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Thread: Divested area question

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    Divested area question

    I live in South Dakota and am currently an Alltel customer. I'm not very excited at all about the upcoming switch to AT&T. Mostly because of the horror stories I've heard about their network and the fact that I will be very surprised if AT&T has 3G in South Dakota. The main reason I am on Alltel instead of Verizon is because Alltel has towers in my wife's hometown, and in the town she works in. Where as the Verizon coverage is very spotty there at best.

    My question is after the merger is all completed will Verizon customers have access to those towers at all or will everything just stay the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hahler2
    I live in South Dakota and am currently an Alltel customer. I'm not very excited at all about the upcoming switch to AT&T. Mostly because of the horror stories I've heard about their network and the fact that I will be very surprised if AT&T has 3G in South Dakota. The main reason I am on Alltel instead of Verizon is because Alltel has towers in my wife's hometown, and in the town she works in. Where as the Verizon coverage is very spotty there at best.

    My question is after the merger is all completed will Verizon customers have access to those towers at all or will everything just stay the same?
    I live in the Black Hills and contacted AT&T directly involving what they know recently. Here is what I got from the conversation and from what our local Alltel reps have been saying. (Which do match.)

    1. The Dakota's will get 3G. Where exactly is hard to say at the moment. I would suspect at a minimum those from Sioux Falls along I-90 to and around the Black Hills at a minimum. (Basically their current 'partner' network.) But from what AT&T told me and from what the reps for Alltel have said, if Alltel has 3G, AT&T will have it in those same places as well. So take it for what it's worth as they are 2 different technologies. But GSM is already on some of the Alltel Towers, so it is possible and even likely much of the Dakota's will get 3G almost right away or within the first year.

    2. That at first the towers will go 50/50. Half Alltel and half AT&T to help people along during the conversion, but that the towers WILL go 100% GSM. When they do, people will be notified about 6 months in advance of it changing completely in their area. When this happens, Verizon will likely not work on those towers anymore. Which would explain why Verizon is going nuts putting up new towers in the Dakota's at the moment.

    3. That everywhere there is Alltel coverage currently, there will, at a minimum at least be GSM coverage.


    Here is my 2 cents on the whole thing.

    You will get dropped calls even with a good signal, but that doesn't mean it will be all the time or even every day. HOWEVER, I believe after it's all said and done, OVERALL things won't be that bad. I know people that use their IPhone here now, and it works great and they love it. Almost zero problems. However I can't say the same for those with 'normal' AT&T GSM phones. It's odd.

    The only times I see the network likely coming under a lot of pressure here, is when the Sturgis Rally is happening. That could get interesting. But I believe from what I know, that while you may get dropped calls, they don't always happen as often as some people mention. There could be a variety of factors for it, and it all seems to depend who you talk to. The large cities seem to have the most problems.

    Overall I would at least give AT&T a chance here. It may not be that bad. And if worse comes to worse, there's always Verizon. And if there are Alltel towers in your wife's hometown with Alltel, they will soon be AT&T towers and AT&T will have coverage there. In Spearfish Canyon Alltel has good signal and Verizon doesn't. Which likely means AT&T will have decent signal as well.

    When I talked to the AT&T rep and our Alltel Reps, there seems to be zero indication towers will be not switched over or turned off. All indications point to them using ALL of the towers. (Which would greatly benefit them.) The only real question is 3G coverage, but for all accounts and purposes it appears we WILL be getting it. The question is where.

    So, honestly, I wouldn't be too worried. Just remember the first year during the conversion could be bumpy and service sporadic. You can wait until things are more stable before trying them out as you will have nothing to lose.

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    Another thing to keep in mind is cor stores. I thought about this the other day. Alltel has cor stores everywhere. I mean, there's one in Wagner for crap's sake! I find it hard to believe that AT&T will keep all these as cor stores. Maybe try and turn them into agents or something. Except agents don't get to sell iPhones. Not that I care, or want an iPhone. But lots of people do. And they aren't going to be overwhelmed with joy when the have to drive from Wagner to here in Yankton to get a phone.
    This confusion can easily be avoided if you pronounce the word intended aloud. If it has a voiced Z sound, then it’s “lose.” If it has a hissy S sound, then it’s “loose.” Here are examples of correct usage: “He tends to lose his keys.” “She lets her dog run loose.”

