Coverage Reports

Home | Specials | email | AIM | Forum

Web Cell Provider Help & Info

Last Update: 02/04/2013 08:24 PM



Last Update: 09/07/2010 10:49 PM

Coverage Reports & Updates

This started out as the Roadrunner Buildout Coverage Page (the early 2000 planned GSM buildout strategy for northern New England - a joint effort of AT&T, Cingular and Unicel).  I have expanded this page to include all coverage updates throughout New England, including various places I have visited (and reports from others).

Send your Coverage Reports to the Cell Guru!

09/06/2010: Andover ME checkout

Again this year ... was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance!   There are changes this year!  Still 850 only.
Campground Test:
U.S. Cellular: 
    1X      : Able to make calls, send and receive SMS, some data. 9530 (Storm) was not quite as good as the 8703e was last year
    EV-DO : N/A
    GSM    : USC's new roaming network is live on 310-730. Signal about the same as CDMA. I was not able to register with ekit but
                reports indicate AT&T users can roam. See the HoFo link.  Also some info on GSM World. Click US and then USC.

    1X      : Able to make calls, send and receive SMS, some data. It appears the former Unicel TDMA cell
                pointed at the campground was finally fitted with CDMA.
    EV-DO : Occasionally able to use 3G network, usually dropped to 1X. Improvement from last year.
    GSM    : N/A. Verizon's Unicel network does not make it this far. The former TDMA cell never ran GSM and is now CDMA/EVDO.

09/05/2009: Andover ME checkout

I have been bad about updating this page.  Once again ... was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance!   This year TDMA and AMPS is completely gone. Verizon has recently overlayed EV-DO on it's newly acquired Unicel network. There is no PCS (sorry Lenny) or iDEN for miles so nothing other than 850 has a chance.
Campground Test:
    1X      : Able to make calls, send and receive SMS, some data. 9530 (Storm) was not quite as good as the 8703e was last year
    EV-DO : Did not have a modified PRL to test with. Unsure if it was active or not

    1X      : Weak signal at campground entrance. New from last year.
    EV-DO : Weak signal at campground entrance. New from last year.
    GSM    : No service anywhere near by (never was). Signal down the road (EDGE) was weaker than in the past, likely due to cells being displaced by CDMA/EV-DO.

06/14/2009: Southern VT checkout

Eric reports ... I know you don't have Newport, NH on the list of cities and towns that you list specific coverage for, but apparently T-Mobile now has native coverage in Newport, NH. I drove through there last weekend and my Sidekick still showed "USA-Unicel". T-Mobile's maps now show the same as a whole lot of green shows up over Newport. I am hoping that this means T-Mobile is heading west towards Claremont.

01/25/2009: Southern VT checkout

Rob reports ... Just wanted to let you know that a VZW tower is active (and has been for a couple weeks) on the top of Stratton Mountain and there is also a fairly new tower on the top of Magic Mountain – the reception throughout Bondville, Winhall, Londonderry and the surrounding towns is dramatically better now.

A drive through VT this past weekend shows that AT&T prepaid phones now display AT&T and work! The MNC is still 310-890.  AT&T wasted no time cutting TDMA and AMPS. They were working a few weeks ago before AT&T took over but no longer.

01/22/2009: Verizon ME updates

Fred reports on HoFo: It looks like Verizon was doing some work in the Waterville, Maine area. I was getting 1900 only coverage out of the Cook hill and North Sidney (95 & Town Farm Road) Verizon towers until this morning. Now I'm getting 850.

09/01/2008: Andover ME checkout

Once again ... was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance!  This year U.S. Cellular was the only signal I could find.
Campground Test:
    1x: Able to make calls, send and receive SMS, data usable and surprisingly fast for a poor signal
    TDMA: Poor. Was able to connect to network.
    AMPS: Poor.
    GSM: No service.
    TDMA: No service.
    AMPS: No service.

07/14/2008: Central Adirondacks report

Have not been to Old Forge/Inlet for a few years. Sadly, cell service does not seem much better. Since I was solo I did not have an opportunity to watch all the signals (I could see the Verizon signal on my car BT NAV display) Forget 1900. Sprint died just north of Utica and did not return until I-87. Sprint does roam on Verizon though. T-Mo also died just north of Utica and did not return until several miles onto I-87. It does roam on Unicel though (not AT&T). Verizon: Network is now EV/DO. Pretty solid coverage from Utica to Old Forge. Then gets spotty to Inlet. Completely dead near Sixth Lake. However, Verizon has the ONLY signal in that area. From Rt 28 in Inlet to I-87, service is very spotty in many areas, just how I remember it a few years ago (of course I had analog back then). AT&T: Was good from Utica to Old Forge. From Old Forge to Inlet it got spotty. From there it was bye bye AT&T as it transitioned to Unicel (AT&T will get that chunk of 850 once the VZW/Unicel deal goes through). Unicel was pretty poor for awhile then went to spotty like Verizon.

07/7/2008: Alex Bay area (Plessis/Redwood) coverage report

Verizon: EV/DO turned on in June. EV/DO drops out about 15 miles north. New VZW Towers in Goose Bay and Redwood providing excellent EV/DO coverage for the Indian River lakes. Analog is gone.
AT&T: Seems unchanged. 3G does not come this far north. Good EDGE speed. TDMA and analog are gone.
Nextel: Fair/Poor, unchanged from last year. My Boost phone kept roaming on Telus rendering it useless (no voice roaming)
Sprint: Poor coverage, a little worse than last year. EV/DO throughout the area. OK in the bay. My Virgin phone was dead much of the time.
T-Mobile: Coverage worse than last year. OK in the bay. My T-Mo phone was roaming 100% on Rogers.
Bell: EV/DO turned on this year. Coverage unchanged from last year. Analog is still running. My USC-based Tracfone prefers Bell over Verizon.
Rogers: EDGE coverage unchanged from last year. No 3G. TDMA and analog are gone.
Telus: Unchanged. Good signal in the area.

01/14/2008: Verizon Southern VT report

Report from Jim S:

I was in Arlington Vermont on Sunday 01/13/08 and it appears that Verizon now has service in that area . The service doesn't seem as strong as Nextels signal, but it's there, three to four bars, sometimes only two.

01/05/2008: Verizon Keene NH report

Report from Mark Mervine:

I noticed this live on 1/1 and it is EVDO!

01/03/2008: Verizon Keene NH report

Report from Chris Cole:

I have noted as of 1/1/08 from Keene, NH to Brattleboro, VT along Rte. 9 I now have VZW coverage.  The VZW coverage map has [not] changed to reflect SW NH and southern VT.  Just thought you might like to know.  I currently live in NH, but work in VT, so I go back and forth quite frequently.

09/03/2007: Verizon NNH/WME report

A couple of coverage reports while I was up north

Rt 93 EV/DO - Verizon EV/DO (PCS) continues north until Plymouth.

Rt 2 PCS - Surprisingly good 1x coverage from a few miles in from the NH/ME border to where Rt 5 goes north to Andover. Signal is overall better than native 850 coverage on USC and Unicel.

09/03/2007: Andover ME checkout

Once again ... was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance! 

Overall: Surprise this year. U.S. Cellular must have tuned their CDMA system. Still a poor signal (typically -106 to -111 dBm) but voice, SMS and data work. Up to this year it was impossible to get anything from CDMA.
    CDMA was usable for voice, SMS and data
    AMPS and TDMA are unchanged (poor but you can make a call if you find the sweet spot and hold still)
    GSM still does not exist.
With weak but reliable CDMA service I could finally put my CDMA phones to the test - and it was rather surprising. The Nokia 2126i did the best for voice, followed by the Blackberry 8703e, then the Motorola e815, then the 7678 and rounding out the bottom of the list - the RAZR maxx.

