Cell phones


icarus

Moderator
Now that we have all abandoned out three watt analog cell phones for .5 watt portables, reception gets poor or non existant in rural areas. I have already mentioned the need for a dual or tri-mode phone because the analog coverage area is so much better. Another item that really helps is a good cell phone amplifier. Wilson Electronics makes several units that add on to your hand held phone, and re-transmit out an outside antenna. They boost the signal to as much as 3 watts, like the old bag phones. The net effect of this is that it will take a marginal signal and make it useable.

I started using one in my remote cabin, coupled to a outside directional yagi type antenna, I can get to a cell tower 40 miles away over rough ground. (This is our only communication so it is imperitive that it work,,, and it does)

These amplifiers come in two basic styles. The first is a direct connect to your cell phone. You have to make sure that your cell phone has a compatable antenna cord/port available. You connect your phone to the input end of the amp, and connect the output to your external antenna.

The second type is an indirect connect system. You use a small inside antenna to recieve your call, the signal is then directed to the amp and out the outside antenna. The advantage of this system is that it works with any cell phone (see below) ,allows multiple users at once (although it is beyond my why anyone would need more than one phone call in any car at a time!)

I have mine mounted on strong velcro on the cabinet end behind the drivers seat. I have direct wired the power supply off the fuse behind the drivers door, although the unit comes with a cigarette lighter plug. I mounted mine with velcro so that I can move it to the cabin or another car easily.

Wilson makes models that are portable, or those that are designed to be permanently installed. They also make models for most all cell technologies, cdma, tdma, amps, pcs or nextel. Make sure that you get one for your type of service.

I use a simple wilson whip antenna, magnetic mounted to the skylight hinge, the wire passing out through the skylight. I have found that the number of dropped calls is greatly reduced, but more importantly, the range is much better in the middle of nowhere. (Where I drive most anyway) Once again, don't trust your cell phone to save your life, but they are handy when they work.

Icarus

PS these units run about $200 for the direct connect units, to $350 for the repeater model. If you can't find it localy, try e-bay.


PPS A little follow up to the above,,,, I found myself in my bush cabin this winter, using the above mentioned Wilson repeater amplifier. All of a sudden it got hot and quite working. Being ice bound in the bush I had no choice but to try to take it apart to see if there was something simple like a cold solder joint I could fix. (Since I had bought it on e-bay, there was no warrantee, so removing the sticker that says "warrentee void if opened didn't really apply!)
Needless to say, all I could see upon opening it was chips and dodads that meant nothing to me. I reconsiled myself having to buy another one, but concerned with why this one quit.

Upon returning to the land of computers and phones, I send an e-mail to Wilson and asked if perhaps they could steer me in some direction of repair (not really expecting much response) They called me several days later, and after describing what happened, the rep suggested that what happened was that the inside antenna was too close to the outside one. He said that 5' was the minimum. As it had turned out, I was transmitting to a outdoor Yagi antenna, that was just outside the window, mere inches away. The result was the amplifier fed back on itself and burned up! While this was useful information to prevent such an occurance happening again, I still wanted to know how to repair the unit and was it cost effective. He said, "Oh, I'll just ship you a new one, what is your address? After you get it, please send the old one back!" Two days later I have the new one and it works perfectly.

The point of all this is two things; make sure you keep your antennae seperate, and most importantly Wilson Electronics of ST. George Ut. is that rare business today that stand behind thier products, above and beyond the call. In fact they tried for several days to contact me but we had phone trouble, and instead of just giving up they wrote me a e-mail telling me that they couldn't get in touch and would I please call them! I think it important that when we find companies like this we let everyone know. God knows they're few and far between.

Icarus
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Shame on you -- you got me started on what is a pet peave of mine!

:mad: The cell phone industry is one of the most screwed-up, non-integrated, anti-customer, technoligical nightmares of recent memory. There is no standard and it is primarily a marketing game much like the old Internet IPO's of the '90s. Except you get an expensive clump of unreliable plastic to carry with you to remind you.

Cell phones are a great idea -- when & if they work -- and are in the category of 'must have' when traveling even if they cause balding and the heartbreak of psorisis. I've got 'em and every call is approached with all the thrill of getting into the ring with Mike Tyson before he's had lunch.

