1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Bad Cell service…how to communicate?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by TPCLandscaping, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 317

    In my town I have horrible service with AT&T. During the summer it doesn't bother me so much because we are all over the county doing lawns and usually only one truck on the road.
    Winter time is a different story.. I'm lucky that my 6 commercial lot are all in the same town, and about 20 accounts scattered over a 15 mile radius. Now If I'm in town with both trucks and the tractor working on storm cleanup I have the worse time staying in touch with everyone if there is a change of plans of if there is a break down. This last storm it was 20 minutes before someone could call or get through with a text to let me know a sander was down and have me come over to take care of the lot with my salter. For me thats unacceptable.

    I don't want to wire in huge CB radios in everything, so what is the next best thing? walkie talkies only work so far apart. If someone has some ideas let me know. The local communication company wants to sell me motorola radios at $250 a piece, then charge me $12 a month for each radio to keep on a repeater. That sounds insane to me.. I'm already paying $250 a month for cell phone coverage.
  2. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Change carriers
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Myth as they buy time ,space on each others towers.
    The comerhails that show coverage are all rigged, fixed, a bunch of huha.
    Yes in some areas one carrier is more prevalent than another .

    And some phones have a better antenna than the next.
    Sometimes a simple roof mounted external antenna will do the trick.
    The new flat smart phones can be very directional with their antenna .
    (If you turn the phone the single strength changes.)

    Get a Wilson amp.http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/

    It worked wonders in rural areas for us.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  4. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 317

    easier said then done… 3 phones and 1 tablet… i also have a nice hefty discount on there from a previous employer that id like to not lose. they also want to charge me a fee to early terminate
  5. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Not a myth.

    Changing carriers is not a big deal. 3 phones and a tablet are not huge. Go somewhere, negotiate. They are all screaming for biz.
  6. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 317

    im gonna visit verizon today
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    But it is,
    When you get into who actually owns/ leases a cell site
    And how they sell time to other carriers,
    In a lot of areas they are limited to the number of towers
    They can build, the days of monopolies are gone.
    You may roam or go on a extended network,

    I'm not talking about changing carriersyes they all are screaming and they always will be
    As the sales force has quotas they must meet or they get fired if they fall short for to long

    A good friend of mine works for a major career in the IT Dept.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  8. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Not a myth.
  9. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 317

    Did i mention i can piss on the Canadian border and am always roaming off of those!
  10. scottr

    scottr Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    You should move to Alaska and see how your coverage is :)
    I'll toss out my 2 cents, I use AT&T because it's a company phone. My coverage at my home is horable. I had a Vorizon rep give me an iPhone, and Samsung and a tablet to demo. My signal was still about 1 bar ( not that it means a lot) however, the fact that Vorizon uses the lower freqs. like around 900 MHz, it punches threw like a bulldozer compared to the upper Freqs. that the cell providers are issued. Using the Vorizon phones, I could go anywhere in my house or shop and carry on a great conversation. Using any AT&T phone ( tried several) I was lucky to stay connected for a minute or so and it was poor at best. Yes tower placement etc. all plays a part. Just food for thought. 2- way radios are hard to beat. Sounds like you want your cake and eat it too.
  11. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Not every carrier purchases space on their competitor's towers so it's entirely possible to be standing right next to one and not have service.
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    This is what I was told also.
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    you can stand under your own carers tower and have poor service. your in a shadow.

    Yes, not every tower is used by the competition
    but many more are shared.
    just because your plowing a AT&T tower doesn't mean other carriers are not using that same tower.

    In Alaska at&t has the most towers.
    get a satellite phone...

    No one company is allowed to dominate a certain area you can thank the FCC for that

    At&t has been buying up rural carriers like cellone a Dobson communications Co.
    They are consistently swapping areas between carriers
    ie sprint, version, AT&T etc etc.

    You can wade threw the propaganda and you will find that AT&T has the biggest network with the most coverage.

    blame your smart phone with it's poor ant.
    get an external ant or a amp.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    As so many around here like extremes

    In some areas the number of towers is limited by local ordances.

    Yellowstone natl park.

    At old fatfull all of the major carrers have full service.
    There is only one small , low power site located on the south side of the parking area

    The BWCA has one cell site.
    Again most carriers have time on this tower.

    And a lot of small rural towns are the same way
    and its not cost effective for all of them to build a cellsite for so few customers.
    Yet most phones useing a major carrer will have service.
  15. Gr8WhiteNorth

    Gr8WhiteNorth Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    Buy Baofeng radios on eBay. I bought 10 @ $20/each. They work as well as our $385 motorola and kenwoods. We also bought 2 used repeaters for $500 each as well, but haven't got them set up yet. Registering our frequencies is a 30-60 day process with all of the red tape to go through. The cheapest repeater service I could get was $30/mo per radio. We have 25 radios. NO THANKS!
    All of the fixed mobile units in the loaders/bobcats/plow trucks can communicate across 20-30 miles without the repeater. The handhelds only go about 5 city blocks without a repeater.

    The beauty of the handheld radios is that we can clip the accessory mic/speaker onto the shoulder of our safety jackets. Its amazing how much time and frustration is saved having everyone respond within seconds at teh push of a button. These radios are far better than cell phones.
  16. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I had terrible reception with many different carriers before I switched to Verizon, AT&T was one of them.

    I never can not make a call, and get reception in tons of places where most others don't.

    In regards to your comment about having a discount with AT&T and paying an early termination... If that is your biggest concern, the value you put on the way for customers, and workers to contact you is not nearly high enough. I would be willing to pay $1,000 a month if I needed to in order to make sure my phone worked property every second of every day. By far the most valuable part of your company is your phone. Never forget it.

    Every missed call + no voicemail is lost work
    Every time a worker can not communicate with you = bad service or costly down time = lost customers and wasted money.
  17. dycproperties

    dycproperties Member
    Messages: 41

    We went to two ways last year and with 15 units on the road it has worked out really well. They are also exempt from hands free laws for now.
  18. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    How far do those work?
  19. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    From experience, I say no myth.
    I used to carry two cells phones, personal on Verizon, company owned on sprint. Minimum 80% of the time Verizon phone had better signal. Not by one or two bars, by useable and not usable. I used personal cell for for work calls as often or more often then company cell.
  20. 512high

    512high Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    My company has 5 Motorola UHF radios, and 4 Motorola UHF portables and (1) base unit at the shop, we pay $90.00 a month for repeater use. l go thru an independent 2-way radio shop. Ask around or google. Also I feel Motorola makes the best two radio equipment, based on your 15-mile radius, you can buy "used" radios on ebay, I would look at high power "VHF", longer range with out a monthly repeater fee, however, portables wont make that distant.