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  1. #1
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    OT Cell Phone Coverage Front Range

    Thinking about switching cell phone plans and would like to get best available coverage for front range trails. Spend lots of time in Jeffco Open Space, Ken-Caryl and Waterton/Roxborough. What company does everyone have best experience with. Especially interested in Verizon vs Sprint. Also would appreciate any feedback on Summit County, Leadville area and Vail.

  2. #2
    Rolling
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    If you want coverage for all trail heads, there is only one choice.

    http://www.iridium.com/

    Otherwise Verzion works pretty well in most places except for Nederland.
    Last edited by lidarman; 01-23-2010 at 07:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Slopestyle Rider
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    Verizon.

  4. #4
    Front Range Cyclist
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    I'm starting to see Tmobile and Sprint to even be stepping it up to the same level as Verizon. AT&T however blows...which is what I have. I'm going to switch to TMobile I think personally...they all suck might as well pay less for it plus their customer service is amazing from what I'm hearing.
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  5. #5
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    I'm starting to see Tmobile and Sprint to even be stepping it up to the same level as Verizon. AT&T however blows...which is what I have. I'm going to switch to TMobile I think personally...they all suck might as well pay less for it plus their customer service is amazing from what I'm hearing.
    Pretty sure Tmobile leases space on AT&T towers.

    As I have just about every carrier, I can tell you this from my experience and those I buy these things for in my office:

    Broadband: Sprint - Hands down the fastest, though not always excellent coverage it does rival the coverage of Verizon broadband. This makes sense, since they share towers and points.

    Mobile: It all depends on where you are going to be the most. There is no clear winner, but certain areas and certain parts of the entire country are very different. In my office at Westminster, the coverage fluctuates with all the carriers. One minute you have five bars and the next none. This is the same for Verizon and AT&T. To circumvent this, I installed two repeaters in my office. These things are cool. They cost about $500, but you have five bars all the time and they cover about 2000 sq ft. Cell companies hate it because it's always sucking their bandwidth. In Golden (NTM), I have problems with all of them, just like the office. In Buffalo Creek, AT&T seems to rule.

    It's hit or miss, but don't believe the commercials.

  6. #6
    Pivot Rider
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    With my leading rides all over the front range, Fruita and Moab -- I have found Verizon to be the best hands down. Many of the people that ride with me have AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile and I will always have coverage when they don't. It is nice to have coverage in case of an "emergency" -- however, there will always be places where you just won't have coverage (Lair o the Bear, for one) no matter who you are with!
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  7. #7
    Kid In The Helmet
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    easy - Verizon. I have had Cricket, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. Verizon is the most reliable and best coverage everywhere...but their customer service sucks. Can't have it all I guess.
    Ride Hard & Don't Get Dead!

  8. #8
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    Verizon has the best coverage hands down...but I can't give up my iPhone on AT&T!

  9. #9
    hehe ...you said "member"
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewnielson
    Verizon has the best coverage hands down...but I can't give up my iPhone on AT&T!
    funny, I'm the same way . Love my iPhone enough to deal with the occasional drops. I use it more for the apps/texting than as a phone, so it works for me.
    “Me fail english? Thats unpossible.” - Matt Groening

  10. #10
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    Not sure how true this is, but I was told AT&T's 3G is worse than their "regular" coverage. A friend of mine turned off the 3G feature on his iphone and he said he got much better coverage...nice huh?
    Verizon is great 99% of the time. Can you hear me now? lol
    This won't hurt a bit...

  11. #11
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    No cell phones will work at all in most foothill areas. They have been talking about a tower in Ned for years, but it never happens. What sucks is that there *was* coverage on high points back in the analog days. When everything went digital, service from Blackhawk north to Estes Park went dark.

  12. #12
    Rolling
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    For some more info, I played with a droid this WE...on Verizon. It was nice, especially the maps. But you better justify the $30 data plan if you choose this option....I guess this goes with Iphone too.

