Thursday, November 4, 2010

The View Changes in the Snow

A newspaper in Rapid City, SD has published several articles over the past few months about the joys of AT&T coming to South Dakota. They celebrated the coming of the iPhone and noted that signs of AT&T's presence were "popping up all over". Now that snow season is coming, they are a bit more uncertain. The fear is that once the Alltel network is no longer available to Verizon customers, coverage won't be like what Rapid Cit-izens have come to enjoy. The implication is that with AT&T (or maybe even Verizon), you may get stuck in the snow without a lifeline.

South Dakota residents have become spoiled with the excellent coverage afforded by the availability of the Verizon network to Alltel customers, and vice versa. Now that the excitement of the iPhone has moderated, any perception of a reduction in coverage is viewed as step back to the Dark Ages.

In some markets, Verizon Wireless kept the superior Alltel network and sold off their own inferior cell sites. In this case, Verizon's SD network is just fine, thank you. AT&T is also inheriting a great Alltel network. But once you've been to the all-you-can-eat cell site buffet, it's hard to return to the a la cart menu at the same price...even with a cute, new iPhone in your hand.


Anonymous said...

First, Rapid City is not in North Dakota.

Second, Verizon's subscribers WILL be screwed in SD when the Alltel towers are taken out of the equation; their coverage will not be nearly the same. Yes, maybe some Verizon customers were getting good service in the Black Hills, but it was most likely because they were roaming on Alltel. Alltel hasn't always had the best coverage in the hills, but in the last couple years, Alltel erected far more sites than Verizon and it's a sorry thought to think of those going to AT&T. On the other hand, if AT&T gets their act together (of which I am cautiously optimistic at best), they will have a heck of a good network, at least in southwest SD.

Oz Andrews said...

State corrected. I will never forget being at the base of a tall cellular tower in the Black Hills enjoying a great view and a total lack of cellular service. That was before Alltel SD was included in the Verizon PRL.

Yes, let's hope AT&T does more in the area than just convert Alltel sites to GSM.