    Loose
    not rigidly fastened or securely attached

    Lose
    to miss from one's possession or from a customary or supposed place

    Also, just because a word has an "s" at the end, doesn't mean it needs an apostrophe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick662
    Another thing to keep in mind is cor stores. I thought about this the other day. Alltel has cor stores everywhere. I mean, there's one in Wagner for crap's sake! I find it hard to believe that AT&T will keep all these as cor stores. Maybe try and turn them into agents or something. Except agents don't get to sell iPhones. Not that I care, or want an iPhone. But lots of people do. And they aren't going to be overwhelmed with joy when the have to drive from Wagner to here in Yankton to get a phone.
    Yeah that's honestly going to be the biggest issue I believe.

    What will likely happen is AT&T I suspect will close many of the Corporate stores. Leaving only a few left. Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Pierre, and MAYBE a few others I suspect would be left. Guaranteed there will likely be quite a few closings though. When I moved out to the Black Hills in 2007, a month later I got a letter stating the Cellular One where I lived was being converted to AT&T. AT&T closed the Cell One store in the town of about 8,000 that I came from and never opened another one. I suspect only a handful or less Corporate Stores will be left when the smoke all clears and it's all converted to AT&T.

    The closest 'Corporate' store is now about an hour away from there. So yes, I would be concerned with that one.

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    Yeah I can see where closest store would be a bit of an issue. I live just south of Aberdeen so it won't be an issue for me, but I could see where it could for some.

    Whitetiger, when you were talking to AT&T did they mention a time frame on when the switch is going to start?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hahler2
    Yeah I can see where closest store would be a bit of an issue. I live just south of Aberdeen so it won't be an issue for me, but I could see where it could for some.

    Whitetiger, when you were talking to AT&T did they mention a time frame on when the switch is going to start?
    That is another question I asked and she said they couldn't tell me even if they knew due to possible insider trading. In fact many of the questions I asked, she seemed to have to get supervisor permission to answer. Dunno if it was because she wasn't that knowledgeable on the whole thing, or just trying to cover her hide. She said that in all honesty, they don't know the answer all that much sooner than most customers. Which I do believe as that's how many large companies work.

    Here is South Dakota's Q&A on the whole thing. I got this from the Rapid City Journal website awhile back.

    http://puc.sd.gov/Alltel-ATT/default.aspx

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    Yeah I didn't expect there to be an answer on the time frame deal since the buyout hasn't even been officially approved by the FCC.

    If the do 3G everywhere that Alltel has 3G that will be awesome. I haven't travelled very many places in eastern SD that Alltel doesn't have 3G coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitetigergrowl
    Yeah that's honestly going to be the biggest issue I believe.

    What will likely happen is AT&T I suspect will close many of the Corporate stores. Leaving only a few left. Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Pierre, and MAYBE a few others I suspect would be left. Guaranteed there will likely be quite a few closings though. When I moved out to the Black Hills in 2007, a month later I got a letter stating the Cellular One where I lived was being converted to AT&T. AT&T closed the Cell One store in the town of about 8,000 that I came from and never opened another one. I suspect only a handful or less Corporate Stores will be left when the smoke all clears and it's all converted to AT&T.

    The closest 'Corporate' store is now about an hour away from there. So yes, I would be concerned with that one.

    I certainly hope there are cor stores in more places than that. Especially Pierre. I can think of at least a half dozen better places than Pierre. That's absolutely the sh*ttiest place on the planet. I hate Pierre with a passion. But I do agree. There are loads of Alltel cor stores. I'm sure they will reduce that number substantially.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitetigergrowl
    Here is South Dakota's Q&A on the whole thing. I got this from the Rapid City Journal website awhile back.

    http://puc.sd.gov/Alltel-ATT/default.aspx
    Good article. I got a kick out of this:


    Former Alltel customers may continue wireless service under their existing Alltel contract terms for up to 12 months after the transaction closes. However, customers may convert to an AT&T rate plan and device as soon as AT&T’s 3G network is available in their area. Alltel customers are advised to check the terms of their current contract. Switching to AT&T before the corporate transaction is complete may result in early termination fees.
    How the hell is someone in South Dakota supposed to switch to AT&T before the transaction is complete? I suppose it's possible if you live on the border to another state, but I sure wouldn't have thought it would be common enough to include in an FAQ.

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    A little more info.

    One of the assumptions by my Alltel Rep, is that the reason Alltel is building quite a few new towers is actually with 2 answers. (An yes, again today I had more people point this out at work.)

    A. The company has to remain looking as an attractive buy to AT&T until everything is finalized. Thus the reasons for the promo's they are running like 1 year contracts and free activations.

