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Thread: Nationwide Cellular Coverage - Your Definition

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    Nationwide Cellular Coverage - Your Definition

    Without any marketing hype, how would you define nationwide coverage as a mobile subscriber? What should it be?


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    Nationwide Cellular Coverage - Your Definition

    For starters, my suggestion is that nationwide coverage should be defined as [x] contiguous square miles across the respective continent and/or specified country/state and as a percentage of the total land mass in that continent and/or specified country/state.

    I have a favorite donut hole (pic in next post) that could be used as a sanity check for carriers. You may have your own favorite and please share it.

    My favorite donut hole is bounded by the east side of Watkins, CO (Denver), as the point of beginning, easterly to Salina, KS; thence southerly to Oklahoma City, OK; thence westerly to Las Vegas, NM; and thence, northerly to the point of beginning at Watkins, CO. This is roughly 216,000 square miles that is bounded by I-25 on the west, I-70 on the north, I-135/35 on the east, and I-40 on the south.

    Except for these four interstates there are zero (zelch) other interstates inside this area - basically over 450 miles x 480 miles.

    To qualify for any award for nationwide coverage, the carrier would need to have effective and usable service all US federal and state highways without exception. Its flat - no mountains, few lakes, few obstacles, and a lot of travelers from urban and suburban areas - not to mention the locals.

    This is an example of “where people go” and neither limited to “where people live” nor to
    “population” centers.

    When budgeting capital, demonstrating a public benefit, and committing to make it real, this would go a long way towards building out the rural landscape.


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    Last edited by gdrenick74; 06-18-2021 at 12:45 PM.

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    Nationwide Cellular Coverage - Your Definition

    Here is the CO, KS, OK, TX and NM” donut hole referenced above for ease of reference.



    It may not be obvious, but there is no interstate system in the bounded area; yet many people travel through here. US Highways 50 and infamous 54 go through east/west as do US 83 and 183 (North/South). Even Amtrak’s Southwest (Chicago to LA) runs through this area.
    Last edited by gdrenick74; 06-19-2021 at 07:01 AM.

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    Coverage in all the places I’ll never need it.


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    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Nationwide Cellular Coverage - Your Definition

    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    Coverage in all the places I’ll never need it.


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    Everyone’s individual needs differ. Public need and standards in truthful advertising are the keys - not where I live and travel but where we collectively live and travel.

    My point was that all carriers should be required to disclose claims of nationwide coverage using standard phraseology, definitions and criteria so that consumer can compare.

    The donut hole in CO, KS, OK, TX, and NM was but one example where there are extended stretches of zero coverage along US federal and state highways.

    For example, should a carrier be able to claim nationwide coverage when they are dependent on a roaming agreement? [Edit: If yes, the carrier should disclose those areas on the map and state “roaming required and charges may apply”. Otherwise, the maps are useless and deceptive.]

    For example, reportedly T-Mo/Sprint has a roaming agreement with AT&T in the SoCal mountains. Should the carrier be able to declare and market nationwide coverage when they have a significant gap on CA 74 from San Diego area to Palm Desert?

    Roaming agreements come and go. According to my review of Cellmapper, there are dead zones along CA 74 for T-Mo, AT&T and maybe others.

    Should that area be able to claim “nationwide coverage status” if the coverage requires roaming and the customer with unlimited calls have to pay for roaming? …if no carrier has coverage for along CA 74?

    There needs to be truth-in-advertising and criteria applied and enforced by FCC and FTC since the industry is not effectively policing itself


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    Last edited by gdrenick74; 06-20-2021 at 08:54 AM.

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    National coverage is where people live and play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr0w View Post
    National coverage is where people live and play.
    Yes, I agree with live (A) and play (B).

    However, one must be able to travel from A to B, including land travel, and should be able to communicate along the way if the carrier claims to be nationwide.

    Except Oshkosh Air Show, the airport is rarely the destination for play.

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    No one cares about flyover country. Your donut hole could easily be expanded to I-90 to the North and I-29 to the East, cover a lot more miles and have even LESS cell coverage for the areas encompassed.

    Should be noted that Viareo covers a bit of that territory so I don’t think ANYONE who roams on to them should be considered nation-wide. (Credit where do. They are a hold-out for a reason.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by gdrenick74 View Post
    Yes, I agree with live (A) and play (B).

    However, one must be able to travel from A to B, including land travel, and should be able to communicate along the way if the carrier claims to be nationwide.

    Except Oshkosh Air Show, the airport is rarely the destination for play.
    I would also add in 'work'. Many commute to work, or work 'on site' such as a contractor.