Campground Test:
    1x: Able to make calls, send and receive SMS, data usuable and surprisingly fast for a poor signal
    TDMA: Poor. Did not bother trying to make calls - signal same as last year
    AMPS: Able to make call on DPC550. Did not bother with other phones - signal same as last year
    GSM: No service. Unicel seems to have GSM running on all their towers so don't know why there is no GSM signal, when there has been TDMA and AMPS service for years.
    TDMA: Poor. Did not bother trying to make calls - signal same as last year
    AMPS: Seems worse than last year - could not make call but did not try that hard

5/1/2007: New Verizon coverage in VT/NH

Report from Eric Kingsley:

Verizon has added coverage south on West Lebanon, NH. I have Verizon coverage in Claremont now (SID 300). I believe the tower to be on top of Mt Ascutney. There's also added coverage down I-91 until at least exit 6 (SID 28). I'm only telling you what shows up on the phone when I look for the current network. I've tried looking over at NE cell sites, but they haven't updated lately. You may want to get someone else to confirm this, though. The new coverage is less than 2 weeks old, I believe (was roaming on USCC then). Still no VZ in Keene, NH as I was there over the weekend and on USCC.

11/15/2006: Ormond Beach FL checkout (on the beach - North end)

RF Best to worst:
Verizon:                      -77 dBm      PCS B (SID 4192)
Nextel:                       -87 dBm      ESMR 800
Cingular GSM               -89 dBm      Cell A/Cell B/PCS E
Cingular TDMA/AMPS:    -92 dBm     Cell A/Cell B (SIDS 75, 308, 325)
T-Mobile:                    -96 dBm      PCS A
Sprint:                        -101 dBm    PCS D (SID 5116)

No dropped calls. Voice dropouts on Cingular, Nextel and Sprint.
Cingular TDMA service was unusable (all three systems - fast busy 99%)

09/02/2006: Andover ME checkout

Was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance! 
    Nothing really changed in the past 3 years!
    AMPS and TDMA are the only reliable services.
    CDMA gives a great signal but no calls can be made.
    GSM does not exist.
    As expected, the Nokia 2126 was the weakest analog phone (no surprise - internal antenna)

Campground Test:
    1x: Decent signal but not able to make calls
    TDMA: Able to make some calls on 6160.
    AMPS: Able to make some calls on DPC550, 6160, 7868, 2126 (one call). DPC550 is the analog king, followed by the 6160.
    GSM: No service.
    TDMA: Able to make some calls on 6160.
    AMPS: Able to make some calls on DPC550, 6160, 7868. DPC550 is the analog king followed by the 6160.

8/27/2006: Whitefield, NH (Mount Washington Regional Airport) area wireless signals

I had not been to HIE (Mount Washington Regional Airport) before and figured it would be a good place to check what services were available. I was there for a search & resuce exercise. I had previous looked at the Verizon, Cingular and T-Mobile interactive maps. Based on that information U.S. Cellular and Unicel would be the only signals available, and the maps indicated service would be at least fair to good. Basically that is exactly what I found there. I was sitting on the deck of the terminal (a very nice rustic building built by volunteers in 2000). Moving the phones around, it appears that both providers must be on the same tower, or at least a tower about the same distance away. The signal listed is the best I could get in a stationary position near the terminal.

    GSM: Very good signal (-81 dBm) - signal fluctuated quite a bit and making calls was problematic (dropped calls, garbled voice, cut outs)
    TDMA: Very good signal (-81 dBm) - service works fine
    AMPS: Very good signal (-81 dBm) - service works fine

U.S. Cellular:
    1x: Very good signal (-81 dBm) - service works fine
    TDMA: Very good signal (-81 dBm) - service works fine
    AMPS: Very good signal (-81 dBm) - service works fine

Driving around the area, the signal would fluctuate quite a bit, and there were many dead spots, from both providers. In any one given area one would be better than the other. For example, in the Twin Mountain area there was no GSM service at all. On Unicel, TDMA was absent in some locations where an AMPS signal was still there.

7/10/2006: Unicel completes Rt. 9 coverage through VT

It appears that Unicel has completed coverage along Rt. 9 in southern VT. There was a small dead area around west Brattleboro, but otherwise coverage is close to Unicel TDMA coverage.

6/29/2006: GSM Cellular Service [Coverage]  Report for Southern New York/Catskills Region

Report from : futureccgroup


First of all when we got into the airport (of Newburgh) we got 4/6 bars. It was great throughout the city, I had gotten 4/6 bars, then when we got onto the highway (HW 84), we lost service for about a minute going through the first toll booth, then the phone registered with CELLULAR ONE(!), they had solid coverage throughout the 84 corridor all the way into Newton.

After we had dropped CELL ONE, we got back onto the T-Mobile system from Newton to Milford, after we hit Milford; we registered back to the Cingular system. We have been on the Cingular system in Rowayton.

Rowayton, CT has decent service depending on where you are. I would say that on the highway T-Mobile did have better tower switching than Cell One did. Although Cell One did a better job in overall coverage area.

On the Metro-North Train in Rowayton/Norton Heights/Darien stations had 3/6 bars. Stamford/Old Greenwich/Riverside/ Cob/Greenwich, CT all had 2/6 to 3/6 bars. In New York the stations of Rye and Harrison had superb coverage at almost 5/6 bars the whole time. Service was in EMERGANCY ONLY mode in Mamaroneck, but recovered to about 3 bars in Larchmont. New Rocheller/Pellham/Mt. Vernon East all had 4 bars (at least). I got into a lot of trouble with dropped calls/calls failed in the tunnel leading out of Grand Central (as expected).

While in NYC I had great service -- about 5 bars or 6 -- near the Statue of Liberty, also the Empire State Building. I had fair --4 bars -- in Central Park area and in the Central Park Zoo. While near Time Square I had 6 bars, but in FAO Schwartz 3 bars (and underground 1). In Little Italy service was ok, at 3 bars, but in China Town I had only 1 bar, or EMERGANCY ROAMING on T-Mobile.

In New Jersey coverage is great in Ocean County, and Monmouth County. In Ocean grove, coverage is great in most places. In Jackson it’s very spotty. In Freehold its ok, and Red Bank its average. All I can say is that I expected better. My phone is doing better with the Cingular network... rarely going into Emergency Mode on T-Mobile (which is good).

I was in the Catskills today. In the Hunter Ski Lodge I got Cell1/DCS service. I also got service in some areas of the major highways in the park – LIMITED SERIVCE - (including: 295, 214, 42, 28, 212, 28(A), and 55A, 206, and 17). There is NO service in Phonecia. In Woodstock we had average DCS service. If you travel into the Catskills I would NEVER depend on a GSM phone for emergencies – because if you are not on the outskirts (within 10 miles) of the park entrance you will get no service (depending what entrance you came in). Another thing to note, is that you may be able to get service if you are on top of a mountains, while loosing service as you are hiking in the woods, or driving through the mountains (as happened to me).

Today we traveled from Kingston to Middletown in New York State. On HW 32 Cingular worked good, and Cellular One did a decent job with no dropped calls or loss of signal. On the 208 All the way to Walden I got non-stop Cellular One service, after Walden service started to drop off from the good performance. On the 416 Cell1 did well, with 4/6 bars usually. On i84 Cellular One was great - with no problems.

