How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

Contributor

How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

But it doesnt cover Ada, Oklahoma. at&t or Verizon they both have crappy service here but I prefer at&t and Verizon over any other company the sad thing is we have an at&t in town you need more towers
Message 1 of 21 (4,527 Views)
Contributor

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

i totally agree with you they need way more towers

Message 2 of 21 (4,503 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"


DillPickel wrote:
But it doesnt cover Ada, Oklahoma. at&t or Verizon they both have crappy service here but I prefer at&t and Verizon over any other company the sad thing is we have an at&t in town you need more towers

That's really 99% of "Americans" as in population, not geographic area. Anyway, according to the coverage maps, Ada should have great coverage. Perhaps there is some issue going on or maybe your coverage issues are specific to your phone. I suggest you take this to the Network Coverage forum to see if others are experiencing the same. 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 21 (4,452 Views)
Teacher

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

AT&T cover considers this if you get GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, HSPA+, OR LTE -- if you get any signal of any type, even if 2G service, that counts as "covered". AT&T has the worst rural coverage in the nation of any carrier.  Even if you half 1 bar of service that doesn't work or drops calls every second, AT&T counts you as covered. It's a lie. Also they mean population, NOT land-mass. AT&T doesn't care about rural people. they even admitted that. If you live in a rural area, DO NOT get AT&T. AT&T only puts towers in big cities and big counties. AT&T only cares about greed and money so AT&T ONLY puts towers ONLY in major cities to generate money. AT&T does NOT care about putting towers along rural highways and towns, even though MILLIONS of people will pass through these rural towns and highways constantly. But AT&T doesn't care, because there is less money to be made putting towers in rural areas, even though millions of people pass through these rural areas. What happens if they experience a car-break down? AT&T doesn't care about your safety or possibly life.  It's pathetic. If you EVER plan to travel, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use AT&T as if your car breaks down AT&T will leave you stranded with no cell coverage. Other carries (gasp, Verizon seem to have excellent rural coverage. I guess they care and are smart, AT&T isn't.)

 

So Example:


AT&T has 500 towers in Colorado. INSTEAD of spreading the towers out to provide coverage all over Colorado to covera all rural towns and rural highways (that would be AMAZING. Think how many lives could be saved when people get stuck on some rural highway with zero coverage but AT&T doesn't care). So instead AT&T puts 400 out of 500 towers ALL in the Denver area. All AT&T cares about is large population areas, they never have, and by the looks of it NEVER will care about rural areas. AT&T is BY FAR the WORST rural carrier in the nation.

There are still millions who don't live in Denver, and live in small towns of a few thousand spread small towns out ALL over the large state. Does AT&T care about them? NOPE, not at all. They don't generate as much money as big cities like Denver does. I live in Colorado, and there are MANY rural highays and towns here, and AT&T has zero service in I'd say 95% of ALL rural areas in Colorado. If my car broke down in a rural area in Colorado (and most areas in Colorado besides Denver county/Boulder/Colorado Springs are small rural areas), I'd be stuck because AT&T is greedy and refuses to put more towers SPREAD to cover rural areas. Oh, they have the towers, too, in fact AT&T has more towers than any carrier, even Verizon, but they flat out refuse to cover rural area people as AT&T doesn't want to spend money to invest back into it's network and cover rural people

Message 4 of 21 (4,393 Views)
Scholar

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

AT&T may not be great in all rural areas, but here in Michigan they are better they Verizon for rural coverage. Rural coverage is different county to county, in every state. And AT&T is not the worst in rural coverage. Try T-Mobile or Sprint...
Message 5 of 21 (4,383 Views)
Contributor

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

It is also a matter of usage, they need the towers in populated areas, imagine the complaints they would receive if a metro area of 100k+ people had their calls dropped every few seconds and the public outcry, no one would get any work done.

 

Honestly living in a very rural area has plusses and minuses, on the plus side is lower crime, knowing your neighbors and a generally friendly environment that is less harried. on the minus is since there are only 2 or 3 thousand people in a 50 square mile area, planting 5-10 towers there to give you perfect wall to wall 4+ bars of 4g coverage is a bad decision from a cost benefit position, it just costs too much and would make everyone pay a load more for their service. Towers are not free, and they need alot of juice, computing power and infrastructure support.

