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Old Sep 23, 2007, 10:02 AM   #1
EyesOnly
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Marshall, MN
Midwest iPhone Users.. I need some advice.

I live in SW Minnesota, and I would really like to use an iPhone. According to the coverage, where I live (Marshall, MN) is listed in the "Partner" area. I read that getting the National Roaming plan will allow you to piggyback off other towers without having to worry about termination, and I dont have an issue getting that plan. I just need to know if anyone has used an iphone in this part of the state and can confirm that I can acutally make and receive calls with it. I know AT&T has a 30 day cancellation policay, and I can return the phone minus a 10% restocking fee, but its still a big hassle I would rather avoid.

Thanks
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 10:38 AM   #2
sanford
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyesOnly View Post
I live in SW Minnesota, and I would really like to use an iPhone. According to the coverage, where I live (Marshall, MN) is listed in the "Partner" area. I read that getting the National Roaming plan will allow you to piggyback off other towers without having to worry about termination, and I dont have an issue getting that plan. I just need to know if anyone has used an iphone in this part of the state and can confirm that I can acutally make and receive calls with it. I know AT&T has a 30 day cancellation policay, and I can return the phone minus a 10% restocking fee, but its still a big hassle I would rather avoid.

Thanks

Hmm. I'm an ATT customer, and being such, the details as far as I know, all iPhone plans are Nation plans, which include roaming anywhere in the US, (Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, too, I think but not really of regular significance for you I bet), and if the roaming happens to be on a "partner" network, they pay the leased tower time for your calls -- although ATT much prefers first-party coverage because they hate to lease, they will lease.

I can't find an ATT store within 50 miles of your location, so no help there. The best suggestion I can offer barring someone on ATT in your area is, find out who the partner is, then find someone you know locally who is on the partner's first-party plan and see how their voice and EDGE service is. (Some partner coverage is voice-only, no EDGE, so be sure and check. You may be fine living without EDGE and just using WiFI but you should know going in.) Your buddy's coverage on the partner's first-party service should be the same as your ATT coverage on the partner's network, as ATT will just their network. If you can't find anyone, call the partner and get details about their coverage in your locale. Call as if you're thinking about signing up with them, not ATT. Don't mention the iPhone.

Ahh, I just checked the maps and looks like no EDGE in your area, and this note pertaining to partner coverage:

"The areas shown as an orange stripped pattern represent the coverage of unaffiliated carriers and should have sufficient signal strength for on-street or in-the-open coverage, *but may not have it for in-vehicle coverage or in-building coverage* (not good). *Excessive use of Partner coverage may subject your service to early termination, in accordance with your service terms* (real bad). *Data services may not be available.* (as I mentioned above)."

So, basically, I can go spend a week in your town and make calls while I'm there and that's reasonable use of partner coverage, and there are no roaming chagres. But I can't live there and use the phone there all the time. Unless you drive to M/St. Paul for work and spend most of your phone time there, I say you're headed for trouble with this one.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 10:50 AM   #3
sanford
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Since I like you Minnesotans so much -- really, I do -- I check T-Mobile's coverage for the area too. You're right on the line between T-Mobile roaming -- no or very weak EDGE; weak-ish voice -- and expanded 850 MHz coverage -- no EDGE, nasty weak voice. No reserve-the-right to terminate notice that I saw, but doesn't mean it's not buried somewhere. Also most handsets don't support the 850 MHz band at all. I don't know, but I bet iPhone doesn't.

This means even if you go the nefarious unlocking route, your only other carrier choice is T-Mobile (iPhones are GSM and there's only ATT and T-Mo on GSM) and their coverage is just as bad. Please also tell me if you spoke with an ATT rep and this National Roaming plan is a tack-on service to the normal Nation plans' free roaming, a tack-on which allows for a fee unlimited use in partner coverage areas without risk of termination. If so, at least you'd know if you sign up for that, you might have terrible service but you wouldn't get kicked off for using it all the time.

I'm afraid, sir, you may push-to-talk. If I can drum up any other options for you I will post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EyesOnly View Post
I live in SW Minnesota, and I would really like to use an iPhone. According to the coverage, where I live (Marshall, MN) is listed in the "Partner" area. I read that getting the National Roaming plan will allow you to piggyback off other towers without having to worry about termination, and I dont have an issue getting that plan. I just need to know if anyone has used an iphone in this part of the state and can confirm that I can acutally make and receive calls with it. I know AT&T has a 30 day cancellation policay, and I can return the phone minus a 10% restocking fee, but its still a big hassle I would rather avoid.

Thanks
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 10:51 AM   #4
EyesOnly
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Marshall, MN
thanks

Thanks for your help, I guess I'll just hold off and hope AT&T rolls coverage into this area soon.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 11:25 AM   #5
sanford
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Originally Posted by EyesOnly View Post
Thanks for your help, I guess I'll just hold off and hope AT&T rolls coverage into this area soon.
This would be the best plan, I think. I live in urban squalor -- oh I literally have scars from a couple muggings, sir, one of which was more a multi-bad-guy attempt kidnap/murder than a mugging -- and often dream of the Land O' Lakes or similar, but there are trade-offs everywhere. Personally I think you're better off in such geography waiting on an iPhone than where I live with an iPhone and excellent coverage.