In the city of Middletown service was acceptable. In most of Orange County service was good except a few places... in the town of Wallkill is where I had the trouble.

5/14/2006: Cingular Blue Heritage TDMA prepaid users (eg: Free2Go, CallPlus, Locus, Beyond) are now local on the Orange TDMA network throughout MA, RI, CT, and upstate NY.

Boston/Eastern MA SID 7, Western MA SID 88, Albany/Capital District SID 63 and Central/Northern NY SID 77 is now local coverage for Heritage AT&T TDMA prepaid customers. I suspect this may extend to other Cingular Orange systems but I can't confirm that. That means no more 4x roaming rates and no more double dialing! Too bad the network is shutting down in 2008.

5/14/2006: Verizon PCS live in Franklin Co MA

Starting on I-91 at the VT/MA border, Verizon CDMA 1900 coverage is now live with SID 119. Coverage is good for the entire stretch of I-91 until Verizon CDMA 850 picks up at the southern border of Franklin Co. The Verizon coverage map has been updated (I must have missed the update, which must have been recently).

Since Unicel's CDMA system does not start at the border, my Verizon phone never had the chance to hit Unicel at all.

My U.S. Cellular phone was roaming on Sprint PCS the entire route (USC needs a new PRL to make SID 28 PCS a higher priority than Sprint's).

This will have a rather large negative effect on Unicel's CDMA roaming revenue in the county.

4/15/2006: 310-380 tower found in Amherst, NH

I found a Cingular tower running 310-380 in the Amherst NH area today. I guess I have not been very good at watching the Cingular network lately.

4/14/2006: 310-380 is back in Northern MA

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that Cingular's GSM-1900 system is now back to 310-380 in Tyngsboro MA. It's not really a problem as Cingular's Northern MA's GSM-850 and Cingular's Southern NH's 1900-GSM are both 310-410, so there is no transition problem.

Actually a Network Scan yielded four networks, Cingular-410, Cingular-380, T-Mo-260 and a fourth network I was not able to identify, due to Cingular blocking the real network names. I don't think Unicel has any PCS licenses in that part of MA, but I suppose it could have. 

4/12/2006: Unicel turns on GSM-1900 in the Nashua/Manchester Metro

The two Unicel-1900 TDMA sites have been converted to GSM. One site is in downtown Nashua and the other one is somewhere in the Manchester area.

The TDMA system was just in place to keep their license in this area from being taken away. Hopefully Unicel is more serious about GSM here. There are probably a good number of Unicel subscribers roaming in this area from Keene and the Seacoast.

I was able to register, make and receive calls, using the Unicel network, on my Cingular Tracfone v170.

3/14/2006: New Unicel coverage in Troy and Walpole NH

Report from Mark Mervine:

More than a year behind schedule ... Unicel now has GSM 850Mhz coverage in Troy and Walpole, NH. This fills in a couple of large gaps in their network in SW NH. Walpole has been on for a couple of months, but Troy came up just this week.

2/18/2006: New Unicel tower in Dedham, ME, Expanded T-Mobile coverage in Ellsworth, ME

Report from Drew Baxter:

It seems Unicel has added a 850/1900 tower in Dedham Maine on the way to Ellsworth. Originally Bangor ME to Ellsworth coverage was horrible for a 10-15 mile stretch. I haven't driven it yet but people who I've talked to that traveled that area today seem to be very impressed with the upgrade. I guess they must be aiming 850 toward Penobscot county (Dedham is on the line) and then 1900 toward Ellsworth.

Unicel holds 1900mhz licenses for Hancock and Washington County, which are normally served on 850 by US Cellular and Cingular. Cingular has a fair deal of apathy regarding their coverage in their Eastern Maine service areas, so this is good.

Also, T-mobile continues to provide more coverage in Ellsworth itself, natively. I now have coverage from the edge of the city and in through the city, where about a month ago it was roaming on Cingular except for one small area on Route 230.

Things are definitely looking very positive for GSM. Now if Unicel can fix the dead spot between Shelburne NH and Gorham NH on Route 2.. That's a big void.

Route 302 and The Maine Turnpike (I95) are great from more or less North Conway to Gray, up to Bangor. Few drop outs, etc. I went to St. Johnsbury VT last Saturday and came back through 302.

2/18/2006: New Nextel tower near Waterville, ME

Report from Fred Staples:

Nextel has just added another new cell site just below Waterville, Maine. It's located on Cook Hill in Vassalboro.

This fills in much of the Augusta to Waterville hole along I95. It should also provide some coverage along route 3.

2/3/2006: New Nextel tower in Bangor, ME

Report from Fred Staples:

Last week I picked up a new Nextel cell in downtown Bangor. It fills in a good part of the Bangor-Brewer-Holden hole on my August to Ellsworth drive.

1/18/2006: Wilmington VT: Unicel GSM-850 is ON

Report from  Scott Shannon

Wilmington, VT finally has GSM coverage. This week it looks like GSM-850 went live. My phone (T-Mobile Treo 600 )showed 2 to 4 bars throughout town and up Rt 100 as far as the border of Dover, VT. Dover may have coverage as well (I'm guessing with Mt Snow there, it probably does), but I didn't get over there yet to test it. My wife's non-850 phone showed no service.

1/16/2006: Stratton VT COW (cell on wheels) Report

Report from :Geoff

[This is] a recent discovery @ Stratton. I switched to Verizon and 484 CDMA Unicell Lic. Franklin County MA, is higher priority then USC.

I noticed a D on the phone instead of 1X @ Stratton, sure enough it's 484 !

Stratton always has Unciell COW's, and looks like Unicel is cornering the market.

At my house at Bromley, on a good knight, I also see 484 on my phone even though a 1484 tower is 3000 feet away!

1/16/2006: Litchfield Co, CT Alltel Report

Report from :Geoff

I am glad to report that Alltel's takeover of the A side is great.

The 850 instead of 1900 on the AT&T sites allows for much better coverage.

And in the hills, CDMA in my opinion is much better due to it's inherent multicast feature of letting the phone recieve from 3 towers at once. This allows for a conversation to take place in areas where 1 tower would have faded at times due to RF variations.

1/6/2006: VT GSM Report

Report from :Steven Iinuma:

The trip: 1.) From Richford, VT, through Enosburg Falls, VT and finally to St. Albans, VT via Rt 105. 2.) St. Albans to BTV via I-89. 3.) Up the I-89 to US/Canadian border.

My Details: Cingular Nation 450: 7pm N&W and M2M calls are properly applied on my bill when roaming on Unicel.

GSM phones that I brought along with me: All of them Motorola's.. V60gi, MPx 200 w/FEM, V635 and V551 w/FEM.

Phones that I actually used for voice calls: V551 and V635. (I wonder why!)

You must have a phone that's capable of utilizing 850 MHz. No "if's", "and's" or "but's". The 1900 MHz band doesn't exist in this area until you hit Burlington, even then.... The engineering menu on my V551 revealed nothing but the 850 MHz band being utilized. EDGE is active on the Unicel network in this region.

Trip Details:

* In Richford VT, my V551 read anywhere from -90dBm (~3 bars) to -100dBm (~1-2 bars). Serivce would sometimes drop completely and then pick up Unicel again, this happened several times.

I made two calls and voice clarity was good even though I would notice that my "bars" would go to "zero", I was afraid that my call would drop but that wasn't the case. Richford is 850 MHz only.

