Reminder of the top three buying criteria for your next cell phone: Coverage, coverage, and coverage.

Reminder of the top three buying criteria for your next cell phone: Coverage, coverage, and coverage.

Summary: In the restaurant business, there's saying regarding the three most important keys to success: "location, location, and location." As evidenced by today's post from Doc Searls, the corollary to this when buying cell phones (as I have often said) is coverage, coverage, coverage.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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In the restaurant business, there's saying regarding the three most important keys to success: "location, location, and location." As evidenced by today's post from Doc Searls, the corollary to this when buying cell phones (as I have often said) is coverage, coverage, coverage.  Writes Doc:

So after going to all that trouble to buy this new Treo 700p and getting it working with Verizon and EVDO so I could connect to the Net from here in Oak Island, NC, it turns out that Verizon has approximately no signal where one wants to be: in a house along the beachfront. In spite of what its coverage map says. This map too.

Fortunately, Doc doesn't spend most of his time at this place in North Carolina.  But his experience clearly illustrates two points that I keep making when talking about cell phone and smartphone purchases.  First, it doesn't matter how cool and functional that new phone is.  If it can't reliably get a connection to its network from where ever you spend most of your time, than those features will be of little or no use to you.  Second, doen't trust the coverage maps.  Borrow your friends' phones and take them to the places you spend most of your time in. 

The chances are very good that, amongst the people you know, you can find someone with a phone that's provisioned by each of the major carriers: Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Cingular and T-Mobile.  Borrow their phones (I'm sure they'll let you.. I've never had anyone say no).  Take the phones deep inside your house.  Take them on your commute.  Take them to the grocery stores or shopping warehouses where you do most of your shopping.  Then, once you've identified the carrier that has the best coverage given where you go, pick from the list of handsets it offers.

Also, I have my first round of testing results for the Motorola Q and am fact checking them now.  Stay tuned for my findings. Hint: it's a step in the right direction but leaves much to be desired.  If my fact checking checks out, this is not a phone that I would have let out of the labs.  But maybe my fact checking won't check out.  Stay tuned.

Topic: Mobility

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  • Sealo fangoo.

    Chipnar fa fa lee.
    snoobar
  • service, service, service, where did it go?

    First: I agree, you can't trust the maps for coverage. According to Verizon's maps, I should be solid at my home location, and I'm anything BUT. According to a helpful tech (the only helpful one of many that I've spoken to) my house is within range of 2 cell towers, which may be part of the problem (the towers can't decide which to serve me from). My phone will go from 4 bars to 1 bar to roam, back to 2 bars all in a matter of a couple of seconds. It will sit at 4 bars until you try to dial, then will drop, make the call, drop the call, let you redial, randomly continue the call or drop it again, it's a real crap-shoot. Often during a 10 minute call I've had to redial as many as 6 times, while moving around the house trying to find a better receptive location. Yes, I have had the phone checked at a Verizon service center and it has checked out ok, it has had the programming updated, and no faults have been found.
    At one Verizon store the service tech (a Florida equivalent of a California 'valley girl') proceeded to tell me that since she lived in the same 'zip' as I did and she got 'great' reception, I must be mistaken or something (my words, hers were unintelligible).
    At another Verizon store, the greeter called a tech rep from the back and told him my problem then both of them turned around, and ignoring me, walked off chatting about something that they were going to do on the weekend (at that point I left).
    At a third Verizon store, I finally ran across a service rep that at least acknowledged that there could be a problem, but that due to company policies he was unable to offer any solutions to help me. (this I understand, I don?t agree with or like, but accept his acknowledgment).
    Attempting resolution by phone, I've been told that there wasn't a problem, since there was plenty of coverage in my area by cell towers (sounds familiar?); I've been told that it must be my phone (no! it's been checked by their own techs! On more than one occasion.); I've been told I must be inside a metal building or around hi-voltage equipment or hi-tension power lines (none of which are the case).

    Second: I don't know where you get your friends, but I don't know anyone who doesn't act like a NRA fanatic (aka: "you can have my cell phone when you pry my cold dead fingers from around it!") does with their guns. I would stand a better chance of getting a kidney if I asked for it rather than their cell phone. Of course only half the people I know have cell phones, I think the "have-nots" are the smarter ones.

    Finally: as soon as my contract is done with Verizon, I am done with them. I signed with them because of the "in network" calling plan, since nearly everyone that I would be calling had Verizon. If Alltel still has the "my circle" when I'm looking, I'll give them a try.
    robertk2
  • cell phone coverage

    Try living in Vermont where only 20% of the state has coverage and the only two companies that have towers are Verizon and Unicell. Unicell charges 40.00 for 1,000 peak minutes nationwide plan, Verizon charges 40.00 for 450 peak minutes. so, choice for lousy reception - or no reception goes to the highest minutes. it stinks. jj
    heyjude2244