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Old 10-17-2013, 09:54 AM
 
14 posts, read 11,636 times
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So I'm a faithful iPhone/iPad user and moving home to AK from SoCal with my family. We hope to be in Anchorage but it's looking like we may be in Juneau or Fairbanks. If not he might be on the north slope while we are living in Eagle River. I currently have AT&T(on both devices) but am do for an upgrade. Hubby is on T-Mobile and years past his contract end but I have him on my old jail broken iPhone. I'd prefer to keep him on an iPhone just bc he gets lost so easy and uses his maps CONSTANTLY.
So what would the best cell provider be? Someone told me that the prices of the plans are jacked up high there so I thought maybe we'd get it down here then go up. Also we plan to drive up through Canada so maybe a call provider that we can roam one of our phones just in case there's an emergency.

Thanks!

Also is Eagle River a decent area? It looks ok and homes look affordable while still being close enough to Anchorage.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:24 PM
 
Location: NP AK/SF NM
681 posts, read 1,046,111 times
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Before turning your husband loose with Apple maps in Fairbanks you might want to read this:

Apple app directs drivers to Fairbanks airport runway - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
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We have AT&T because until Verizon brings in an actual store, they are the only nationwide company and we plan on moving some day.

Anyway, I'm not sure how it works it you keep your lower48 plan and move here, but it you can get it cheaper and they don't change things on you, KEEP IT!!!

The Anchorage area, Eagle River and the Valley all have very decent service with occasional spots where service is choppy but the area is huge with lots of really big mountains. I have not been in Juneau so I cannot say how things are there and I have not been in Fairbanks for many years but things were fine when we lived there.

Don't use your phone in Canada unless it's an emergency. Can people still use calling cards with their cell phones? If so, I'd get one of those just in case for your journey.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:56 PM
 
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With Verizon and ATT it is not all that much more $$ to add a Canada Calling plan. I was able to change my plan (and not extend my contract) so that it cost me $5 for the month to not have roaming charges while in Canada. Of course your plan could be different than mine. When I got back, I just changed back to my original plan. I would call your cell phone company and ask. Otherwise, yes, I agree don't use it.

If you are nervous about always needing to be in communication with 'help', friends, or family - rent a Sat phone. As previously mentioned, thousands of people make the trip yearly without one.

On Edit: I had a Verizon and an ATT phone...
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Alaska
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And stay away from data roaming in Canada. That can get expensive. What we did was to connect to the hotel internet. Other than that, we didn't use them at all until we got down to Washington state. Also, coverage is only near big cities, not where you might need it for an emergency.

AT&T is good in Juneau. From what I could tell, AT&T plans are the same nationwide.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:56 PM
 
14 posts, read 11,636 times
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Yeah we would only turn our phone on in Canada if there was an emergency. I most Lille will be doing the drive solo with a toddler. I've done it before like12yrs ago but adding my daughter makes it a tad worrisome.

Does Verizon or AT&T have better coverage? I hope to find one that we can have the same provider but I need iPhone coverage. Thankfully I know better than to blindly follow gps commands


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:52 AM
 
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I had both Verizon and ATT when I drove up to AK and back last year. They seemed to either both work or not work.... Very rarely did one work and not the other. My main issue with Verizon and AK is that since 'their' towers are not in AK they can't 'hit' your phone with their computers. So if your phone dies and you get a new one, you can't activate it. Supposedly that is changing as Verizon is coming to AK. FWIW, I like Verizon better than ATT, but service/support is important, especially if you are moving there.

I do wonder how OnStar works in AK. Anyone have OnStar in AK? I have the OnStar phone activated in one of my vehicles - but I haven't taken it to AK, yet. I have had areas where cell phones didn't work and OnStar did, which is why I am curious.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:05 PM
 
Location: NP AK/SF NM
681 posts, read 1,046,111 times
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In the Fairbanks area, Verizon only has data service for now. Supposedly they will have voice by April of 2014. AT&T just turned on LTE in Fairbanks....I've been picking it up in parts of town for about 2 weeks now. My son runs an AT&T iphone and ipad and doesn't have any issues. He does all of his homework with the ipad and icloud and finds AT&T service to be pretty reliable. GCI also has the iphone in AK.
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
3,841 posts, read 4,134,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akpls View Post
Before turning your husband loose with Apple maps in Fairbanks you might want to read this:

Apple app directs drivers to Fairbanks airport runway - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News
Yep Had that happen to me on my last Fairbanks trip. It was nuts!
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:11 PM
 
20 posts, read 37,784 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
I do wonder how OnStar works in AK. Anyone have OnStar in AK? I have the OnStar phone activated in one of my vehicles - but I haven't taken it to AK, yet. I have had areas where cell phones didn't work and OnStar did, which is why I am curious.



My mom and dad both have onstar and the voice does work. They weren't used too often but the few times they used it it's had no problems. My sister did use hers quite frequently around town (Anchorage) and she had no problems either.
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