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  1. #1
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    Best cell phone coverage - active lifestyle

    AT&T has got to be the worst carrier for people like me that are active and need their cell phones for safety while playing in the mountains. Zero signal at Walker, white ranch, Mary Jane and most of Golden and Arvada.

    I'm in the market for a new cell phone and was wondering if anyone else has done their research and are happy with their reception while mtn biking and skiing?

    Chris

  2. #2
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    emergency calls bypass carrier restrictions

    Hang up the phone and ride.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  3. #3
    Loser
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    Honestly I dont think any carrier is going to give you coverage in all riding/skiing areas. If its safety your concerned about, maybe you should invest in one of those SPOT satellite/gps messenger thingys.

  4. #4
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    Not T-Mobile....
    39.5506° N, 107.3242° W

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    emergency calls bypass carrier restrictions

    Hang up the phone and ride.
    This is why I avoid these forums anymore. I'm divorced and have 50/50 custody of my daughter. I like to squeeze in a ride before her up from daycare but worry about mechanical failure or injury. I don't get a signal at White Ranch which is unfortunate because it's 15 minutes from her school.

    I didn't ask for your worthless advice and it's cowards like you that are quickly turning a resource like this into a wasteland of flame wars and chicken **** comments.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by digital_exhaust View Post
    Not T-Mobile....
    Can you be more specific digital? Which trails do you have signals on?

  7. #7
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    I have verizon and get service up on picture rock, centennial cone and nederland. I haven't been up on white ranch for a while so I don't know if it works there.

  8. #8
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    I do well with Sprint. If your down in a valley most cell phones wont work unless there is an antenna in the area. But if you go up high you can get a signal. I have had my phone beep at me with emails or text in some really remote places.

  9. #9
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    I have thought about trying a satellite communicator. But I have yet to talk to any one that actually uses one to see how well they work.

    DeLorme inReach 2-Way Satellite Communicator for Apple iOS and Android - Free Shipping at REI.com

    SPOT Connect Satellite Communicator - Free Shipping at REI.com

  10. #10
    Shinobi-Wan Kenobi Moderator
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    I have AT&T (personal) and Verizon (work). In almost all cases Verizon beats AT&T. That being said, there are still places where Verizon doesn't get a signal. Also, my coverage is noticably worse with my iPhone (V) than my old Blackberry (V) so your phone plays a big part in this equation.

  11. #11
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    If you want 100% coverage, then check out Globalstar.

  12. #12
    The Notorious S.L.O
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    Tough request

    You request is a search for the “holy grail” of cellphone and cellphone providers, acceptable coverage, all places, all the time. I work for a provider, (who will go un-named), and are often the recipient of questions and comments about service and coverages.

    The best response is: Where is the location, where you spend the most of your time, where you need the best access by cell phone? Home? Work location? Do some homework, find the provider that has the best coverage at that location, and go with them.

    Your particular request is exceptionally difficult, as the location you have chosen is “out in them thar mountains” where coverage and access is a challenge for all carriers. There is no single carrier that will give you coverage on all the trails and ski runs in Colorado.

    I would suggest that you narrow your request down to the ski areas where you do 80% of your skiing and the trail areas that you ride 80% of the time, do some research and find which carrier people are most satisfied with in those areas. Narrowing down your ski runs will be easier, but I don’t think I could come up with a single area/region where I ride 80% of the time.

    Do your own research, do not rely on what anyone at any cell phone store may tell you, it will be biased.
    Good Luck
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by btadlock View Post
    You request is a search for the “holy grail” of cellphone and cellphone providers, acceptable coverage, all places, all the time. I work for a provider, (who will go un-named), and are often the recipient of questions and comments about service and coverages.

    The best response is: Where is the location, where you spend the most of your time, where you need the best access by cell phone? Home? Work location? Do some homework, find the provider that has the best coverage at that location, and go with them.

    Your particular request is exceptionally difficult, as the location you have chosen is “out in them thar mountains” where coverage and access is a challenge for all carriers. There is no single carrier that will give you coverage on all the trails and ski runs in Colorado.

    I would suggest that you narrow your request down to the ski areas where you do 80% of your skiing and the trail areas that you ride 80% of the time, do some research and find which carrier people are most satisfied with in those areas. Narrowing down your ski runs will be easier, but I don’t think I could come up with a single area/region where I ride 80% of the time.

    Do your own research, do not rely on what anyone at any cell phone store may tell you, it will be biased.
    Good Luck
    I did list the places I would like coverage...

    Walker, white ranch, Mary Jane and most of Golden and Arvada.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    I have AT&T (personal) and Verizon (work). In almost all cases Verizon beats AT&T. That being said, there are still places where Verizon doesn't get a signal. Also, my coverage is noticably worse with my iPhone (V) than my old Blackberry (V) so your phone plays a big part in this equation.
    Thanks for the feedback Kristian. Seems that my iphone on AT&T is the worst possible combination. I'll look into Verizon coverage.

    I've seen the coverage maps and don't trust them because they say I should have coverage in Arvada when I do not.

