Driftless Trout Anglers

Welcome Guest Active Topics | Log In | Register

2 Pages 12>
Best Driftless Cell Phone Reception? Options
West Branch
#1 Posted : Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:35:38 PM
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 9/23/2012
Posts: 177
Location: West Branch, IA
My wife and I have kept the same cell phone plan for years, and reception in the Driftless can be spotty, especially in the deeper and more remote valleys. Our phones are pretty antiquated, so we have decided to upgrade. Along with new phones it's time for a new plan, and possibly a switch in carrier. We currently use U.S. Cellular, who's coverage seems to have improved lately, but still seems to drop away in some areas.

What carrier do you guys use? The question goes out especially to those who live in the deep valleys or off the beaten path. The Iowa-Minnesota side of the river is my usual stomping grounds, so if you have experience with that area let me know what you think. We're wondering if one company is head and shoulders above the others, or if Driftless terrain just keeps cell phones from working very well.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can give.
weiliwen
#2 Posted : Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:41:15 PM
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 4/16/2014
Posts: 151
Location: Lincolnshire, Illinois
I can tell you it is NOT ATT. My work iPhone is on ATT, and there is seldom any service. Verizon is little better, but my personal phone, which is a Verizon phone, is an old fashioned "dumb" phone so little need to use it. My realtor uses US Cellular, I think. She was born and raised in Westby, so I guess she'd know.
William Schlafer
#3 Posted : Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:49:49 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,660
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
Great question.

SW Wisconsin, NE Iowa and SE Minnesota is a bit of a cellular dead zone for reception in rural areas. This is mostly due to the hill and valley nature of the Driftless Area, as cellular service is limited primarily to line of sight.



I use US Cellular and have family that lives in SW Wisconsin. It's the only carrier that seems to get me connected reliably to their phones. Typically if I can get up on a ridge or near a major highway, I can get enough signal for voice calls. Pretty tough to find reliable 3G/4G data deep in farm country.



I know from speaking with others with Verizon that they can get a signal is some places that I can't with US Cellular. For example, I get no signal at the Westby Rod & Gun Club Campground, but others carriers seem to have a weak but serviceable signal. However, with US Cellular I can drive from Madison to La Crosse (via Hwy 14) and only lose service in a couple of deep valleys between Readstown and Viroqua. I've heard lots of complaints about AT&T's coverage area in SW Wisconsin.

Can't help you with Iowa, as I don't get over there very often. But I'm sure others here on the forum will chime in.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
WI-fly
#4 Posted : Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:32:47 PM
Rank: May Fly


Joined: 9/20/2015
Posts: 344
Location: La Crosse, WI
I use Verizon and it is OK in most areas in La Crosse and Vernon counties.

=============

Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.

CRTU Facebook
CRTU Instagram
vmthtr in Green Bay
#5 Posted : Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:47:21 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 388
Location: Green Bay WI
I use cellcom and have pretty good luck with it. I am not smart enough to post a map like Bill did, but here is the link to their coverage map. Cellcom coverage map
trapper
#6 Posted : Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:51:02 AM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 3/24/2010
Posts: 2,065
Location: West Fork
I use a prepaid Verizon LG smart phone in three states. It works on the ridges, barely in the valleys if at all in remote places in Iowa and Mn
Get Reel



William Schlafer
#7 Posted : Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:39:26 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,660
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
I've always thought a few well placed cellular repeaters in the dead zones of places like the West Fork, Kickapoo River valley and the Timber Coulee valley would be a good idea from a safety standpoint. Always a lot of people canoeing, fishing, hunting and camping in those areas. Not to mention the farmers working in the valleys.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
West Branch
#8 Posted : Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:47:25 PM
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 9/23/2012
Posts: 177
Location: West Branch, IA
Thanks for the responses, everyone. Maybe one of the things I like about walking up streams at the bottom of a canyon is that I AM out of cell phone range. If I really need to chat with someone I'll do it from a ridge top or go into town.
DanE
#9 Posted : Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:16:14 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 9/18/2014
Posts: 1,230
Location: Prairie Du Sac, WI
In my experience of having a Verizon phone for work and US Cellular for my personal, US Cellular wins the coverage battle. Verizon has improved, but there are still many places that Verizon blanks out when US Cellular has coverage. I have not tested in IA or MN, just on the WI side of the river.
jfinn
#10 Posted : Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:34:44 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 3/8/2015
Posts: 105
Location: Racine
I had ATT last year and now I'm with Verizon and actually do have service more than in Richland Center, but it is spotty at times.
Users browsing this topic
Guest (2)
2 Pages 12>
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

FlatEarth Theme by Jaben Cargman (Tiny Gecko)
Powered by YAF | YAF © 2003-2009, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.115 seconds.