How Good is Verizon in Rural Area?

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
26
To you verizon folks,

how good is it in rural areas? I've been with ATT for 15 years and overall they've been solid but the reception in my office is pretty abysmal. I had to buy a microcell because the only way i could get service without it would be next to the window, even then it would be one bar.

Some stretches of highway my phone would show bars but i would be unable to make a call or surf the web.

I recently went to Orlando to golf and the place we stayed, omnihotels, also had trouble pulling down bars inside. Once we were on the course we could get 3-4 but inside our rooms, 1-2 bars. The year previous to this, our family went down to NC and we were unable to get ANY bars in the house.

I would have made the switch to verizon a long time ago but our company was able to negotiate a clause in our contract that allows us to cancel our lines without any etf, regardless of the time remaining. Just hesitating on whether or not thats worth giving up (i guess its a moot point though if i never leave att. it does give me the option to get new phones on new lines though).

also, my work is eligible for a discount on verizon service but is it discount only applied to the voice portion of the bill? 17% of the 69.99 or 99.99 plans is not that much than 6%-8% off the whole bill. Is there any way to get a discount on the whole bill rather than just the voice part?

Any thoughts?
 

Arnezie

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
1,304
103
Completely and entirely dependent on your location in relation to the towers.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
32
I'm not sure where you're located, but i've been getting good signal with AT&T in orlando. It seems that you probably would get signal with verizon since verizon generally has more coverage than AT&T
 

kfergiez

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2010
276
1
I have no idea what it's like down south, but up in Montana, Verizon is pretty much the only choice. AT&T does have coverage, but it's terrible.
For a while, it was Verizon and Alltel, but then AT&T bought Alltel.

Anyway, for the rural areas up here, it's great.
 

alex2792

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
764
2,130
Verizon has the best coverage,not the fastest 3G but I've never come across an area that wasn't covered in all my travels.
 

antman2295

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2010
366
1
Question, do you have an iPhone 4S? Reason I'm asking is because the "smart antenna" could help with your issues of bad coverage. I personally have noticed better service with the 4S, and faster data speeds than even the "true HSPA+ phones" My 4S has more bars, AND WAY BETTER SPEED compared to the 3GS, and still does better than my dads HTC Inspire 4G. Just thought I'd share a suggestion.

BTW At&t has pretty good coverage in the mid west.
 

theturtle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 3, 2009
572
26
Question, do you have an iPhone 4S? Reason I'm asking is because the "smart antenna" could help with your issues of bad coverage. I personally have noticed better service with the 4S, and faster data speeds than even the "true HSPA+ phones" My 4S has more bars, AND WAY BETTER SPEED compared to the 3GS, and still does better than my dads HTC Inspire 4G. Just thought I'd share a suggestion.

BTW At&t has pretty good coverage in the mid west.
Yup a 4s.

It does seem to overall get better reception but still seems weaker against my Verizon peers. Maybe its the areas that im frequenting. ATT also seems to have trouble penetrating buildings on my campus.

When it comes to speed, ATT is no doubt the winner. I pull down about 8mpbs. Its just the few areas that I travel, I get issues (even on certain parts of the highway).
 

Ksizzle9

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2011
566
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

I can confirm, the Verizon coverage in the south is outstanding. From Knoxville, Tn to El paso, TX. I've traveled that in a short trip, and never lost 3G once. Of course, lots of I-40 and I-10. But everywhere I've been down here it's been outstanding.
 

sammjordan

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2009
104
17
It really depends on your particular area. On the whole, Verizon seems to have the most thorough coverage of the 3 iPhone carriers, but your experiences will vary. Best bet would be to borrow a friend's phone who has verizon, or open a line and try their 30 day satisfaction guarantee (or is it 15 day?)
 

nizmoz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,410
0
Verizon has the best coverage,not the fastest 3G but I've never come across an area that wasn't covered in all my travels.
In Texas Verizon has many dead areas out west vs AT&T which has great coverage here.
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2011
1,231
42
In most cases, Verizon is going to have the best coverage of any carrier in rural areas. Here in North Carolina, it's fantastic.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
I've had mixed experiences with Verizon rural coverage.

I've had AT&T since the orig. iPhone came out in 2007. With the iPhone 4s, I switched to Verizon, as a month before, I broke my Jeep off-road in a rural area of NC (that I'm frequently in) where AT&T has zero signal. Others in my group with Verizon had 3-4 bars and were able to google some info for me, and call to get my Jeep towed. Verizon rural coverage there really saved the day, enough for me to switch from AT&T.

This Christmas, I went with my roommate up to the Bethlehem/Nazareth areas of PA (and across the river in rural NJ) and ran into many areas where Verizon dropped down to 1-2 bars and dropped calls constantly. Data also often dropped from 3G down to that stupid "o", which I swear is 100x slower than EDGE on AT&T. My roommate had an iPhone 4s on AT&T and had no problems in those areas.

