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Best Cell Service for Building Penetration

by qub333 / November 2, 2004 11:20 AM PST

I've heard and seen mixed results as far as cell service indoors, currently I have T-mobile who is probably about the worst (in America that is) with reguards to building penetration. I have heard very positive things about both Nextel and Verizon with reguards to this, but I wanted to get some community feedback on this before I go out and make a purchase. For every service has reception at my front door, but as soon as you enter the home, FWOOMP. is dissapears. T-Mobile is an all digital network, which I'm confident hurts this, the analog networks agreements that Verizon has are supposed to be fantastic, but I also hear that Nextel has a great network, I live about 45 minutes outside of DC, and every cell service shows on thier coverage map, that I am covered, I just am looking for something to handle the building.

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Re: Best Cell Service for Building Penetration
by strykernyc / November 3, 2004 4:00 PM PST

usually phones with internal antenna have the best reception. but thats for t-mobile. my friend has the sanyo 8200 i think not usre the model number, but he get reception u wont believe. 10floors down from the street heh we both have sprintpcs but diff phone and u cant go wrong with that phone. is not just the service its the phone too. my fiance has verizon lg 6000 but that phone is garbage and ppl rate that phone high which i dont undetstand why, i know 4 ppl with same phone and is trash, but then again i hear ppl saying verizon reception is good but i think some phone are just made with like 50x more reception than others, like almost every nokia phone "internal antenna" they work underground just like my friends sanyo. go verizon or sprintpcs nothing else i have use nextel which is not horrible now present, use verizon which is good and sprinpcs is good and t-mobile i dont want that chit not even free, at&t-cingular are bad also. whatever the choice u make, just make sure u can manually set the phone to analog when u want. many cell phone comp like verizon tell u free roaming but how can u roam when there is no service and the phone has no analog so u can't get the service from someone else. see they are smart they make phone that can roam and work n their network but the trick is u cant really roam is u dont have analog, ex: i am n the subway i have no service but i can set my phone to analog and get signal even though the call wont be clear as digital roaming but the fact is i can make phone call and sounds ok with some static this is good especially for emergency. most verizon phone if not all dont have analog, they use digital roaming which is not the same as the real analog. thats why they offer free roaming cause is not really analog. btw the building is the empire state 10 floors below the sanyo"sprintpcs" gets signal .

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Re: Best Cell Service for Building Penetration
by qub333 / November 3, 2004 8:40 PM PST

Thanks for the reply, I have noticed the difference that the phone can make, I think that would be a great addition to the reviews on this site, a reception rating, or antenna rating. perhaps. Reguardless, I think that its possible Sprint would have an antenna down there? but reguardless I will also give sprint a look in my search. A relative of mine has sprint, Ill have him come by and see how reception is. T-mobile's greates weakness is the lack of any analog network. I agree that my new provider should offer analog service of some sort. Any other opinions?

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Re: Best Cell Service for Building Penetration
by dave1973 / November 4, 2004 10:39 AM PST

Verizon Wireless is nearly all-digital, so most areas that Verizon Wireless covers, you may or may not get an analog signal if analog was eliminated from towers. I'm especially finding it more true in a number of rural areas where only 2 or 3 towers exist, and every one is digital, whether CDMA or GSM. Only the CDMA carriers (Verizon Wireless, Alltel, US Cellular, and Sprint PCS) still have phones with analog backup. Cingular and AT&T eliminated analog once they changed from TDMA to GSM. And yes you can roam on any carrier's network, just as long as the other carrier has the same digital standard. You have to look at your roaming indicator. Mine shows a triangle and if it flashes, it's extended network (roaming on another carrier's network at regular airtime minutes) and if it's solid, then that's roaming that you get hit in the pocket. It also shows the words Verizon Wireless if I'm on their network and extended network if I'm in an area where there are roaming agreements. I have yet to travel in an area that Verizon Wireless doesn't have roaming agreements to where my phone would show roaming. But Nextel and Verizon Wireless usually have lots of towers around the major cities to where the signals penetrate buildings. I live near a 500' tower and get full reception in my house. I also own a Samsung SCH-a650 flip phone that's tri-mode and it usually handles weak signals too. I usually do good even with just the transmission bar showing. But to make a note that Nokia phones made for Verizon Wireless have external antennas. That's a mandate on phones in order to be sold through Verizon Wireless. That's why you don't see many Nokia phones sold through Verizon Wireless. Nokia prefers to make phones with internal antennas and that's why you find more Nokia phones available through Cingular and T-Mobile.

