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Old 02-27-2013, 08:11 PM
 
18 posts, read 25,550 times
Reputation: 23
FWIW, Straight Talk offers a CDMA phone that uses other carriers' CDMA towers (Verizon, Sprint, etc). The only catch is that the phones aren't subsidized which means a bit more money up front but the cost savings make it worth it in the long run.

Plans & phones can be bought from Straight Talk's website or Walmart (either in-store or online). Selecting the correct phone on Straight Talks' site is straight forward - just input a zip for the area the phone is to be used & a list of CDMA phones is provided. For those shopping for a CDMA phone at Walmart be sure that the 4th from the last character in the model number is a C. E.g.:

STSAS720CPWP Samsung Galaxy Proclaim (CDMA & highly recommended!)

STLGL85CPWP LG Optimus (CDMA)

STSAS959GP4P Samsung Galaxy SII (GSM - no good)

One of my brothers was with Verizon up to late last year only because he's a hunter & many of the places he hunts from have really poor GSM reception. I finally talked him into buying the Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Proclaim & he actually compared his Verizon phone's reception right along side his new phone & didn't find any diference. And that was both here in FL & in GA.

As an alternative: If the phone is mostly used from a vehicle, the signal can be boosted with a relatively inexpensive external antenna. A more expensive option would be an active booster (antenna, hw, etc) but that can be pretty expensive at ~$150-~$300. But for someone really attached to their current phone that might be an option. Or someone just wanting to stay with GSM (like me :-).
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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My job requires me to drive all over North Dakota Verizon is horrible and slow if you need data.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:33 AM
 
18 posts, read 25,550 times
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Might want to try a in-vehicle phone amplifier.

I just bought one for the first time over this past weekend from a well known online outfit (word association with rain forest down in South America) for ~$252 shipped. But the same kit can be had for slightly lower pricing with some online shopping.

Spent quite a bit of time reading the reviews on the above unmentioned site & came across multiple mentions of oil field workers using the kit. As well as technicians, truckers, etc that have to work in areas that have poor cell phone coverage. And even a reference of installations in company vehicles. Reviews were from all over: TX, ND, SD, OR, ID, WY, etc.

Things to look for:
= Higher wattage. The unit I bought is rated at up to 3 watts or 3000 milliwatts. Lower priced units generally have lower wattage ratings. There are two lower priced versions by the same manufactureer (Wilson) that have wattage ratings of 500 mW to 1000 mW.
= Dual band. Two frequencies instead of one.
= Multiple users. Generally means it's powerful enuf to accommodate more than one user.
= Be sure the kit is complete. Lower prices sometimes mean that certain accessories aren't included & have to be bought separately.

Tips:
= Phone needs to be very close to the internal (inside vehicle) antenna for maximum boost. Preferably on top of it. One device (Wilson Sleek) features a cell phone cradle that incorporates the internal antenna. The kit I bought has a flat internal antenna so it can be placed on a flat horizontal surface & the cell phone placed on it.
= Won't work with LTE/4G. AFAIK a totally separate kit has to be bought.

Not only does a in-vehicle amplifier boost the signal but it also reduces power usage so battery recharge intervals are extended.

FWIW, the kit I bought included the Wilson 801212 amplifier. Just do a search on that to find the kits.

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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My husband and i have Verizon, while my daughter and husband have Metro PCS. Based out of Mountain View, CA. Had to travel to Williston for funeral. Verizon had no dropped calls, text and data all worked seamlessly. However, had to give one of our Verizon phones to the kids so they could communicate. Metro PCS just dead. All of our contacts in Williston said that Verizon was ONLY way to go; At&T was next competitor, but still had 'issues' when trying to use out of metro areas. So, their coverage map is no hype: someone finally put up, instead of having to shut up! And was a relief with all of the stress because of the funeral, so many travelling.
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