* From Richford to Enosburg Falls on Rt 105 (west) Unicel only exists on the 850 MHz band.I did find myself on Rogers Wireless GSM of Canada during the drive a little after leaving Richford, be careful. Enosburg Falls is 850 MHz only.

* From Enosburg Falls to St. Albans on Rt105 (west)..nothing, nada, zip, zlich, zero using GSM.

* Once you hit the outer limits of St. Albans near the I-89 I picked up Unicel, again. St. Albans is 850 MHz only.

* I-89 is 850 MHz only.

* I-89 to BTV.

I switched to the MPx 200 once I hit Burlington. I was unable to get the actual signal readings from my MPx 200 since the engineering menu doesn't display the values like the V551 does, but I can tell you that this phone kept going from "310890" to "No Service" to and from the airport. It has been confirmed by the webmaster that GSM 1900 MHz isn't good at all in Burlington.


* -88dBm (~4 bars) to -100dBm (~1-2 bars) seemed to be the average for signal strength from Richford to St. Albans, and on the I-89 between Burlington to the US/Canadian border.

* Audio quality was acceptable even as you get close to -95dBm (~3 bars) Watch out! Audio quality will drop (i.e garbled voices) sometimes on the I-89, even with the best phone (V635) I had on me my audio quality still suffered because of medicore/poor coverage. Expect your calls to drop.

12/25/2005: Nextel ME Update

Report from Fred Staples:

Over the last couple of weeks I've made several trips to Ellsworth via routes 95, 395 and 1A. In addition to the towers turned up between Waterville and Bangor, two new ones were added along 1A. One of them a couple of miles south of the Holden Dedham line and the other on the Ellsworth Dedham line. The tower located in Pittsfield that had not been turned up when I first reported the new coverage is now working.

A new site was just turned on Thursday. It overlooks downtown Augusta and should fill in part of the hole between Gardiner and Waterville.

With the exception of the Gardiner/Augusta to Waterville hole and the Bangor-Brewer-Holden hole, Nextel should have (for the most part) good to excellent coverage along routes 95, 395 and 1A from Kittery to Ellsworth.

12/07/2005: Nextel ME Update

Report from Fred Staples:

Nextel has just turned up at least 5 new cell sites between Waterville and Bangor Maine. The ones I picked up were Waterville, Clinton, Burnham, Etna and Carmel. I believe they have a site in Pittsfield they haven't turned up yet.

11/26/2005: Western NH/Southern VT update / Rt. 9 / NYS I-90

Little change from my 7/10 trip.

No coverage changes from Nashua to  Rt 91.  Because Cingular integration was completed throughout NH, there is no more dropped calls between the old Orange/Blue handoff outside Wilton.

Verizon roamed on USC throughout western NH & southern VT. Verizon roamed on Unicel CDMA in Franklin Co MA.  I had reports that Verizon had issues with these areas, but I didn't.

Cingular Blue TDMA prepay uses the entire Cingular TDMA network in MA as local. TDMA-1900 has been shut down in eastern and western MA.

Cingular GSM Integration has not been completed in western MA. I was able to register on 310-380 and 310-410. Integration is in progress in Albany. The eastern part of the metro area was not integrated but the western metro area was.  Integration has been completed in Utica and Syracuse.

09/25/2005: Coverage report: Twin Mountain, NH

Surprisingly little coverage here.
U.S. Cellular (Cellular "B" 850 MHz) dominates the area. Very strong signal on CDMA, TDMA and analog throughout the area.
Unicel (Cellular "A" 850 MHz) has a weak signal on TDMA and analog. They are not running GSM here.
There is no other cell coverage!

09/02/2005: Nextel Service expanded in ME

New Nextel coverage in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor ME (thanks to Fred Staples for the report)

09/02/2005: Rt 2 GSM checkout (NH/ME)

Drove up Rt 93 to Rt 3 to Rt 115 to Rt 2 to Rt 5 in Andover ME again this year

Cingular service now continuous along Rt 93 from Concord all the way to Rt 3 in the notch. Service drops off quickly and is picked up by Unicel.  On Rt. 2 there are several dead spots, including the NH/ME border.  U.S Cellular coverage is better than Unicel along Rt 2, especially in ME.

Verizon service now continuous along Rt 93 from Concord all the way to Rt 3 in the notch. Service then switches to extended network (USC) within a mile.

Was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance! 
    AMPS is problematic. Last year I could make calls on U.S. Cellular and Unicel analog, but this year it was all but impossible. It could be more tree cover or it could be the removal of some analog cells, I'm not sure.
    The Motorola e815 has the best CDMA-850 front-end. It could make calls where the v60ic and 7868 and 3589i could not even find a signal.   

Campground Test:
    1x: Decent signal but not able to make call on e815, 3589i, v60ic or 7868
    TDMA: Able to make 1 call for several seconds, but call dropped.
    AMPS: Able to hit the tower a couple times on 3589i, 7868 and 6160. Unable to sustain call.
    GSM: No service. Not sure why GSM is so much weaker than TDMA or AMPS.
    TDMA: Able to make 1 call total. Call dropped after 3 minutes. Every other call attempt resulted in fast busy or a drop to analog (which was unsuccessful).
    AMPS: Able to hit the tower a couple times on 3589i, 7868, v60i and 6160. Unable to sustain call.

8/14/2005: I-89 (VT/NH)

The big change this trip is the lack of TDMA running on some towers.  North of Burlington I found that some Unicel sites were GSM & AMPS-only.  U.S. Cellular is running CDMA & AMPS-only just south of Lebanon NH.

7/10/2005: Western NH/Southern VT update / Rt. 9

No changes from my 5/15 trip. There is still no GSM service between Bennington and Brattleboro VT along Rt. 9. It's CDMA and TDMA only (and analog of course).

One obscure (but perhaps interesting to some of you) item is that in Franklin Co MA, my U.S. Cellular phone roamed on Sprint PCS rather than Unicel CDMA. I found that interesting. 

7/4/2005: I-89 (VT/NH)

The only big change is the addition of Unicel GSM-850. This is a huge improvement since my 8/7/2004 trip. There was good service pretty much the entire stretch.  GSM-1900 has been reduced and I only saw it in two spots in VT, one around Burlington and the other just south of MP. 

5/22/2005: I-89 Unicel update

Report from acd483:

Took a trip up I-93 to I-89 into northern VT. Had a Nokia 1100 (Cingular), a Motorola V188 (T-Mobile) and a Motorola v300. The 1100 and v188 have GSM-850, the v300 does not.   The v300 had poor or no service.

Unicel GSM-1900 was operating okay in Burlington but very poorly in Waterbury. Not sure there was 1900 anywhere else.

Unicel GSM-850: Worked 90-100% of the time along I-93 and 85-90% of the time along I-89. A small lapse in coverage in Sharon VT. Full bars in Montpelier, Stowe and Waterbury. Vastly improved indoor coverage ranging up to 4-bars. Unicel has replaced their 1900 towers with 850 and they are performing wonderfully.

Both Cingular and T-Mobile are able to roam on Unicel GSM-850. Worked well. T-Mobile customers must have a recent phone, as the older models either did not have GSM-850 or it was disabled.

5/15/2005: Western NH/Southern VT update / Rt. 9

Unicel: GSM-1900 has been shut down in Keene NH and Bennington VT. This is not a surprise as Unicel's GSM-850 system is much better than the 1900 system was. Other Unicel GSM-1900 systems have probably followed suit. Northern New England is no place for a GSM 900/1800/1900 or GSM-1900 only phone. You MUST have GSM-850. There was no Unicel GSM coverage for most of the way between Bennington and Brattleboro. There was Unicel TDMA coverage, so this shows that the GSM-850 overlay is still not complete.