I checked your profile, you don't list your age, but I'm old enough to remember the big ATT break-up anti-monopoly action by the US government. And ever since then, accelerating lately at a rapid rate, ATT has been trying to piece back together their former total dominance of American telecommunications. Frightening for some, beneficial for you, as they are trying get first-party coverage in every nook and cranny of this country as fast as possible.

I suggest enlisting a few of your friends and all of you call ATT every week and tell them, "It's aboat time you covered voice and EDGE in Marshall, MN, as we need to coordinate our daily luncheons at the boofay on iPhones". Repeat until you get good coverage out there.

Stupid thing is, we have stellar coverage here in Dallas: 190kpbs EDGE speeds, even from inside our townhouse which has some whacko radio interference (read, old guy with ancient shortwave set bleeding signal all over the spectrum) around it. But besides mine, my wife's and at an Apple Store, I just saw my first other iPhone in the wild last night. People don't pick up on things too fast around here.

p.s. I couldn't resist the phonetically spelled accent gag. I hope I didn't offend you. I really do love MN. I was once in love with a girl whose sister had met and married a man in M/St. Paul, relocating to be with him. The worst part of my break-up with that girl was that I no longer had regular excuses to visit with MN with nice, free lodging and total access to her brother-in-law's powerboat. Really, this guy was so nice he would have had me up a few times a year, even after the family-ish sort of connections were gone, just like almost all the Minnesotans I met on my trips. But I wasn't sure about the diplomacy of doing that.

p.p.s. Like I said, if I think of a workaround, I'll let you know. I wouldn't buy an iPod touch if you're holding out for an iPhone -- totally redundant the touch, with few features even -- and there's not much sense activating an iPhone with ATT and just never using the phone/date features while paying $60 a month for the minimum plan.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 11:59 AM   #6
EyesOnly
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Marshall, MN
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanford View Post
This would be the best plan, I think. I live in urban squalor -- oh I literally have scars from a couple muggings, sir, one of which was more a multi-bad-guy attempt kidnap/murder than a mugging -- and often dream of the Land O' Lakes or similar, but there are trade-offs everywhere. Personally I think you're better off in such geography waiting on an iPhone than where I live with an iPhone and excellent coverage.

I checked your profile, you don't list your age, but I'm old enough to remember the big ATT break-up anti-monopoly action by the US government. And ever since then, accelerating lately at a rapid rate, ATT has been trying to piece back together their former total dominance of American telecommunications. Frightening for some, beneficial for you, as they are trying get first-party coverage in every nook and cranny of this country as fast as possible.

I suggest enlisting a few of your friends and all of you call ATT every week and tell them, "It's aboat time you covered voice and EDGE in Marshall, MN, as we need to coordinate our daily luncheons at the boofay on iPhones". Repeat until you get good coverage out there.

Stupid thing is, we have stellar coverage here in Dallas: 190kpbs EDGE speeds, even from inside our townhouse which has some whacko radio interference (read, old guy with ancient shortwave set bleeding signal all over the spectrum) around it. But besides mine, my wife's and at an Apple Store, I just saw my first other iPhone in the wild last night. People don't pick up on things too fast around here.

p.s. I couldn't resist the phonetically spelled accent gag. I hope I didn't offend you. I really do love MN. I was once in love with a girl whose sister had met and married a man in M/St. Paul, relocating to be with him. The worst part of my break-up with that girl was that I no longer had regular excuses to visit with MN with nice, free lodging and total access to her brother-in-law's powerboat. Really, this guy was so nice he would have had me up a few times a year, even after the family-ish sort of connections were gone, just like almost all the Minnesotans I met on my trips. But I wasn't sure about the diplomacy of doing that.

p.p.s. Like I said, if I think of a workaround, I'll let you know. I wouldn't buy an iPod touch if you're holding out for an iPhone -- totally redundant the touch, with few features even -- and there's not much sense activating an iPhone with ATT and just never using the phone/date features while paying $60 a month for the minimum plan.
Thanks for all your detailed work. I'm going to wait untill I can use it in my area without any problems or hacks. I'm sure the phone will be in rev. 2.0 by then and be even better. I had a pre-order in for the touch, but canceled it. After I had time to think about it, I realized its just wasnt worth it.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 12:10 PM   #7
sanford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EyesOnly View Post
Thanks for all your detailed work. I'm going to wait untill I can use it in my area without any problems or hacks. I'm sure the phone will be in rev. 2.0 by then and be even better. I had a pre-order in for the touch, but canceled it. After I had time to think about it, I realized its just wasnt worth it.
It's not, unless you want an iPhone-like platform to hack or add hacks to and one to be a stable iPhone.
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