A couple of minor corrections. According to my guru's -- an ex hippie that moved from being stock clerk at Best Buys to VP at a major cell-phone provider -- the old analogs were .7W except 'bag phones' or when docked into an amplifier station. Those are 3W. I've got two docking stations -- one in Redneck Pickemup that I tow the antique car carrier with and another in the Westy. Fantastic. They automatically hook up to the 3W amplifier, 12v operating power & recharger, speaker & hands-free mic. They will get out when .6W digitals won't even raise dial tone. I've used them in some mighty remote areas and when the digital crud I've got won't work sitting under the tower.

The analog signal is stable in the sense it always has the same range -- all conditions being equal. Digital, on the other hand, faces a 'tower footprint'. Their term, not mine. It basically means there is a range around the tower that is shared by all users of the tower at the time. So you get best range when you're the only one on the tower. The more users, the smaller the footprint. "Drive time" -- that period when everybody is on their way to & from work and talking on the cell instead of watching where they are going -- means a smaller footprint and less range, reliability & more dropped calls.

There are docking stations for digital but they do NOT include an amplifier. They should still be worthwhile because the would still allow hook-up of external antenna, power sources, speakers & hands-free mic.

From my "Marine Electronics" classes & FTC licenses concerning antennas (If anybody has newer info, please update.): The basic propogation of radio waves is concentric circles around the vertical plane of the antenna and is only a little better than line of sight -- radio waves bend around the earth's curvature but only slightly. That explains why you have to be standing on the roof to get a decent signal with a digital cell phone. The antenna should be directly up & down for best results. If you're the average cell user that holds the handset roughly parallel to the ground, most of your signal goes into space or the car seat. Ditto the installed car antenna -- it can't lay along the body. It should be vertical and extend above the car roofline. Most of the antenna gizmos (built-in wires in the glass, multi-use, etc.) are less effective and many become very directional.

None of the major providers have standardized the tech side. As a result, phones are not interchageable between providers. And, since the average employee of a provider doesn't know either, figuring the tech side out will be beyond most of us. You don't have to worry about analog anymore; it's officially obsolete and you can't buy the service anymore. Some towers have full analog capability for us old carry-overs, others a little relay antenna. One provider told me it will be officially discontinued in 2005; my own lapses into legalese that means he can't answer the question. Some providers don't even have analog on their towers. So analog is fading away. We'll soon be stuck with digital and it's mini-footprint.

:rolleyes: Cell phones themselves have become throw-aways. The average provider can't even tell you what's wrong with your phone. Repairing one is out of the question. Add to the fact that your provider's standard pat answer to ANY cell-phone service issue is "It must be your phone," You: "Your tower is laying on the ground from the tornado" Cell phone provider: "Must be your phone." They learned their tech support from the computer industry.

The latest excuse I got when I went to Philly and my digital cell phone wouldn't work from the top of the hotel was that "Must be your phone." . . . or "it's obsolete." According to them, anything older than last week is obsolete. "Did you reprogram it?" Then he punched some buttons and said, "See, it reads 805; it should read 2050." I have no idea what he's talking about but then he handed me a card that said I'm supposed to dial *-something-or-other every week to update my program. Of course when I went home and tried it on my other phone, I got the company recording that said take it to your dealer. The dealer couldn't do it either. "Must be your phone." Then he told me I'm also supposed to dial *-something-else whenever I'm travelling and need to make a call because that apparently is like an alarm clock to wake up the tower. Wonder what that's doing to my incoming service?

Latest: Big brother wants to know where you are in case you dial 911 and can't tell them. At least that's what they want you to believe. So you can't get a phone now that doesn't have GPS in it. They even say they won't program an existing phone back into service. No, it won't tell you where you're at but it will tell everyone else. "Don't lie to me. You're cell phone was in the Nudie Bar last night when you said you were working."

Billing, minutes & rate plans? I won't even go there. Suffice it to say it makes the tech side seem simple. The only thing you need to know is it's arranged so you're always on-peak, roam, long distance and over plan minutes at all times. One of the kids in my daughter's school had to make a tough choice -- cell phone or the Hummer to drive to school?

Cell phone use while driving; I have mixed feelings. I think hands-free ought to be required if you use your cell in the car more than 2 minutes at a time. I see idiots actually already on the phone as they back out of their driveway, usually right into rush hour traffic. "You'll have to speak up, Marge. Some idiot is squealling his tires." I've also seen folks talking continuously over a trip that runs 30-40 miles! Drinking coffee, reading and putting on make-up at the same time. I once pulled a pick-up truck out of the ditch in a snow storm. "I was on the phone trying to get directions." Not only doesn't he know what he's doing, he doesn't know where he's doing it! (FOND OR FUNNY WESTY MOMENTS forum.)