Verizon: No report (did not have that phone with me)

Cingular: Nothing new
Nextel: Nothing new

Sprint PCS: Nothing new

T-Mobile: Nothing new

3/20/2005: Manchester NH to Syracuse via Rt.101 / Rt. 9 / I-91 / I-90

The MA/VT border is a very weak coverage area.

Verizon: Nothing new in NH. Usual coverage until Dublin NH. Then U.S. Cellular takes over until a few miles from the MA border on I-91.  Analog Verizon coverage just north of the border (Verizon SID 119). There must be a very high tower as there is no Verizon coverage for miles and miles! Coverage switches to Cingular analog (SID 88) for a few miles right after entering MA. Then Unicel CDMA hits in a few miles with digital (no 1x) coverage (SID 484).

Cingular: Nothing new in NH. Nothing in VT along I-91.  Coverage starts right at the VT/MA border. Coverage is typically good, although the best signal might be on Blue or Orange at any given time. There is full Blue TDMA 1900 starting right from the border, which I was not aware of. The Mass Pike extension is running all Orange (no Blue), and is a combination of GSM-850 and GSM-1900. The 1900 seems to be superior in that area.
Nextel: Nextel is unchanged since my last trip (Dead from Dublin NH to I-91). Good coverage along I-91 in MA.

3/14/2005: Nextel Coverage at Sunday River ME and Loon Mtn NH

Report from Frank Toner:

Just returned from Sunday River ski area in Bethel Maine and Nextel has a new tower on top of the mountain which is providing the entire town of Bethel with excellent coverage. Coverage from Portland to the Gray exit is good but coverage from Gray to Bethel along RT 26 is very spotty at best with large areas of no service. This coverage is not even shown on the new updated Nextel coverage maps.

I also was at Loon Mountain in Lincoln New Hampshire off Rt 93 and there is also excellent coverage at that resort as well. Not sure exactly sure where that tower is located. This coverage must also be new because it is not on the Nextel coverage map. Coverage just outside the ski resort is poor.

Nextel must be covering the ski resorts that are very popular first and then I hope they plan to fill in the areas that are on the way to the resorts.

2/27/2005: NH I-93 to VT I-91

Report from petebostn:

I just completed a trip up I-93 to I-91 in Vermont. I witnessed the new Verizon PCS coverage you had mentioned in the Plymouth area and this continued all the way until just about exit 34A (Cannon/Franconia Notch area). This was significantly increased from when I was there for Christmas. North of 34A was US Cellular until of course the Vermont border area. 

2/19/2005: Manchester NH/Lebanon NH/Keene NH Loop (Rt 93/89/91/9/101)

A four hour tour!  I was solo, so I did not have a chance to watch the phones full time, since safety was the primary consideration. I concentrated on GSM.

Overall Findings:  
    Prepaid GSM is a joke in northern New England. It is not ready for prime time. You will have no service most of the time.
    Unicel 850-GSM continuous from I-89 exit 13 to Lebanon, down I-91, to Keene and beyond (except Springfield VT)
    GSM is indeed DEAD in Springfield VT (no Unicel, no nothing)
    Cingular Orange 1900-GSM now solid from Keene to Wilton, where Cingular Blue 1900-GSM picks up
    T-Mobile was dead for 95% of the trip. No improvements.
    Verizon PCS confirmed in Lebanon
    Sprint PCS coverage for most of the entire trip
    Nextel poor on sections of I-91, but new coverage from just east of Keene to Manchester

Unicel: Now that GSM-850 is on, Unicel has improved substantially. I was not able to connect to the network, so I could not check data, but at least I could see the signal. Unicel GSM-850 was detected somewhere around I-89 mile 48 (8 miles northwest of exit 13). I was not able to pick up any GSM-1900 at that point, but it showed up as I got closer to Lebanon. From there, coverage was solid until I approached Springfield VT. I knew this was a problem area, so I stopped in town to see if there was any signal. Nope. GSM was totally dead. I was able to pick up Unicel TDMA, so there are towers, GSM is just not turned on yet (Unicel does not seem to be in any hurry). So there is a 5-10 mile dead spot on I-91, and then it picks up again.  GSM-850 was pretty solid except for that stretch. GSM-1900 only shows up around the major towns, so they have not improved it at all (there is no reason to).  Unicel GSM-850 continues through Keene, where GSM-1900 is also available. I don't remember how far Unicel goes beyond Keene, but its not that far.  Unicel should roam on Cingular Orange at that point.

Cingular: Cingular Blue until around I-89 exit 9. Then Cingular Orange took over the rest of the way up I-89 to I-91. Cingular was then lost quickly. Neither Cingular Prepaid nor SpeakOut is allowed to roam, so prepaid GSM was effectively useless until Keene. Cingular Orange returned a few miles west of Keene. From there is was solid all the way to Wilton. That is all new coverage!  In Wilton, Cingular Blue returned for the remainder of the trip.

T-Mobile was the big disappointment. I saw no improvement since last year. T-Mobile was quickly lost at I-89 exit 4, and was totally dead the rest of the way up I-89, down I-91, and Rt 9 to Keene. There is coverage in Keene, but it quickly dies out, as it did a year ago. Then T-mobile is dead until Milford, where it returned for the rest of the trip. If you have a postpay account, you'd be roaming on Unicel most of the way, which is good.

Verizon: Solid cellular signal to I-89 exit 13 and then the new Verizon PCS (SID 28, channel 825) took over. A decent (not great) signal from there to I-91, and down I-91 for a few miles. No hint of Verizon SID 300. Then the phone switched over to U.S. Cellular, and stayed there all the way down I-91, over Rt 9, and then Rt. 101 until Dublin NH, when Verizon came back. No Verizon around the Keene area yet. USC had a good signal the entire way.

Sprint PCS: A signal just about the entire trip. There were a few dead spots, but not bad! Coverage has improved around Keene.

Nextel: Not much has changed for Nextel along I-89. There is still a several mile dead spot on I-89 around exit 13. Coverage was very spotty on I-91, without a signal most of the time. There was no Nextel in Keene. However, Nextel picked up about 10 miles east of Keene, and was solid for the rest of the trip. That is new coverage!

2/12/2005: Updated GSM report - Keene/I-91 area

Report from Mark Mervine:

Unicel GSM is up here in the southwest part of NH and Southeast VT. Since Unicel doesn't have any international roaming, I went and got a Cingular account out of my office in MA which is where most of my calls are made anyways when I am in New England.

There is pretty good coverage on route 9w from Keene to Brattleboro with one 1.5 mile dead spot. On I-91 around Brattleboro the coverage is spotty due to the terrain. On I-91 north to Putney the coverage is pretty good.

The Unicel tower in Troy NH does not yet have GSM. They told me today that it would be on line in 2-3 weeks.

Anyways...what I have wanted for a long phone that I can use around the world has finally come to the woods of NH (Spofford). Once the Troy tower is on line, I will have pretty good coverage all the way to Boston. The AT&T signal comes about 5 miles into southern NH along route 12 and there will only be a short gap between that and Troy.

