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Old 05-11-2022, 12:19 PM   #1
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Best option for poor phone service on the road?

Verizon just is not cutting it out on the biways! Do I need to think Satellite? On the same plain what about WIFI?

thx Diego
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Old 05-11-2022, 12:23 PM   #2
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Verizon just is not cutting it out on the biways! Do I need to think Satellite? On the same plain what about WIFI?

thx Diego
A lot of cell phones will now make voice calls over WiFi (that was fantastic when I was still in the Navy during port calls!). If you can find a good data plan, and you want to keep Verizon for phone service, you might be able to get voice service via the WiFi from the data plan.

And, also, anywhere you stop that has WiFi typically works too such as truck stops.
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Old 05-11-2022, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Diego-Ted View Post
Verizon just is not cutting it out on the biways! Do I need to think Satellite? On the same plain what about WIFI?

thx Diego
Surprised, I travel N America weekly for my job and Verizon is still head and shoulders over the other carries, granted I don't get to all the nocks and crannies. But with that said I carry a hot spot as well as my cell phone with multiple carrier SIM cards in it and 99% of the time Verizon is the best (strongest) signal.

Voice over WIFI is an option, but you still have to have a signal for the data service, satellite is an option depending on the geography of where you plan to be, but is is a bit costly unless you plan to be long term in a location without cellular coverage.

This brings me to a question, is it the Verizon service or the phone equipment you are using? Without me starting a philosophical debate, not all cell phones are built equally, have you asked a Verizon person if there is a better suited device for your use model.
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Old 05-11-2022, 12:55 PM   #4
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We carry two phones. One is serviced by AT&T, the other is Verizon service (both by a third party StraightTalk.) When one doesn't work, the other one does. Sometimes both work.

A satellite phone would be ideal, but they are pretty expensive.
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Old 05-11-2022, 02:13 PM   #5
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We carry two phones. One is serviced by AT&T, the other is Verizon service (both by a third party StraightTalk.) When one doesn't work, the other one does. Sometimes both work.

A satellite phone would be ideal, but they are pretty expensive.
Yes indeed. SAT phones are expensive. There's no unlimited talk/text or data plan with a SAT phone. You are billed for every minute or fraction of a minute you're using the satellite. If you intend to use a SAT phone like the average person uses a cell phone you can expect to pay about $1500/month for your service.
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Old 05-11-2022, 02:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Diego-Ted View Post
Verizon just is not cutting it out on the biways! Do I need to think Satellite? On the same plain what about WIFI?



thx Diego
Where are you going to get the wifi?
Verizon has the best reputation for coverage. You would probably have worse coverage with other carriers.
As was said, a satellite phone would be expensive.

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Old 05-11-2022, 02:30 PM   #7
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have you looked into cell phone RV boosters? several on the market. If yu have a weak signal it will help... NO signal NO help...
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Old 05-11-2022, 08:40 PM   #8
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Took a trip shortly after getting my truck so I had the 3 months of AT&T in truck, wife had Verizon we have had it since before it was Verizon. I just recently switched to T Mobile because Verizon didn’t work where I hunted. Between the 3 mostly between the phones we had service 95% of the time. Now we spent 4 days at Diamond Lake OR with absolutely no service. Even the hard line at campground was out
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Old 05-11-2022, 09:29 PM   #9
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Now we spent 4 days at Diamond Lake OR with absolutely no service. Even the hard line at campground was out
Did you make it up to Crater Lake?
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Old 05-11-2022, 10:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Diego-Ted View Post
Verizon just is not cutting it out on the biways! Do I need to think Satellite? On the same plain what about WIFI?



thx Diego
What biways? A certain area in particular?
As others have mentioned, Verizon has the best overall coverage, but in a few places another carrier might perform better. Also, as mentioned, a different phone might be better. My wife had different phone with Verizon and in some locations where she had several bars of signal strength, I had none or very little. Upgraded my phone and fixed that.
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:52 PM   #11
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We like to camp at a Florida state park where cell service is really not good. I got a WeBoost cell signal amplifier that has worked well. It will take a weak signal and boost it. But if there is no signal, it is useless. In the case of our favorite campground, the cell signal (without boost) basically cuts in and out. We cannot connect my laptop with a cellphone modem to watch streaming shows without constant buffering. With the signal booster, it is not a really strong signal, but it is stronger than without it and allows us to stream movies and other shows through the laptop modem. I can also "dial" in for video conference calls with the booster.
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Old 05-12-2022, 02:16 PM   #12
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Yes indeed. SAT phones are expensive. There's no unlimited talk/text or data plan with a SAT phone. You are billed for every minute or fraction of a minute you're using the satellite. If you intend to use a SAT phone like the average person uses a cell phone you can expect to pay about $1500/month for your service.
Just one thing to add this with regard to satellite phones - when you say "like an average person uses a cell phone" I understand that you are referring to the cost.

