Montana area - Chinook Wireless and iPhone

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by kermit4161, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. kermit4161 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #1
    Hi,

    I just learned that Chinook Wireless will allow an iPhone on their network. They are based out of Montana and are new in my area (northern Wyo). I think they are using Cingular towers... but are not AT&T.

    Does anyone out there have experience with them? How is reception, etc?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #2
    Chinook Wireless and the iPhone

    Kermit4161,

    I am a rep for Chinook Wireless, and had the pleasure of using the iphone for the past 2 months. Not only is it one of the greatest phones I have used, but it works really well on our network (I am not just saying that because I work for them). The reception was crystal-clear, and the functions that the iPhone uses work very well. The only one that will not work on our system, is the visual voicemail. That is because that function is an AT&T exclusive, and will not work on any network. Make sure you when you purchase your phone, you are able to use the jailbreak program, to allow 3rd party applications, and our sim card to work.

    What I would do first, is go down to the store in Sheridan, and talk to the reps down there about the coverage. That way you can be sure that you would want to use our service.

    We are not affiliated with Cingular financially, but we do use their towers for roaming purposes. We are a local GSM company, and have our own network, and towers.

    Thanks!
     
  3. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #3
    Hi Chinookie,

    Thanks. I stopped down this afternoon to double check on coverage and plans what plans are available. I understand that new plan pricing will be coming around the first of the month? I'm trying to figure out exactly what type of plan to get right now.

    I'm pretty much sold on getting the iPhone and a Chinook account. Now I just have to get my phone ordered.

    Cheers
     
  4. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a

    OCDMacGeek

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #4
    I recently moved to Montana from Chicago and had to cancel AT&T because I was roaming on Chinook's network 100% of the time. (They told me I would be cancelled eventually so I went ahead and just cancelled.) I still have the iPhone and would love to use Chinook, except the data rates are just too expensive!

    Its $50/month for data alone, and that is only local! If you travel at all, you will be absolutely robbed at $0.015 kbyte. That adds up really quickly -- trust me.

    If they get some new plans in that are more affordable, I will be all over it. For now I'll just have to do without the iPhone.
     
  5. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #5
    Chinook Data Package

    Shahidhaque,

    The data package that you need for your iPhone, is $29.99. Its a brand new data package, made exclusively for smartphones. Ask your local Chinook Wireless rep about it, and they can add that on there, and take off the $50 package. As far as roaming goes, the rates are higher because we are a local Montana company, and not a national carrier. Changes are in the works though, so keep an eye out....
     
  6. mt7425 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #6
    Missoula coverage

    Chinookie,

    How is your coverage in Missoula? Additionaly what does a SIM card cost, and where do you get them?
     
  7. TheBeav macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #7
    Chinook Wireless

    Chinookie,

    Just curious how long you have been working with Chinook, and what your thoughts are of them as an employer.

    Thanks,

    TheBeav
     
  8. BRussell macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    #8
    Big changes - I'll say. Chinook Wireless just changed its name to CellularOne. :confused:
     
  9. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #9
    Coverage in Missoula

    Coverage in Missoula is really good, our engineering dept is located there, so we have to have good coverage. SIM cards, if you already have a plan, replacement charges are $15. You can't just go into a store and purchase a SIM card, because it won't be activated with a number or able to receive a signal.
     
  10. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #10
    Beav,

    I have been with Chinook, now Cellular One, since November of 2006. I love working for this company, and that is no joke. This is my first sales job, and it does take some getting used to, but overall its great. I just got back from a cruise in the Mexican Riviera, that the company paid for, for the top 4 sales associates. So that wasn't too bad!:D
     
  11. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #11
    BRussell,

    The name change was completely cosmetic, nothing else. We now offer a very good selection of rate plans that have nationwide built into them. My favorite is the National One Ultimate (1000 Anytime Minutes, Unlimited Nights and Weekends, Unlimited Mobile to Mobile, Unlimited Text Messaging, Unlimited Picture and Video Messaging, and Spillover Minutes, plus you can add on companions lines for $9.99). :eek:
     
  12. oldimac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #12
    Hi Chinookie - do you guys cover the Miles City / Terry /Glendive area or is that Mid Rivers exclusively?

    Thanks:D
     
  13. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #13
    I remember Chinook running ads a few months ago that were boasting having the iPhone on their network legitimately, due to the fact that AT&T didn't have service in this area. They eventually dropped the campaign (likely because it was complete rubbish). To clarify, you can use the iPhone on any GSM network, and there's no special deal between Apple/AT&T and Chinook. In the end, you have to unlock your phone and void the warranty just as with any other non-AT&T GSM carrier.

    One thing I'd like to point out is that T-Mobile has perfect coverage here, and unlike AT&T, they won't give you the boot if you roam for 100% of your minutes. There are quite a few benefits to using T-Mobile as well- lower data rates for one ($19.99 for unlimited EDGE and HotSpots), and free roaming. Chinook's main fault is that they are so local that roaming really adds up, unless you live 100% in Montana/Wyoming. Now, this may have changed with the Cellular One changeover, I'm not sure.

    The only reason I'd sign up with Chinook would be if you're a fan of supporting local economy. However, now that they are essentially a Cellular One branch, I'm pretty sure that's gone out the window.