1/12/2005: Nextel active in Windsor, Manchester and Brattleboro VT

Report from Mike & Willy:

I have Nextel if your wondering about coverage. .I drive truck through out Vermont and N.H. Nextel has just turned on a tower in Windsor. Manchester and Brattleboro has been on for a few months

1/12/2005: Verizon active in Lebanon and Hanover NH

Report from Brian Stevens

I live in Lebanon, NH, work in Hanover, and travel extensively around NH and New England. Towards the end of December my service in the valley was rather flakey. For a couple of days my phone would continuously cycle between a full CDMA Verizon signal and "no service". My wife's phone exhibited similar behavior. After a couple of days I had good Verizon CDMA signal that seems to extend through a large portion of the region where there had been no Verizon service previously. A trip to Concord on I-89 shows good coverage from here to Concord also. I haven't had my phone switch to a CDMA "Extended Roam" (US Cellular?) signal since then. I'm guessing that Verizon has added their own service in the area.

1/4/2005: Manchester NH to Keene NH GSM update:

Report from Mark Mervine:

I was driving from Manchester to Spofford today. To my surprise, there is now good Cingular (1900) coverage west of Wilton all the way to about 3 miles west of Peterborough.

The signal is dead from there until 2 miles east of Marlborough (except for a very weak signal on Dublin hill). It dies again at the top of the Chesterfield hill about 5 miles west of Keene.

11/29/2004: Maine GSM Report:

Report from Gram Schweikert:

I headed up to Maine for the holiday and thought I would share my service report with my new Sony Ericsson T637 on AT&T Wireless:

Traveled up I-95 (Maine Turnpike) with good service on AT&T all the way to Bangor where it changed over to US 890. (Obviously while driving I was not watching constantly, but it seemed to have at least a bar or two the whole way.) Northwestern Bangor (Mall area & 95) seemed to be well covered by US 890 (I assume this is Unicel [yes]). Downtown switched back to AT&T. Travel from Bangor to Ellsworth had a gap in service for about 15 miles starting in Dedham with service returning a few miles outside of Ellsworth (Again with AT&T but T-Mobile also present). Coverage between Ellsworth and Blue-Hill was a little patchy, but service was strong in Blue Hill, and I actually had service on the second floor [...] in East-Blue Hill where I never had service with Verizon in the past.

My travel then took me back to Bangor before heading down 1A to route 1 to Belfast and Northport. Coverage dropped out just past Hamden, and didn’t really pick back up till Belfast where I had reasonable service on US 890. Service then dropped off again until coming within range of a tower just north of the Lincolnville town line. This was certainly a bit worse than Verizon had in this region, but it was always difficult to maintain a call along that stretch of road. Again, at my mothers house which directly down the hill from the tower on Rt. 1, service was about the same as with Verizon as the hill blocks coverage in much of the house.

My return took me out Rt 3 from Belfast to Augusta before rejoining I-95. Service on Rt. 3 was nonexistent once outside of Belfast, before approaching Augusta.

Generally I was rather pleased with the coverage compared to what I expected. If I lived in Midcoast Maine I certainly wouldn’t choose GSM yet, but for the occasional visit, it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be, at least for the specific areas I was interested in.

11/27/2004: Albany NY to Manchester NH (Rt 7/9/101 VT/NH)

Changes from my July trip:

Unicel GSM-850 is ON.  The entire GSM-850 system is not yet operational, but portions are up.

I traveled east on Rt 7/9/101 from Albany to Manchester NH

AT&T GSM-1900 (310-380) and T-Mobile GSM-1900 (310-260) die off pretty quickly once past the Rt. 7 shopping district outside Troy (no change from July).

Cingular had GSM-850 (310-410) coverage from Albany to the VT border. It is weak at times (no change from July).

At the VT border Unicel picked up with GSM-850 & GSM-1900 (310-890) until about 10 miles east of Bennington (GSM-850 is new since January). The center of Bennington is GSM-1900 only.

Then there was no GSM signal until I-91. There was no GSM service in West Brattleboro (to I-91). There was GSM-850 & GSM-1900 on I-91 and another 5 miles on Rt-101 (GSM-850 is new since January).

Then there was no GSM signal until a few miles west of Keene (unchanged from July)

Keene had Cingular GSM-1900, T-Mobile GSM-1900 and Unicel GSM-850 & GSM-1900 for a short period.  All three systems had a strong signal along Rt 9/101 for a few miles (this is improved since July)

Then there was no GSM until a few miles east of Peterborough.  I picked up Cingular GSM-850 briefly (which must be coming from MA). Peterborough had a weak Cingular GSM-1900 signal which is new since July.

After about 10 miles I was able to pick up AT&T GSM-1900 for the rest of the trip (with a few coverage holes). This is unchanged since July.

I picked up T-Mobile a couple miles before Milford (which is about the same as July).

T-Mobile and AT&T are then pretty decent, with the typical  low signal areas in the Amherst area, for the rest of the trip to Manchester (unchanged since July).

11/16/2004: Bridgeport CT to Pawlet VT

Report from Jeff DiStasio:

1st off, my trip took me from Bridgeport, CT to Pawlet, VT (about 20 mins north of Manchester right on Rt 30). I went up one way and came back another. Going up I went I-91 to Rt 30 in Brattleboro. On the way back, I went Rt 30 all the way down Rt 7 starting in Manchester. Here's what I found:

1. Service kept up with Verizon all the way up 91 to the VT border. They both lost service at the same time.

2. Cingular picked up a little service at the new rest area on I-91 and then lost it soon thereafter

3. Cingular service picked back up on I-91 just at the Brattleboro exit and was solid all the way through Brattleboro

4. Lost Cingular service just outside of Brattleboro and then picked it up in Dummerston for a little while. About 2 miles worth of coverage there.

5. Picked up a little bit of service about 8 - 10 miles before Jamaica. Lost it pretty quick.

6. Picked up service at the enterance to Ball Mountain State Park and kept it through Rawsonville and into Bondville. There was a small drop in Bondville and then it picked back up again for 3 - 4 more miles.

7. Picked up service 3 miles before the RT30/RT11 intersection and dropped it about .5 miles before. Seemed they probably had coverage going for Bromley and Stratton.

8. That was it for my trip up. I had zero coverage all the way through Manchester (see trip back notes) and up to Pawlet which is no surprise because nobody has coverage there.

ON THE WAY BACK (down Rt7):
1. oddly enough, I had solid service where I once didn't, at the entrance to Rt 7 south in Manchester. I just noticed it by chance so coverage could have been OK in Manchest center too.

2. Lost service shortly after getting onto Rt 7 and picked it up again 2 - 3 miles into Shaftsbury (2 mi or so before the sign that says "highest point on Rt 7").

3. Service died in Pownal, then up in Pownal, then down in Pownal (my scratch writing says something about a "view Barn), then up in S Pownal, then died quick then up quick. You get the point. It was spotty here.

4. Died in South WIlliamstown for about a mile then up again all the way into Bennington and into Mass.

5. For the rest of the way coverage was about as good as Verizon's until the CT border where CINGULAR BEAT VERIZON hands down! The NW corner of CT is notoriously bad for coverage but Cingular really shined here. Follow the map..Rt 7 to Rt 44 to Rt 8. Cingular was awesome here.

All in all, Cingular has a way to go in VT but they are gaining fast. Their coverage maps are so overstated it isn't even funny. The Cingular phone was returned today. Sorry I don't know if the coverage was 850Mhz or 1900Mhz but hopefully this is useful, nonetheless.

10/16/2004: Montreal via I-93 & I-91

Report from edwardp:

I took that trip up north this past weekend. Destination was Montreal, Quebec (bus trip).

I only have information from the NH/MA border, up I-93 to I-89, and on I-89 through NH and VT to the Canada border.

