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Thread: Which WI counties NOT in Verizon native area?

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Which WI counties NOT in Verizon native area?

    I ask in these forums because there is a lot of information floating around here and if not readily available directly here there are many pros that seems to know where to go to find out specific information....

    My mom bought her GSM ST phone earlier this year. Coverage? So-so I guess. Sometimes its fine and sometimes you have to practically be on top of a tower for the thing to work.

    Question #1.... As far as ATT/GSM -- is there such a thing as a "priority" list that AT&T goes by when it comes to allowing ST calls to connect/remain connected? It just seems like sometimes the phone works better than others. Also....when she first bought the phone it seemed to work quite a bit better.

    Question #2.... Is it common for all people or just a glitch with her phone. Sometimes it will go to "No service" but then if she turns the phone off and turns it back on the phone will not only find a signal but it will find 2-3 bars of signal. Very confusing how it does that.

    Question #3.... My new phone (not active yet) is a CDMA question because my contract with another carrier expired on 9/24 so I can activate the ST phone that I have purchased any time. Mom has the LG420G but I opted for a CDMA phone and got the LG290C and I have a couple of questions about that phone.....

    Question #3A..... The new LG290C phone has an option to set for sysem select as "automatic" and for "home only" which sort of implies to me that the phone has the capability to roam. I know from extensive reading that CDMA does not roam. Why is this option in the phone? Any idea if ST could possibly be planning on adding limited roaming capabilities in the future on CDMA phones?

    Question #3b.... Perhaps the most important question. I was VERY much on the fence about getting a CDMA ST phone due to the fact that I live VERY close to an area that does NOT have Verizon towers. I opted to get it however because I don't often travel in that direction and when I DO travel my mom also has a GSM phone through SafeLink that I can use if I travel to that area. My question is whether or not anybody knows specifically which counties are NOT Verizon-native territory around here? I ASSUME it goes by county... Am I correct? I am in extreme NE Wisconsin/SW Upper Peninsula of Michigan <I live in Kingsford, MI and she lives in Aurora, WI which is Florence Co) and I'd say that 90% of my USE would be in Dickinson County (MI) and Florence County (WI). HOWEVER....we are talking VERY CLOSE proximity to non-Verizon area. I do believe that this area is controlled by Cellcom. We live at the apex of not just two different states (WI and MI) but also 3 different counties. Dickinson Co in MI and Florence and Marinette Co's in WI. It is my understanding that Marinette Co is NOT a Verizon county. This is approximately a 7 mile drive from where I live so its really not THAT far. A common travel route that many of the people in this area have is from Iron Mountain, MI (Dickinson County, MI) to Green Bay (Brown County, WI). On the drive to Green Bay you have to cross through 3 counties in WI which would be Marinette co, Oconto Co., and Brown, Co. I'm PRETTY SURE that the Verizon ST coverage picks up again near the Brown Co, WI line (which is the county that Green Bay is in and also ironically where Cellcom is based in DePere, WI) but Marinette and Oconto are fairly LARGE counties. Does the coverage go by county? I assume it does but I"m not sure. I really don't understand how Brown County in WI (where Green Bay is located) can have BOTH CDMA Verizon coverage + CDMA Cellcom coverage.....but it does. Maybe its because there is a large population center in that county? Not sure.

    I'm sorry. Too long. Is there an online resource somewhere that tells which counties are Verizon Counties (nly) in WI vs. Cellcom/Verizon counties? There's a large chunk in the center of the state too which also is Verizon-free. For example I believe Verizon will work in the city of Wausau, WI but you go just MILES outside of Wausau and you lose Verizon) A county list would be mighty handy. I did not activate the CDMA phone yet but I took it on a short drive to Marinette Co, WI and just as I expected....NO SERVICE by the time I got to the first little town on the other side of the county line. As far as the Upper Peninsula of MI it seems like I'll be perfectly fine because its apparently an ALL Verizon area. A county list (if it exists) for WI would be very helpful. Sorry it took so long to get to my point but that is the PRIMARY question.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Coverage does not follow county lines. To see where a Straight Talk non-Android CDMA phone has coverage use the Verizon prepaid coverage finder at It's very detailed (you can zoom down to the city block level). Ignore anything marked as prepaid roaming because Straight Talk CDMA doesn't roam. From the looks of that map there's very little Verizon coverage in any direction except North from Kingsford, MI.

    As for Green Bay having both Cellcom and Verizon (Sprint and US Cellular too, BTW) that's not unusual. It's common for multiple operators to have coverage in one area.
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  3. #3
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    Yes, I've been to the Verizon site and have looked at their prepaid coverage maps as well as AT&T's coverage map for the GSM side. Coverage in my area is generally pretty pathetic with HUGE holes for both of the whopping 2 carriers that we do have. The prepaid and postpaid Verizon maps for the Michigan side of the border is identical (upper peninsula). It is the WI side of the map where the big differences occur. The most substantial Verizon gaps for prepaid are to the South and Southwest of me. One of the most popular E-W corridors on the WI side of the border is Highway 8 and if you look at the prepaid Verizon map the coverage is not that bad once you approach the Marinette/Forest county line area coverage again picks up along Highway 8. County lines may not be an exact science for coverage but seing that it is not uncommon for there to only be ONE CELL TOWER in each county around here I guess I was using counties as a reference point. From what I saw on the prepaid Verizon map the MAIN problem is NE WI from North of Green Bay to the MI line, the Door County peninsula and right smack dab in the center of the state of WI. I really do not know why Verizon has no towers in these counties but it may be because this entire area is quite rural so they may figure if there is one CDMA provider providing tower coverage then they will just let them worry about it.

    As far as the AT&T map, which is probably even more detailed and easier to navigate than the Verizon map, they do offer the GSM coverage South of where I am along Highway 141/41 all the way to Green Bay but it isn't that great in the immediate area here where I am. Green Bay itself has SEVERAL you pointed out. I used to live there and it was very nice for prices to have all of that competition. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan however there are only 2 games in town and that would be AT&T and Verizon. I'm not sure which has better coverage. I actually travel more often to Green Bay than I do cities in Michigan.

    It actually seems quite RARE for Verizon to have substantial holes like that where there is such a huge difference between the prepaid and postpaid maps. As I said the Upper Peninsula of MI coverage is pretty bad but it is identical for both prepaid and postpaid Verizon. There are the 3 areas in WI (NE corner, Central (West of Green Bay), and the Door peninsula). There is also a similar lack of Verizon coverage in the "thumb area" of the lower peninsula of MI. I really don't know why there are holes like that but I see them in parts of other states too. The Wisconsin hole is MUCH larger than the Michigan hole though. Seems to go in a NE to SW progression from up where I am @ the WI/MI border to central WI.

    I guess thee are other states that have to deal with the same holes like this. Not sure if AT&T has as many but considering how bad cell coverage in general is here its not a bad idea to have both an AT&T + Verizon phone.

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