Cell Phone Carriers

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by Econ, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. MOSCDENC

    MOSCDENC Member

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    I'd agree with this. I knew I'd be paying for second tier service, and you can tell that is what we get. But I'm willing to put up with second tier service for the $$ we are saving. One thing I like is the straight forward pricing. None of the $$/month before taxes gimmicks. When they say $100/month for 4 lines that is exactly what it is.
     
  2. Lei Zhao

    Lei Zhao Member

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    Econ likes this.
  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I agree with davido. For those places I don't have service, I enjoy the break. However, I did get a Garmin intouch for emergencies. After my Great GPS adventure, I want the ability to get a message out wherever I'm at.
     
  4. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Had sprint for many years. Service was not that good. Was paying 145 a month. About three years ago went to tmobile service sucked. If I was not in a town 50k or larger or on the interstate highway no service. But it was only $45 for two phones.

    A year ago we went to spectrum (old time Warner cable) to there service. It uses verizon. We had very good service for the past year. I change my plan with them monthly for by the gig 2 gig before I pay. or for unlimmited on one phone with hot spot. Cost for 2 phones $28 or 59 per month depending on plan I'm on.

    Out west in nowhere land. In small towns it seems that the cell company that first put up a tower is the only service there. We saw either AT&T or Verizon and the family of services that piggyback on their networks were the only network that worked in these town.

    We camp in some very remote locations and wifi is a treat. But with Verizon we had best luck.
     
  5. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    did you mean Garmin “inreach” instead of “intouch”?
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I don't know about microcarriers. Over the years, we've had pay-as-you-go, Verizon and some that used whatever network is there. That was not always great. I remember standing side-by-side, with matching phones, when one of us had service and the other did not.
    We finally have settled on Verizon, pay-as-you go for my husband's flip phone, and "standard" for my iPhone. In most of the places we go in the 4Corners states, Verizon tends to be the most likely carrier. In Jacob lake, AZ, where the road to North Rim connects to 89A, there is only another carrier. In some other places, I have had text capability only, and that sometimes seems to change from year to year. [At one of our favorite campgrounds in CO, we've had text for a couple of years, at one rock, handy so my husband can check in with me while solo backpacking, from his inReach. On our visit in August '20, no service, at all. We had to drive 9 miles to get voice coverage, when we decided to head home early, to confirm we could get a campsite to overnight on the way.
    At South Rim of Grand Canyon, where they will be upgrading cell coverage soon(ish), in Oct I had some text reception in the campground. for more reliability, I had to drive 2 miles to ne of the parking lots closer to the Village.
    I know some love to be out of range, which we sort of still appreciate. However, since my husband solo backpacks to remote areas, being able to have him check in is great. (He can sent an SOS that will go to emergency services if necessary.) Whether or not one wants/needs cell coverage is another form of "hike your own hike".
     
  7. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    I use Republic wireless which is VOIP when it can, but uses Sprint/T-mobile as a back up. I like the service a lot, we have seven phones in our family (lots of kids). They don't have / get any data if they are not on WiFi, which they are all fine with. My wife and I have 1G data / month. $15 for the kids plans and $20 for ours. Coverage is fine in general and what actually works well is that we are connected often when there is no cell service as it automatically connects and prompts to open WiFi networks, which we can use for voice, text, and data. You purchase your own phone (Android only). We have been using them for about 9.5 years now and are all happy. In regards to camping, since most of the visitor centers have WiFi, we can connect there even through the area may be out in the boonies with no cell service as is the case for a number of NPs and NMs.
     
  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it is inreach...

    Shows how much I pay attention to it. I charge it and activate it before a trip and keep it charged and handy throughout the trip. Then put it away until the next trio. ;)
     
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    That's why I got the garmin. It is satelite not cellular, so all I need is an open space to see the sky.

    Deleted - Oops just saw your husband has the inreach...

    Thar is really the best tool for remote areas.
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Yes, the inReach is satellite on his end, but for me to receive the text message, I have to have enough cell coverage for that. Usually, it's not difficult for me to drive somewhere to find cell service, or sometimes WiFi. I receive an email as well, so either works. We are still figuring out how I can send a message to him, if necessary. I often deliver and pick him up from trailheads, sometimes the same one, sometimes from different ones. If a weather system is coming in, something happens to the vehicle (or me), or anything else changes our plans on my end, it would be good to be able to easily do that. We don't worry about it enough to go to a satellite option on my end.
     
  11. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    I use walmart Straight Talk on the Verizon network. I have rarely ever had anyone have service when I didn't.

    I use the cheap $60 - 100 phones. So many times I can upload videos to FB and a buddy with a big $$ Sprint phone can't even text his wife...
     
  12. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    you should probably practice sending non SOS messages on a regular basis (so should I).
     
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I did on my last trip and it went OK. But I need to tape a list of the prerecorded messages to the phone since I forget which is which number.
     
  14. Jimbow

    Jimbow Well-Known Member

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    I've learned one issue the hard annoying way. If a carrier claims to have coverage the others carriers will not allow roaming.

    I'm on T-Mo and 100% satisfied until I leave home. So much pink on their map isn't really coverage. We're considering a short term plan on a different network just for our summer trips.
     
  15. Lug_Nut

    Lug_Nut Active Member

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    Since early October 2019. Customer service wasn't domestic, was a call center overseas (no surprise, there), but was good english with knowledgable reps that sorted out my mistake in two calls. I'd call that not bad. Samsung J7(?) that was past the contract duration so I had AT&T unlock it. I kept my AT&T card active to trial the Red Pocket coverage with a new number, figuring I would swap the AT&T card back in if Red Pocket wasn't good enough. After a month I had Red Pocket issue another card, this one ported to the familiar to me AT&T phone number I've had for years. I stopped the payment on the short term Red Pocket number and then cut ties with AT&T, too.
     
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  16. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    I've had Red Pocket for a couple months and went camping in
    no service/ marginal service areas last week. DW has Verizon and I have Red Pocket Verizon. Direct comparison made.

    Customer Service is India I suspect. Most have very understandable accents and probably hired for that reason. The one that wasnt just hang up on them and call again.

    My goal was to dump Verizon but keep the Verizon network. Here is the suggestion if this is also your goal. Verizon wont allow this. Call the call center and explain your goal. They can port you over from Verizon to Sprint. Then port you from Sprint over to Verizon just so there is at least a one day break from Verizon. Yeah, a little extra work.

    So far no complaints
     
  17. Roqon

    Roqon New Member

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    I use Tello.com which is Sprint/T Mobile. I live in the boonies so wifi at home with a ported Google voice number works great. Service on the road is usually excellent. All carriers have weak/dead spots. You get to set up your own plan - choose your minutes & data needed. I don't use much data on the road so my plan is $7 month, $8.74 with tax & PA 911 charge.
     
  18. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    Received Verizon bill. I pay three months at a time as that is easier than writing a check once a month and mailing it in. Today's bill is one were I have to write another check. Verizon gave no credit for the part of the paid month that occured after porting my number over. Plus they want 60.00 a month for DW only. I cant tell call quality difference between Verizon vs RedPocket Verizon. The savings over Verizon will pay for a new Iphone the first year. Kicked them to the curb.
     
  19. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    doi
    on your Inreach - do practice sending present and custom messages to a couple of recipients, and be sure to update the firmware - software etc, including Earthmate on your iPhone (or Android).
     

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