Wireless Data Coverage in Oscoda, MI

My review of data coverage in Oscoda, MI:

Cingular: Dead to the world. My phone is displaying "Emergency Only". No amount of roaming agreements makes it work here. Perhaps they should have a lunch with Centennial wireless and be like "yo, what's up! We need to talk!". I can't even get voice coverage here.

T-Mobile: Roaming on Centennial Wireless with full signal. (T-Mobile does not charge to roam with data services) The GPRS is not EDGE, but is the expected 56k(ish) that comes with straight up GPRS. yay!
I should note like all GSM services, the roaming is absolutely, positively transparent to me, the end user. The only difference I notice is that my phone doesn't say T-Mobile on the screen. SMS, MMS, Data, etc, work great.

Sprint: Dead. My phone sits happily roaming (though it doesn't matter, since my Sprint plan makes roaming irrelevant) on either Alltel or Verizon (not sure). My data service does not work, as CDMA really blows ass like that (CDMA's roaming facilities don't support roaming of special features like voicemail indication, MMS, Web access, etc), though much to my happiness, SMS is working great, bidirectionally even, which makes me really wonder why voicemail notification fails to work (though perhaps this is because in GSM Voicemail notification is a special form of SMS, I have no idea how it works in CDMA)
Of note, the roaming on my sprint phone is digital, as my phone does not posess an analog stage. It is behaving quite nicely as a phone, save for the irritation of no voicemail indicator.

10 thoughts on “Wireless Data Coverage in Oscoda, MI”

      1. Actually, I know of at least one….the area around Sam's house in Byron. Apparently Cingular is the only one with signal out there. I can confirm that her Cingular gets pretty good signal inside her house, whereas my TMO might actually almost get a tiny sliver of signal if I'm standing on top of my Jeep out at the end of her driveway 😛 I haven't tried others, but she says Cingular is the only one that works out there.

        1. The only negative experience I've had with TMO was mainly in the mountains up in Northeast Pennsylvania. Up there nothing but Verizon analog works.

          I guess nobody invested the time or money in putting a market in Northeastern Pennsyltucky, as there are maybe 10 people in a two-county area.

  1. I pretty much knew that we'd be off the map as far as Sprint was concerned. Frankly, this didn't bother me too much, since I go up North mainly to get away from it all.

      1. In contrast, I just prepare to be self-reliant in case shit goes down. At no point was I out of range of some usable cellular network that my phone could use. I would just pay huge roaming fees for it. For everything else, there's my survival kit.

        1. If there was a cellular network period, pretty much, I could use it. If all else failed, I had a ham radio in my backpack. The day I can't communicate, satan invests in sweaters.

          1. While there are repeaters that far North, they aren't always monitored as regularly as one might hope for. I recall in the 1980s my Dad tuning into 2 Meter repeaters and usually not finding anyone on, or occasionally, one other ham. This is why my survival strategy for up North is centered around wearing enough clothing so that I don't freeze at night, and being in shape enough to hike several miles to get aid, if necessary.

            What is cool about up North is that people up there generally still have the mindset to help out strangers in distress. When Dad managed to bog down the minivan in 3 feet of mud last year, two separate trucks stopped to see if they could help out. (Unfortunately, we needed a tow truck on that occasion.)

          2. but in an emergency, many repeaters in sparsely populated areas run autopatches, at minimum to 911 or the county sheriff. If you touch tone the right sequence (*911?) many of them will pass you through to a dispatcher of some sort.

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