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Olympia is Washington State's capitol and is located in Thurston County at the southern tip of the Puget Sound.

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Archived

Cell Coverage Around Town

I'm tired of my huge Verizon bill and am thinking of switching to another carrier. I'm leaning towards T-Mobile as they have a good deal on now for 10GB data per line + Binge On for $100/month, but I'm open to Sprint too. Before I commit though I'd like to hear from anyone on either of those carriers regarding coverage. How good is it around town? Other cities? Rural areas, out on the coast or even out-of-state? General opinions on the carriers are welcome too, just try to keep it somewhat civil (yeah, I know, we're talking about cell providers, what do I really expect?).

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level 1

Buy a newer Nexus phone and get Project Fi. Runs on Sprint, T-Mobile or WiFi depending on the best signal. You only get charged for the data you use. If you need a combo of coverage and speed it's a good bet. I personally have T-Mobile and while cheap, the coverage can be iffy.

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

My wife & I both have the Galaxy S5. Every phone we've had (these are our third) we've gotten as part of a promotion ($1 phone w/2 year contract). Now that carriers aren't doing this sort of thing anymore, we likely won't upgrade our devices until they die. Although, I am sorely tempted by the unlocked Nexus 5 for $140 that I saw earlier.

level 3

I have Project Fi, and it's pretty awesome. I used to have T-Mobile, and adding in Sprint's network plus Wi-Fi calling that doesn't suck like T-Mobile's gives me reception wherever I go. The only places around town that I have trouble are the same places that my friends on Verizon also have trouble, so reception-wise there's no reason to not go with Fi.

As far as purchasing equipment goes, I outright bought my phone, but they also do give you the option to pay for your phone in installments if you purchase it at the same time that you sign up for your Fi service. While it may not be the huge subsidy you're used to, it's what any other carrier is going to give you, and there's also the option of buying used from Amazon. Even a brand new Nexus 6 is in the $300 ballpark there, and the 6P isn't hugely different from the original 6, so that might be your best option.

Hope this is helpful :)

level 4

Don't you have to wait on an invite to Project Fi?

level 5

Yes. A friend of mine in NJ had to wait a little under a week, and his friend who lives in Boston had to wait a week and a half, so I guess the wait time varies by region. I, however, had an invite within an hour of when I signed up, so I guess we're an area that's not as saturated with users or something.

level 3

Sell the S5s then. Fi is Nexus 6, 5X, or 6P only I think. You will save money on Fi unless you are a really, really heavy data user.

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

I just might have to do this, as soon as my contract is up in November. Or, switch to T-Mobile for a bit (they'll pay the ETF) and then switch to Fi as soon as I get an invite. Thanks!

level 3
Don't judge me for living in Lacey
1 point · 2 years ago

I believe that the Galaxy S5 that verizon sells comes GSM unlocked, which means you can put a SIM card in the phone from T-Mobile and it should work. You can probably switch to another carrier and keep your phone.

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

Yep, already confirmed this with T-Mobile.

level 1

For rural areas I've found AT&T tends to be best. Nothing else gets service in my area once you get away from I-5.

level 1

We had sprint and it was horrible, my best advice for you is to look at each carriers website and look at the coverage map. I found that Verizon is by far the best (and most expensive as you already know) the next runner up if I remember correctly is T-mobile.. But it's all about research, it only takes about 30min to find out what will work best for you.

level 1
level 2
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

Thanks! This is an interesting idea.

level 1

huge Verizon bill... willing to go to $100/month... yikes.

Anyways, T-Mo coverage is fine around most of the Olympia area. Only spots I have trouble in are Mud Bay and Johnson Point.

level 2

I have tmobile and the coverage is mostly okay. I've found that TESC is the only place in town that has horrible coverage. I got a two-line "unplan" that gives us unlimited data, texts, and minutes for $100/month.

level 3

I'm on the $35 5gb, 100 minutes prepaid plan. Only part of TESC I have a problem with is the organic farm. But I only go out there for Ingress!

level 1

T mobile is good. Coverage in most cities. Wifi calling and texting. Free data in canada.

level 1

I currently have AT&T because I believe they have the best high-speed connection and best coverage (I personally judge a carrier on their broadband coverage), but they aren't the cheapest. I used to have Sprint and their broadband coverage is really spotty as soon as you leave Olympia's and Lacey's main streets, but you won't have trouble texting or calling in many rural areas. I've heard that T-Mobile coverage is respectable in city limits, but isn't great outside town.

I know my perspective is of limited use since not everyone cares so much about that data connection, but I hope it helps. Good luck in your search.

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