NOVA/DC Area - iPhone Users Signal strength

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CTK2651, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. CTK2651 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #1
    Deciding on the iPhone, but my real concern is AT&T (currently Verizon). How's the call quality, signal strength, and dropped calls. Are there dead areas around DC and Northern Virginia? Outside of the subway tunnels, is the AT&T signal strength good? Edge speed? Thanks! :apple:
     
  2. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #2
    Similar concerns here - Annapolis/Baltimore, specifically. Verizon is flawless in this area - what about ATT?
     
  3. ErnestS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #3
    Switched from Verizon

    I live in Northern VA (Reston area), and I made the switch to AT&T with the iPhone. To be completely honest, I am dissapointed with the AT&T service and coverage. I used to have strong coverage both indoors and outdoors with Verizon, and have noticed that AT&T's coverage is much more spotty. Additionally, I don't know if this is just a GSM thing, but the signal seems a lot more fickle, even in areas with strong signals.

    Despite all this, I am very happy with the iPhone. The user interface and functionality make up for the lack of coverage (at least in my opinion).

    It's a tough decision to make. If possible, find someone who has an iPhone or AT&T service and see if they can spend an hour with you examining the signal in your area. Hell, if you're close to the Reston area, let me know ... I'd be happy to meet with you and check the signal.
     
  4. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #4
    That's a little disheartening.

    I mainly want the phone for e-mail and Web, but I sure don't want spotty coverage.

    Not ready to pay Verizon $175 to slip the noose yet.

    Really a shame Verizon couldn't work with Apple or vice-versa. They have such a solid network.
     
  5. CTK2651 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #5
    Thanks ErnestS...

    I know several folks who live in McLean and Alexandria (work in DC) and say they have no coverage / signal problem with AT&T (no iPhone). There is one person who lives in Chantilly and purchased an iPhone and says no issues (coming from T-mobile). Should satisfy my concerns, but hear comments like yours and read other comments 'bout spotty coverage, lost of signal, etc and wonder. Wonder also if it's only an iPhone issue?

    Small world...am in Herndon. Thanks for the offer.
     
  6. davechen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    #6
    I live in Bethesda and haven't had any signal problems. I've been around Bethesda and Rockville, and it's been fine.

    AT&T seems better than my previous experience with Sprint. Before I couldn't get any signal in my office, which is in the basement. But now I can get 4 bars at work.
     
  7. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #7
    I am a little bit father down in Fredericksburg. So far my signal strength has been about the same as it was with Sprint. Pretty good around town. Although near Quantico it can get fuzzy. I am supposed to be visiting my parents in VA BCH some time soon, and I will get to test it on the ride home.
     
  8. PennState4Ever macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #8
    Hi!

    I live in NoVa and have used the iPhone through the DC region with no problems. 4 bars in most places.
     
  9. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #9
    I used my mom's AT&T phone (I use a regional carrier) when I was at USNA last summer, and it worked perfectly well - I had no complaints.
     
  10. eddietr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    #10
    I've had AT&T, then Cingular, now AT&T for years, primarily because of intl roaming on gsm. My experience has been spotty coverage in herndon and Reston, particularly western parts of Reston. But great coverage in Chantilly, Fairfax, up through merrifield. Coverage in Alexandria is better than verizon. But verizon is better in herndon where I used to live.

    Among gsm phones, the iPhone has better signal than my last phone, the blackjack.
     
  11. sandalxcore macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #11
    i live in arlington (clarendon) and have been impressed with the service. i used to have verizon which was equally as strong. i have gone all over arlington county/alexandria and not noticed any weakness in signal. i cant speak for the rest of NOVA. also i have not noticed too many problems in DC, i work downtown/chinatown. i do wish for cell service in the metro, but i hear that plans to get more cell providers service in the metro is in the works (i'm not holding my breathe though)
     
  12. damado macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #12
    I used to work at Andrews AFB and commute to Alexandria. There's one spot just north of the WW bridge (1/2-1 mile) where I'd drop calls 90% of the time. It was really annoying. Other than that it was usually ok.

    Now in Miami though, it's awesome =P
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    Have no problems out in the "open". But in my apartment I found that it was best to use a BT headset and keep the iPhone in certain areas to insure proper signal strength. But with Jawbone headset that has not been an issue.... actually prefer the BT headset....
     
  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #14
    I've been all around NoVA w/ the iPhone in my car w/ BT kit...Arlington, Tysons, Sterling, Leesburg, and I consistently get 4-5 bars.
     
