Cell phone question from a novice.

I live in a remote area that has so-so cell phone coverage. At my house, I get between 1 and 5 bars on my Verizon VX6100. Move 2 feet and it goes between 1 and 5 bars.

The voice quality seems bad. It’s like talking on a CB. (I keep wanting to say ‘over’)

The connection I have on my VX6100 is 1x.

I’m guessing that the 1x works well for smart phones? For data transmission, but is not so good for voice?

Would 3g provide better voice communication? Is there anyway I can tell if I have 3g at my home with my VX6100?

I’m thinking about getting a BlackBerry Storm. Partly for fun, partly because I would like to be able to surf the web on my phone, and partly because I don’t want to get too far behind the times. (I’m after a touch screen phone, I like the iTouch and iPhone).

And I can get one for $100 from Verizon.

They’re currently going for 249.99 from Verizon with a $50 mail in rebate.

In my experience, it’s hard to find newly releaced phones for less than what Verizon offers it for with a two year contract. You can find that phone here.

If you re-up your 2 year contract. Which we would do anyway, It’s $100 for me on my account.

(and the $50 rebate)


Are you sure you’re not thinking of $100 off the retail price as part of a family plan? How do you manage that?

Yep it’s a family plan. We pay about $70 a month for two cell phones that we don’t use very much.

I can get a Blackberry storm through Verizon for $100. ($50 rebate in there)

The reason that we are thinking about going more cellular is because the land lines where we live are becoming undepedable.

What’s the question?

Our land line service is starting to suck. Our cellular service sucks too. I suspect that cellular service will improve before our land line service does. And I suspect that land line service is going to go away.

It looks confusing because it is confusing. Having lived in a rural area with iffy cellular reception, I can tell you that to describe the chaos-ruled world of rural cellular reception requires a convoluted statement like, “I get between 1 and 5 bars on my Verizon VX6100. Move 2 feet and it goes between 1 and 5 bars.”

At my parent’s house, you could (seemingly) improve (or hinder) reception by doing things like standing on one leg, petting the dog, waking up on the other side of the bed, etc.

My new apartment is only a few blocks from a massive cellular tower. Great for reception, maybe not so great for healthy mitosis. :wink:


WRT OP, I haven’t used Verizon for a while, but IIRC, generally 1x (digital) is superior to analog for both calls and data. However, digital usually suffers more when the signal is weak than analog does. I don’t know if Verizon still operate their analog network or not, or if your phone supports analog transmission. If they do and it does, then it might, (I emphasize might) operate better if set to analog. However, it is worth mentioning that analog operation usually tears through the battery faster than digital does.

As for 3G, if your 1x service is sucky, then I wouldn’t hold out much hope for 3G being any better, if your house is in a 3G network at all. My mother recently received an iPhone 3G from her workplace which she absolutely loves, but my parents’ house is not covered by a 3G network, so she can only use regular digital (which works well enough, just not very fast for data). FTM, 3G networks tend to cover less ground than older digital or analog networks.

“I get between 1 and 5 bars” is the normal range of bars, though, isn’t it? So the problem (as stated) is that sometimes reception is within normal limits but sometimes reception is within normal limits. Hence my :confused:

I would have understood better if moving 2 feet either made “between 1 and 5 bars” become zero bars or made zero bars become “between 1 and 5 bars.”

I’m not trying to pick on an admitted novice: it just didn’t seem that what the OP said was what the OP meant to say is all.

Nah I understood that to mean that the service was “flickering” strangely - you only have to move a couple feet and the service suddenly becomes strong or weak with no logical explanation. You had 1 bar, now you have five.

Having lived in a hilly (I won’t say mountainous) rural area, I feel your pain. In order to make a call you sometimes have to stand in one very specific spot. You can make a call from the front deck, but not the back deck. From the kitchen in front of the dishwasher you get perfect signal but there’s no signal anywhere else in the kitchen. Etc.

