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Best cell phone network in Madison?

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Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Athena » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:43 am

Well, after putting up with AT&T's lousy reception and dropped calls for years, I'm finally looking at switching. And yeah, I still want an iPhone so the choices are only AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Unfortunately, AT&T is the cheapest per month so I have to at least take a look at them. Is the reception better in Madison with 3G? I've got the original iPhone which doesn't do 3G and I've had trouble with the giant dead zone around Hilldale mall. I've also had issues with my calls being dropped including one conversation where my call was dropped 5 times and I had to complete the call with my husband's phone.

How is Verizon or Sprint around here? I know Verizon has the better 4G network, but that doesn't matter with the iPhone 4S since it's only 3G. And why does Sprint charge a giant activation fee that the other companies don't?
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:55 am

The ATT network is also faster on the new iPhone. They were able to do some trickery with the antenna's to increase download speeds but only on the ATT network. We are switching to Verizon on Friday. We get a good discount through work. I was really interested in Sprint because of the unlimited data plan and that they let you roam on Verizons towers.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Twigz2011 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:19 pm

I've been mostly satisfied with Sprint. My hiccups with service seem to be less than friends with Verizon or ATT. I have a smart phone (EVO) that does more than I need it to and don't desire an IPhone. Given the potential influx of customers with Sprint's costs being less and customer service which has improved (used to be really bad), I'm concerned how offering the IPhone will impact the network. I'd be curious how people feel US Celluar stacks up locally, vs. the other 3 if one doesn't care about having an IPhone.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby wallrock » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:46 pm

US Cellular has the best overall coverage for the region and is in the middle of a large LTE build out. I have a Blackberry with 3G USCC service and I almost never drop a call or lose signal. I have noticed a few instances of slowdowns downtown in busy environments (i.e. Camp Randall or the Square during the protests) but that's par for the course.

Verizon, to my knowledge, has the best 4G infrastructure in the area but I've heard some complaints from friends about system lag due to their popularity. I know AT&T suffered from the same thing and their network isn't as good (though almost all of their money is going into LTE build out right now). About half the people I know with iPhones are saying they're going to change once their contracts are up. I know a few people that have Sprint and from what I hear it works well in town but once you get out into the country dropped calls and signal loss is very common. My sister switched from Sprint to Verizon because of this.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Athena » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:04 pm

US Cellular is very good in Madison and I'd switch back to them in a heartbeat if they had the iPhone. But they don't. I really like my iPhone and I think the new version would solve my current issues but I think I'll have to go with either Verizon or Sprint to solve the dropped calls problem that AT&T keeps giving me.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:06 pm

I have Virgin Mobile, which uses Sprint's network, and although sometimes around town my phone shows fewer bars than seems comfortable, I can't remember any dropped calls. On the other hand, it seems like I never talk on the phone anymore.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:09 pm

It depends on where you live, what kind of building it is, where you work, what kind of building that is, where you frequent, where the towers are around all of these areas and the type of phone you have.

If someone tells you Company A sucks and Company B rules, it means nothing without knowing all of those other variables.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Athena » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:16 am

Well, I've had Sprint since January, and they drop my calls all the time. They've been just as bad as AT&T. It's not just me either, my husband also switched and has had the same problems. I really wish US Cellular would get the iPhone.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Mean Scenester » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:51 pm

http://gizmodo.com/5658560/louis-ck-the ... -a-miracle

FWIW, I've had an Android on the Sprint network for two years and dropped calls are probably barely in the double digits. Sometimes connections are kinda shitty, but that's the technology for you. You want reliability, get a land line.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Endo Rockstar » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:11 am

Providers and hardware manufacturers blame each other constantly for dropped calls. My personal experience is that the phone is more to blame for the service interruptions. We've had bad luck with iphones. In our location downtown, our iphone would drop calls twice as much as a samsung on the same network.

I've taken the tour of prepaid service providers. Straight Talk, Tracfone, T-Mobile, and Go-Phone. In the city proper, Straight Talk and T-Mobile are fine, but once you hit the city limit you're fucked. I'm limited to GSM but so far the Go-Phone is the most reliable for the money.

I'm tempted by AT&T's new "no contract" service -- but when I called both customer service and the AT&T Store they told me they weren't allowed to waive the $35 activation fee for the new service anymore -- considering that's almost a month's payment, I'll wait and see if they run one of their "no activation fee" specials in the next 6 months.

-Dan Motor
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby Beaver » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:26 am

Athena wrote:Well, I've had Sprint since January, and they drop my calls all the time. They've been just as bad as AT&T. It's not just me either, my husband also switched and has had the same problems. I really wish US Cellular would get the iPhone.

US Cellular has the iPhone now. 5c is only a penny with 2 yr contract. http://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:31 am

I agree a lot depends on the phone. As I've described earlier I keep two phones, both LG middle of the line models, same provider. I can have them side by side and the older one repeatedly will be working while the newer one isn't.
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby wesconsin » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:41 am

never dropped a call with Sprint, and now I get LTE as well
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Re: Best cell phone network in Madison?

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:23 pm

wesconsin wrote:never dropped a call with Sprint, and now I get LTE as well

It appears as though their LTE coverage now extends to all of Madison (according to the coverage map on their site).
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