  15. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Wash DC suburbs
    #15
    I had verizon and probably the best thing is how well it worked in the DC metro...haven't tried the iphone there but up here in suburban MD it works great.
     
  16. CTK2651 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #16
    Sobe ..

    No cellular carriers should work inside Metro except Verizon, since they wired the system many years ago. That may change down the road, but for now if you're underground it's Verizon or nothing.
     
  17. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #17
    Thanks for that.

    I work right across Spa Creek from the academy...
     
  18. KenF macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #18
    You shouldn't have any reception issues talking outside (or in your car on major highways, interstates) with any provider in DC Metro. You can use your iPhone outside just about anywhere and expect 3-4 bars. What differentiates the providers is reception and service in stores, shopping malls, underground parking lots, and on the metro.

    Unfortunately, in my experience, Sprint and Verizon are the only providers that provide consistent coverage and service across the DC and N. VA area in those areas. Verizon and Sprint were about the same for me, probably because they roam on each others' networks, but AT&T and TMobile were both substantial drop off.

    As others have noted, you won't get reliable underground metro reception throughout much of the area unless you're on Verizon or Sprint. Since both agreed to EVDO roaming last fall, you are pretty much guaranteed fast, reliable coverage with high-speed data on Sprint and Verizon, assuming your phone or pda has a recent PRL.

    As always, service quality will vary depending on where you use your phone most and the proximity of those locations to the nearest cell tower. If you live or work across the street from an AT&T tower, then obviously your reception in that location is going to be good.
     
  19. CTK2651 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #19
    If it was just me switching, I might take a chance, but to switch 4 of us to a service provider who may or may not provide consistent reception inside ... which is where my teens will be ... malls, starbucks, etc. I dunno... :confused:
     
  20. Manatee macrumors 6502

    Manatee

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #20
    The AT&T service works great at my house, near Bailey's Crossroads. Verizon has a dead spot in my neighborhood, but all other carriers work well there.

    I'm getting four bars on the iPhone at my office in Rosslyn, so that's good.

    I was in Rock Creek Park yesterday, at Pierce Mill, and got "No Service". That's disappointing, but the park is notorious for poor signal.

    I imagine the AT&T coverage will be poor out in the country, where I go bicycling on the weekends -- areas outside of Leesburg, Middleburg, Warrenton, and so forth. T-Mobile is very weak out there, so I'm expecting the same from AT&T. I always carry my Verizon phone when I'm out in those parts. It's the only service that has coverage "out in the sticks."
     
  21. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #21
    I've used AT&T/Cingular up here in nova for the past three years and never had a problem with coverage. I switched to the iphone last friday and so far see no problems.

    I have only found two completly dead spots: 1 in Vienna near Laywers and Gunnell Farms Rd and the other in Annandale on Guinea Rd between Little River and Braddock Rd. (Only drops for a minute or so).

    The Vienna dead spot is due to a lack of a tower and neighbors not wanting to allow access to get to the spot where one can be put up (My Aunt who lives there is livid since Sprint doesn't work there either)

    You should also note there is no service on the subway like with verizon but that has never been a big deal for me. I've essentially never had a reason to switch to something else these past three years and have been in most part happy.
     
  22. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #22
    Or Sprint with Roaming turned on.
     
  23. CTK2651 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #23
    It's funny, if you talk to Verizon users 'bout coverage and service in the greater DC (including NOVA) it's generally positive (signal/service). But w/ ATT I generally get mixed results between forum chatter, consumer reports, and other folks around the office.

    Just talked to another girl in my office who has ATT for 2+ years and has no complaints. Lives in Vienna, travels the area and east coast and would never switch. She lives on her phone and in her recollection has only had 1 dropped call and never noticed a "no service" except w/i Metro.
     
  24. KenF macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #24
    Did you ask her about reception in shopping centers, grocery stores, underground parking garages, the metro, etc?

    I've met people that for some reason or another, seem to believe that reception should be limited or non-existent when in the subway, in Costco, or in some underground parking lot. They don't realize that the lack of reception in these areas is often the fault of their carrier, or in some cases, even their phone.

    I am a bit frustrated because I can't get AT&T reception in my office. I switched from Verizon to AT&T so I could get the Blackberry Curve, only to find I had to switch back because there was no signal.
     
  25. tribe3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Vienna, VA - USA
    #25
    I live in Vienna, VA and commute to Andrews AFB (upper Marlboro, MD). I have good signal all over the place.

    I've had Cingular (now AT&T) for 5 years (4 phones family plan) and I'm happy overall.

    One thing I do notice against the iphone is that my RAZR that I passed along to my daughter picked up signals better in my basement
     

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