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_rob
06-09-2016, 01:05
Im heading through the Whites this July.

As I am coming from Australia, I will need to pick up a phone once I get stateside.

While I understand coverage is sketchy and only from higher features, what is the best provider? Verizon, AT&T, or someone else?

admirald7s
06-09-2016, 06:27
I've routinely heard on these forums that Verizon has the best coverage on the AT. They may or may not be the best for the Whites. Hopefully others with experience will chime in.


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moldy
06-09-2016, 08:15
With most technology , things can change fast. Yet, what we call "common knowledge " is slow to go away. The common thread says Verizon for the AT. That may have been true in the past. There is no science to this thread, just testimony of people who could not get a signal on a mountain while sitting next to someone chatting away on a different company. I have used Sprint, verizon and AT&T with good service for a guy who wants to make one quick call every other day from some high spot on the trail. Some people desire to communicate more than that and get frustrated with a lack of signal. That frustration spills out on social media. My advice is to go with the one that offers the best deal.

rafe
06-09-2016, 10:00
Verizon mostly works for me. But be aware, many shelters and campsites have little or no signal. Best reception is up on the ridges and summits, so you need to be opportunistic.

Reception was very spotty in SNP and in the neighborhood of Great Barrington, MA.

GoldenBear
06-09-2016, 14:15
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wireless-carrier/

Verizon comes out on top as of 2016 March, both in coverage & speed.
Note the quote about T-Mobile: "If spotty rural and in-building coverage doesnít pose a problem for you, T-Mobile plans offer a great value."
For AT&T: "AT&T offers 4G LTE broadband ... Its service isnít as fast or reliable as Verizonís..."

It would seem that Verizon's advantage for backpackers is not just anecdotal.

Riocielo
06-14-2016, 02:14
I can attest that T-mobile's coverage is abysmal.

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egilbe
06-14-2016, 06:41
My GF uses US cellular. She will get a signal almost everywhere, where with AT&T, I rarely have any signal. Appalachian Trail No Talk seems about right, in my experience.

when I'm out hiking though, I use my phone as a camera. I don't want people calling me. It's not been a problem...except the couple time we tried arranging shuttles from a trailhead.

Del Q
06-14-2016, 07:28
Kind of a funny story I think, was in NC at a shelter having a quick lunch break, I use AT&T, no signal, guy shows up with Verizon service, streaming video, full signal - Verizon should have been there to film their next commercial

I am heading to the White's tomorrow, plan on checking signal on top of mountains

MuddyWaters
06-14-2016, 07:42
The common thread says Verizon for the AT. That may have been true in the past. There is no science to this thread, just testimony of people who could not get a signal on a mountain while sitting next to someone chatting away on a different company.

Not just the AT
Verizon made a commitment to service in rural areas all over the US
This is a well known fact, and why their network is the most extensive.
Some small networks only serve large cities...and a few major routes. Youd be a fool to take such a phone anywhere without a contract that roamed on a major network.


Some of us have hiked significant parts of trail with one carrier always finding near continuous service, while a companion , wife, kid, etc with other provider had none consistently. Yeah, no science at all to that.

Starchild
06-14-2016, 08:08
I suggest calling AMC Highland Center or Joe Dodge Lodge (or both for a more diverse opinion), and asking them what service they would suggest. The people who work there usually spend time on trail NS in the Huts on the ridgeline and also much time with the guests helping out with such questions. Some may be old school and tell you that there is no service or you can't expect any, those people are not correct, but you need to speak with someone else if you get one of these people.

Also check into resellers of the cell service, most likely a Verizon pay as you go reseller, will be much cheaper.

JumpMaster Blaster
06-14-2016, 10:01
I can attest (from anecdotal experience) that I, as a Verizon subscriber, had coverage when a lot of AT&T/Sprint customers didn't. However, I keep my phone in airplane mode when I'm hiking unless I NEED to make a call. There have been a few instances where I forgot to put it bac in airplane mode and started getting annoying text/voicemail notifications.

That being said, a ridgeline will usually offer you the best opprtunity to get a signal, but it's not alway 100%.

Kaptainkriz
06-14-2016, 19:10
In general, Verizon is better here along the east coast of the USA. HOWEVER, my personal experience at the summit of Mount Washington last September was that I could not establish a data connection with Verizon. Voice and text were ok. My AT&T phone had an excellent data connection at the summit of Washington. I had good data with both providers at Lakes of the Clouds hut. Peakbagger I think is from up in the Whites and I'd weight his opinion heavily if that is where you are going.

_rob
07-03-2016, 08:15
Thanks guys. Im currently in Boston, so will track down the nearest Verizon store. Much appreciated!

Slo-go'en
07-03-2016, 08:53
Thanks guys. Im currently in Boston, so will track down the nearest Verizon store. Much appreciated!

Since you likely won't be here long, just get a disposable Tracfone for about $20 and a 60 service card for another $20. Activate it when you get into the area and it will pick the best carrier for you, and it will use any cell tower it can hear from then on.
Tracfones can be found in many supermarkets and Walmarts.

Mouser999
07-03-2016, 11:21
I section hiked Connecticut last month using TracFone Android with coverage from Verizon and got good coverage even down in the valleys that were blocked by

ryply76
10-21-2016, 15:41
Verizon is a beast for coverage.