But another consideration is that "average people" often use their cell phone indoors. Mostly not going to happen with a SAT phone. Much like GPS, satellite phones need a clear view of the sky to get solid connection.

Probably would work great at Joshua Tree Natl Park, but might not get a signal at all in some parts of Yosemite.

Also, the signal delay/lag can be very noticeable and distracting - which helps control your costs by making any attempt at a long conversation an exercise in frustration.

They definitely *don't* work like they are portrayed in the movies.
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Old 05-12-2022, 05:06 PM   #13
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Is your home "landline" VoIP?

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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
A lot of cell phones will now make voice calls over WiFi (that was fantastic when I was still in the Navy during port calls!). If you can find a good data plan, and you want to keep Verizon for phone service, you might be able to get voice service via the WiFi from the data plan.

And, also, anywhere you stop that has WiFi typically works too such as truck stops.
My home "landline" has been VoIP for quite a few years. It's one of the least expensive, but they keep adding innovative features without raising fees.

Several months ago they added a cellphone app that permits phone usage anywhere in the world without charge. I was in Cartagena, Colombia and had to make a phone call or two. I found a Wi-Fi cafe ($2 for an hour) and called the USA, checked voicemail, etc. with great call quality. If you have a VoIP landline, maybe this will work for you.

Last month they introduced a new service: I noticed it when browsing their website. Now any incoming call receives a message "The number you are trying to reach is currently screening calls to prevent spammers and robocalls. Press 5 to continue." This has had two interesting effects:
  1. It has absolutely stopped robocalls. I have gone from ten/day to zero!
  2. The first question I get from anyone who calls me is "How did you get your phone to do that?"
Happy to share the name of this provider by private message.
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:28 PM   #14
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cell phone vs satellite

My 2 pennies.

I have dish and my campground does not have WIFI and is served by a single VZ cell tower. Dish is ok but dicey when leaves are on trees so I upgraded to a better antenna and it helped a few places.

I was getting -108 dBm signal on my cell phone. I bought a "WeBoost" (Wilson) amplifier. I think the "X" type for travel trailer.

I really feel Dishes are a thing of the past. The future is WIFI. I bought a cheap (asian) booster and it helped a bit. Then I bought a Wilson. Got a 20 to 30 dB power boost. (this is technically a 64X to 1000X power boost linearly. I can stream Monday thru Friday. However, on the weekends, when the park fills up, it's hard to stream. The cell tower signal is the same but the traffic the tower can handle becomes saturated. Also, some/many streaming services are offering "download" a feature. So park downtown outside a hotel or McD's, download your viewing choices and proceed to your campsite; memory is cheap.

just me
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:46 PM   #15
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Did you make it up to Crater Lake?


Every time I go back to Oregon it’s a must
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Old 05-15-2022, 03:55 PM   #16
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Man Thank You All, I have Verizon, we are off the roadway in Parker Az. and got nothing much. We have a booster and I guess it does work to some degree. I am spoiled and thought there has to be something better. Boosters? I have about a $100 model, have seen up to maybe $700 models is there one above the rest?

again Thx for the help
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Old 05-15-2022, 04:28 PM   #17
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Man Thank You All, I have Verizon, we are off the roadway in Parker Az. and got nothing much. We have a booster and I guess it does work to some degree. I am spoiled and thought there has to be something better. Boosters? I have about a $100 model, have seen up to maybe $700 models is there one above the rest?

again Thx for the help
You have to have a cell signal of some kind, for the cell booster to work.
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Old 05-16-2022, 09:18 AM   #18
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The issue starts at your ear. Ensure that you are using an up-to-date phone model before investing in any downstream changes! I have noticed that my son's brand new iPhone 13 and my daughter-in-law's brand new Galaxy get a much stronger signal in the exact same location compared to my 2-year old iPhone SE.

Lastly, even with the best device at your ear, there will be some places where a decent cell signal is elusive! If that makes you uncomfortable, think about a SPOT Satellite Messenger. We met a couple on the road that keep one with them for emergency communication when they travel since one of them had a medical condition.
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:25 PM   #19
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Took a trip shortly after getting my truck so I had the 3 months of AT&T in truck, wife had Verizon we have had it since before it was Verizon. I just recently switched to T Mobile because Verizon didn’t work where I hunted. Between the 3 mostly between the phones we had service 95% of the time. Now we spent 4 days at Diamond Lake OR with absolutely no service. Even the hard line at campground was out
Interesting. We spent a week at Diamond Lake, Verizon worked fine.
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:35 PM   #20
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Verizon just is not cutting it out on the biways! Do I need to think Satellite? On the same plain what about WIFI?

thx Diego
Verizon is the best your going to get traveling. I had a AT&T and a Verizon phone at the same time for several years. Verizon was much better in rural areas (in Western US).
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