Friday, February 13, 2009

The Winner Is: Oregon!

We try to skim across the PR and News releases from many cellular carriers, mostly looking for changes that affect how our phones perform around the country. That usually means announcements of new coverage. Some carriers are very forthcoming about their improvements, while others are either keeping it a secret, or, aren't adding anything new.

The area of the country that seems to have gained the most new coverage is Oregon where Verizon Wireless added at least 45 new cell sites. Some of this new coverage improved existing Verizon areas, but much of it comes in their newly-acquired Unicel areas. This was exactly our complaint about using our phone in eastern Oregon on our last road trip through that area in 2007. It appears the Verizon takeover of Unicel made for a huge improvement for cellular customers in Oregon and some other ex-Unicel areas. This is a good thing, and frankly, not what we expected. More coverage is a good thing.

The next best buildout in a single area was the 32 cell sites added (over 18 months) to Cellular One in Montana. They have been very aggressive in adding and improving coverage, but we still prefer their old name, Chinook Wireless.

We may have missed some other significant additions, but these stood out. Kudos to Verizon and Cellular One.


Anonymous said...

What does Unicel being converted to CDMA do to those in the state that have GSM such as AT&T and T-Mobile.

Oz Andrews said...

Fortunately, Verizon is required to maintain all existing Unicel GSM coverage. Don't expect any improvements or expansion of that coverage, but at least it won't go away.