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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 6, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Comment of the day: Wireless coverage 101

A reader submitted a pretty broad take on wireless options, in a comment on today’s Verizon LTE-4G story.

Anyone else care to share their experience and expectations?

Apparently Cdbtx928 in Monroe isn’t a big fan of Clearwire:

The realities — I’ve been a customer of all the major provides and to sum it up.

Sprint — bad coverage, customer service is horrendus and the 4G network is very limited based upon their choice of technology. It will never roam on other carriers thus you’re forever committed to your device. Sprint is the only US Carrier that has elected to take their 4G path, AT&T, T-Mobile, and VZW have all elected to migrate to the same 4G platform that 99% of all carriers in the world have chosen. Simply another dead end for Sprint.

T-Mobile — They own very little spectrum in the U.S. thus your likely to be roaming outside of your home area. The majority of their coverage is 1900 PCS which offers much less propagation than 850 or 700 (AT&T and VZW). Thus if you except to roam and receive the same data service forget it. Customer service has always been excellent and when you’re on their network it performs well.

AT&T — Find a map of their network without roaming partners — it’s filled with holes. AT&T has too many moving technologies — GSM/GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPDA and soon or not 4G. High Speed data is limited to Major Metro areas. AT&T is also very slow to react — IPhone is a classic example…. underbuilt network so Nice Phone – but does it work. I’d rate them #2 though for voice coverage and quality. Uses 1900 and 850 — poor coverage and performance with the 1900. 4G will likely be launched on 700Mhz — great propagation and performance.

VZW — Will beat AT&T to market with 4G by at least a year. 4G network will be launched on 700Mhz which means great in-building coverage.

Look for them at the 2011 CES and I’ll suspect you’ll toss the IPhone.

I live in a very rural area and even the EVDO often gives me speeds exceeding my Hughesnet.

T-Mobile and Sprint require me to walk outside to use the phone. AT&T works well with voice but limits me to the brutally slow GPRS (Non-functional). VZW 1mbs > 50% of the time.

Comments | Topics: 4G, AT&T, Phones

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