Extended travel west of the Mississippi; Montana, Nevada, some remote areas of the country. I need advice on cellular coverage, voice & possibly data, without emptying the already thin pocketbook. Which carriers cover these areas best, and offer a plan that includes roaming at little or no extra charge? My research so far shows Verizon winning out...
Thanks, Kurt (WI)
Go-America may be better option
Rather than trying to find the best coverage yourself -- you might consider using the services of a packager like GoAmerica.com. They will provide the gear and networks for you to obtain whatever bandwidth you need in the areas you will be working in.
But in general -- I would choose AT&T over Verizon.
We've been doing some research in a similar direction, as we are planing to purchase a lap top, and want to use it in traveling. It seems that ATT won't let one sign up with them unless they have coverage in your "home address" area. We don't. Do you have more specific info about this matter?
Am also leaning to Verizon. We currently use Cingular, and are fine with them (but we don't currently have a phone enabled to use it for wireless IPS), but they seem to offer little choice of web enabled phones.
Am open to more ideas on this subject.
Working on current information
I have been working on updating the information on the connecting sections of the site. (It will update in about four hours). Despite changes and "improvements" in technology the range of services is actually less in 2002 than it was in 1994 for dashboarders.
What specifically are you attempting to achieve in terms of connecting in a wireless way?
Wireless Internet Connections
Sorry for my delay, Mark. Thanks for your interest. We've been researching "connecting wireless" for about 2 months now. The more we learn, the more we're confused.
We are seeking to set up a reliable, cost effective notebook system for our "nomadic" daughter, who's a traveling field biologist. She's in western USA places where there's no land line phone, sometimes no electricity, and irregular cell phone signals, possibly for several months at a time. She NEEDS full internet access plus e-mail, even if it must be at a snail's pace. We're looking for "real" wireless access- for wilderness areas, Natn'l Forests & Parks, and places NOT near interstate highways!
Computer companies are no help at all, as their idea of wireless is LAN, airplanes, and other "citified" connections! It seems that the Ositech King of Hearts used with a good wireless enabled cell phone may be best. But each cellular company has its own "approved" phones, and Ositech advises me that just certain cell phones will work with their products. Granted, there are other solutions out there, but they are too pricey. GSM connections would be great, but the USA isn't ready for widespread GSM use yet.
We'll appreciate your ideas. Thanks.
Choices are more limited
The irony is that there are less choices in 2002 for connecting in the more-remote areas than there were in 1994 when we hit the trail.
The major carriers have eliminated analog service to consumers in most cases -- it is still obtainable, but must be done at the store level as the web sites have been sanitized. "Full internet access" is certainly possible -- but not in expensive. The satellite choices are motosat.com and kvh.com. For more information on either check out http://www.roadtripamerica.com/dashboarding/future.htm#sat
E-mail is much easier to obtain using one of the Inmarsat hand-held units. One of our dashboarding collegues is a NASA researcher often working in very remote locations and we receive daily updates from his Inmarsat service device. I don't know the model number he is currently using, but I can find out if you are interested.
CDPD options have been updated and should also be considered in the mix of solutions for your daughter. Check out the recent updates found at http://www.roadtripamerica.com/dashboarding/connecting.htm#cdpd