Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-05-2021, 09:09 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: Poulsbo
Vessel Name: Water Music
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 49 classic
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 48
San Juan Island cell phone service

A question of cell phone service in the San Juan Islands Washington. What U.S company has the best cell service in the islands and if BC opens, in British Columbia when cruising coastal waters. I am thinking of changing from my current provider Verizon.
DennisB1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2021, 10:05 PM   #2
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2,639
Verizon is best but they all are good. You can only really tell the difference when you are on the outer edge of the northern islands.
tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 12:06 AM   #3
Guru
 
AlaskaProf's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma, WA & Ashland, OR
Vessel Name: SEEADLER
Vessel Model: RAWSON 41
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,566
In the northern fringes, i.e. Provost Harbor, Eastsound, Sucia, you may find you are involuntarily "roaming" on a BC provider. If you have the Verizon (or AT&T) plan which includes BC and Mexico, this won't matter
AlaskaProf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 08:25 AM   #4
Guru
 
IRENE's Avatar
 
City: Sequim, WA, USA
Vessel Name: Irene
Vessel Model: Nordhavn 40II
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,071
T-mobile has great service for PNW cruising, WA and BC to Port McNeil. Works better in BC than WA.
__________________
Jeff
MV IRENE
IRENE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 09:24 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Bill V's Avatar
 
City: Lynden
Vessel Name: Joint Venture
Vessel Model: 1978 GlasPly 2800 mid cabin
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 146
With the exception of various small coves Verizon with the Canadian / Mexico plan works very well. I've had Verizon with the Canada plan add on for 15 years and for 99% of my use have good service from Seattle to Port Hardy on the inside waters and Neah Bay to Ucluelet on the outside waters.
__________________
"Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 2800, twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines
Bill V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 09:41 AM   #6
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,575
Verizon.
__________________
Ken on Hatt Trick
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 09:54 AM   #7
Veteran Member
 
City: Poulsbo
Vessel Name: Water Music
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 49 classic
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 48
Thanks for the replies. I have had some dead zones with my current verizon, ie. Deer Harbor, Rosario, West side of Orcas. Similar problems in Canada. I have just using my phone with no onboard signal enhancement. Sounds like its still worth staying with Verizon.
DennisB1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 09:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
City: Edmonds
Vessel Name: Miss Maui
Vessel Model: Bayliner 4788
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 227
T-Mobile in the San Juans

Cruising the San Juan’s for ten years and have had AT&T, Verizon and currently T-Mobile. Too many dead zones with the first two and T-Mobile is consistently good. The rumor was that Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular and NextLink) was a big PNW boater and instructed his engineers to have great service throughout the islands.
Robster_in_edmonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 10:13 AM   #9
TF Site Team
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisB1 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I have had some dead zones with my current verizon, ie. Deer Harbor, Rosario, West side of Orcas. Similar problems in Canada. I have just using my phone with no onboard signal enhancement. Sounds like its still worth staying with Verizon.
Ask your provider which of the Canadian providers they partner with and check those coverage maps for areas they cover and which ones they miss. Then you can choose the provider that gets to the cruising grounds you want to visit.
__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 11:07 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Scottwb96's Avatar
 
City: Burien
Vessel Name: Star Weird
Vessel Model: Camargue
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 177
I work for an MSP (Managed Service Provider) in the IT space. I actually have AT&T (work demo unit) and a T-mobile 5G hotspot on my boat. Connected to a VeloCloud SD-WAN device. We spent multiple weeks (7-10 day stretches) just bouncing around the islands last summer. All the way up into Succia and I had GREAT reception. I monitored both connections constantly to see how they were performing. AT&T was decent but Tmobile was pretty much everywhere!!!
If you look closely in the pics, you can see my speeds. Top 2 are
Tmobile -
~186M download
~6M upload
AT&T -
~10 download
~5M upload

In one of the other pics, I am on an all company video conference call. Regular "hard-wired" desk phone as well... My fiance is in the salon, also working and doing video conferences... NO ISSUES ANYWHERE!!!

***sidenote***
I am also using a commercial grade SD-WAN appliance that aggregates the 2 signals as well as improves the quality of those connects (forward error correction, jitter buffering, etc.).
Doesn't effect the actual signal strength, but does allow for a "cleaner more stable connection" for us to both be working REALLY remotely!

Also, if anyone would like some advice or like a similar setup, let me know, I'd be happy to help!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Speeds Zoomed Clear.JPG   WR Desk 1.jpg   WR Desk 4.jpg   WR Desk 2.jpg   WR Desk 3.jpg  

WR Desk 5.jpg  
Scottwb96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 11:31 AM   #11
Guru
 
Soo-Valley's Avatar
 
City: Gulf Islands, BC Canada
Vessel Name: Soo Valley
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2,615
Scott, you mention Succia. Do you recall which signal was strongest. I ask because across the line at Cabbage Island anchorage my Telus signal drops and picks up a US signal which I thought was AT&T
__________________
SteveK AKA Soo Valley
You only need one working engine. That is why I have two.
Soo-Valley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 01:42 PM   #12
Guru
 
IRENE's Avatar
 
City: Sequim, WA, USA
Vessel Name: Irene
Vessel Model: Nordhavn 40II
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,071
Scott,

I would love to hear more about your hardware.