Message 6 of 21 (4,248 Views)
Teacher

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

Actually, if there is a small rural town with only 2 to 3 thousand people, then ALL that AT&T has to do is add 1-2 towers in the entire city, to at least provide SOME coverage instead of NONE at all!! I'm talking simply 2G voice coverage is all that is needed. They could put 1 tower in the center of the small city, and then 1 tower along the rural highway. This would provide coverage to the majority of the town, and yes the signal would be stretched thin BUT cell towers can actually travel MUCH farther than you think when they aren't being majorly overloaded, and in a rural town this is a non-issue. And along a rural-highway, having the tower "overloaded" is purely impossible along a rural highway, as only people passing through would ever use it.

 

DID YOU KNOW: One single cell tower can provide over 100km (62+ miles) with 3G at 850MHz and 900MHz, in good conditions. Now, even in average conditions a typical cellphone has enough power to reach a cell tower up to 45 miles away. This is perfect for rural areas and highways. Think about how much extra coverage they could provide to rural highways that currently have NO COVERAGE, yet still tens of thousands to maybe millions of people will pass through yearly. Like for example, highway i-70 that has 50 to 100 mile stretches with NO coverage at all! Why don't they just add at least 1 tower in that stretch? A single tower could cover up to 60% of the highway with at least basic coverage, or even better 2 towers could possibly cover the entire 100 mile stretch, especially in desert areas where there is nothing to block the signal. AT&T would still make profit from the roaming fees and all the people who pass through and use the towers. Sure they wouldn't make as much as a major city, but they need to think about rural areas too. Right now Verizon is really the only carrier who provides decent rural coverage. Maybe sprint, too.

 

Sprint might have better rural coverage than AT&T does. Sprint has not only more spectrum, but it roams onto Verizon, which Verizon has superior rural coverage. So this alone would likely mean Sprint has better rural coverage than AT&T. Also sprint's towers travel FURTHER than AT&T towers do allowing them to reach rural areas better. Look at sprint coverage map for VOICE COVERAGE only. For Voice coverage for Sprint it's HUGE, it actually kind of looks bigger than AT&T's voice coverage map. Now of course when it comes to data coverage, AT&T wins by far. But we aren't talking data coverage here, as on rural highways the most important thing is having AT LEAST a signal to make a voice call. It'd be nice if the tower at least had 3G ability so people could use their GPS if lost..

 

 

So if AT&T started to add towers to rural areas and highways to at least compete with Verizon, that would be great, because as of right now if you live in a rural area AT&T is basically useless from everything I've read and heard, unless you are lucky as AT&T rarely has service in rural areas, and if they do it's often a roaming partner. Nearly everyone who lives in a rural area has Verizon. Why AT&T doesn't start to add more coverage in rural areas is baffling, unless they really just don't care about rural customers and rural areas....

Message 7 of 21 (4,205 Views)
Guru

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

I've found that atts rural coverage is excellent. My phone works well everywhere I go generally. Last time I went skiing at snowshoe wv, my att phone was the only one that seemed to have any signal at all in surrounding areas. My friends Verizon phones had nothing.

it also depends on location but for me att performs better than anyone else right now.
Message 8 of 21 (4,178 Views)
Scholar

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

Josh177:

 

I would like to put my 2 cents worth inSmiley Happy 

 

AT&T has better coverage overall then Verizon, Sprint, T-Mo. etc in rural and urban areas on average. However, that is not saying they have the fastest network or the best spectrum but rather coverage area. I respectfully disagree 100% with your statement that 3G at 850 MHz and 900 MHz can propagate over 62 miles from a cell site in any conditions. Digital standards on current devices won't even come close to 1/4 of that distance even on a 5 MHz carrier. Older analog GSM has a range of about 25 miles under perfect conditions.

 

All carriers have areas where they are better or worse than others but on average AT&T has the largest coverage area. You mentioned areas on I-70 with 50-100 miles of no coverage. Could you post a screenshot of such areas or exact locations because I can't find them.

 And Verizon has superior rural coverage? That is a fallacy. Here are screenshots from my phone depicting voice coverage for all 3. The large areas shown in very light yellow on AT&T's map in the mid-western/western U.S. are partner areas, not areas of no service. Look at the 3 maps, there are clearly many more areas of white or "no service" on Verizon and Sprint.

 

 

 

Message 9 of 21 (4,034 Views)
Guru

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

In terms of overall coverage att clearly has the most and the maps definitely show it. I've noticed atts rural coverage to be the best its ever been. Att has put a lot into the network the past year or so and its starting to show.
Message 10 of 21 (4,026 Views)
Scholar

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

Actually you're wrong, tmobile has the worst rural coverage in the nation. AT&T and verizon have the best. 