This. And, of course, the OP did not seem to have a problem with dropped calls or total lack of reception, rather, the problem was that reception was unreliable. While one can make and recieve calls with one bar, the difference in quality is very noticeable and, often, unacceptable. As I mentioned before, this is even more of a problem with digital service. When I had a cell phone that could use both digital and analog networks, I often found that the analog network gave me better service at my parents’ house.

Of course, now that I see that the OP lives in the Rockies, analog vs digital may be less of the problem than the mountains themselves. My parents live in central Ohio which is about as mountainous as a tabletop.

Of course, I stand by my assertion that if 1x signal is flaky, you can expect 3G to be just as flaky or (worse) non-existent. Looking at the Verizon map, 3G (EV-DO) is available in many places where 1x is available, but not all. Pretty large chunks of the Rocky Mountains (presumably the very sparsely or unpopulated parts) are not covered by either, neither are much of the Plains States.

If the phone you are looking at will operate on 1x as well as 3G, and you are buying the new phone because you just want a new phone, I would say that it’s your money, go for it. But I wouldn’t recommend buying the phone specifically for 3G or 3G-related features. Nor would I recommend buying a 3G phone based on expected improved call reception. I also doubt it would improve the flickering problem you describe at all. That has much much more to do with your location relative to the tower than it does with your phone’s make and model.

(That being said, it is true that some phones perform better with low signal strength than others, but this has nothing to do with 3G, but you might consider that when you make your next phone purchase)

Cite? (A screen shot, perhaps?) I simply don’t believe it. That phone retails for $499. Why would they sell it to you for $100? Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Curve, which does not have a touch screen?

Thanks everyone. You’ve all pretty much got it. The signal strength is just not dependable. I will do a bit more digging, I have been looking at Verizons coverage map and we are in digital (not by much) I don’t see where it says anything about 3G.

Santo-I also get a GOV discount if that matters. But here are the specs and prices for me from the VerizonWireless site.

BlackBerry® Storm™ 9530 smartphone

2yr Contract Price $249.00
Mail in Rebate $50.00
Promotion Credit $100.00
Final Price $99.99

I have no problem with re-upping with Verizon. Since its such a good deal I think I’ll do it.

Check out this map. The “Broadband & V CAST” radio button is what you want. Apparently that is VZW-speak for 3G.

Cool. That’s what I’ve been looking at. Just wasn’t sure if it was 3G. We are definitely in the area. But I understand that the mountains a tall trees make it ‘iffy’


Looks like it’s time for a new toy.:smiley:

I’m not certain this is relevant but I had horrible quality from Verizon at my house and when I switched to AT&T (iPhone ftw) all my reception problems cleared up. I basically knew this was going to happen because I had a friend who had AT&T come over and checked out their phone here.

My point being one carrier being the sux at one location doesn’t mean every carrier does.

Thanks. The coverage map for AT&T is not nearly as complete for my area as Verizon. And the best I bout get is a piggy back ‘Partner’ Service (probably with Verizon). I don’t think anyone up here (in the mountains) uses AT&T which is pretty telling in itself.

Ahh, I see what’s going on! The promotion credit is the “New Every Two”, while the plan I’m getting is simply the discounted price with the 2 year contract. I’m on a family plan, also, but I’m not the “main” number on it, so I just get the contract price. I would get the GOV discount, too, but my mom works at a medium (150 employees) sized company that has dozens of cell phones for guys that need to be on call. She gets a pretty sweet discount for that on her service, because they’re allowed to piggyback on the deal their company gets.

I thought the 2 year contract price included the $100 promotion. Can you check one thing for me, if you don’t mind? Can you look to upgrade on a different number in your family plan, and see if that promo credit still shows up?

For $100, you should totally get this phone! If it doesn’t work well for you, sell it on eBay and make a couple hundo. Then go back to your old phone. Win/win!

I just checked it out. It’s only good on the primary number. For my Wife it would be $199.00. Still a good deal.

Thanks for the clarification, sorry for doubting you.

Hope it works out for you!