Reliable wireless phones

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Wireless
The following question was submitted to SearchMobileComputing.com editors. Can you help? --------------------------------- Which network (Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile) is the most reliable for wireless phones? Which network provides the least amount of dropped calls and functions in most places (like elevators)? -- margarita --------------------------------- Kara Gattine, Associate Editor SearchNetworking.com and SearchMobileComputing.com
ASKED: May 10, 2006  1:35 PM
UPDATED: May 12, 2006  11:27 AM

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Well I’ve used verizon for years – I find they have really great coverage in Colorado and haven’t had a problem with dropped calls (ok there was the once on the highway, but it never happened in that spot again). It’s really going to depend on your location and honestly your personal preference. My phone has not given me any trouble in normal use – now if you are talking trying to get it to work in say a detention center – good luck – I haven’t found a single phone that works past the front doors there. But for most business, elevators, offices I’ve had great luck with Verizon.

Lirria

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  • KyleJF
    In the UK Nothing beats Vodafone at all. It's by far the best network provider in my experience.
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  • DT2115
    WOW, that's an open-ended question. Your best bet would be to look into some nation (or world)-wide surveys to get an aggragate and unbiased opinion. I'm sure there are some publicly available if you search online. Technically, there are many variables that impact your coverage/dropped calls; The wireless company's network is crucial, but the handset (phone) also plays a part. Just as there are ways to make a more expensive FM radio pull in weaker signals and play standard signals more cleanly, the hardware in a handset can directly impact your coverage capabilities. For that reason, you'll sometimes have two people standing side by side with the same service (Verizon, etc) but different handsets, and they will have different levels of signal. Generally, you can expect the cheaper phones to have cheaper components and therefore weaker signal, although this is a generality and there are exceptions. One noted exception is the PDA/phone devices - although these are much more expensive than some standard phones, the signal is not always proportionitly better. The increased cost of the PDA/phone devices is due to all of the integrated technology, and does not definitively mean they will have better coverage. Many PDA/phone device manufactures will, however, put better quality antenna hardware in their devices to keep from having a public backlash against a $400 device that does not work well as a phone. As far as my individual opinion, I'll say that I've used both Sprint and Cingular across the entire Southern half of the US. I used Sprint years ago, and their signal was fine along all interstates, but if you got "off the beaten path" coverage was usually spotty at best. Cingular has a very large coverage map, with very dense coverage due to the many mergers and acquisitions over the last 5 years. With Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless, network coverage was essentially doubled in many areas because both AT&T and Cingular had cell towers in similar locations. I am with cingular now and find that there are very few places, if any, that I have not had coverage. As to coverage in elevators and inside buildings, this can and will change from building to building; Not only because of the proximity of a company's cell tower, but also because of the construction materials used in the building. For example, for safety and heating/cooling efficiency, many office buildings use metallic coated windows, which in many cases comprises the entire outside shell of the building. So in effect, you are trying to get an RF signal through a metal box, which is often not an easy thing to do. Walk into an elevator, and you are now standing inside of a metal box inside of a metal box ... Hopefully your reader(s) find some of this information useful, and you are able to find substantial survey results online to support your answer to Margarita's question.
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