Message 11 of 21 (4,010 Views)
Scholar

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

Well, technically speaking yes T-Mo is the worst. Get more? LolSmiley Happy
Message 12 of 21 (3,950 Views)
Teacher

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

That map is EXTREMELY inaccurate. Also, GSM towers generally have a maxium range limit, while CDMA towers techincally do NOT have a "limit", but due to power reasons they will only reach so far. Line of sight, terrain, play a HUGE role. AT&T coverge map always assumes "Excellent conditions" and it does NOT take these into account Terrian and other issues before making their PROJECTED coverage maps, they are only giving a PROJECTION of EXPECTED coverage, assuming their towers are going at their maxium range, which I listed below:

 

"Depending on terrain and other circumstances, a GSM Tower can go between 2 and 30 miles"

 

If you are using "coverage maps" as a means to show that AT&T is the largest carrier, you should know better than that. (since you seem to know what you are talking about "technology wise". You know a lot more than the average person does I will say that. Although you are giving AT&T too much credit based off their projected map which is way overstretched and not accurate, I have 2 real examples below). Coverage maps like I said above are extremely overstretched to their MAX limits and they are assuming every tower is projecting to it's max limits, so an AT&T GSM towers are projecting up their max of 25+ miles when in reality terrain might limit that down to only 2 miles of coverage.

 

Also, I have two real life examples of the AT&T map being completely incorrect about ENTIRE small rural towns. Yes, AT&T claims it covers these two towns when in reality there is ZERO coverage at all anywhere in these two cities:

 

#1: Portal, Arizona: population 79. It's a desert village (not even a city) in the middle of basically no where with a population of LESS THAN 100 PEOPLE. It's so small it's not even considered a city, it's a VILLAGE. The nearest main town is a good 30 minute drive. It's in the midde of NO WHERE. I checked the AT&T coverage map before we went out there (our 2nd home is out there), and AT&T coverage map showed full coverage. I was happy because according to the coverage map I would be able to use my phone while out there. Yet when I got there I was extremely disappointed. I had an AT&T iPhone (contract) and my stepdad had his AT&T BlackBerry (contract), so we both should have had coverage out there according to that map. Yet there was ZERO service in ANY direction, on any road, period. You had to drive to the next town about 25 miles away before AT&T had service. This really isn't suprising, since like I said it's in the desert in the middle of no where boonies with a population of 80 people, so who's going to put towers out there? No one. I am only upset because AT&T falsely claims they cover the middle of the desert out there, but no, they don't, their tech support guy even told me there was NO towers out there so there was "nothing he could do" and that the map was "just a projected estimate of coverage, not exact". The tech guy even told me the coverage map only showed coverage because there was a tower approx 20 miles away from the town, and the coverage map was projecting that under PERFECT conditions the tower would provide some form of coverage to our area since the tower under perfect conditions can reach 20 miles. He only told me this because I questioned him "why would AT&T show coverage if in reality there is nothing in the entire town for nearly 20 miles!?!

 

#2: Rye, Colorado. Population: 202. It is 33 miles away from the CLOSEST CITY. It's in the boonies, completely rural middle of no-where. Guess what? AT&T also claims it has full coverage in Rye, Colorado, a population of 200 people!! I was just out there a few days ago, as there is a placed called "Bishops Castle" where it's a hand build castle this guy built. Anyways, AT&T claims it has coverage in this city/town, and also claims it has coverage all along highway 165, which is what leads into the town. It's the only highway that leads there. Well, guess what? A few minutes after I got onto highway 165 I dropped down to "no service". Not even 1 bar, not even roaming, just no service for roughly 20 mile drive along highway 165. I checked the AT&T coverage map and it shows I should have FULL coverage along highway 165, which again is completely false as my GPS stopped working and I lost coverage for a nearly 20 mile stretch (I had coverage at the VERY start of highway 165, but lost it very shortly after getting on this very very rural highway)

 

--So WHY does AT&T map show coverage there if when in reality there actually is no coverage in that very rural boonie town of population 200, and it's 33.5 miles away from the nearest town?? Why would AT&T say they cover that town?? Because AT&T has a tower in a town next to it that is 33 miles away. UNDER THE 100% PERFECT CONDITIONS AND ASSUMING THERE IS NOTHING AT ALL INBETWEEN YOU AND THE TOWER, THEORETICALLY THAT 1 TOWER 33 MILES AWAY CAN POSSIBLY PROVIDE PROJECTED COVERAGE ALONG THE MAJORITY OF THE HIGHWAY LEADING UP TO THE CITY OF RYE, CO, AND POSSIBLY EVEN THE CITY ITSELF, UNDER PERFECT CONDITIONS.

