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Old 12-28-2010, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Mountain Home, ID
1,955 posts, read 3,084,154 times
Reputation: 2414

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After 5 years, my Motorola V360 is finally starting to have reception problems, so I'm thinking of switching phones. Right now I have T-Mobile service, an unlimited minute plan for $50 a month with no contract. Reception around Boise is fine, but once you get out to more rural areas it starts to fail.

I'd be open to switching carriers, but I want to keep an unlimited plan for about the same price. Any companies around that have better coverage on the outskirts and don't charge an arm and a leg for unlimited minutes?

Bonus if I can use the phone for tethering a laptop at broadband speed.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:38 PM
 
86 posts, read 214,409 times
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Also interested in this topic.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Meridian, ID
73 posts, read 165,565 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesster View Post
After 5 years, my Motorola V360 is finally starting to have reception problems, so I'm thinking of switching phones. Right now I have T-Mobile service, an unlimited minute plan for $50 a month with no contract. Reception around Boise is fine, but once you get out to more rural areas it starts to fail.

I'd be open to switching carriers, but I want to keep an unlimited plan for about the same price. Any companies around that have better coverage on the outskirts and don't charge an arm and a leg for unlimited minutes?

Bonus if I can use the phone for tethering a laptop at broadband speed.

well it could be your phone.... Find another phone for cheap and see if reception gets better. Most carriers dont put too much into rural areas.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Mountain Home, ID
1,955 posts, read 3,084,154 times
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Yes, it very well could be my phone. It's having reception problems, as I mentioned. The problem is, T-Mobile has gone for Smartphones in a big way, and with those you have to have a data plan, which is more expensive. They only have a few regular phones, and with them either I don't like the phone, or it's missing a specific feature I have to have. So I'm just not happy with what they're currently offering. I could get a used T-Mobile phone, but before I do that, I want to see what else is out there.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:32 PM
 
3,094 posts, read 7,067,603 times
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I use Verizon and have had good luck with them. From Las Vegas to Boise I had coverage the whole way except on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Going up to Sun Valley I have coverage for most of the trip except when climbing out of Mountain Home to Hill City. When I go to Idaho Falls I have coverage for 95% of the drive.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Ventura County, CA
31 posts, read 92,621 times
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I know that up in the Boise National Forest you get Verizon at least as far as Lowman. It seemed common knowledge up there that Verizon worked but not ATT. Can't speak for any other carriers and it may have changed since summer.

I have ATT and lost signal once I went over the pass toward Horseshoe Bend then it was hit and miss for a while. By the time I turned off in Banks, the signal was long gone.

I did hear ATT was coming out with a new phone that would go from GSM Cell to satellite using a Windows Mobile based phone, so it would work in most places (Sat phone and GPS both need a view of the sky and many buildings and canyons block it, not to mention pine trees block the signals too.) It's called the TerreStar Genus. It's pricey though, but you only have the one phone number to worry about. If I spent a lot of time up in the mountains, I'd look into it. If it's just for in between town coverage I'd compare the different carriers' coverage areas for a normal cell phone.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Tigard, Oregon
863 posts, read 2,636,550 times
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In the past couple years Verizon added a tower in the Sawtooths. I get great reception up there now. Satellite service is probably different, because of the mountains, you still get a lot of dead areas, i.e. betweeen towns. I think that will be the case for most/all carriers.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:43 PM
 
674 posts, read 1,279,242 times
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Verizon.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:02 PM
 
273 posts, read 760,607 times
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Verizon is definitely the best for rural areas in Idaho. Service is still pretty spotty outside of bigger towns but I can say from experience that the Fairfield/Camas Prairie area, ID-78 in Owyhee County, Horseshoe Bend, Hailey/Sun Valley area, Cascade/McCall, Stanley, Arco, and Mackay all have cell service with Verizon. Most notable in not having service is Idaho City and pretty much all of Boise county.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:09 AM
 
3,094 posts, read 7,067,603 times
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When I climbed Mt. Borah over the summer I had coverage for most of the climb with Verizon. Everyone else in my party had other carriers and their phones did not work.
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