Originally Posted by rwidman
...Verizon is not the cheapest but it seems to be the best if you want reliable coverage.
Having spent three summers sailing up and down the US east coast
(none of them with Verizon foolishly) I'd have to agree.
T-Mobile was great when we were down in Florida, but other than urban/high population areas, it sucked most everywhere else. In the Chesapeake specifically, it stopped working just north of Hampton and other than near to a US Airforce base on the western shore it never connected again until we were approaching Annapolis
; we went up the Potomac
too and were at least half-way to Washington
before we got any signal up there.
Friends with AT&T did slightly better (it semi-sucked) and when neither of us could get a signal (eastern side and around Deltaville I remember particularly) we could usually get a weather forecast
off someone who'd got a Verizon phone
One summer we also had a Virgin-mobile internet
dongle, which seemed to do slightly better than the T-Mobile phone
, though I understood that they shared cell towers? I can't explain why.
Further north all seemed OK until we went through the Cape Cod canal
and sailed up to Maine
, where other than Verizon (which still sucked!) they all just died.
It appears that US mobile-phone services are purely market/profit driven, unlike in the UK where to get a licence, the operator is also obliged to provide at least some coverage to the less populated/profitable areas too. So with long stretches of the ICW
and the lower/eastern-shore parts
of the Chesapeake being well away from both centres of population and major highways, there simply aren't any towers to connect to.
So, if you're heading that way, get yourself set up with Verizon; sadly this will mean buying
a complete phone rather than just a sim-card as it seems that Verizon phones are on a different system to everyone elses.