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Thread: Best cell service, reception, and phone?

  1. #1
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Arrow Best cell service, reception, and phone?

    I'm in the market for a new cell phone and of course I want to have my cake and eat it too. Currently running a Motorola V266 with ACS that is never the phone in the group that gets through in a low reception condition.

    I live on the Kenai but am looking for a package thats small and tough, yet has great reception, all while having an economical package that will provide good service throughout Alaska.

    (Not asking much eh?)

    What do you have, and whats been your experience with it here in AK?
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  2. #2
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    Default Cell Service

    Don't go with GCI. I have friends with ACS and they can call from lots of places that I can't get network coverage. I will be switching as soon as the contract is up.

  3. #3

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    I have the cheapest phone I could get from ACS, brand LG model 710 I think but not sure. My cell phone reception is far better than my wifes Cingular "Crack"berry. I can call from Summit Lake on the Kenai, she can't. I can call from along the Parks highway in a number of places and she can't. I can call from our friends place on Goldstream Road in Fairbanks, she can't. I hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    I've had Cellular One for several years now and haven't had a problem except deep inside the Fred Meyer stores in Fairbanks! Cellular One was just acquired by ATT too, for what that's worth.
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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    I remember when AT&T had it originally and Cellular One bought it. Service suffered and disconnects sky rocketed the first couple years. I've always had Motorola flip phones and seem to have just a bit better reception than friends and families Nokia's and LG's. Currently use a Razr.

  6. #6
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default What's the deal?

    Many years ago we had Cellular One and weren't happy with them. Switched to AT&T until a few years back when they sold out to Cellular One and I was forced into a contract with them as a result of the sale. I cancelled service with Cellular One (long story) and now your saying that AT&T aquired Cell one again? Who can keep up anymore? Personally I wouldn't get service with AT&T because they'll just sell back to Cell one again and I'd be stuck paying a company I refuse to do business with.

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    Does anybody not find ACS to have the best overall coverage in Alaska? I know it's far from perfect, and there are times when a Celluar One or GCI phone gets a signal when the ACS phone does not, but from what I have witnessed, over all, the ACS network gets a signal more times than the competition. However, my exploration is limited so there must be differing experiences.

    Where have people found ACS to be lacking over the competition? I know that heading into Hatcher Pass from the Willow side my ACS phone goes out way before the GCI phones do. I'm sure that's due to the placement of a nearby GCI tower. What about other places?

  8. #8
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default

    Another question to go along with those: Is ACS locking out other phone companies from using their towers in order to snag more customers? Just a rumor going around. A friend has a tower practically in his backyard (within a couple hundred feet) and Cellular One and our local phone companies mobiles don't work there. Might not even be a tower for phones.

  9. #9

    Default ACS

    ACS hands down if you want service out of town.
    Apparently ACS owns most of the cell sites outside of the anchorage bowl and the other company's only lease the specific out of town sites they want access to.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Around Fairbanks I have found Cellone to work very well. Down to Summit and Cantwell works good too. Don't know about around Anchorage.

    I use Nokia phones and have had very good luck with them. All of the nokias I've had have had about the same reception. A friend loaned me a Motorola L6 when I was between phones and man that thing had very bad reception. I had a nokia next to it that had 4 bars when the L6 had no reception. Both cellone. Maybe I had a bad phone, who knows.

  11. #11
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    Default Stay away from Anchorage Digitel.....

    It doesn't even work in Eagle River

    or on the Glenn Highway from Anchorage to Eagle River

    I also go down to Kenai/Nikiski a lot

    Guess what?..........they don't work there either

  12. #12
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    Default Acs Services

    I Did A Test Last Year When I Bought My New Camper, We Had Cell-one, Mci, Sprint, And Acs Phones & Chargers, And Drove The Alaska Loop, Fairbanks, Tok, Valdez, Anchorage, Homer Etc And Back On Parks To Fairbanks, We Used An External Ant. And Could Only Find One Place Where The Acs Razor Did Not Work, About 12 Miles South Of Cantwell, The Only Place The Other Phones Would Work Was Inside Of The Towns And Even Then There Was Dead Spots, Go Acs. Note The Acs System Will Not Work To Well In The Lower 48.