I am NOT a tech guy, so please dumb-it-down if you can. We are presently using a T-mobile phone with hotspot (OnePlus) and it meets our connectivity needs. We plan do cruise the boat for its intended use in 2 years, and may improve our hardware before leaving. Feel free to PM if you don't want to jump on my thread drift (sorry).

Thanks!
__________________
Jeff
MV IRENE
IRENE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 05:34 PM   #13
Veteran Member
 
tisado's Avatar
 
City: Duvall
Vessel Name: Beach Music II
Vessel Model: Mainship 430
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 45
We are on the T-Mobile 55 + plan, $60 a month for unlimited everything. We had great coverage all through the San Juans and the Broughton Islands unless we were in a deep cove with hills around us in which case no one would have been able to get a signal in there.
tisado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2021, 09:54 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Scottwb96's Avatar
 
City: Burien
Vessel Name: Star Weird
Vessel Model: Camargue
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 177
Soo-Valley-
it was on Tmobile. 5G is all over up there!
Attached Thumbnails
Succia Tmobile coverage.JPG  
Scottwb96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 12:44 PM   #15
Veteran Member
 
City: Portland
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 61
We use Verizon and are happy with it. T-mobile had poor coverage in my work location (outside of Vancouver WA) and my house in Camas so I dropped T-Mobile for Verizon and the coverage is superior here at home.

As others have said, just make sure your plan includes free roaming in Canada. Because I have looked down at my phone in the San Juans and have found that I am inadvertently roaming on Canadian cell towers even though I have never left the US. That happens on the west side of San Juan Island and Roche Harbor when you get over close to Victoria or Sidney which are just a few miles across the strait.
Camasonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 12:45 PM   #16
Member
 
City: Vancouver
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottwb96 View Post
I work for an MSP (Managed Service Provider) in the IT space. I actually have AT&T (work demo unit) and a T-mobile 5G hotspot on my boat. Connected to a VeloCloud SD-WAN device. We spent multiple weeks (7-10 day stretches) just bouncing around the islands last summer. All the way up into Succia and I had GREAT reception. I monitored both connections constantly to see how they were performing. AT&T was decent but Tmobile was pretty much everywhere!!!
If you look closely in the pics, you can see my speeds. Top 2 are
Tmobile -
~186M download
~6M upload
AT&T -
~10 download
~5M upload

In one of the other pics, I am on an all company video conference call. Regular "hard-wired" desk phone as well... My fiance is in the salon, also working and doing video conferences... NO ISSUES ANYWHERE!!!

***sidenote***
I am also using a commercial grade SD-WAN appliance that aggregates the 2 signals as well as improves the quality of those connects (forward error correction, jitter buffering, etc.).
Doesn't effect the actual signal strength, but does allow for a "cleaner more stable connection" for us to both be working REALLY remotely!

Also, if anyone would like some advice or like a similar setup, let me know, I'd be happy to help!!!

Ex-AT&T datacenter/server guy here and that is nice data. But I would be hesitant to run a surge suppressor with all that connected and on the same curcuit. Might want to look at ABYC and circuit protection with the load you have on that. Just an FYI.

VT
vancouvertechie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 01:38 PM   #17
Member
 
City: Portland, Oregon
Vessel Name: Puffin
Vessel Model: Bonum 25
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 13
The standard answer used to be Verizon. I have T mobile and it seems to be pretty good there.
HuffinandPuffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 01:45 PM   #18
Member
 
MichaelD's Avatar
 
City: Friday Harbor
Vessel Name: Athena
Vessel Model: Bayliner 4588
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 19
local knowledge

I live on SJI. I've had ATT in past (stinks). I now use T-Mobile with very good results. One of the best features, seamless coverage in Canada with no additional charge.
MichaelD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 02:10 PM   #19
Member
 
City: Port Townsend, WA
Vessel Name: Moseying Around
Vessel Model: Camano 41
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5
We just got back from two weeks in the San Juans. Both my wife and I have Verizon and it consistently had outages. We could occasionally get telephone connection by using a local WiFi (Deer Harbor, Rosario, Blakeley) but rarely could we make calls directly to Verizon. Several locals all told us that T-Mobile was the only consistent provider in the area. Several friends with T-Mobile all had fine connections but the rest of us with other services didn't!
dalemoses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 02:29 PM   #20
Guru
 
Lepke's Avatar
 
City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,391
I use Verizon between the US and Alaska with full Verizon Canada service I only carry seasonally. Passing the San Juans, I have no issues, but may be on Victoria or Vancouver towers. As long as I'm within 25 miles of a tower, I usually have no problem. No special antenna. I don't stop in the San Juans, too crowded for me.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012