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BearJT

Cell coverage in SE Alaska

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Yes, I know we're going to be on vacation but when you own your own business...

 

What is the coverage like in Sitka, Juneau, and Ketchikan for both Verizon and T-Mobile? I'm not hoping for coverage at the Sawyer Glacier the "day" we cruise there.

 

Thanks,

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I've read that Ketchikan is spotty and you should have coverage in Juneau on Verizon. I don't know about T-Mobile. If you search "cellphone" in this forum, there have been lots of posts about coverage, charges, etc. All I know is DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE ON YOUR SHIP! Outrageous charges! Get away from the ship, see if you have coverage and then use your phone. With my plan on Verizon, there aren't any roaming charges in AK. Hope that helps some.

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BearJT,

We also have t-mobile and did not have service when we went 2 years ago. I did check the t-mobile web site and they claim that they do have roaming coverage now. I wouldn't count on it. They said that about Mexico too! lol.

 

http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/

 

I totally understand your concerns of being in contact when you are self employed--(been there!) Anyway, we bought a phone card and called from the pay phones in port. It worked out very well.

 

Happy cruising!!! If you are self employed, you really deserve a vacation!!!

 

a1moty

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i called verizon yesterday and they told me they don't have any towers in alaska so they doubt there will be able to use our phone

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We use T- Mobile (until our contarct is over) and we had better coverage in Alaska than we do in our local area.

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i called verizon yesterday and they told me they don't have any towers in alaska so they doubt there will be able to use our phone

 

Verizon Customer Service reps and the phone centers DON'T have a clue. No, they don't have any Verizon owned towers in Alaska.

 

HOWEVER, Verizon does have service agreements with two companies in Alaska to provide service. I have gone through this with Verizon I don't know how many times. I send at least 4, sometimes 6 employees to Alaska for the summer to monitor our fish shipping and logistics planning. I also make at least one business trip myself, as well as a combined business/fishing trip for DH and I EVERY year.

 

I got back from my first trip of 2006 on June 18. I was astounded at the improvement in Verizon coverage in just a year. I was not all over SouthEast Alaska, as you would be on a cruise, but I did fly to Juneau. I had great coverage in Juneau, Anchorage, Seward (cut out 20 miles outside of town but resumed when I got to the Homer/Anchorage turnoff), Soldotna, Seward and Homer. I was impressed.

 

I also have employees all along the SouthEast coast-where ever there is a large fish processing facility. They call the office from various towns in SouthEast Alaska. Most of the port cities they have coverage in, at least sporadic coverage. However, outside of the towns, the coverage may be there, but you are roaming. And roaming with Verizon is tricky.

 

Be careful-Verizona roaming has added a lot of extra charges to our bill. Verizon is very confusing, as the phone may state roaming, and the roaming may be free, per MOST Verizon plans. However, it may state roaming and your phone is roaming to a tower/company that Verizon has no agreement with and you will be hit with LARGE roaming charges.

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T-Mobile had strong signals in each Alaskan inside passage port we visited last month. I had no extra roaming charges on my bill as I have a nationwide plan. I did get charged $1 or so for a quick call from Victoria.

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I was in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan earlier this month and T-Mobile had coverage in all those cities. I also have a nationwide plan so no roaming charges.

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I've used Verizon in several Alaska cities with no problem and no extra charges. I used it on the balcony while docking( last year) also with no problem and no extra charges.

Marci

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WOW!! Thanks for the update on T-mobile coverage. I am so glad to know the we will most likely have free coverage in Alaska.

When we went to Mexico last February T-mobile assured us that we would have service if we had tri-band phones. We bought the phones but had no service at all.

I am much more comfortable with information from customers, like myself, rather than a customer service rep who may not even be aware that Alaska is part of the USA! LOL:)

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