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Cell phones on boats

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Old 04-20-2004, 08:33 AM
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I use Nextel . The Direct connect works great for our drivers and the cel phone is pretty decent. Ive been with them for about 4 years now when I signed up the cell was crap but it is a lot better now. dont have any problems now with service
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:39 AM
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"offshore in Michigan" is different from
"offshore in Florida".

You'll get passable coverage on the lakes in Michigan, except for at the center of the lakes in rougher water conditions. In those cases, a cheap external antenna will help a great deal.

Offshore in Florida is "one sided" and you have reasonable ability to use your phone up to around 4 miles out. A big long (6' or 8') marine Cell antenna will extend that to around 12 miles (although I've gotten a good signal at 15 miles with an antenna tip height of 23').
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:45 AM
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If you are curious about your area there is a lot of good info at www.howardforums.com . Check out there users online-makes OSO a little puny by comparison. OTOH there only seem to be about 6 knowledgeable people on any of the forum threads
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:59 AM
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just switched from nextel to tmobile. tmobile is much cheaper and so is there coverage. i havent been impressed so far.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:12 AM
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:17 AM
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LPA...not that you don't already have a ton of info but..

I swapped from Sprint to Verizon. JB and I are often in remote areas with boating and snowmobiling and think it's imperative to have a decent signal in case of trouble. Our Verizon works [email protected] near everywhere.

On the teen thing. I would truly hesitate to get them their own phone UNLESS it was one with a phone card (like at Target or WalMart). The kids have no concept of time and the "cool" parents that run out and get them a normal phone aren't feeling so cool anymore when they give their fifth $300 bill for one month of service. At least with the phone card one, they have to budget their talk time and it's in their face right away if they screw up...instead of a huge bill a month later. Just my $.02.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:43 AM
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Bonnie, Ryan Newman wants your number. I think he's going to sell you on Alltel plan.

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Old 04-20-2004, 11:14 AM
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Well....he better bring all the equipment and accessories for me to check out thoroughly. It's a hard choice for me....I'll have to use it all over the place to see if it's all they say it is.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:18 PM
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I've had verizon for 8 or 9 years now and I'm very happy with it. I don't travel a lot but when i do it always works on land and on the water (western lake erie). I almost switched to nextel because i have a lot of friends that work construction and they all have nextel's with the 2-way feature which i would like to have. But every time we go to northern michigan or get away from the main highways or large cities (out on the water) they lose the signal and my phone always works. Here's their coverage for their americas choice plans. Oh, and it's always worked in canada too, i just have to pay roaming but that's better than not having a phone.
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Old 04-20-2004, 02:42 PM
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Alltel and verizon use "roaming agreements" so that each other can use their service but only on the PCS system, so if you get into an old service area without alot of subcribers your roaming may be SOL.
Alltel bought out century tel in mich, and century tel used a TDMA service. Verzen uses CDMA and is not compatible with alltel so the roaming in northern mich. sucks with verizon. So it really depends on how much time you spend in northern mi, ludington and farther north is "alltel country" and muskegon south is verizon rich.
Pre-paid for teens is the only route to go. It gets them to do something for their minutes, like get off their ass and do their chores for cash to buy more minutes. Page Plus pre-paid is the best for mi. and florida. .25 per min free long distance, caller id and roaming.It uses verizons towers.You buy them the phone so that the first time their out of minutes when you call you can threaten to take the damn thing away!
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