Service on Oahu, Hawaii

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mikethebigo, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if there were a few people on here that could address the AT&T vs Verizon question for Hawaii. I am currently living on Oahu with an AT&T iPhone 4S. I get burst speeds up to 5-6mb/s down, 1-2mb/s up, but in a congested area like Waikiki I sometimes lose service all together due to network overload. AT&T hasn't deployed LTE out here yet, but now says it will "by the end of 2012."

    There was also a serious issue with AT&T during last year's Tsunami alert, and during this year's hail storm in Kailua. I work for the local Army hospital and network reliability during an emergency is incredibly important to me.

    So, does anyone have any experience with comparing the two services here? Is Verizon's 3G up to the task? Does it ever fail in high load situations? Is the LTE network out here as fast as on the mainland? Basically, if Verizon is fast and more reliable, I believe I will switch providers.

    TL;DR: On Oahu, which service is better?
     
  2. CSMchris376 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    While I cannot address Hawaii, I can address load issues on the mainland when it comes to cellular service. Many emergency agencies use various cellular carriers for their communications networks. I'm from Illinois, and the laptops in squads use a celluar service to maintain connectivity to the state's law enforcement network. During emergency situations, carriers can get overloaded. We learned a great deal from 9/11 about how carriers can lose networks when overloaded. Because of this, the FCC has mandated carriers to have options in place to handle communications. Mobile tower trucks, and identification of particular phones that get preference in connectivity during emergencies. It requires the entity to identify the emergency phones to the carriers for this to happen, as well as identifying areas that may need mobile towers. These were brought it for other heavy load situations such as political conventions. Most of this is for government entities.

    It may be difficult for personal phones to be identified as priorities in an emergency, however the entity you work for may be able to request it. You would have to check with them. It is supposed to be restricted to emergency communictions only. Hope that helps.
     
  3. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    #3
    Wait... there was a hail storm in Kailua? What the? :eek:
     
  4. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply! Believe it or not, what you're saying is the primary reason why I'm concerned. See the below article:

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/118514174.html?id=118514174

    AT&T was contracted by the Maui county government for emergency response use. The network completely crashed on the emergency workers and local leaders, leaving them only walkie talkies to use.

    The scariest thing is at the end of the article where AT&T says they plan to increase capacity through the (failed) T-Mobile purchase!

    I doubt my job is critical enough to warrant emergency status on the cell towers, which is why I'd rather pick the most reliable civilian system.
     
  5. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #5
    Yep! It happened in March. The hail was bigger than golf balls.
     
  6. kakwvu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #6
    I have an iPhone 4S on Oahu as well. Waikiki and such tourist areas tend to be the areas where I get the best service. I was at a friends place in the Ewa/Ewa Beach area this weekend and service was decent for the most part, but as soon as I hit the H1 East and went towards Pearl Harbor, my phone becomes unusable. My cousin lives in Waipahu, and my phone is more or less a brick there as well.

    I also saw the notice that AT&T would be transitioning to 4G LTE by the end of the year, but given how poor its 4G coverage is right now, I have no faith in their LTE coverage. I'm not aware if the different technologies broadcast further out than the other, but I know for certain that Verizon has stellar service on the island per all of my friends phones (4S and countless LTE enabled Android devices).

    I patiently await release date so I can switch.
     
  7. NastyNoble macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #7

    I have good reception on the whole island. I stay across from the airport always and I take several trips to Waikiki a week and I don't lose speeds and I have good speeds in Kaneohe and Ko Olina
     
  8. brentmore macrumors 6502

    brentmore

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    AT&T has been awful in every area but Waikiki. My current carrier, Verizon, is pretty good everywhere except for the strip on Kam between Dole and North Shore and in the Harano Tunnel.
     
  9. Sital macrumors 68000

    Sital

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    In my limited 10 day experience on Oahu in July, I experienced no problems with Verizon service/coverage. If there was any difference in speed versus on the mainland, I didn't notice it.
     
  10. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    #10
    Sorry, I didn't mean to derail the thread. I was at Camp Smith for 3 years and never saw weather like that.

    As for the phone, I was there from 89-92, so no cell service for me. I'm switching to Verizon here soon as Sprint sucks much badly for data speed.
     
  11. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #11
    I can't speak to Oahu specifically, however have been to Maui a fair amount of times in the last several years and get excellent service though AT&T, even up Haleakala and out the road to Hana. I'm fairly sure all carriers will experience problems in heavy natural disasters like you're describing, but people you know on the island might be more help. Good luck!
     
  12. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #12
    Do you use Verizon or AT&T?
     
  13. NastyNoble macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #13
    I use AT&T been with them since 2002
     
  14. kakwvu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #14
    LTE went live today. Not sure how it is today since I don't have any friends with LTE capable Android phones.
     
  15. wrecks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oahu
    #15
    On the voice side AT&T and Verizon is pretty good in the city and okay up north.

    Data wise AT&T has nothing to Verizon LTE service. I can't wait till AT&T turn on this service so I jumped shipped to Verizon.

    On my Verizon iPad I was getting 20down 19up.
     
  16. 808geek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #16
    I'll be visiting the Islands next month. So I'm hoping for the best with AT&T service. I'll mainly be in Waikiki but I'll be moving around the island as well. Last time I was there 6 years ago, my reception did alright. But all my family that lives there has Verizon, they say it's the best service.
     
  17. digital808 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    #17
    AT&T did launch LTE here on Oahu. It's limited to the Honolulu area though. I have the S3 and I also have a Verizon MiFi (Lte) and I must say the AT&T is pretty good right now. I'm not sure how the network will be once the iPhone 5 is released. Depending on your location, Verizon LTE IMO is faster.
     
  18. wrecks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oahu
    #18
    So they did. Still don't regret jumping ship, I travel to the mainland and in Asia a lot and Verizon has better LTE coverage.

    Here is the best speed I got on a AT&T iPad. Not to bad, but not better than Verizon. If I knew however they were going to turn on LTE I might have stayed with AT&T.... 60% chance to avoid my ETF.
     

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