During our most recent snow/ice gridlock day (See CHAT room), the cell phone system pretty well locked up. EVERYBODY was on the road and that means they were also on their cell phones trying to tell all their friends what it was like out there in the 'blizzard'. (We got 8/10" of an inch.) "We're down to 2 lanes over here, Fred." "Me too, and there's a car in the ditch." "Let's each call 6 other people each and tell them." It was a like a chain letter. The traffic was in gridlock and they decided the cell phone service should be too. The only guy in the tower's footprint was the one that slid off the road and ran into it. My one redeeming moment: the idiot that passed me on the shoulder of the interstate was sitting in the guardrail a couple miles up the road on his cell phone. Now he's switched from cussing all those idiots that can't drive in the snow to cussing his cell phone. To get in line for a tow truck behind the 2-300 previously reported accidents that can't get there anyway because of the traffic gridlock. God has a sense of humor.

;) I support Death by Cell Phone as a capital offense. You wreck someone while on your cell phone, they put you in a padded room. Your punishment is a cell phone that rings every few minutes, and a voice says, "Can you hear me now?" and then the line goes dead. . . . For eternity!
 
Last edited:

Ludwig van

New member
Just curious about the rate structure in the US. Here in Canada, the actual monthly rate is usually a fair bit higher than the advertised rate, due to "access fees", etc. This is an attempt by the vendors to make it look like part of the cost is someone else's doing, which is a complete scam - they impose all the extra charges themselves. Do the US vendors do that as well?

One thing we seem to have here is free roaming, and some Canadians have been surprised to get a bill from their provider for the cost of leaving their phones turned on south of the border.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Oh, yes; that scam is SOP here in the states. Only one company is charging what they advertise -- and their whole sales pitch is based around it. But then there's the fine print . . .! They're gonna get you, one way or the other. And, like the gas companies, they are merging left & right so you'll soon be down to a couple of companies and a shared monopoly -- that's economist-talk for it doesn't take just one to shaft you anymore.

My personal cell bill is 18% higher than quoted due to TWO layers of fees; one is a bunch of hokey 'regulatory fees'. Each phone on my service has "Cost Recovery", 911 service, relay service and a federal "Universal Service Fee". Most of these are just fees authorized -- not mandated-- by the FCC for basic service features, such as what one company charges another for use of facilities. You & I go to McDonalds; we each order a Big Mac; then we swap and charge each other another dollar.

There are federal & state taxes that amount to another 10%. The fed share of that is about 3¼ %; state taxes vary. Wouldn't surprise me to find local taxes in places like NYC.

Roaming fees vary from company to company -- most only charge when a call goes through (in or out). 'Free' roaming and 'free' long distance is a major plan feature. Some (usually bare minimum plans) do require you to manually set roam for incoming and they did have a daily fee. I have that "free" roaming & LD, so don't know what they would amount to. Not many of those still in use. Most have different plans for local, regional, all US and Canada included. Of course they often piggy-back those so you end up paying for services you don't want. Like cable TV's pyramiding schemes.

One of the biggest scams is their minute billing. Most will charge for EVERY call placed, whether it goes through, gets a busy signal, gets dropped or gets into a 'all circuits busy' 'tower overload' or similar shut-down from company failures. Then you have to call them, sit on hold for half of eternity, and request they give you credit. They are counting on the average person not doing so or not remembering incomplete calls so they can steal the extra minutes in hopes of getting you into those 'worth their weight in gold' over-package minutes.
 

icarus

Moderator
Sorry, Capt. Didn't want to send you off the deep end!

I have a single rate plan for all of the usa and canada (Through Verizon) It cost me $10 more per month than the base rate. I have never gotten a roaming bill anywhere I have used the phone from Halifax to San Diego, White Horse to Florida. (I even had them put a note in my file that if I ever got a roaming charge from some small provider, I wasn't going to pay it, based on the information that they gave me) Of course verizon doesn't offer this plan any more that I know of. Just remember, that cell phones won't save you when you are out of range. Stick to analog, or at least dual or tri-mode phones.

