Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: Pedaling4Peace on June 25, 2004, 05:35:13 pm

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: Pedaling4Peace on June 25, 2004, 05:35:13 pm
We are planning our TransAmerica adventure (Yorktown to Astoria) for summer 2005.  We plan to carry cell phones and are wondering which, if any, carriers provide the most continual service.  What has been your experience, good, bad or indifferent?

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: TwoWheeledExplorer on June 26, 2004, 01:25:50 pm
As much as it pains me to say it, becasue I hate dealing with them, probably AT&T has the best country-wide coverage. That being said, no service covers backcountry, low population areas really well. I'm on Sprint, and they are useless in northern MN, spotty in NW WI. Play with AT&T a bit and you can usually get a pretty good deal. Probably the best bet would be an AT&T pay as you go with free long distance and roaming and unlimited night and weekends. You have to be a good negotiator to get a good deal with them, though.

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol
Title: Cell Phones
Post by: dombrosk on June 27, 2004, 06:10:32 pm
On a recent Adventure Cycling ride in Wisconsin, those of us with Verizon phones were sometimes the only people connected.  Folks with all-digital phones were the most unhappy, they often had no signal.  I've been happy with my "tri-mode" analog/digital phone from Verizon.

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: driftlessregion on July 30, 2004, 01:52:03 am
I just finished Anacortes to Duluth on the Northern Tier with 13 others. I was the only person to have service 75% of the time while some gave up even trying. My phone was with Verizon.

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: MrFusion on September 01, 2004, 03:51:38 am
definitely verizon.  i did the trans-am route with sprint and did not get service through most of the middle part of the country.  in contrast, my tour partners had verizon and were much better off.

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: jitenshaka on September 19, 2004, 05:45:36 am
Verizon has been the best for reception that I've seen.
Many a time in a group out in the woods I've been the only one (using Verizon) who could phone anywhere.

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: don quixote on March 14, 2005, 05:50:33 am
Go with Verizon, for sure. But get a cheap phone card, like that found at Costco for remote areas where there is no cell service.

George Olmstead
San Diego, California
Title: Cell Phones
Post by: dombrosk on March 14, 2005, 11:09:28 pm
Great tip about carrying a phone card... my home long distance calling card is way too expensive to keep using in those situations.
Also, it's good to make sure that you know how to retrieve your voice mail from your cell phone from a pay phone.  With my Verizon phone it's simply a matter of calling my own cell phone and then entering the password when I hear my greeting.
Speaking of the greeting, when I do my half-a-Northern-Tier this summer, I'm planning to update my voice mail greeting as a short progress report so that people who want to know where I am can hear a quick update by calling my cell phone! (which will be turned off almost all of the time)

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: slugbiker on April 25, 2005, 10:00:27 pm
Any one know which provider has the best service on the Pacific Coast?  In particular, Oregon and northern California.  Any comments on your experiences (good or bad) appreciated.  thanks.

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: DaveB on April 25, 2005, 11:25:09 pm
My wife and I both have AT&T (now Cingular) cell service and definitely do NOT recommend it. AT&T/Cingular are converting their service to GSM and the current network has huge holes with no plans fill in all the gaps any time soon, if ever.  As a result, they have let their former TDMA service pretty much fend for itself so it has large no-coverage areas too.  

We took driving trips through the Southwest and Northwest the past two years and the areas of no-service were vast.  In southern MN there was no coverage of any kind, even roaming.  Just nothing. As soon as our contracts are up we are GONE.  

Friends with Verizon seem much more satisfied than we are but no cell service has 100% coverage so you can't depend on it in all emergencies.

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: slugbiker on April 26, 2005, 12:54:31 am
Thanks Dave.  That confirms what I've been able to research so far.  

Title: Cell Phones
Post by: OmahaNeb on April 26, 2005, 02:01:14 am
I have used Verizon in Southern MN with good results.  If want 100% converge for emergencies and are willing to pay $400.00 for a phone, a satellite phone is your only option.  Airtime is high on these phones, but the coverage is supposed to be 100%.  The phone I used was a cell phone/satellite phone combination.