    Chris

  15. #15
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    I have had t-mobile, Sprint and Verizon. Across the state, of those three, Verizon has the best overall coverage. I had near zero signal at my house near C-470 and Wadsworth and no coverage at my office in Lakewood, though which is bizarre. Lot of spots where signal drops momentarily which is annoying. Outside of that, good coverage across the state.

    A bike friend and a different camping friend have AT&T and seems like those two have coverage absolutely everywhere. Bike friend doesn't talk on his much, but the other person does. Camping friend has a signal everywhere we go.

    That's all I know.

  16. #16
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    i have a spot connect for sale. Which allows you to send text messages or emails via satellite. No phone calls though.
    jesus rides a fixed gear.

  17. #17
    Not the Cat in the Hat!
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    It truly depends on where you ride the most and the phone you use. I often go to Eagle Rock 4 x 4 area and back when I had att I never had signal, I now have Verizon wit a black berry and i get spotty coverage te higher i go the more bars I get.

    Bit You cant blame any of the major carriers, after all, that are going to place antenas where they will get the most bang for their buck, and in the middle of the mointaims is not it.

  18. #18
    The Notorious S.L.O
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitecrwlr View Post
    I did list the places I would like coverage...

    Walker, white ranch, Mary Jane and most of Golden and Arvada.
    My bad, I did not read it correctly.
    BT
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitecrwlr View Post
    This is why I avoid these forums anymore. I'm divorced and have 50/50 custody of my daughter. I like to squeeze in a ride before her up from daycare but worry about mechanical failure or injury. I don't get a signal at White Ranch which is unfortunate because it's 15 minutes from her school.

    I didn't ask for your worthless advice and it's cowards like you that are quickly turning a resource like this into a wasteland of flame wars and chicken **** comments.

    You did ask for my advice and your original post mentioned "safety" as a need with regards to a phone.
    I simply stated that you can dial 911 from any phone thru any network, and not to rely on your precious cell phone to save you. (read: be prepared)

    If a statement like that is why you avoid these forums and is enough to make you call me a coward (on the internet with an anonymous user name, no less ), then maybe you should look at the pouty face you make at the computer screen everytime someone has a differing opinion than yours as a reason this forum sucks...

    Now, if it's just a rad phone that has to keep up with your rock n roll lifestyle that you need, I'd recommend Verizon.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitecrwlr View Post
    Can you be more specific digital? Which trails do you have signals on?
    Sorry, should have elaborated a bit.

    It's not simply coverage, it's T-Mo as a whole these days. I've been a customer for over 11 years, and until the AT&T merger went south, they were great. Since that merger fell apart (which I was not a fan of btw) their coverage and customer service has gone in the toilet. I have virtually no coverage at home, which was excellent for years, and the coverage anywhere west of I-25 seems to be intermittent and spotty at best. Where I may have coverage today, I won't tomorrow. Doesn't make any sense, but I have four lines on my account total, and all four act the same way.

    Two HTC G1's, HTC HD2 and an HTC HD7. Hardware does not make any difference.

    Just my experience.
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  21. #21
    Shinobi-Wan Kenobi Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitecrwlr View Post
    Seems that my iphone on AT&T is the worst possible combination.
    No, you could have an iPhone on Cricket--that would be really bad!

  22. #22
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    My Verizon is pretty good most everywhere I ride. However, when a buddy crashed in the Jefferson Creek drainage a while back, I had to climb back to the top of Georgia Pass to get enough reception to reach the helicopter folks.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    My Verizon is pretty good most everywhere I ride. However, when a buddy crashed in the Jefferson Creek drainage a while back, I had to climb back to the top of Georgia Pass to get enough reception to reach the helicopter folks.
    I've been with Verizon since I got my first phone probably 15 years ago. So I really can't offer any comparison info.

    Up here around Salida, I generally think of the cell phone as luggage. It's a crappy camera and an MP3 player that's good for about 3 hours before the battery is toast. The GPS in mine has never worked, so it's not even good for that... but enough slagging on my mediocre phone.

    I haven't spent any time in the Front Range foothills for a long time, and certainly not tried to use my phone there. Obviously there is more likely to be a tower within line of site when you're near Golden than there will when you're near St Elmo. But as others have said, I don't know that any carrier is going to be really reliable.

    As WKD-RDR says, 911 calls will go if there's any carrier's tower around, but it's not really appropriate to use 911 to get your ex to go pick up the kid because you broke your frame but are otherwise unharmed.

    So, that brings me to SPOT. The SPOT connect that KonaEnduroJC is offering to sell you implies that you already have a SPOT beacon.

    A SPOT beacon alone allows you to send either an OK or Help message to a designated email or list of emails. Of course it also has a 911 button that will summon Search and Rescue. My GF and I have been using my SPOT to allow her to track me when I'm way up in the hills doing something stupid. The last thing I did was really over-the-top stupid so we came up with a system where I would send her an OK if I stopped moving for a while to eat or whatever so she wouldn't worry. I would send her a Help if I wanted her to come get me. And I would send a 911 to S&R if I thought I was going to die.*

    That seems like something that could work for you. Arrange with your ex, or whoever you would have go pick up the kid, that if they get a help email from your SPOT, go get her.