Icarus
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
:( Well, they got me. Last week the Admiral's digital cell phone burned up. Complete with sound effects like a steak on the grill. Sizzle, sizzle, die. Something in the recharge circuit. Fix a cell phone? -- see my previous tirade.

Also, the Admiral has been fussing about my cell phone habits. See I bought it to bother other people, not have them bother me. So mine stayed in the docking station in the truck or Westy while I spent a casual couple hours in whatever "guy store" I was at. Can't bother me if the phone's turned off and locked in the truck. I thought it was a good plan, but then I'm not in charge of anything anymore. Married with kids!

So it was off to Alltel. We discovered I'd been a customer for 134 months. He couldn't divide by 12 but that's something like 11+ years. I was "grandfathered" in on a plan with 3 cell phones that handled my two old analog ones.

We have a teenage daughter. Not withstanding her demands she should have a cell phone at all times with no limits, we did think having a 4th would be nice (One stays in the house as our LD phone.) in case we wanted her to have a 'traveling' phone when it would make us feel safer. For our assurance, not hers -- teenagers think "safe-ty" is a flavor of Snapple! Or maybe if my Mom was going someplace. My old plan couldn't take a 4th phone -- Grandfather Clause didn't have that much pull. And I couldn't put my old analogs on a new plan because of the GPS rule. So their solution was I buy all new phones and plan at only slightly above retail. If I extended my contract 2 more years, (I guess they didn't trust a "short-timer" with only 11 years with the company.) they'd sell me the new phones -- generic models -- no camera, no wireless BS -- for $60 apiece.

I walked across the street to Verizon. I had done enough research to know that Verizon & Alltell used the same dual technology and Verizon had one of the better customer satisfaction rates. [Boy, was I wrong!] Both, sharing the same technology, have virtually identical coverage.

They had a slightly better plan for $10 less, and a special of "Buy one, get 3 free." We went for 4 new dinky, cutesy flip-phones that only an MIT graduate electronics engineer -- or a teenager -- can program. They're so tiny they clip right on your belt. Of course it takes the jaws of life to get them unclipped if it rings, but I'll have a hard time ignoring the Admiral's dictate to quite turning it off and locking it in the truck.

But I lost my beautiful old analogs and the docking stations in Redneck Pickemup and the Westy. I'm going to play with these new doo-dads for a while to see if a docking station would be worthwhile. The current genre are $150 and only boost the old analog signal, which is fading from existance. No boost if on a digital tower. Analog's days are numbered. The idea of plugging into hands-free in the car is very important, but right now I've got one of those earphone/mic thingy-mabobbers so I can look like an idiot talking to myself while I use the cell phone. At least I don't have to take my hands off the wheel to hold it. I need both hands free for obscene gestures to the other idiots with a cell phone stuck in their ear.

First thing I cancelled (blocked) was text messaging. I'm not paying for someone to send me a message. If it was important, they'd call, otherwise send me a post-card! At a maximum of 165 characters, how intelligent can the message be? And I know I'm not smart enough to decipher 'chat room' shorthand use by most. RU? LOL.

Did I say it was cute? I have a little color screen with a soothing picture of water dropping off a leaf -- or is that Chinese Water Torture revised? There are 5 rings -- all obnoxious (none sound like a telephone ringing), and 10 tunes, 9 of which are obnoxious. I chose the one close to a Kenny G sax number. My teenager hates it so that's good enough reason for me. I can also choose a silent ring with vibrator if I want a vicarious thrill. What's that lump in your pocket and why do you keep calling yourself?

I have one bright note -- the cell phone insurance I've been paying $18.50 per year for those 11+ years will now pay for my $80 phone. Apparently frying the guts was covered. Now if my math is correct, that means I only need to burn up 1½ more phones to break even.

Isn't technology fun?
 
Last edited:

icarus

Moderator
Another trick, instead of repairing cell phones, buy used ones. I use a motorola startac, that I have modified to accept an outside antenna. I also have a modem card to plug it into my laptop so I can check e-mail on the road. As mine was dying, I just bought 3 more for 99 cents each on ebay! Not bad for a tri-mode dual band phone that was a couple of hundred a few years ago. (Who needs pictures anyway?) Now I have a supply forever. Each one came with 2 batteries and car chargers, so I can leave a charger in each vehicle.

Icarus
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
It took a while, but I finally figured out Verizon's latest scams. After more than 10 years, I switched from Alltel to Verizon. When I got my first invoices, they looked normal -- call listings, minutes, type, etc. But the minutes didn't jibe with the usage billing.

