T-Mobile, Sprint, and ATT don’t care about Humboldt county. VZW only shop in town for 3G/4G

25 05 2011

Soon after moving to southern Humboldt county a few months ago, I began my search for a new wireless carrier. T-Mobile was great back in Charleston, SC, and I was really hoping to enjoy those blazing fast HSPA+ speeds that they are currently rolling out around the country. Unfortunately they don’t even have 3G anywhere north of Santa Rosa, so there is no real sense in holding my breath on that one. Shouldn’t be a big deal though. After all, there are 6 or more carriers that sell locally, and they are all pushing Android devices.

Fifteen to thirty minutes, and a few coverage maps later I had the information I needed to choose a new provider for my mobile devices. Well in all actuality I can’t really say it’s much of a choice. The one and only carrier that has 3G coverage up here is Verizon Wireless. Go figure, the only company providing quality data service to the marijuana capitol of the US, happens to be the one who has exercised the least resistance when it comes to it’s subscriber’s privacy & law enforcement.  Weren’t they the ones who remotely and covertly installed software to activate microphones and cameras…even when the device was “off”? Not that I do or intend to partake in illicit or illegal activities….I’m just saying’. I don’t really feel comfortable with a company that has such an open F yo’ privacy attitude towards it’s customers.

So yeah. It would appear that T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and all the companies that lease from them don’t care about the money to be made here. Even if they do choose to neglect us Humboldt County residents (like a lot of folks do) they could at least provide their customers who travel Hwy 101 with decent service. It is kinda one the main routes through northern Cali.  The lack of 3G or better coverage is not limited to a small area either. I mention Humboldt county because I live there, but Mendocino, Trinity, and other surrounding areas in No.Cal are also neglected. For those not familiar with the area, we’re talking about nearly 1/3 of the state.

In the end, I will most likely go with Verizon anyway. Even if their “3G” is 1/3 the bandwidth of T-Mobile’s, and the Setup wizard actually DOES take five minutes like it claims. Still I will surely toss $10 on my T-Mobile flex account every three months or so, in hopes they will one day see the light. With AT&T ignoring my region as well, I can see the future of my GSM devices limited to use during trips down south. It’s times like these one can’t help but envy the abundance of mobile and internet providers elsewhere in the world, while questioning exactly how much “freedom” us Americans have anymore.

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2 responses

16 04 2012
Travis Chagolla

live in myers flat i feel ya. verizon told me 4g is coming in november 2012 idk if its just eureka or southern included but its somthing to think about.

19 04 2012
gurnted

Since Verizon already has a decent [speaking kindly] network in the area, My guess would be that they will cover the whole area, all the way down to meet up with LTE in Santa Rosa.

Only problems I see with going the VZW route is their tendency to rape their customers on rate, and well….to be honest, my T-Mobile EDGE signal performs better than VZW’s 3G. Their figures are all on paper, and don’t live up to their quotes in the real world. Expect about the same 3-7Mbps that other provider’s 3G gets. Have never seen their network get more than 10-20% of the theoretical max.

From what I have heard, T-Mobile is starting to work on the issue too. A few months back they added a tower (not HSPA but EDGE) in Leggett to resolve signal loss issues.

They [T-Mobile] scooped a good bit of the 1900 band in the northwest (some thanks to the failed ATT deal). Since quite a few of the newer T-Mo handsets include that band ( and ppl in WA report active tests on that band), I take that as a good sign.

Don’t expect anything too aweful soon though. From what I have read (w/ much digging involved) and heard from a few T-Mobile sources, we should see HSPA light up around Q1 2013. From the way it sounds, they plan to cover at least 80% of the area.

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