Going Mobile

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–>GiftShoppeGuy has an entry about wireless service in and around Great Falls. Now, if you know me, you know that my cell phone is my precious baby – with me at all times, used dozens of time every day. Phone calls, of course, but also a camera (used to send pix instantly to the Flickr pages), texting, and of course surfing the web via the Mobile Web 2.0 feature (checking my e-mail, catching up on blogs, etc).
–>When I found out that I was moving here, back in 2002, the second thing that I did was find out what my cell phone options were, and quickly discovered that my choices were Verizon and Cellular One. I wasn’t too surprised to find that other national carriers – Sprint, T-Mobile, Cingular – didn’t have a presence in Great Falls yet. I signed up for Verizon before I left Texas, and then just had my number changed when I arrived here (same number still!). I’ve been with Verizon ever since then, and filled their coffers aplenty – at one time, I had five phones on the account (down to three now!); with two teenage girls in the house, I opted for an expensive many-minutes plan, rather than risk paying overage per-minute fees.
–>And contrary to the experiences of some others, I have been amazed at the service. I haven’t had a single dropped call, and I can count on one hand the number of times that the service has “hiccuped.” So it’s weird when I see TV commercials that brag about “fewest dropped calls” or complaints about too many dropped calls.
–>And I’m glad to see that we have more options here in Great Falls nowadays – national carrier Alltell is here, and regional Chinook Wireless is now part of the Cingular network, and there are some folks at Malmstrom who arrive here with Sprint service and keep it (and their old phone number, too).
–>So we have options – that’s a good thing. But for my money, there’s no reason to switch from Verizon – they’ve taken great care of me. Which reminds me…the “new phone itch” is really starting to need a scratch…almost time to upgrade again!
And FYI – pretty sure that Great Falls will be receiving “EVDO” high-speed service in a few months (some other MT communities already have it). Not earth-shattering news to most folks, but to geeks like me, that is way cool.
–>So what’s your story? Which service do you use? Are you happy with it?

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11 Comments

  1. Guess you already know about the service I have, and if I stay with the wireless, a definite switch is in order. Oh, and, AllTel “is” Cellular One, so folks might not notice a big difference there…

  2. Well as you can guess from my name, I move a lot. I had ATT/Cingular for 8 years until moving to Montana. Cingular gave me 6 months from the time I changed my address to get off their network and change my plan to another carrier (I wasn’t charged the early termination fee). It seems Alltel charges too much to leap frog off their towers…

  3. I’m with Chinook (previously 3 Rivers), and have been since we moved back here almost 6 years ago. Their coverage in our rural area is fantastic, and when I’ve had to call customer service, a real person answered the phone! I have family with Verizon, and have considered it, but they just don’t have the coverage that Chinook does across the Golden Triangle. The recent connection with Cingular is just another bonus, because now I can get nationwide service when we travel out of state. Apparently I can get a data plan as well (they’ve recently upgraded to a GSM network), but I can’t justify the addition; besides, I probably spend too much time online as it is 😉 .

  4. I agree with TMM on the Chinook service. We’ve been having great luck with it, and it is SO nice to talk to somebody almost immediately if you have a question. The data service is great too – I’m a web addict, and now I can surf through my phone! Keep up the great work Chinook!

  5. I’m still with Chinook. Though I was extremely dissatisfied with them last summer during the switchover, they appear to have figured out which end is up and I have no current complaints. Well, except that I hate hate hate the free phone, but I guess that’s my problem for being too cheap to upgrade to something good.

  6. Heh – yeah – I got one of those and upgraded almost immediately. I’ve got the one they call the “pebble” now, and I love it!

  7. Well it’s good to hear something good about Chinook.
    Still, I have Chinook, and in my living room, it says “Chinook”, in my bathroom, it says, “Emergency Only” and in the back bedroom it says simply “No Service”.

    Please, please… No Puns…. I’m serious… I never was a good comedian, so I don’t even try. I’m 5 miles south of town and most of my dropped calls occur in town.

  8. That’s really weird – have you talked to them about it? What kind of phone do you have? Maybe it has a bug or something.

  9. I’ve been here for nearly 2 years and have been using T-Mobile carried over from my last state successfully.

    I do however have some problems with it (dropped calls in bad weather, certain parts of town) but I get my service for free (a relative insists on paying for it) so I really have no reason to switch over to a local service.

    Recently, I’ve noticed my service improving greatly. I don’t know why this could be exactly, maybe there are more towers or maybe T-Mobile is making its way to the area.

  10. Oh sure…
    I call ’em on it every now and again. After an explaination that lasts all of about 5 minutes, I’m left with the feeling that they are sending the guy out back to adjust the rabbit ears…
    The account is going away though, so I’m not going to be losing any sleep over it.

  11. I have a bit of a dilemma . I would like to get myself a new phone and I’m having trouble to decide on which one to pick. First of all, i thought of the Nokia 5610Nokia 6500, which my buddy has. It appears quite durable, and it all seemed cool, but i began looking at other phones. Now my largest problem is to decide between the Nokia X3 and the Samsung i900 Omnia. All suggestions are welcome

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