Cell Phone Service Quality

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2,419
Location
Toronto, Canada
Thread starter
As in strength of the signal. My service is provided by 7-11 Speakout, a small service provider who uses the Rogers network to carry the signal. I was in the underground parking lot of Walmart yesterday and I had zero bars on the signal strength display on my phone. Could not make any calls. I checked with one of the Walmart associates walking by and he said he had Rogers and that his phone worked well underground and that some other associates had Chat'r or Bell and their phones do not work underground. Chat'r uses the Rogers network, as does 7-11 Speakout. Mu understanding is that you get the same service quality with the smaller service providers who piggyback on the large company networks except when it is very busy and the network might prioritize their own customers and throttle down the service for the piggybackers. My experience yesterday indicates maybe you do not get the same service quality. Anybody have any input on this?
 
Messages
24,836
Location
Upstate NY
I believe you get the same number of bars when you have a cell provider who piggy-backs on a larger carrier. But you need someone else with identical phone whose carrier is the larger carrier to make a valid comparison. I believe data may get a lower priority if your cell provider piggy-backs on a larger carrier.
 
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2,779
Location
USA
The big money full name brand service will often roam to other networks if no signal from the home network. That is almost never included with an MVNO.
 
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2,167
Location
CA
Look on Wikipedia for MVNO. Google Fi is an MVNO; I haven't noticed worse or better bandwidth than when I had a direct T-Mobile account.
 
Messages
315
Location
Canadia
I wonder if the performance differences could be attributed to the devices themselves? Usually the piggyback carriers focus on hardware that is a generation or two old. Purely speculation, of course. I've been with Virgin Mobile for years for my personal phone, and don't notice a significant coverage difference between it and my work phone which is through Bell.
 
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8,955
Location
MA
Originally Posted by Alfred_B
Why would they have the same service for less cost? There will be differences and not only during peak times.
Why do plane, trains, etc have different prices when they all get you to your destination at the same time? Basically they have different costs because the carriers want to sell their excess capacity. The lack of service is probably due to the phone not the carrier. In the old days, you'd have to rotate an antenna to get a better signal. Just depends where he was in the garage, one spot could have no signal and another the signal can be good.
 
Messages
2,887
Location
Chicagoland
How old is your phone? Not sure about in Canada, but here in the states they recently opened up 600MHz and its slowly being rolled out. Not all handsets are capable of getting it.
 
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1,337
Location
texas
The phone makes a difference. my wife had ATT and an old Samsung Galaxy S3. She had no problems at her office or deep inside the grocery store (steel building) I got her a galaxy S7 and immediately the bars went down at every location. In the store she got zero bars where my S4 would get 1-2 bars. Same ATT service and account.
 
Messages
2,135
Location
Texas
Are you sure that the guys reporting that they are getting service in the underground garage aren't connected to a WiFi network? I know that there are complexes that have WiFi transceivers in their parking garages, this is pretty common. Technically, you shouldn't be able to receive a cell phone signal underground, period. Even the new 600 mhz band is going to have trouble with this.
 
Messages
16,002
Location
Silicon Valley
I uses Cricket, my wife uses AT&T. In theory they are the same but in practice, in remote area like national park, they aren't. I suspect the reason being AT&T has roaming agreement to cover where they can't, but don't do the same with their budget product like Cricket. The phones also make a huge difference. Newer phones use newly enabled bands that the old phones don't. For AT&T and Verizon they probably are already very stable, but for T-Mobile and Sprint these new bands make significant difference. So unless you are comparing services with the same phones (same generation, same specific model number, same band supported), they aren't apple to apple comparison.
 
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