    I have had my SPOT stop transmitting breadcrumbs when the batteries got low. Looked like it was still working, but wasn't. I've also had it send them intermittently when I was under mega weather. So even that solution isn't perfectly reliable. But it's probably better by an order of magnitude than a cell phone from any carrier.

    *I don't have a SPOT so that I can go into the mountains unprepared and have S&R bail me out if anything goes wrong. I seriously will not push 911 unless I think I'm going to die. In fact, earlier this summer I was pinned down by an electric storm at 12,300 feet and suspected I might die, but still didn't push the button. I was waiting for the moment when I was more or less certain of it.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  24. #24
    Kaj
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    Verizon Iphone works. ATT Iphone no worky. Had an ATT iphone till mid last year, the Verizon one has much better coverage, and doesn't drop calls every 2 minutes.

    It used to be that up in Ned west mag area, ATT was all that worked, now with the new towers it seems that Verizon works fine up there.

    A bit of a bummer that there is good coverage in Ned proper now though, I liked to be able to be off the grid there.
    Kona Wo for Fat Biking, Ibis HD3 for Trail Shredding, Merckx Road bike for collecting dust in garage

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I've been with Verizon since I got my first phone probably 15 years ago. So I really can't offer any comparison info.

    Up here around Salida, I generally think of the cell phone as luggage. It's a crappy camera and an MP3 player that's good for about 3 hours before the battery is toast. The GPS in mine has never worked, so it's not even good for that... but enough slagging on my mediocre phone.
    Is there any service that works in the Salidastan area?

  26. #26
    Team Velveeta™
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    Salidistan smoke signals

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Is there any service that works in the Salidastan area?
    Well, yeah, in the valley floor and places in the hills that have clear line-of-site to the valley floor. Salida-Poncha Springs-BV are covered really well by all the majors as far as I know. Most people I know around here have Verizon, but I know of at least a couple AT&Ters, and my girlfriend just has a tracfone that works great. I was able to use my smartypants phone tethered to my PC via USB to watch hulu/netflix via 3G from my house in Salida when I was using it as my only internet access. So it's almost like civilization here in the towns!

    As I drive up toward Monarch, I have cell coverage until about 2 miles before getting to Maysville. You go up over a little hill there about 4 miles from Poncha and cell service is gone. I don't see it come back until I'm half way to Gunnison, and even then it's spotty until I'm close to town. I know of somebody who has AT&T who I watched using his phone right on Monarch Pass, but mine is a paperweight up there.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  27. #27
    Bad Andy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Is there any service that works in the Salidastan area?
    With Verizon I had great service in Salida itself of course, and spotty off Marshall Pass Rd (a couple miles up Starvation Ck Rd), and spotty service on CO Tl up by Raspberry Gulch.

  28. #28
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    I guess I should have provided a link:

    Globalstar, Inc. :: Worldwide Satellite Voice and Data Products and Services

    $499 for the phone
    $39.99/month unlimited voice and sms (1-year term)
    100% coverage in North and South America

  29. #29
    I'm with stupid
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    Research into just more then the carrier maps, learn how the technology works and why it works and you will get more of a understanding of who you need to look at and what carrier will work for the terrain and geographic location you are at. I whipped up a quick google search for you and found a few sights that might help or bore you to death one of the two.
    GSM - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Code division multiple access - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    CDMA Vs. GSM – Which is More Preferable?
    CDMA vs. GSM Examined: Which 3G Network is Superior? - Tested
    Cellular Maps.com-Cellular Coverage and Service Maps
    Iridium Satellite Phone Communications | Home
    Globalstar, Inc. :: Worldwide Satellite Voice and Data Products and Services for Customers Around the Globe
    Have fun, welcome to nerding out the the common wonder why my cell coverage sucks.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by xalos1 View Post
    But You cant blame any of the major carriers, after all, that are going to place antenas where they will get the most bang for their buck, and in the middle of the mointaims is not it.
    Exactly. In general terms, Verizon will give you the best coverage nation wide of all the carriers. And now with LTE phones, they have SIM cards and GSM radios, so can be used worldwide as well.

    That said, VZW does seem to cost more than comparable ATT plans and still won't work everywhere. So... what's your preference?

    I've had VZW for over 10 years. I've traveled all over the country and rarely did I not have a signal. I switched to ATT at one point, but found I had no signal in my house (!) so went back to VZW. I've also been surprised at where my phone latches onto a good 4G signal, too.

    I used to hate their CS (which is why I went to ATT briefly), but in the last few years, they have actually gotten pretty good in that area, too.

    (And I don't work for VZW)
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  31. #31
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    short wave radio works all over the world. who decided on 700megahertz anyways.

    I train my customers to text me if it's important... like an SMS that reads "look at your email, Im having a problem"
    Bart Brejcha
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