    - Live
    - Play
    - Work
    - travel to / from above
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    I still remember driving cross country without any mobile phone.

    Today’s consumer wants to be connected at all times even when they don’t need to be.

    Having mobile service in town and on major roadways just isn’t enough. Consumers demand coverage in all the areas in-between, while on water and while flying in the air.

    Heck even Nokia plans on developing a 4G LTE network on the moon. https://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/...g-network-moon

    I would love to have coverage in every nook and cranny. Until then coverage on most major roadways and the places I frequent will suffice. ;-)






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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    I still remember driving cross country without any mobile phone.

    Today’s consumer wants to be connected at all times even when they don’t need to be.

    Having mobile service in town and on major roadways just isn’t enough. Consumers demand coverage in all the areas in-between, while on water and while flying in the air.

    Heck even Nokia plans on developing a 4G LTE network on the moon. https://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/...g-network-moon

    I would love to have coverage in every nook and cranny. Until then coverage on most major roadways and the places I frequent will suffice. ;-)






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    Who determines when a consumer "doesn't need to be" connected?


    Id settle for a carrier actually offering coverage where their own maps say they do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    I still remember driving cross country without any mobile phone.

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    I remember doing that - more than once. St. Catharines, Ontario to Miami and St. Catharines to Los Angeles... with a map.
    Many things in society have replaced many things that such as maps, 'compact disks', and many more. Text messages, and 'calling with long distance and rate plans' were 90's tech. Now, many people use Amazon and many more online 'services' as part of their daily routine. Nobody watches 'TV' or looks for 'weather and traffic on the 10's' any more... but rather Google or other map services have all that on your vehicle... Similarly, people don't stand waiting for a 'cab', but use an app for it or Uber/Lyft.

    I also remember programming on a Commodore 64/Amiga and VAX VMS....now its the Cloud AWS/Azure/etc.

    You will become one with the Borg, resistance is futile. Most people have already been profiled in some form of social media. Every one that has a smartphone is effectively tagged and chipped.
    Last edited by formercanuck; 06-20-2021 at 11:11 PM.

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    Verizon has pretty good nationwide coverage now, largely native; when I signed up with them, they had not bought Alltel yet so I could go from here (Iowa City) to the east coast with 100% native coverage. But south? About 1000 miles of roaming, native service in Louisiana. West? Roaming except California and Denver area, 1500+ miles of roaming between here and California. North? Native until a bit past Cedar Rapids then roaming to the Canadian border. (Northeast, by dumb luck the companies that merged into Verizon Wireless had service for all counties along 151 from here to Madison so that was covered.) But they treated "extended network" as native, with a disclaimer basically saying "don't blame us if the service is not as good, it's not Verizon service.".

    In my opinion, (this is free roaming, no interest in pay roaming at all, and I think in general people here are talking about included roaming...) roaming versus native should absolutely be indicated on the map, if someone lives in an area they'll be going in and out of service like that they should be able to tell (especially if the roaming has throttled data etc., my current VZW plan does, I think the T-Mo ones do, etc...) On a road trip, I don't care if the service is roaming or native. If T-Mo has "enough" coverage plus widespread roaming agreements where they don't have native, that's 100% fine with me. (In my area, T-Mo put 600mhz onto IWIreless sites, I don't know if that filled in coverage fully or not. But they roam off US Cellular, they have awesome coverage; so I would not hesitate switching to T-Mo here knowing there's US Cellular as a fallback if the T-Mo coverage doesn't hold out.)

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    A note on VoLTE handoffs -- I have no reason to think this is Verizon-specific.

    In SW Wisconsin, due to both terrain (lots of valleys) and lack of sites (both networks are a tad light on towers), VZW has roughly 60% coverage, US Cellular has roughly 60% coverage, they cross-roam and have about 90% coverage altogether. On a few of these roads (as a passenger, I wasn't checking this out driving!) I would get continuous coverage, but switching between VZW and USCC literally every curve, so about every 15-30 seconds you'd switch service. 1x/3G, I'd get sub-128kbps (due to very low signal.. I know it was below 128kbps because Slacker would not keep up!), data would hand off but calls were effectively impossible because they would not hand off so it'd drop every 20 seconds or so unless you stopped the car. VoLTE? Seamless call handoffs; seamless data handoffs still too (but odd, since I'd get 2-6mbps native low-signal LTE like half the time and 128kbps throttled roaming the other half..).

    In other words, if T-Mobile and the roaming partner have contiguous LTE coverage you probably will not even have any loss of service as it flips over from native to roaming.

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    I'll soon see how T-MOBILE is on the east coast since 2016. BAR Harbor to Boston to Harrisburg to Greenbank to Raleigh.

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