    B. GSM is Short Range. By adding more towers it fills in what could be potential gaps in coverage that is currently covered with CDMA, but may not be with GSM, or may be on the fringe. To me this also seems logical.

    As for 3G, the big assumption is that AT&T will make most of the current Alltel network that is 3G and convert it to AT&T 3G. And after the beating by Verizon lately with it's ads about this, it would make the most sense and should, at least for the most part, be expected. As it also ties in with what that rep had told me from AT&T about if Alltel has 3G on it's towers, then AT&T will use that or convert it to AT&T 3G.


    And mick662 I think what they are saying is that when some people find out AT&T is buying out Alltel, that even when it's approved, that they can right away switch to AT&T thinking there won't be an ETF since they are now owned by AT&T. So this is to try and let them know not to do that until AT&T says it's ok to.

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    whitetiger,

    GSM is not "short range" - the maximum range is 35km radius. That is 70km diameter across a cell. The assumption in that design is that range would NEVER be needed. Capacity and terrain issues come into play long before that EXCEPT in situations with large open flatlands and almost no population. Like the Dakotas. But I've heard people here in western Montana express that concern and it's almost comical. Go 35km in any direction and you'll smash into a mountain Also, if an area is even somewhat populated or if indoor coverage is desired you need sites far closer. Literally, what this means is that cell sites in middle of nowhere flatlands won't cover as many square miles of unpopulated nothingness.

    If you camp or hike a lot - say hunting - in unpopulated nothingness that could be a big issue. But to pretend that homes and major highways will suddenly not be covered is just silly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markie11
    whitetiger,

    GSM is not "short range" - the maximum range is 35km radius. That is 70km diameter across a cell. The assumption in that design is that range would NEVER be needed. Capacity and terrain issues come into play long before that EXCEPT in situations with large open flatlands and almost no population. Like the Dakotas. But I've heard people here in western Montana express that concern and it's almost comical. Go 35km in any direction and you'll smash into a mountain Also, if an area is even somewhat populated or if indoor coverage is desired you need sites far closer. Literally, what this means is that cell sites in middle of nowhere flatlands won't cover as many square miles of unpopulated nothingness.

    If you camp or hike a lot - say hunting - in unpopulated nothingness that could be a big issue. But to pretend that homes and major highways will suddenly not be covered is just silly.
    I've had GSM before in Minnesota, where it's almost like being in North Dakota. When I came to South Dakota, it still didn't get the same level of signal strength as those with CDMA the farther away I was from a tower. It definitely is short range. The reach on it is not as far or as strong or reliable as CDMA. That is known. Thus more problems indoors, more dropped calls, and more likely to lose signal before someone with a CDMA phone. That and it tends to interfere with some electronics. (Ever been watching the news and heard a weird buzzing noise for a couple of seconds? That was someones GSM phone causing that.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...hone_standards

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r233...Range-Question (Which points to the link above.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitetigergrowl
    I've had GSM before in Minnesota, where it's almost like being in North Dakota. When I came to South Dakota, it still didn't get the same level of signal strength as those with CDMA the farther away I was from a tower. It definitely is short range. The reach on it is not as far or as strong or reliable as CDMA. That is known. Thus more problems indoors, more dropped calls, and more likely to lose signal before someone with a CDMA phone. That and it tends to interfere with some electronics. (Ever been watching the news and heard a weird buzzing noise for a couple of seconds? That was someones GSM phone causing that.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...hone_standards

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r233...Range-Question (Which points to the link above.)
    Not to be offensive - but you really have no clue. The CDMA vs GSM debate will go on forever and 99% of customers dont care what the underlying technology is. The factor you should be looking at is frequency (800mhz vs 1900 mhz). That is where you will see the real reason for the difference in 'signal'.

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    As clay said, but with this addition - you're comparing different carriers!

    Alltel's current sites, tweaked for GSM with all of them running GSM at 850MHz will give approx. the same coverage they get now - minus a few extreme fringe areas.

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    Oh god I wish somebody had IN FACT.. I kept changing the thoughts if that were not make any difference as some one had said if hard block limit would work the best whereas they want to be. In fact GSM850 is far superior in our area however I'm about 30 miles from alltel towers and I never got GSM signal at all while it cuts off at 20 some mi.. I guess like mark had said which it need some work to tweak for better signal strength.. Whatsoever....
    4G LTE Rural America by Triangle Communications speed average 35 to 50 MBPS which improved coverage and speed a lot better for Rural areas.


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