    I've used AT&T, Chinook, Alltell, and T-Mobile here in Montana, and I can say with total certainty that T-Mobile is the best solution for using an iPhone.
     
  14. oldimac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
  15. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #15
    Bozeman, to be exact.
     
  16. TheBeav macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #16
    Thanks for the feedback, and congratulations on the making it on to the cruise!! Keep up the good work.

    TheBeav
     
  17. iTeen macrumors 65816

    iTeen

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Washington
    #17
    wow this makes me mad....
    people in montana can have an iphone but here in washington....nope...
    (i am in a town of 10,000)
     
  18. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #18
    Is there no GSM provider in your area?
     
  19. oldimac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #19
    Hey iTeen, Terry, Montana (500 people) had DSL 3 years before Taos, New Mexico (only 70 miles from the capital of Santa Fe).

    And to have an iPhone I have to unlock to get on T-Mobile - no ATT here.:p

    Bummer I say - oh, well. Lots of help on this forum if you want to take a chance and hack an iPhone. It'll work on any GSM carrier otherwise, ya, bummer!
     
  20. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #20
    Your reference to T-Mobile having perfect coverage here, is due to the fact that T-Mobile is roaming off of OUR towers. We are the only licensed GSM carrier for the state of Montana. If you look at their website, and enter Montana on the coverage map, it comes up with T-Mobile Roaming Coverage. That is due to their roaming agreement with Cellular One.

    As for having the iPhone, we ran the ads because you could use an iphone on our network. Nowhere in the ad did it mention that we carried the iphone or sold it in our stores. AT&T is the only place that you can walk into a retail store and purchase an iphone to use immediately. The iphone that I was using, was an unlocked one, and that worked extremely well on our network.

    The change to Cellular One, was just to use the name, kind of like a franchise. We are not affiliated with the Cellular One that runs CDMA. We are still the same owners, same management, and (obviously) same sales staff. The plans have changed, now they offer roaming built-in to the plans.

    Any cell company has a rule about using the phone off of the home network. It is usually referred to as the "50% Rule". Which means that 50% of the minutes need to be used on the home network. So if you were on a 1000 minute plan, you would have to use 500 minutes on their network, not their roaming partners.

    I hope that these responses answered your questions.
     
  21. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #21
    OldiMac,

    We cover just the Miles City area, unfortunately. Mid Rivers would be your best bet if you live in the Terry area. Plus, they are a CDMA carrier, and our network is not compatible with them. I hope that answers your question.
     
  22. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #22
    Indeed.

    However, If you ask any T-Mobile CSR, they'll tell you that they have no 50% Rule. In fact, you can check for yourself in their Terms and Conditions. AT&T (and most wireless carriers) have this rule stated clearly in their contract, which is why they can legally dismiss you as a customer for violating it. No presence in the contract equates to no customer liability.

    T-Mobile does license Chinook towers. In fact, right now my iPhone says "Chinook" in the carrier window. However, this does not change the fact that I'm a T-Mobile customer.

    Actually, I think your points help to reinforce what I'm saying- Why use the same towers and pay more with less flexibility and mobility?


    ...And I'm still not so sure about the legality of running those iPhone ads. Two questions: Why aren't any other GSM providers running ads touting "iPhone Compatible!", and where did the Chinook ones go?
     
  23. Chinookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #23
    I am not one to argue on this, but you are wrong. I said that T-Mobile is not licensed in Montana, so they have an agreement with us to use our towers. Thats why your phone reads Chinook and not T-Mobile.

    I just got off the phone with T-Mobile and they audit accounts every 3 months and if you are using towers other than their own, then you can't use them more than 80% of the time. If you do, they can and will terminate your service agreement.
     
  24. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #24
    Having been a T-Mobile customer in Montana for the past 8 months, I'll venture to say your CSR was misinformed.

    And again, you're completely right about T-Mobile using Chinook towers. My phone says Chinook, yet I pay T-Mobile. I am using Chinook's towers, but am not a Chinook customer. I think that's about as clearly as it can be put.

    Thanks for your input, Chinookie. I think there's enough info here for potential Montana iPhone users to make their own decisions.
     
  25. mobilemt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    #25
    A Whole Lotta Misconsceptions

    For potential iPhone customers in Montana, there is NO good choice. T-Mobile/AT&T are both roaming on Chinookular One (as i call it). Chinookular One is honestly terrible. They get no service in so many places it is not even funny. Hopefully AT&T sweeps them up soon!

    But anyways, as far as the iPhone goes. First of all, the process of getting the iPhone to work on Chinook is far FAR more complicated than Chinookie makes it sound. Jailbreaking has NOTHING to do with unlocking. They are two entirely separate processes, which he/she has done neither of since it was apparently given to some associates pre-unlocked. I've gone through all the processes and hooked it up on Chinook. Until recently, Chinook has been rediculously overpriced for data and so i have not set my data up yet. If you decide to go over to Chinookular One and need help unlocking or jailbreaking your phone or any other ways of hacking your phone, let me know.

    As far as the T-Mobile ordeal goes, it used to offer 100% roaming, but has now began cracking down on consistant roamers and cutting them off. Chinookie was wrong in saying it is 80%, that is AT&T's policy.

    I'm just glad I'll be moving to LA soon, and can escape sucky Chinookular One.
     

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