March 1st marks the end of Local or on-network Sprint coverage in ND, MT AND WY. We reported it a month ago and we have been seeking input from Sprint users as to their concern. The response has been predictable. Nobody wants to lose coverage, even if they never use it, but there appears to be very few people affected. I updated both the Sprint Voice/Text and 3G Coverage maps to show the new areas. AT&T will turn off the CDMA switch on those former Alltel sites that Sprint used as soon as everyone there has a nice new shiny GSM phone.
The big concern here is that the Sprint network itself, real or virtual, is no longer available in these areas, which means usage there will no longer be included in our plans. Current plans, like the "Everything" plans, apply to "on-network" calls only. Off-net calls and data will either come out of the extra bucket of minutes or be charged as roaming.
Fortunately, there is still coverage and some of it is 3G, ultimately provided by Verizon. So, for the few of us, and we found out there are very few, who travel to Casper, Bismarck or Missoula, the only things that change will be the location of the cell sites and maybe the amount we pay for service. The real loss for the rest of us is the warm fuzzy we got knowing that maybe, some day, we might go there.