So like everyone says, it's really dependent on specific locations. I've always known that. However, I was still pretty surprised how bad Verizon was around those areas. :(
 

hexonxonx

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2007
4,610
1
Denver Colorado
So like everyone says, it's really dependent on specific locations. I've always known that. However, I was still pretty surprised how bad Verizon was around those areas. :(
For sure! I don't get 3G in my own house and can drop every call I try to make. IN fact, it takes sometimes 10 tries just to get a call to go through while I am at home here in this huge city of Denver. I leave the house and drive a block away and I get 2Mbps downloads.
 

Apple2012

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2012
2
0
Verizon or AT&T

At the Apple Store the rule of thumb we go by is that Verizon has a larger footprint, but AT&T has better data within its footprint. Verizon has better coverage in most rural areas around here.

The reason is that CDMA (Verizon) requires fewer antennas to cover a greater area and AT&T must put up more for the same area. This technical limitation hits AT&T in the rural areas because it takes more $$ to cover the areas with limited population. In cities, they get slammed because they have to put up more towers and there are more NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) complainers or city codes that they have to deal with. But when they do have coverage, the service is great.
 

iceterminal

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2008
1,870
27
Dallas Tx.
Question, do you have an iPhone 4S? Reason I'm asking is because the "smart antenna" could help with your issues of bad coverage. I personally have noticed better service with the 4S, and faster data speeds than even the "true HSPA+ phones" My 4S has more bars, AND WAY BETTER SPEED compared to the 3GS, and still does better than my dads HTC Inspire 4G. Just thought I'd share a suggestion.

BTW At&t has pretty good coverage in the mid west.
We live just outside of Dallas area. And at home my 4 will get anywhere from 1 to 4 bars depending on what part of the house I'm in. LOL
However, my son has a new 4S. We can stand next to each other and I'll have 2 bars and he'll have full bars. So we can 'see' a difference, however so far we're both able to make calls fine regardless.
 

hexonxonx

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2007
4,610
1
Denver Colorado
We live just outside of Dallas area. And at home my 4 will get anywhere from 1 to 4 bars depending on what part of the house I'm in. LOL
However, my son has a new 4S. We can stand next to each other and I'll have 2 bars and he'll have full bars. So we can 'see' a difference, however so far we're both able to make calls fine regardless.
Bars mean nothing. Not even sure why phones still have them other than to make us feel better.

All day Saturday while at home, I had 3-4 bars. Couldn't make a call. Today, Sunday morning, 3-4 bars, all my calls have gone through. Again this is at home. Outside, I have no problems with the same amount of bars.
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
393
Bars mean nothing. Not even sure why phones still have them other than to make us feel better.

All day Saturday while at home, I had 3-4 bars. Couldn't make a call. Today, Sunday morning, 3-4 bars, all my calls have gone through. Again this is at home. Outside, I have no problems with the same amount of bars.
saying bars mean nothing is a pretty bold statement. Not that I doubt you but now you've sparked my curiosity. Care to link us to any more info as to why bars mean nothing?

______________________________


To the OP: I live in bfe Ohio. I'd say it's pretty rural being that I can walk to the closest cornfield.

My signal is great all over this state.
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
393
Ah Okay.

While the link you posted is dated about 4.5 years ago, I did some other looking and basically found that there's no real industry standard for signal bars so it's at the discretion of the manufacturer to determine what the bars mean.

While that in iteself doesn't make them "worthless" it does make the variance too big to depend on.
 

hexonxonx

macrumors 601
Jul 4, 2007
4,610
1
Denver Colorado
Ah Okay.

While the link you posted is dated about 4.5 years ago, I did some other looking and basically found that there's no real industry standard for signal bars so it's at the discretion of the manufacturer to determine what the bars mean.

While that in iteself doesn't make them "worthless" it does make the variance too big to depend on.
And we saw in the past with Apple, that with the 3GS a few years ago and a firmware update supposedly showing real signal strength using those bars, we know that they can make those signal bars show us what we want to see, more bars making us feel better.
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
393
And we saw in the past with Apple, that with the 3GS a few years ago and a firmware update supposedly showing real signal strength using those bars, we know that they can make those signal bars show us what we want to see, more bars making us feel better.
yep. What a crock!

Oh well...
 

iceterminal

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2008
1,870
27
Dallas Tx.
Bars mean nothing. Not even sure why phones still have them other than to make us feel better.

All day Saturday while at home, I had 3-4 bars. Couldn't make a call. Today, Sunday morning, 3-4 bars, all my calls have gone through. Again this is at home. Outside, I have no problems with the same amount of bars.
Right. This is kind of what I was saying as well. The 4S has more bars than my 4, but our calls were still the same.