I like the cost of our cell phone service with AT&T (Cingular) and the family plan, but the cell phone service where I live is average to poor. On good days, it’s average on my front porch. There are some days when I can actually make a call inside my house. Otherwise, there are many days when it’s unusable to use my cell phone at home. The problem is I currently work out of the house.
I live about three miles from downtown Pasadena, California and just about one mile from a trail head that leads into Eaton Canyon and the Angeles National Forest. From my house, there’s an area that’s over 1½ miles north and south to about 1 mile east and west where cell phone reception almost never works.
On the 210 freeway passing through Pasadena, cell phone reception with AT&T Cingular is often spotty.
I logged on to the AT&T Web site to check their coverage map. I entered my address and zip code and the map showed I lived on the border of “Best” coverage to “Good” coverage.
When I first purchased a cell phone with Cingular about eight years ago, I discovered reception around my home was poor and I could almost never make a phone call. I called and had a pleasant experience speaking with customer service. They mentioned coverage would be expanding in the area and I noticed within a few months the signal did improve.
But it’s unfortunate that when making a call on one’s cell phone means having to walk outside on the front porch. Fortunately, in Southern California the weather is fairly temperate most of the year – except when it’s blazing hot from August through mid-September. And we do get rainstorms, too. I can only imagine what it would be like to stand on your porch in sub-zero weather trying to talk about someone’s social media needs!
The leading name brand in casual conversations about cell phones and cell phone reception seems to be Verizon. We may decide that we’ll have to pay more in order to get the coverage we want.
Signalmap.com is a free service and a good way to get an idea on cell phone reception in your local area. I added my AT&T cell phone to the map and there were 18 signals shown, with six dead spots in and around my area of Altadena (one block north of Pasadena). The average reception strength using AT&T was two signal bars.
Using Verizon, there were 13 signals shown with one dead spot and an average strength of three bars.
That doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk decision for me to make a switch, but when my signal dies on business calls it becomes tempting.