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Old 01-15-2018, 05:47 AM   #1
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Cell Service

I have been a faithful ATT customer for over 8 years and have noticed a decrease in coverage over the past year. We pay $250 bucks a month to support our devices and are looking for an alternative solution, one we can count on. All providers claim to have the best Network, but I want the truth from us travelers.
We travel throughout the United States an average of about 10-12k miles a year.
Regardless of price, which provider seems to be the best other than ATT?

I have Directv and already receive the $25.00 credit for being an ATT customer. Nice, but who cares if Iím not getting a reliable phone signal while sitting or traveling.
Any and all input is appreciated so I can make an educated decision about switching.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:56 AM   #2
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I also had AT&T for years until we started traveling, found the same problem as you especially on the West coast. Switched to Verizon, and I don't think we have had a dead spot yet, except the National Parks where towers are not allowed. All of the other carries say they use Verizon towers, but they only seem to work along the Interstates. Once away from major populations, dead spots become more common. If I was was not traveling, I would switch in a heart beat, Verizon is over priced compared to other carriers.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:34 AM   #3
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I have ATT and my wife has Horizon. This works very well for us, however we still have times where neither one has service. For example yesterday we had a dead spot on I-10 between Van Horn and El Paso.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:36 AM   #4
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My experience is that any of them work fine in the city or on the interstate. AT&T is probably the best there. Away from the the interstate Verizon has the best coverage but it's no where near universal. It's less pronounced now than it was, say, 8-10 years ago but they're still the best off the beaten path.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:21 AM   #5
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brobox said " I also had AT&T for years until we started traveling, found the same problem as you especially on the West coast. Switched to Verizon, and I don't think we have had a dead spot yet, except the National Parks where towers are not allowed. All of the other carries say they use Verizon towers, but they only seem to work along the Interstates. Once away from major populations, dead spots become more common. If I was was not traveling, I would switch in a heart beat, Verizon is over priced compared to other carriers."
I agree totally with everything said! When I lived in the South I couldn't understand anybody who said AT&T Coverage was lousy until I traveled West and it hit me "ah this is what their talking about" this was a few years ago but it was terrible even in metro areas.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:33 AM   #6
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Back in the days when AT&T has exclusive rights to the iPhone....for years they put no capital into expansion, just sat back a collected the profits from the iPhone exclusive. During the period, Verizon went into high gear on adding towers and it has paid off for them. AT&T will catch up, but still nothing in No. Cal last year.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:07 PM   #7
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My latest phone, a Google Pixel 2 XL (after the Nexus 6p took a dip in our hot tub) has the ability to use an eSim in addition to a conventional sim.

Google offers Project Fi, which is a respectably priced competing service. It uses Wi-Fi, Sprint, AT&T or US Cellular towers, and picks whichever signal is strongest.

I still retain the physical Verizon Sim so I can switch back and forth at will. For now, I'm still clinging to my grandfathered Verizon unlimited data plan but as my kids seem to think they need there own cell phones, we are looking at a Family plan.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:15 PM   #8
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By all accounts Verizon is the best. But, dont expect 100% coverage no matter what service you pick. In rural Oregon you will likely still have dead spots. Same for a lot of places in remote parts of the country.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:30 PM   #9
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I live in the west and have at&t. I am pretty happy with the service..
I think they have really stepped up there coverage out here the last few years..IMO
My wife has Verizon and it seems a little better if you're really in the sticks.. but I think my speed is faster across the board.. I think both of these companies are expensive.. but u get what u pay for..
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:51 PM   #10
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We have both Verizon and ATT and we find that 98% of the time, either works equally well. If I had to bet, I would bet that Verizon is better overall.

And all of them are too expensive and the differences are minimal. Watch Verizon.... they love to imply that they are giving you a better deal than it really is.... work all the numbers, call the 800 number and visit a store front and you will probably understand what you are buying/getting..

Gary
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:51 PM   #11
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I traveled when working for 20 years - and still travel now both in the coach and when doing a consulting gig. I've tried every carrier out there at one time or another. In my experience, Verizon has the best coverage overall. And just a reminder, they now have a program with FMCA for a MiFi hotspot with unlimited data - no throttling until over 25 Gigs - for 49.99/mo. We run 2 iPhones, 2 iPads with cell service, 2 computers and do some streaming for around $200/mo. including taxes and fees. We keep a 2 Gig plan on the phones for the time we are away from the hotspot and use the unlimited plan for all internet within the coach. Works well for us and we rarely lose service.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:57 PM   #12
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Verizon works for me
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:27 PM   #13
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I had ATT for several years until the area I live in was attacked by wild land fire and ATT went black for several weeks. Verizon did too but they brought in crews including an emergency response RV and got their cell networks operational. This was a big deal since we had firefighters here from all over the country. Adding our local fire and police having ATT shut down the lines of communication during a disaster. Verizon brought in and provided free phones for emergency responders as well as offering free charging stations for locals to charge their phones at their response vehicle parked in downtown.

Right after the fires were brought under control our household switched to Verizon and haven't looked back. When I travel I carry a SAT phone to fill in the dead spots we encounter in the event of an emergency or if we need to call ahead for a reservation. Used it a lot in Alaska since the only cell service is available in the medium to larger towns along the highways going to, from and around Canada and Alaska.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFirewood View Post
I had ATT for several years until the area I live in was attacked by wild land fire and ATT went black for several weeks. Verizon did too but they brought in crews including an emergency response RV and got their cell networks operational. This was a big deal since we had firefighters here from all over the country. Adding our local fire and police having ATT shut down the lines of communication during a disaster. Verizon brought in and provided free phones for emergency responders as well as offering free charging stations for locals to charge their phones at their response vehicle parked in downtown.

Right after the fires were brought under control our household switched to Verizon and haven't looked back. When I travel I carry a SAT phone to fill in the dead spots we encounter in the event of an emergency or if we need to call ahead for a reservation. Used it a lot in Alaska since the only cell service is available in the medium to larger towns along the highways going to, from and around Canada and Alaska.
2 Thumbs Up for Verizon!
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