    Funny how we evolved to having a basic phone in the house and suddenly we want everything on a wireless network.

    I say, cost out your bottom line. What do you want and where do you want it.

  13. #13
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    AT&T just added a new 3G tower near where I live in Evergreen and I'm pretty happy with their coverage in general, but if I ride with my phone I turn it off so I don't really have a clue about on-trail coverage.

    It's not that you get worse coverage with 3G turned on exactly, I'd generally run into one of two issues since I got a 3G iPhone:

    1) Most of the problems I saw last year had to do with calls dropping when transitioning between 3G and non-3G cells.

    2) I would get these weird situations where you would get say 1 or 2 bars on 3G, but if you turned off 3G you would get 4 or 5 bars on the EDGE network.

    Since they "finished" the big network upgrade in Denver late last year, my iPhone seems to be a lot smarter about when and how it transitions from one network to the other.

  14. #14
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    You're looking at the two best. AT&T is pathetic and probably the worst of all. Their tower coverage is embarrasing and their network is very overwhelmed. Dropping calls is a part of life with them.

    Verizon has the biggest network while Sprint is the most optimized based on customer concentrations. Plus, Sprint's ex boss (Esrey) has a place in Vail so they built towers for him that cover Vail and Breck.

    Sprint's CDMA also has the best voice quality but I think their $99 plan (unlimited everything plus Blackberry) is the best among the big guys. If I had to choose, I'd go with Sprint, a Blackberry, and their $99 plan. If Verizon matched that plan, Sprint would have a slight edge in voice quality and Verizon would have a slight edge in coverage.

    What do I have- Sprint and Cricket.

  15. #15
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    Sprint - their 3G coverage is outstanding ( I use a datacard for internet). I just got a new phone that has:

    Unlimited text, unlimited picture mail, sprint navigation, tv, 450 minutes, unlimited any mobile any time minutes for $69.

    The unlimited any mobile anytime is great!

    Anyways sprint voice works well on the front range for me.

  16. #16
    Thread Terrorist
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    If coverage is the most important thing, Verizon. I've had T-mobile & AT&T, they suck for coverage.

    As a mtn biker, I can't stress how important it may be when you get yourself into a situation where you need to use your phone. I coordinated a rescue for a neighbor when we were in moab. He had At&t, as did many of the rednecks I coordinated the search party with... and non-of-them had coverage in the valleys... NONE. We were literally less than 200 yards from the spanish valley golf course... and the iphone toting idiots couldn't make a call... nor anyone else.

    If it weren't for verizon, he would've stayed the night.

    I've heard great things about Sprint... but coverage is most important to me.

  17. #17
    ..ouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    No cell phones will work at all in most foothill areas. They have been talking about a tower in Ned for years, but it never happens. What sucks is that there *was* coverage on high points back in the analog days. When everything went digital, service from Blackhawk north to Estes Park went dark.
    There's a new AT&T/Verizon joint application on the table for Ned.. probably the best organized and well backed one to date... we'll see.

    Right now, AT&T covers a good chunk of West Mag and the higher points on the north side of Ned. It's the only carrier I know of with any service up here.

    iPhone's suck for coverage because iPhone's are crappy phones... it's not an accurate reflections of AT&T coverage. My old Moto phone can get 3+ bars in place my wife's latest iPhone gets nada.

  18. #18
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    I live in Ned. AT&T is the only one with coverage there. I seem to get better coverage with AT&T along I70 too. To me thy are all spotty. When I had verizon I had just as many dropped calls as I do now.
    Also I have a huge chubbie for my Iphone. It's all about the Appss.

  19. #19
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    I have T Mobile and don't even have coverage at my house in Castle Rock. I don't mean near Castle Rock, I mean in Castle Rock. Something to do with the hill I'm on, facing south. Down the hill I get a signal.

  20. #20
    percocet pioneer.
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    AT&T is spotty on my iPhone. Would have to say Verizon is the best provider on the front range.

