins and nites, weekend minutes don't count against your contract mins..

Also like Bob and Judy, I use a broadband access card with Verizon. It works were the cell phone does, for the most part. At last years Oregon Gathering, my cell phone worked just fine, but my aircard was catch as catch can. I could get on late at nite or on weekends.. I suspect traffic was the cause, and not lack of tower.

The data usage is "Unlimited", but I hear stories of them getting persnickity at folks that download movies and music etc.

My work Nextel Blackberry works where the Verizon doesn't. Not many folks have two services tho, so I don't suppose thats an option for you.

Also consider that if you are in RV Parks, most have wireless internet, so the card may not be as critical for you. If there is wireless available where I am, I usually use it over the aircard.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:59 PM   #14
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adding my 2 cents worth also.
I use my cell phone for the pet hospital answering service when out of the office.
Last year I tried out verizon, cingular, sprint and t mobile.
The best I came up with was verizon but I am not happy with the amount of minutes and the cost. They were the most expensive and gave the least minutes. Therefore I hardly ever use it for myself.(just the business). After having them for over a year, I am now getting dropped calls here in Metro Mpls.
My husband has cingular. AT&T was the best until they became cingular. We can no longer use that phone in Champlin,(in our own home), Verizon can not be used going down Ferry Street in Anoka....no service.
My advice is to TRY THEM ALL like I did and pick out what works the best, get only a year of service and see how it goes. I am not happy with any of them only because I do travel alone and need service if I break down. It would be really scarry to have no service when I really need it.

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

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