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Re: Best Cell Service for Building Penetration
by tiatbear / November 6, 2004 9:05 AM PST

I've been with Nextel for the past 5 years, but I'm anxious to switch carriers and a new phone. Perhaps the receptions differ across the country, but I'm mostly downtown and west Los Angeles, and the only acceptable carriers (I've noticed) are Nextel and Verizon. Nextel used the be the best, I swear. Then this rapid Nextel craze exploded, and I kept getting random "no service" and "CO not available" and "system busy." Although Nextel SAYS they've expanded and improved their coverage to support their customers, I'm quite disappointed with the customer service of the past 2 years. Although they have great phones and cheap plans, Cingular and Tmobile seem to be the bottom tier. At&t is the worst. Sprint seems to be great in the east coast, but always has dropped calls and not-at-all reliable here. So I'm looking into Verizon at this point. However, I have fallen in love with all the phones in Asia. I've heard that as long as it's a GSM phone, I can request a SIM card/chip from a US carrier and it will work. By mid month, I'm hoping to have a solid/confident decision on my "mobile situation." Of course, all input is GREATLY APPRECIATED.

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Re: Best Cell Service for Building Penetration
by mika34792 / November 8, 2004 5:38 AM PST

hello. i would definitely NOT recommend getting a sprint cell phone. i used sprint for about a year and a half and it would not work inside my apartment at all. just like you explained, as soon as i'd shut the door to my apartment the call would either drop or just go silent. i tried MANY different phones with sprint and none of them would work inside my apartment. i got so tired of having to go outside (it would work fine outside) to talk on the phone that i broke my contract with sprint and switched to verizon. i've been really happy with verizon's service. the reception is great and the phone works anywhere inside my apartment.

i am in arizona, so maybe it's just that sprint doesn't work well in this area, but i definitely would not recommend them to anybody. not only is sprint's reception horrible, but their customer service is just as bad. when i would call customer service, i would have to wait at least 15 minutes before i could talk to somebody, if not longer, and most of the time the representative wasn't too friendly. verizon's customer service usually answers your call either right away or in less than 5 minutes and they are very friendly.

it seems to me that the wireless service you have really does make a difference, and not so much the phone. i definitely would recommend verizon over sprint for best indoor reception. most cell phone stores should let you try out the phone for something like 15 days or so and allow you to return it if you're not happy, as long as you don't go over a certain amount of minutes. so if a phone doesn't work well inside a building, hopefully they will take it back and you can try something else.

i hope this helps you. take care.

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Cell coverage in buildings
by mikes1953 / January 3, 2005 12:24 PM PST

try att/cingilar...i have had sprint, and recently verizon, but the only one that will work in my house, is att/cingular...incidently...no more dropped calls...and i can make and recieve calls where the verizon could not...i have tries them both at the same time (have 2 more months on verizon) i'm in nj.

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Cell coverage in buildings
by dave1973 / January 4, 2005 10:48 AM PST

Cellphone service varies from service to service, and from one area to another. In NW Indiana, around Gary & Merrillville, and Portage and Valparaiso, Verizon Wireless and Nextel work in most buildings. It depends on how many towers are in the area and how close they are to buildings. The phone also helps too. From experience, Motorola phones for Verizon Wireless don't work well in some buildings as Motorola phones for Verizon Wireless don't always handle the weaker signal in buildings as well. And if it's weak outside, it's almost guaranteed the phone won't work inside. Since switching from a Motorola 120c to a Samsung SCH-a650 flip phone, it works in more areas that the Motorola phone didn't. In Merrillville, my Samsung phone will work in Kmart & Meijer where the Motorola 120c didn't. For where I go, I've had few problems with Verizon Wireless. I've however had problems with Alltel (Verizon's roaming partner) in lower Michigan where they don't spend enough money to cover the highways well.

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Verizon's service is great.
by c_giby / January 5, 2005 2:26 AM PST

Verizon's service is great in northern Indiana, I agree. However, it does injustice to Motorola phones. The Motorola 120c is one of Verizon's free phones for a reason, its not all that great. Most Motorola phones, such as my v710, get a great signal anywhere its available. My phone will work just as well inside any building as it does outside, and if I have a full signal outside an elevator, I also have a full signal inside. When comparing it to friends Samsung, LG, and Audiovox phones, I am always the one with the better signal, and the ability to analog roam is another plus.

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