  21. #21
    still riding
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    east magnolia in nederland: at&t only. I tend to run the edge network on my iphone and there is no drops. I think since everyone is using 3g for there data, the edge net ends up working better.

  22. #22
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    You know, it does have a lot to do with the phone design too. There are antennae flaws in the iphone, Apple realizes this. AT&T is getting a bad rap for it.

    I wish I had apps. My boring blackberry doesn't nothing more than take calls (Where's the fun in that anymore???)
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    You know, it does have a lot to do with the phone design too. There are antennae flaws in the iphone, Apple realizes this. AT&T is getting a bad rap for it.

    I wish I had apps. My boring blackberry doesn't nothing more than take calls (Where's the fun in that anymore???)

    I work off a cell phone for Niner, I had Verizon for 2 years, and never had problems. The problems came with International travel - I'd have to rent a "special" Verizon Blackberry every time I went to Europe. This is a drag having to rent a phone. I was able to take calls on Verizon in my basement (home office is in basement) and all was good.

    When our contract expired we all switched to AT&T and got Iphones. The coverage in my basement went from 4-5 bars with Verizon to 1-2 on AT&T. My dropped calls were so bad I ended up getting a skype phone number and did all my return calls over a Plantronics wireless setup (pretty nice setup, btw) This past September when I returned from Eurobike in Germany I noticed I had 5 bars all the time in my basement. I guess AT&T installed a new tower about 500 yards from my house. The service is now amazing and I'm back in love with my phone and AT&T. Not a single dropped call in 4 months now.

    I get 3G coverage from Fort Collins all the way to Tucson. I stream Pandora and the only spot along the way I don't get coverage is Hatch, NM between I-25 and I-10 for about an hour. So those areas it's fine, but you hear all these stories about "only my friends with Verizon had service while camping" which if that's important to you then go with the Verizon network. I know I wouldn't be able to give up my Iphone. There is a reason it's so hot, and I have about 8 apps which I use several times a day, and are linked up to my CRM package. It's an awesome phone, and awesome computer at the same time basically. The Android is a hot phone I hear and should give the Iphone a run.

    The Verizon advertising works - you would think the coverage sucks but in reality if you look at the EDGE network on AT&T it's got just about everything covered. The only area I drop a lot of calls on the front range is between Golden and Boulder right along the front range, and Monument hill area for about 3 miles.

    Kind of a ramble, but that's been my experience. Any type of Int'l travel the AT&T is the winner.
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  24. #24
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    iPhone's suck for coverage because iPhone's are crappy phones... it's not an accurate reflections of AT&T coverage. My old Moto phone can get 3+ bars in place my wife's latest iPhone gets nada.
    I agree. We were at Pueblo a few weekends ago and I had coverage everywhere on my phone (Moto) on AT&T. Another guy had an iPhone and had REALLY spotty coverage. AT&T is getting a bad rap because of Apple's phone.

    That being said, my Crackberry is Verizon and I do think the coverage (in the Springs) is better on Verizon than AT&T.

  25. #25
    Thread Terrorist
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    I
    The Verizon advertising works - you would think the coverage sucks but in reality if you look at the EDGE network on AT&T it's got just about everything covered. The only area I drop a lot of calls on the front range is between Golden and Boulder right along the front range, and Monument hill area for about 3 miles.

    Kind of a ramble, but that's been my experience. Any type of Int'l travel the AT&T is the winner.
    I love the apps the iPhone brings to the market. Hell, even the GUI is so much nicer than blackberry.

    Yes, I camp, and sometimes go out to Moab or Fruita early and still am able to put in a few hours of work (while the rest of you are driving out Friday night after work). Coverage is most important to me.

    That said, When the iphone is available for Verizon? I'm on it! I want apps!

    BTW, I have the 8830, and its international coverage is fantastic. I've been to South America, Singapore, China, India and Europe with it... NO PROBLEMS except Japan... in which none of the US cell phone providers can get to (THey have their own thing).
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