Verizon CHARGES for real invoices! If I want to see my bill -- important to me as some calls are business or charitable expenses -- I have to join a web-site. Or Pay! First I was quoted $1.99 for the invoice. I was PO'ed that I'd have to pay extra for a real invoice, but I agreed. Then the next invoice arrived and I was charged $1.99 for EACH line. $7.96, plus taxes I'm sure. Just to see my bill!

More calls to customer nonservice. Two months to get credit for the overcharges; another month to get the invoice right as to amount.

None of the first couple tiers at customer nonservice could tell me what and why some calls were listed an others not. And, of course, they refused to put me through to a manager. If it had been such that the freebie or no-count minutes were omitted, but those counted towards plan where listed, I could probably have lived with that. But there was no pattern and nobody at Verizon knows.

As if that wasn't bad enough, it turns out the web-site registration, required to read your invoice also signs you up for tons of spam. Customer nonservice said they would take care of it, but when it continued to arrive, they finally admitted there was no opt-out. The real looniness was they send you spam to announce they've sent you text messages (I don't even have text messaging on my account.) And they also send you numerous more spams to tell you you can now pay this month's bill on line.

They admitted the only way I could stop the spam was to go back to the web site and change my account data to a phony email. Just blocking the email wasn't working because the 'sender address' was computer generated and changed repeatedly. Great, now I've got to do what I've railed about of our own members. (But the Westy site doesn't send you spam!) All the ethics of a WorldCom CEO, huh?

Hello, Verizon! First, all we wanted was a real invoice. And though a web-site might be nice -- it could save you money from our calling your customer nonservice -- we DON'T want to wade through dozens of spam, and you won't do anything to stop it. I'll just close it and quit using. Hey, I've got a speaker phone. I'll dial your number and do other things until a real person comes on the line. I'm NOT required to have a touch-tone land line to do business with Verizon and I DON'T play phone-Nintendo.

Cell phones -- a necessary evil.
 
Last edited:

icarus

Moderator
In reference to my post two above,,,,

It seems that big brother has taken over once again! I went to put one of the new phones in service recently, and it turns out that after August 1 2005, the cell phone providers are prohibited from activating any cell phone that is not "911 compliant" No phone that cannot be traced to it's location in the event that you have to call 911 can be activated. (even if is the same make, model etc as the old one!)

This explains why old cell phones, even good ones have no value and why I paid only 99 cents. I am lucky that I have one still activated that suits my needs, but when it goes I will have to reconfigure all my stuff, antenna, modem cards, etc.

I grew up in a land of a hand cranked party line, ten miles down the lake from my home. Now they need to know where I am every waking moment! Give me a break!

Icarus


PS Capt. Mike,

I know this will send your bp through the roof! Take a deep breath, we will get through all this madness.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Just had an interesting conversation with Verizon. My bill went up -- not much, but enough I started looking at why. I wasn't over minutes and didn't have roaming or LD charges. My VZW surcharges went up. What the Sam Hill is a VZW surcharge? Glad you asked. It had always been there, but the jack-up aroused my curiosity.

In Verizon's case, it's the extra they charge because they want to advertise the bill the same as the competition. They're so ashamed of it, it's not explained on their web site. Even the customer rep I finally got (after a wait long enough to have breakfast) couldn't find it. Best she could come up with was some fine print in their INTERNAL fee structure. It appears it consists of a host of other charges they don't want to absorb with real-price billing.

One is the Federal universal service charge. That's a fee the feds authorize (not mandate) for the charges the carriers bill each other for exchange of services. See the 2/21/05 post, 2nd paragraph.

Next is the Regulatory Charge. That's so you pay for their cost of complying with the regulations. I suppose that means you & I should charge for registering our Westies down at DMV.

But my favorite is the "Administrative Charge". They are charging you for doing their job and investing in new facilites to get new business. On that principle you'll get charged extra next time you take your Westy in for service because they showed up for work. I'm already paying $1.99 extra to get my bill, so it's not that. I guess next they'll have a fee for toilet paper in the employee john.