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    Default ACS all of the way

    My phone works in a lot of places that other carries phones do not. It was the cheapest LG pay as you go phone they offer. From Flathorn lake and the Deshka I have reception most every where i go. It even worked in Kotzebue last fall...

  14. #14
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    Cool No such thing as cell phone coverage throughout Alaska

    I fly and drive throughout Alaska. There is no such thing as a phone that will work throughout Alaska. I have four different phones using Cell One, ACS and MTA. Some points

    Southeast Alaska - Cell One has best coverage & ACS is good
    Prudhoe Bay area - ACS and Cell One have coverage
    Road System - ACS with an analog capable phone is overall best; however, they have some dead spots that Cell One covers (Goose Bay for example)
    Nome and Kodiak - Cell One
    Cordova, Kotzebue and Barrow - ACS
    Southwest Alaska (Bethel and surrounding area) - Unicom (no known agreements - analog 911 will work)
    King Salmon, Naknek, Dillingham, Dutch Harbor - Bristol Bay Cellular ($35.00 + $10.00/day + $1.00/min roam analog B - prior arrangement required or *0 send)
    In the Mat Valley, MTA has a few antennas that will give coverage where no one else will work. (Iditarod trail west)


    For phone choice, pick one that has a good external antenna jack. Then buy a good external antenna like the Wilson Trucker Cell Phone antenna.

  15. #15
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm currently with Cell One, but I miss ACS, that's for sure!

    And RAZR cell phones are the biggest POS phones on the market in my opinion.

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    Default

    I travel for business and had A&T who traded coverage areas with Cell One, that was why the switch. When I had AT&T/Cell One could not get coverage in Kodiak and out of Whittier. I switched to ACS and got coverage in both places. I switched because they have the largest coverage areas in Alaska and have not had a time where my didn't work and someone elses did. I just came back from the south east, Ketchikan, Petersburg and Craig and had no problems. So ACS would get my vote.

  17. #17
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    And RAZR cell phones are the biggest POS phones on the market in my opinion.
    Why do you say that?
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  18. #18

    Default ACS stinks for cell service!!!!

    I have Cellular One for our personal service and my work has ACS. I travel all over the state, and more times than not, I have no coverage with ACS but are loud and clear with my Cellular One phone in most areas I travel.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  19. #19
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tlagrone View Post
    I fly and drive throughout Alaska. There is no such thing as a phone that will work throughout Alaska. I have four different phones using Cell One, ACS and MTA. Some points

    Southeast Alaska - Cell One has best coverage & ACS is good
    Prudhoe Bay area - ACS and Cell One have coverage
    Road System - ACS with an analog capable phone is overall best; however, they have some dead spots that Cell One covers (Goose Bay for example)
    Nome and Kodiak - Cell One
    Cordova, Kotzebue and Barrow - ACS
    Southwest Alaska (Bethel and surrounding area) - Unicom (no known agreements - analog 911 will work)
    King Salmon, Naknek, Dillingham, Dutch Harbor - Bristol Bay Cellular ($35.00 + $10.00/day + $1.00/min roam analog B - prior arrangement required or *0 send)
    In the Mat Valley, MTA has a few antennas that will give coverage where no one else will work. (Iditarod trail west)


    For phone choice, pick one that has a good external antenna jack. Then buy a good external antenna like the Wilson Trucker Cell Phone antenna.
    By far the most explanatory post.
    In our personal experience, ACS has been the best for our family because the husband heads up to the Slope during the winters and he has one of those external antenna jack so that we could start and end both our days together.

    He has a Nokia that has lived through death of the phone itself and it was resurrected.
    Mine is a Razr phone.
    I miss my Treo 650, though.
    Lurker.

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