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Old 05-06-2017, 11:20 AM   #1
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Best cell phone coverage - ICW/Loop?

For those cruising the ICW or the Loop, how satisfied are you with your cell phone provider?
I have Verizon, thinking of switching to AT&T due to their bundling with Direct TV.
Will probably get an IPhone and a WiFi-enabled Ipad...
Appreciate your input.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:26 AM   #2
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We've had ATT and Verizon. Found Verizon to be far superior in the ICW.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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Verizon has much better cell coverage / quality in the New England area. Had to have my company switch me from the standard ATT to Verizon. My boss couldn't stand calling me. Lol
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:40 PM   #4
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I agree that Verizon is #1. AT&T is a reasonable second. There really isn't a third.

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Old 05-06-2017, 01:37 PM   #5
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They both have coverage maps available on their website if there's a particular area that your thinking about. ( I can say that Virgin Mobile is far far below Verizon in terms of coverage )
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:29 PM   #6
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They both have coverage maps available on their website if there's a particular area that your thinking about. ( I can say that Virgin Mobile is far far below Verizon in terms of coverage )
That's the research I did a few years ago and I selected Verizon. The only place I didn't have service was Lake George, FL. I'm using my Verizon hot spot right now.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:28 AM   #7
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I have ATT with the new Direct TV Now. I've had no problems with coverage on the entire East Coast. A few dead spots when in the back woods but no more than with Verizon.Thats in both the boat or motor home. It great having tv everywhere you have cell service including when on the move.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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Verizon Coverage Extends Beyond The Horizon. If you want the best do not consider the rest.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:03 AM   #9
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We've had ATT and Verizon. Found Verizon to be far superior in the ICW.


This was our experience as well. I don't trust coverage maps... not even a little.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:16 AM   #10
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Any comments on T-Mobile?
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:19 AM   #11
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I have had a Verizon account for a long time, with a rate which seems favorable...$20/line (have two lines), and $38/3 GB cell data. I also have a DirecTV account and looked into bundling with AT&T for cellular. The bundled price was more expensive than my current Verizon plan.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:27 PM   #12
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Neglected to mention that the the plan listed above is for unlimited phone and text.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:09 PM   #13
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I have Verizon and was thinking about switching to AT&T because of the Direct TV (which I have on the boat but not home) deal. Is is possible to save any money if I go to the bundle?
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:52 PM   #14
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We had Verizon for many years, and we switched to Sprint because it was much cheaper. Sprint phones switch to Verizon network in areas where Sprint don't have their own towers.

I agree that Sprint/Verizon have the best coverage on the Loop. There are a few places (parts of N Carolina) where a cell amplifier will speed up data.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:47 PM   #15
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Not to be contrarian, BUT...

I used to travel for business throughout New England and Upstate NY. Verizon has spots where they'd drop my call every single time. One was the Mass Pike/Natick interchange. I discovered that if I stayed in the far right lane, I could sometimes make it through. Many co-workers had the same experience, in the same spot.
I switched to ATT about 6 yrs ago, and haven't had an issue anywhere since, including my moving the family to Florida, so traveled back and forth several times from Fl-Ma-Fl.
My wife is on Goofle Fi now. No contract, 25/mo, and only pay for data you use at $10/gig. So use 1.2G, your bill would be $37. We cruised to Alaska and spent 5 days inland before the cruise started in Seward, and there were a FEW spots out near Wasilla that neither of us had coverage, but it was rare.
Google Fi uses wifi, T-Mobile, and Sprint for coverage. So at home, she gets a call, it comes over our wifi. She gets in the car, drives down the road, it passes off to Sprint, no interruption.
Pretty slick, but downside is that you need to buy a Nexus phone to use their plan.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:21 PM   #16
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I can't speak to the entire loop, but can at least comment on where we cruise. My work phone is Verizon, and my personal phone is ATT (through NetTen). When we are in sparsely populated areas around the lower Potomac and the Bay, I find that one or both of the two will have good coverage, but I have not noticed any particular pattern (ie one better than the other). It all comes down to who has the closest tower.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:54 PM   #17
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Have now lived aboard for one full year. I work full time, 8 hours on our corp VPN. I have never missed a day of work, thanks to Verizon. Been from VA to West Palm and over the big O to Captiva. Marineland, FL was weakest signal in the fall, much improved coming back through a week ago.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:49 AM   #18
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I've been on boats where there was one or more phones from each carrier (AT&T and Verizon) and found it about 50-50 as to which one worked better in weak coverage areas away from larger cities.

I went with AT&T for their LTE technology (better data signal when it's available) but if all you care about is voice, Verizon may have a slight edge. It all depends on where you are.

Be aware that there are still dead spots outside populated areas, or in rough terrain. Sometimes just moving a few hundred yards one way or another is the difference between no signal and a strong signal. Other times you can go for miles and not see a single "bar."
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