The one that frosts me the most is that they are charging me to build new towers. Right up front -- "we're going to charge you to put up a new tower so we can get new business". And the audacity to try to tell me it's a federally mandated fee. No it's not, folks. We've got companies that don't charge it and I don't see them hauled off to jail. They pay it out of their obscene profits. The feds allow these fees, but don't require them. The result of intense lobbying by the cell phone industry. Show me the CFR that says "thou shalt charge"! Verizon can't.
 

icarus

Moderator
Mike,

I always look forward to your rants about cell phones! An update to my previous post about buying used phones. As it turns out, as of sometime last year, you CANNOT activate ANY phone that is not "911" compliant! This means that if your old phone craps, you can't just use the esn# and activate another identical phone. It seems that big brother wants to know where you are at all times, so that when you call 911 they can find you! Not a bad idea in some measure in therory, but give me a break! Makes it tough on those in rural areas that rely on 3 watt bag phones. I know of no bag phone that is 911 compliant. (See the post about the Wilson Amplifier system to solve that problem) I now know why my .99 cent phones were a bargain. I will continue to use my current startac until it dies and then figure out what to do!

Ah well,,, progress,
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Mixed review on my latest visit to Verizon. I fell. Clumsiness, old age, inattention -- whatever. And of course, landed on and damaged my cell phone. Besides scruffing up the case pretty bad and my ego, I broke the antenna.

My first thought was, since few cells are repairable, I'd make the "house" phone (of our 4) mine and do away with the house phone. Since wife, daughter & I each have a cell and shared minutes, having a designated house phone for LD use no longer made sense.

My first surprise and kudos to Verison, is they actually fixed the phone. It wasn't complex, but they had an antenna in stock and fixed it for free in about 10 minutes. With a straight face, they told the customer next to me it'd be cheaper to get a new phone than put a battery in hers!

However, I still wanted to check out my first idea of cancelling one phone. I'm a year into a 2-year contract. To drop one $12.95/mo line would trigger a $175 early termination fee. Keeping the phone until the end of the contract will be $129.50. I guess I'll keep it until the contract runs out.

I priced a new case. $21.35. Same case was $13 at the independent wireless store. A piece of thin leather scrap, my trusty needle and a piece of left-over mylar tape to fix the torn window panel -- free.

Next I'm going to test the distance/footprint thing. The Admiral, daughter & I are heading to the N. Woods of Wisconsin soon where digital cell is pretty spotty. I used to get a call out up there by sitting in the truck with the analog, firing up the 3W booster with outside antenna. Now I'll probably have to stand on the roof, raise one leg and face the moon.

Update 7/17/06: I didn't have to face the moon. My cell couldn't find a tower in my cousin's house. Outside, it would find towers, a couple minutes at a time. I was even able to eliminate climbing the roof by climbing on top of my truck on the highest hill. Apparently rising one leg is still required.

I also discovered that this constant dropping and reacquiring towers must suck up some serious battery. At home, I get several days out of a charge with reasonable talk time. In the woods, we'd get about 8 hours with neglible talk time. When we got back home, battery life returned. Oh, Batteries Plus doesn't stock my battery. But they'd gladly order me one for only half what I paid for all 4 phones!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
A recent newspaper article says that Alltell will terminate its analog service as soon as legal. The FCC requirement to provide analog expires Feb. 2008. I would presume the others will follow suite.

This means the old analog phones will no longer work anywhere. In many rural areas, analog is the only service available. I'd kept a docking station analog phone in my Westy just for calling 911 in an emergency as analog has a vastly superior range. I also have 3W analog transmitters vs. the tiny .6W of a digital.

The problem is that digital technology isn't everywhere. So it's not a choice between digital and analog for some people. It's a choice between analog and nothing.
--Tony Clark, president, North Dakota Public Service Commission
CTIA, the cell providers' 'union', touts that 90% of their customers have digital. That's heavily biased because most of the users lives in urban areas and that would include most commercial account users. But 25% of our population lives in rural areas and 75% of the coverage is 'rural', meaning urban digital users will hit these many dead spots while traveling.

With the short range of digital coverage from each tower, providers won't rush to build towers in remote areas where they don't have a sufficiently high number of base customers. Roaming is, in reality, limited by the demographics of the non-roaming service.

Satelite phone service would not be similarly affected as they transmit upwards to satelites with relatively universal coverage. But they and land line will face the same deterioration in service when calling TO cell phones.
 

mrhooie

New member
although, who stops any more? years ago I was broke down in my 1964 Pontiac and had 2 people stop in 10 hours

there are digital cell phone boosters available too. Wilson makes them also
 

Top