I took the TracFone (Cingular GSM) with me, and their current map does not match the coverage. Between NH and VT, the coverage area really should be reversed between the two!

NH: Native (home) Cingular service (display read "TracFone") on I-93 to Exit 4. Then it began to roam on AT&T (display read "Roaming"). Phone continued to display Roaming (AT&T) until we reached W. Lebanon, NH when the phone continued to display Roaming, but a call to 611 indicated it was Cingular service up there.

VT: Lost Cingular service after exit 1 on I-89. No service all the way up to St. Albans. Reached St. Albans, phone was roaming on Cingular. No service after St. Albans. Between Georgia and Williston (or between Williston and Georgia, this was heading north on I-89), it was roaming on AT&T again, but from Williston/Georgis (again, whatever town is more northern) to the border, there was no service.

Cingular -postpaid- phone works in Montreal, tried it on a previous trip, not known at the time which network it was roaming on.

FWIW, I have been told by all of the carriers whose phones I currently have (TracFone, Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile) that prepaid phones are unable to roam in Canada. If AT&T allows Canadian roaming, then I fail to see why the others cannot allow it.

09/07/2004: Rt 2 GSM checkout (NH/ME)

Drove up Rt 93 to Rt 3 to Rt 115 to Rt 2 to Rt 5 in Andover ME

GSM service ceased to exist a few miles from Rt 93. No peep from GSM anywhere else along the trip. Unicel obviously has no GSM 850 running at this time.

Was camping about 12 miles north of Andover. No power, no phone lines. Nearest cell tower is 10+ miles. Very poor RF area, a great place to check phone performance!
    AMPS is still necessary!  CDMA and TDMA just can't communicate at long distances. GSM? What's GSM? 
    The StarTAC 7868 is the AMPS king, which is not surprising, since it has the highest transmit power
    The 3589i has the best CDMA 850 front-end, but the low power just could not hit the tower, AMPS is okay
    The 6160 is the best of the TDMA phones, AMPS is okay
    The v60it was not able to receive any signal at all, a very disappointing finding since it's the only TDMA flip

    1x: Not able to make call on 3589i or 7868 (best of all signals, about -98 dBm)
    TDMA: Not able to make call on 6160 
    AMPS: Able to make call on 3589i, 7868 and 6160
    GSM: No service
    TDMA: Able to make one call, but was dropped to AMPS on 6160
    AMPS: Able to make call on 7868 and 6160

08/27/2004: I-93 (NH) GSM checkout (north of Plymouth NH)

Report from Chris Reeves:

I took a trip up to the white mountains today and I checked out the signal for you along the way on my Cingular GSM phone. The phone was a Nokia 3590. I will continue where you left off and from Plymouth all the way up to exit 29 there was native Cingular signal (not extend). Between exits 29-30 approximately, was dead and coverage resumed between 30-31 again on native Cingular service. I took exit 32 into Lincoln and had full service for a few miles on the Kangamangus almost until Loon Mountain. Coverage ended a little ways before Loon, although i managed 2-3 bars of signal in a few spots on the summit of Loon and was able to make calls. Full service continued on Rt 3 around and in Clark's Trading Post and on the train through the woods that you can take while at Clark's. Hope this helps you out with your site!!! Oh and by the way, I also had full service in North Conway roaming on T-mobile.

08/21/2004: I-93 (NH) GSM checkout (MA border to Plymouth NH)

Drove up to Plymouth, NH

AT&T:  Good I-93 coverage from the MA border to the Exit 22 interchange (Sanbornton). It dies about 2-3 miles from there.

T-Mobile:  Good I-93 coverage from the MA border to the Exit 22 interchange (Sanbornton). There it dies

Cingular: Good I-93 coverage from the MA border to just south of Manchester.  There it dies until just north of the Exit 22 interchange (Sanbornton) and continues north to Plymouth (and it probably continues to the border, but I did not go that far)

Note that AT&T and T-Mobile have good coverage on Rt 3 from the MA border to the I-93 tie-in just north of Manchester.

08/07/2004: I-89 (VT/NH)

Not much has changed since last year.

I did not get a chance to check for any new U.S. Cellular CDMA 1900 coverage around Burlington

GSM: Very disappointing. I started at Rouses Point NY (Rt 2) and continued until Concord NH.  I was able to pick up Rogers for several miles, and bits and pieces of Microcell.  The only USA GSM signal I was able to pick up in VT was Unicel 1900 (310-890) and the signal was very spotty. About 50% of the time I was not able to pick up any thing. Things improved somewhat about 5 miles northeast of Lebanon NH when I picked up Cingular 1900 (310-410).  Cingular was the lone GSM provider until about 15 miles northeast of Concord.  Cingular coverage was pretty good, better than Unicel, although there were a couple dead spots.

08/07/2004: Bar Harbor ME

Report from Piotr Nowak:

I was in bar harbor area [last week]. I had pretty good coverage in Ellsworth, Trenton and some in bar harbor. Not much on the island though... Both ATT & TMO 1900

07/31/2004: Old Forge/Inlet NY (Rt 28)

Not much has changed since last year.  Cingular (Cell "A") and Verizon (Cell "B") are the only wireless providers.

Cingular: TDMA/AMPS/GSM 850 coverage going north out of Old Forge until Eagle Bay. Then its dead until the end of Cingular's licensed coverage area (Inlet). Unicel picks up in Raquette Lake with TDMA/AMPS.

Verizon: 1x continues until a mile or so north of Old Forge. Then it's strictly analog until the village of Inlet, then there is nothing until halfway to Raquette Lake. I did not make it that far up, but I suspect its still analog.

07/11/2004: Albany NY to Manchester NH (Rt 7/9/101 VT/NH)

Not much has changed along Rts 7, 9 and 101 in the past seven months.

I traveled east on Rt 7/9/101 from Albany to Manchester NH

Cingular had 850 MHz (310-410) coverage from Albany to the VT border. It is weak at times (no change from January)

At the VT border Unicel picked up with 1900 MHz coverage (310-890) until about 10 miles east of Bennington (no change from January)

Then there was no GSM signal until a mile or two from Rt 91. Then there was Unicel 1900 MHz coverage (310-890) for a few miles.  This is new.  I could not pick up any GSM at Rt 91 back in January.

Then there was no GSM signal until a few miles west of Keene.

Keene had Cingular 1900 MHz (310-410), T-Mobile 1900 MHz (310-260) and Unicel 1900 MHz (310-890) coverage for a short period.  Cingular is limited to the center of town, the other two extend a few miles. The Cingular coverage is new since January.

Then there was no GSM until a few miles east of Peterborough.  It looks like AT&T expanded their coverage here, because I could not pick up AT&T until Wilton back in January.  It could be just coincidence or weather conditions.

I picked up T-Mobile briefly in Milford, but I lost it a couple times until driving past Rt 13.  In January I was able to pick up T-Mobile to the west of Wilton and I don't recall losing the signal in Milford.  It could be just coincidence or weather conditions..

T-Mobile and AT&T are then pretty decent, with a couple of low signal areas in the Amherst area, for the rest of the trip to Manchester.

07/02/2004: Augusta, Camden, Rockland ME

Report from Phillip Street:

We just recently purchased a couple of Blackberry 7230s with T-Mobile GSM/GPRS service for use up here in the Augusta Maine area. We've only had the devices for a couple of weeks. Initially it wasn't bad, we'd get limited GPRS service, which was expected, but for the past couple of days (30June - Today) the GPRS has totally dropped out, GSM is still working though. I've opened a trouble ticket with T-Mobile but not getting too far.

