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Posted: 10/2/2004 2:25:28 PM EDT
Hey, all, need a little help. I'll probably end up cross-posting in some of the Hometown forums but figured I'd start here.

My folks live in Florida. I think that says it all. I've decided that, techno-phobes or not, I'd sleep better if they had a cell phone in case of emergencies. Who offers the most reliable service all along the East coast? They live near West Palm but might have to bug out to family/friends anywhere from Miami Beach to Vermont next time and I want to get them a carrier they could rely on when traveling as well as at home.

Advice (and no, I can't afford a sat phone)?

Link Posted: 10/2/2004 2:44:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 2:53:01 PM EDT
Something to consider is that an inactive cell phone can still call 911.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 2:57:38 PM EDT
Verizon has by far the best overall coverage.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 3:31:32 PM EDT
Verizon=good coverage, reception

T-Mobile=bad coverage unless in coverage area.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 3:39:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:29:46 PM EDT
Verizon. I live in Rhode Island, have family in Pittsburgh and go on business trips to Puerto Rico and it's all covered in my monthly plan.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:32:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 7:08:25 PM EDT
Thanks, guys. Sounds like Verizon's the big winner on this one. Lightning, I was giving some serious thought to the TracFone but my borderline Luddite parents were getting all freaked out over the whole "card refill" thing. I thought it easier to just sign them up for regular service and have the bills sent to me.

Racer, I'm with you - I've donated a lot of old phones to the local PDs. But "emergencies" don't always need 911. Sometimes it's just getting one of my goober siblings to get off their butts and help out.

Appreciate all the feedback!
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 7:09:58 PM EDT
I've used Sprint all along the East Coast. The Only place I haven't gotten service is Northern VT while hunting.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 8:08:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 8:09:13 PM EDT by gus]

Originally Posted By Malpaso:
I've used Sprint all along the East Coast. The Only place I haven't gotten service is Northern VT while hunting.

Sprint doesn't work very well at my house. AT&T Wireless didn't work at all. Verizon works well, even in my basement! I live out in the country (well, country for around here). There are only so many cell towers and in this area all are owned by Verizon. Other celluar companies pay Verizon to use these towers because there aren't any tall structures near here that they could mount an antenna on. Often, they don't bother to provide coverage in remote areas that aren't near any major highways because Verizon charges them a substantial fee which eats into profits. Verizon has service in EVERY tower since they own them.

I would guess that in other areas of the country there was a main early cell service provider (Bell Atlantic Mobile, now Verizon, started most service here) and they are probably the ones reaping the rewards of owning the infrastructure. The company I work for does the same thing, except it's fiber optic infrastructure that they own. Other companies, usually the competition, often lease fiber from us rather than install their own because it saves them a lot of money (but makes us money directly from our competitors).
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