 

Coverage maps DO NOT take into account terrian, mountains, trees, buildings, and all types of things that get in the way. Coverage maps assume PERFECT conditions where it's all flat open land and there is nothing between you and the tower, then yes, techincally it *could* give you a faint signal even at 30 miles away, if there was NOTHING AT ALL between you and the tower.

Message 13 of 21 (3,848 Views)
Teacher

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

Also like to quickly point out someone who posted a topic, proving my point even further.

 

The OP said:

"AT&T maps says I should have good service where I am moving too. But I have tested both phones at the location and neither one has any signal of any sort. I have to drive 3 miles south, 8 miles north, 8 miles west, or 15 miles east to get any coverage."

 

Community Manager replied with the following word for word:

 

"A Coverage Viewer shows an approximate coverage based on the towers in your area, however other factors might be affecting your real life experience."

 

-- This is EXACTLY what I said above in my longer reply, but he said it in a much shorter way and didn't go into details like I did. ALSO, this now proves 3 cities that AT&T claims they have coverage according to their coverage map but in reality there is ZERO coverage there. Now you understand how inaccurate that coverage map is? How many other cities does it also show coverage but in reality there is nothing there? Probably quite a few, mostly rural towns though as AT&T generally puts majority of their towers in major cities.

There are even apps that show where towers are as all all towers are registered with the FCC, and in my city AT&T has triple the towers that any other carrier does. It has AMAZING city coverage. But when you head out 20+ miles out west, to the rural towns, well, AT&T doesn't have any towers out in any of the rural towns, unless the population is at least 5,000+, but the smaller rural areas AT&T has nothing out here in Colorado, and I mean nothing. Only Verizon works, and even then it's a 50/50 chance with Verizon working, but it's better than NO service AT ALL that I get with AT&T in rural Colorado. It's probably because GSM towers don't work well in rural areas, they'd need 5 towers in a town of 500 people to even provide coverage due to GSM having a range-limit, unlike CDMA which can reach much, much further and has no actual limit on it's range. A GSM tower, even if an in OPEN FIELD with nothing at all blocking it could only reach a max of 25 to maybe 40 miles. A CDMA tower has no techincal limit on it's range, it can go as far as the line of sight allows. So in an open field, CDMA has *techincally* no limits on it's range, while GSM stops around 25 miles no matter what even if in an open field.

 

Message 14 of 21 (3,846 Views)
Highlighted
Scholar

Re: How is it that at&t "covers 99% of America"

[ Edited ]

Josh177:

 

1) Portal, AZ (85632)

 

The AT&T coverage map does NOT depict full coverage in Portal. The coverage shown is residual from towers along 10 and 191. The voice coverage map clearly shows tower locations. All of the carriers show coverage which is sometimes impossible to connect to except perfect conditions.

 

2) Rye, CO (81069)

 

I agree the coverage map shows full data coverage in Rye and along highway 165.  Sensorly shows full 3G signal strength ( what AT&T calls "4G") along 25 which is 4-5 miles away from the area you stated. Now according to the AT&T voice coverage map, BOTH of these areas are depicted with diagonal lines which indicates their disclaimer "requires 3G handset".  If that is the case, my suspicion tells me that AT&T might not have 850 MHz (Cellular) spectrum in those areas for EDGE/UMTS and is using 1900 (PCS) which basically has poorer propagation than 850. They may be showing coverage based on 850, I really can't say for sure. Now i just checked on the Spectrum Dashboard and my hunch was correct. Rye consists of 4 counties. One of them is Pueblo County which AT&T does not have any Cellular (850) spectrum which causes a problem, just like an AT&T tower close to me here in Michigan that borders 3 counties. They cannot shoot frequencies into a county that they don't have spectrum licenses for and they have to use tilts and azimuths to direct signals accordingly which messes the coverage up in that given area.

 

Checking further, Portal AZ is another area in which AT&T doesn't have 850 either so they are using 1900 for voice and 3G data. Again, they may not be depicting their coverage in these areas accordingly based on spectrum bands which have poorer range that they may be using.

 

It really doesn't matter if CDMA can theoretically carry further than GSM. Verizon could crank up the power to the point where their panels are cooking. Today's digital devices simply cannot communicate with towers at distances they are not designed for. Mainly due to RF danger.

 

If you are going to be traveling frequently into areas of poor coverage, I would HIGHLY recommend a Wilson craddle booster which works wonders pulling in a "4G" signal. Mine supports multi-bands including all of Verizon's and AT&T's 2G/3G/HSPA+/LTE/AWS frequencies.

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