Anyway, I was just writing to let you know that when GPRS was working, I was able to get a fairly strong signal in the Camden/Rockland area. I suspect that new service has been added to that area.

06/12/2004: Utica NY (UCA)

Excellent coverage at Oneida County Airport.

Verizon 850 (SID 226): Excellent (-72 dBm)
Sprint PCS 1900 (SID 1462): Excellent (-78 dBm)
Cingular 850 TDMA (SID 77): Excellent (-79 dBm)
Cingular 850 GSM (310-410): Excellent (-79 dBm)
AT&T 1900 GSM (310-380): Excellent (-79 dBm)
T-Mobile 1900 (310-260): Very Good (-83 dBm)
Nextel is probably excellent as well, but did not have that phone with me.

06/12/2004: Saranac NY (SLK)

You better have a tri-mode phone because this is analog country!  Here's the coverage at Adirondack Regional Airport:

Verizon Analog (SID 1508): Excellent (-65 dBm)
Verizon Digital (SID 1508): Poor (-101 dBm) (phone kept switching to analog)

Unicel Analog (SID 313): Good in spots (-89 dBm)
Unicel Digital (SID 313): Fair to Poor (-97 dBm) (phone kept switching to analog) 

No roadrunner coverage here. Not a peep out of Unicel GSM.  No GSM coverage at all.

The story changes at 6500 feet :)   
I was able to access the following GSM services: T-Mobile (310-260), Cingular 850 (310-410), AT&T 1900 (310-380), Rogers (302-722) and MicroCell 1900 (302-5276?).  It was interesting to have to scroll the page to see all the GSM providers!  Microcell doesn't even have towers near the US border!
Even up here the phone went in and out of analog quite often. I was able to pick up all Verizon SIDS within 100 miles or so (1508, 1506, 226, 78). I was also able to pick up Bell Mobility CDMA.

05/28/2004: Meredith NH

Surprised to find no T-Mobile or AT&T GSM in the area (may be some coverage in the village but did not have GSM phones with me at the time).  Cingular has the lone GSM coverage on PCS Band A.

Overall, Verizon has the best coverage followed by U.S. Cellular.  Cingular GSM was third. Sprint PCS was poor. There was no Nextel, T-Mobile or AT&T service.

04/18/2004: Bangor ME (BGR)

Flew into Bangor ME today and this is the state of wireless in the greater Bangor Airport area:

Cellular A: U.S. Cellular CDMA (SID 1317) - Excellent
                   U.S. Cellular TDMA (SID 1317) - Excellent

Cellular B: Unicel TDMA (SID 254) - Very Good
                   <no GSM>

PCS:         T-Mobile GSM PCS-E (310-260) - Very Good
                  AT&T GSM PCS-A (310-380) -  Fair/Weak
                  Unicel GSM PCS-A (310-890) - Very Weak

No service available:
                 Verizon - NONE
                 Sprint PCS - NONE
                 Nextel - NONE

04/18/2004: Lake Placid NY

Input from Vlad Savulian, who was able to roam on Unicel (310-890) in Lake Placid NY this past weekend using his T-Mobile postpay plan

"Service is provided by Unicel (310-890) through a single 1900MHz GSM basestation. Outdoor coverage is pretty good, but end within a mile of the city limits. Indoor coverage is pretty poor."


01/25/2004: I-89 NH

Took a trip to check out how the Roadrunner Corridor is going, and also find out out how accurate the new AT&T GSM maps are for VT/NH. I took I-89 from Concord NH to Lebanon NH, also drove through downtown Hanover, and also about 10 miles west on Rt. 4 in VT.


The new AT&T GSM map is not correct. As soon as you move a couple miles from the highway you lose all GSM service. 

There were no GSM 850 MHz signals along the route 

Cingular GSM covers I-89 ok, as well as Hanover, but once you move 2-3 miles away you lose it. 

Unicel GSM covers Hanover better, but can't say its great (not enough time spent driving around) 

Sprint PCS goes in and out on I-89, unchanged for the past couple of years. Hanover is okay 

My T-Mobile Easyspeak SIM registered on the Unicel network in Hanover, but when I tried to use it, it returned "Network Blocked", and threw me off the system. T-Mobile postpaid customers are supposed to be able to roam on the new Unicel GSM system.

Unicel and U.S. Cellular have the best coverage in the Lebanon area, that should come as no surprise. 

There is no Verizon coverage in Lebanon/Hanover area (I thought PCS was on but it isn't) 

Interesting point: AT&T owns the PCS "A" and PCS "D" bands in the Lebanon area.  Unicel is operating on PCS "A" and Cingular is operating on PCS "D".  Therefore all of the GSM providers are working together to build out the GSM network. That is good news for GSM service in northern New England.

If you have any questions please shoot me an e-mail.

Here is how the trip went:, starting out in Concord:
Keep in mind the pick up/lose points are approximate

VZW - Cell-B (428)
USC-T - Cell-A (445)
USC-C - Cell-A (445)
AT&T-T PCS-A (1631)
AT&T-G PCS-A (310-380)
SPCS  PCS-B (4106)
T-Mob PCS-D & PCS-E (310-260)
Nextel ESMR (Boston System)

Exit 5: 
Lose AT&T-T PCS-A (1631)
Lose T-Mob PCS-D & PCS-E (310-260)

Exit 8: 
Pick up Cing-G PCS-A (310-410)
Lose AT&T-G PCS-A (310-380)

Exit 9: 
Lose SPCS PCS-B (4106)
Lose Cing-G PCS-A (310-410)

Exit 10: 
Pick up Cing-G PCS-A (310-410)
Pick up SPCS PCS-B (4106)

Exit 12A: 
Pick up USC CELL-B (1484)
Lose VZW CELL-B (428)
Pick up Unicel-T CELL-A (313)
Lose USC CELL-A (445)

Exit 13: 
Lose Nextel (Boston system)

Exit 15/16: 
Lose Cing-G PCS-A (310-410)
Pick up Cing-G PCS-D (310-410)
Lose SPCS PCS-B (4106)

Exit 16: 
Pick up Nextel (NY/VT system)
Pick up SPCS PCS-B (4106)

Exit 17:
Pick up Unicel-G PCS-A (310-890)

VT line: 
Pick up VZW CELL-B (300) 
Lose USC CELL-B (1484)

8 miles west on Rt 4: 
Only two signals available: 
Unicel analog (313) - weak 
Nextel - very strong

Late Dec/Early Jan 2004:

Here is the state of GSM in southern VT & NH:

I traveled east on Rt 7/9/101 from Albany to Manchester NH

Cingular had 850 MHz (310-410) coverage right to the VT border

At the VT border Unicel picked up with 1900 MHz coverage (310-890) until about 10 miles east of Bennington

Then there was absolutely no GSM signal of any kind until about five miles west of Keene. There was no coverage on I-91 in that area which was surprising. 

Keene had T-Mobile (310-260) and Unicel 1900 MHz (310-890) coverage for a short period

Then there was nothing until Wilton. 

In Wilton I picked up AT&T (310-380) and soon after that T-Mobile (310-260) coverage picked up for the rest of the trip.


Others have said they have picked up GSM service.  Here are some of the things people have said:

Unicel 1900 GSM (310-890) in Burlington, VT and Plattsburgh NY

Very good Nextel coverage along Rt. 4 from Rutland to White River Jct.  Nobody else can match that coverage right now!

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to [Cellguru].