Cell phone reception on the road.... - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-17-2016, 10:22 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Am I being taken for a ride here or is the new iPhone 6S that much better in reception than the first IPhone 6? Anyone with this phone, please let me know your thoughts, thank you,

Hi, Jim. We've been slowly working our way up the west coast and across the northern border of the US for several months now, and understand your experience with intermittent t-mobile service. The wife and I have new but different iPhones. Hers is a 5S and mine is an SE. My understanding is that the SE has the same antennas and ability to use additional LTE bands as the 6S. In practice, my SE has had far better coverage on this trip than her 5S, to the point that in many areas I had to use my phone as a hotspot and share my connection with her over wifi. I'll probably upgrade her phone to a shiny new iPhone 7 soon to mitigate all this, as well as add some snazzy splash resistance and camera upgrade for her.

I realize other carriers have better coverage in many rural areas in particular, but we won't be switching from t-mobile as we have a completely unlimited everything plan that is no longer available, and when we comparison shopped recently, both Verizon and ATT were significantly more expensive. T-mobile isn't perfect but we are overall happy.

Switching to a more capable phone might make a difference for you.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:37 AM   #30
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Thanks Scott, your answer was what I was asking for. Not knowing if the issue is TMobile of the phone, I have switched carriers to Consumer Cellular which uses AT&T towers. If reception continues to be bad I'll have to bite the $$$ bullet.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:49 AM   #31
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I don't know enough about the difference between various iPhones to address that part of the question. I would like to mention MVNOs.

The larger mobile network operators (cellular companies such as Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.) provide network services to "mobile virtual network operators" (MVNOs). The MVNOs buy the service at wholesale rates and retail the services to consumers at much lower rates than the cellular companies who actually operate and maintain the networks.

Different MVNOs provide service through different mobile networks. One has to Google a bit as they are generally not allowed to advertise whose network is actually carrying your signal.

We have been with Page Plus, an MVNO, since 2014. We get service on the Verizon network at extremely attractive rates.

Under the MVNO model we are responsible to provide the phones; they are not financed through a monthly service plan with a multi-year commitment.

We moved from $125/month two-phone plan at Verizon to two plans at Page Plus; $31 + $12 = $43/month. The plan is renewed automatically each month. We save $984 a year so having to buy our own phones is not an hardship. (We just replaced the wife's 2010 Droid and my flip phone from the same date is still chugging along.)

For some reason, the wife's new iPhone posed a challenge for the Apple store staff to establish data service but they got it done (the phone and wifi functionality had been fine). That's the only significant glitch I can think of in the years we have been with Page Plus.

When I retire and get out from behind this desktop PC in a year or two, (home-based business), I will move towards devices that better accommodate more mobility. I expect our monthly costs will correspondingly increase somewhat at that time.

As with so many things in this world, there is a veritable highway of colorful advertisements to lead you to the higher-priced options. With a little investigation and effort there are better deals to be found.

The trade-off is the time you will spend getting up to speed on the alternatives and figuring out how to implement them. We've found the MVNO route has not required much effort once we established accounts and got our phones transferred over.

Just a thought for the good of the order here.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:13 PM   #32
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Hi Jim

We've been driven from FL to NL thru NJ, NY, MI, MN, Ohio, TN and now in the Carolinas. Up the east coast to NL T-Mobile worked well except for coastal northern ME. It worked well thru to MN except for way north of Duluth. Still no western experience.

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Old 10-20-2016, 12:54 PM   #33
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Tmobile coverage in 2003

Going through some old files and ran across this page I had printed back in 2003. Coverage sure is a heck of a lot better than it was back then!
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Tmobile 2003001.jpg  
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Old 10-20-2016, 01:27 PM   #34
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We have T Mobile . We have had limited , poor or non existant service in most of Wisconsin , Northern Minnesota , The UP of Michigan , N Dakota , S Dakota , Montana , Idaho , Washington. Oregon , Nevada , Northern California , Wyoming , Colorado , Nebraska , Oklahoma , New Mexico , Kansas , Iowa , Texas , Georgia , Florida , Louisiana , Alabama , Mississippi , Missouri , Arkansas and Canada . Any time you are not in or close to a major city , service is spotty at best.

I am sitting outside in 40 deg weather as I type this post , facing South otherwise , I would not have service.
In the winter when it's -20 below having to go outside to make a call , text or use the Internet is a PITA.
The only good thing I can say about T Mobile service is that it is cheap. When we had Verizon I could call Europe now I can't call across the road but again T Mobile is cheap.
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Old 10-20-2016, 01:34 PM   #35
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How to improve T-Mobile coverage.

I've found that using my Samsung Note 5 on the Tmobile network I get dramatically better coverage if the phone is plugged into it's charger. Places where it shows no T-mobile coverage suddenly become 4G coverage and allow me to tether my computer
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:31 PM   #36
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One thing that a lot of people don't know about T-Mobile is that they will provide a cell booster for your home free of charge (just a $25 deposit). You place it anywhere that you can find the best signal, and then it rebroadcasts the signal to the other parts of the home. Not designed for mobile use but good for home coverage.
T-Mobile cellspots
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:49 AM   #37
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Interesting follow up to my earlier observations and post: To alleviate the wife's angst over poor reception with her iPhone 5S compared to my iPhone SE, I surprised her with an iPhone 7 for the anniversary. I think this year is only supposed to be silver, but I skipped ahead to rose gold ;-) Anyway, the interesting thing out of this is that her phone now gets coverage in places where I get nothing! Maybe Santa will bring me a shiny new toy too...
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