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New iPhone & Cell service??

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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KarenColes
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New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by KarenColes » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:32 pm

I have a friend who will be purchasing her first iPhone, and I'm wondering how to advise her. She is not likely to become a heavy user, and I was thinking of suggesting an iPhone 7 or 8. I'm also thinking that Consumer Cellular might be a good choice for her, but I'm wondering about coverage in our area. She lives about 2 miles up Mt. Pleasant Rd. with a clear view to the east. Cost is not a primary consideration.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Your experiences?

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Stephen Hart
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Re: New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:47 am

I would check cell coverage carefully.
We have always used Verizon, which has the best overall coverage on the peninsula, and even it is spotty.
Our new car is cell connected, and it puts up a "lost coverage" message occasionally as we drive around. There are certain dead zones, such as parts of the first five miles of the Hurricane Ridge Parkway, which we drive daily.

And, of course, there will be a new round of iPhones in a couple of months, so all of today's models will go down in price.

If your friend will want to use a passcode, face recognition might be a factor.

Then there are all the non-phone aspects. I suspect that far and away the most important of these is the camera.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

KarenColes
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Re: New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by KarenColes » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:35 pm

Thanks, Stephen. I found out today that her husband already has Verizon cell service bundled through Direct TV. So it seems that the logical thing for her would be to add another phone to that package. She loved my iPhone X, so I think that's the way she'll be going.

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Richard Serkes
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Re: New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:06 am

The big problem with companies like Consumer Cellular is that they don't own their own infrastructure (e.g., cell towers). They "piggyback" on the companies that do have their own infrastructure by buying access. What that means is Consumer Cellular (and all the other independents) are really providing service via one of the big four. These independents contract with the big four for a specific number of years and then go looking for the best deal when the contact expires. So if Consumer Cellular has coverage in your area now, it might not if it changes carriers when its contract expires. Again, all the independent carriers do this, it's not just Consumer Cellular.

If you live in an urban area where all of the big four have towers then it really doesn't matter. However, we live in a rural area and it certainly does. The only carrier than provides a signal where I live is Verizon. None of the other big four has a signal that can reach me. So I have a Verizon contract. If an independent were to have a contract to piggyback with Verizon then I could use that independent but at a later date if the independent were to sign a contract to piggyback on say T-Mobile, or Sprint my cell service wouldn't work at my house.

Living in a rural area such as we do means certain adjustments have to be made and this is one of them. Find out which of the big four carriers works in your location and go with that one even if it costs a little more.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:35 am

"Living in a rural area such as we do means certain adjustments have to be made and this is one of them. Find out which of the big four carriers works in your location and go with that one even if it costs a little more."

Well said. Furthermore, you should think about how much you drive, and where and whether you want or need cell service during that drive time.
Verizon's Mt. Pleasant tower worked great for us for many years, but trees, you know, grow. Now we have to use WiFi calling, which disappears, of course, when the power is out.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Richard Serkes
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Re: New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:07 am

From my house I can see the lights on the Verizon tower on Mt. Pleasant. Even with line-of-sight the tower is so far away the best I can get is two bars on my iPhone. But it connects and that's all that matters.
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Always burn your bridges. You never know who's coming up from behind.

KarenColes
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Re: New iPhone & Cell service??

Post by KarenColes » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:19 pm

I’ve always gotten only 2 bars up Mt. Pleasant with my AT&T service, but it’s not been a problem, and the service has always been consistently good.

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