I had VM for a couple of years. The coverage in Maine was pretty bad. No signal in the building where I work, no signal half the time while traveling. The phones were not great, but the price was right and we put up with the sporadic service.
When VM decided to change their policies and raise rates, we decided it was time to go. We dropped VM and went with T-Mobile, because it looked like they had decent coverage for Maine. Not so! I get 1-2 bars in the middle of Portland. Inside a building? Forget it. I get no bars. I have an Exhibit 2 4G. I NEVER get 4G anywhere. If I am extremely lucky, I can get maybe G or E. I'm so angry & frustrated! I JUST dropped $200 for the damned phone, and it's basically a brick. I rooted it this afternoon, but that's not really going to help the signal problems. It also didn't do anything to fix the texting issue, where I have to hit retry 75 times to get a text to go through. Please, someone help me! Who has the best coverage for both data and voice in Maine? I hear US Cellular is great, but that is going to mean buying another ungodly expensive phone. And then, what do I do with the Exhibit? How is Straight Talk for Maine? I could go with them and still keep this phone. I'm so fed up and frustrated, I just want to throw the phone out the window!
At the end of my rope and hoping for some suggestions.
Don't throw that phone out the window!! Your phone will work with AT&T when unlocked. If you've had T-Mobile service for 90 days you can call them and ask for an unlock code for your phone. Then you can pop in an AT&T SIM card through AT&T directly or through Straight Talk with AT&T service (Not T-Mobile or it will be the same as now) and you should be up and running.
It seems odd that you don't get signal with T-Mobile, just checking their coverage maps for Portland its completely blanketed by towers and this "3G" coverage for data. AT&T may be even better then.
That's what I thought, too. That coverage map makes it seem like I should be connecting everywhere, but I get terrible service! Could there be something wrong with the phone?
Verizon or US Cellular are the two best in the state of Maine. I know the Samsug Proclaim that straight talk has uses the Verizon network. I know that on the front of the Straight talk phone the ones that say cdma-s is the phones that use the Sprint network which is what you do not want.
Go to the straight talk website and put in Portland Maine zipcode and you will see the Samsung proclaim it shows a red map on the phone that is verizon, I think if you want to use Straight Talk that is going to be your best bet.
Pacific Bell Wireless / Verizon Wireless / T-Mobile USA
I would avoid AT&T or any MVNO which uses said carrier in Maine.
You will run into the same issues with AT&T once you leave Portland, even Cape Elizabeth which isn't that far had terrible coverage. West or north, you will have problems. I would second the suggestion for Verizon Wireless and USCC.
If you head south towards Boston on the 95 then you'll be fine.
I got an unlock code from t-mobile; do I need a contract/prepaid deal with AT&T to use their network now? I'd like to test it out for a bit, but I don't want to get another phone # or switch back and forth constantly. Suggestions?
To try out AT&T's network cheap on prepaid, data may be a bit tricky. The unlocked T-Mo phone you have uses different 4G data frequencies than AT&T does. But it will be perfectly compatible for 3G/Edge/GPRS and voice/texting. But do agree with other posters who pointed out Verizon, the Verizon reseller Page Plus, or US Cellular would have superior coverage throughout Maine...but you'd need a different phone for Verizon or US Cellular.
1. If AT&T GoPhone you need to be on a prepaid monthly plan to add a data package. If just trying for voice/text coverage, try the dime a minute plan for a few days...you can always switch to a different plan.
2. H2O Wireless (part of Locus) has inexpensive minutes/text messages at a nickel a minute or text message. Data is better priced with H20 on their monthly prepaid plans, but you can pay more (30 cents a megabyte) to try it on pay-as-you-go.
3. Red Pocket has sim cards that work on AT&T. Also has some data plans.
4. Straight Talk Sim only service has some good voice/text/data packages but suggest trying one of the above sim cards on pay as you go to see coverage first.
5. Some others are AT&T resellers such as Jolt, etc. but would probably choose a more common sim card above.
Suggest getting a sim card from a HoFo dealer, ebay, or a local dealer. Pop it in your phone, load a few bucks and see what the coverage is like. If it's good, buy more airtime or get a monthly prepaid or postpaid plan. If it's still as bad as T-Mo is in Portland, toss the sim chip.
Another idea is get an ekit Simple Calling dual number sim chip. In the US or Canada, it will roam on just about any carrier including T-Mo or AT&T. Over the border in Canada (or close to it, radio waves don't perfectly respect borders) it would be Rodgers or Fido. 9 cents a minute in the US and 29 cents a minute in Canada plus a 50 cents connect charge. In other countries it works by a callback scheme along with an Isle of Man carrier. Would suggest this more as a backup sim card than a primary one though (I normally keep an H20/AT&T sim card in slot one of my phone and the ekit card in slot 2....keeps me covered no matter where I am).