: Off topic, Cell phone?

John Desjardins
03-06-2003, 11:14 AM
I've been a luddite in getting a cell phone and now face the high probability that I will have to get one. So I ask the informed tech gadgeteers of the forum, what services are needed from the phone Co, and what features are needed on the phone.

03-06-2003, 11:55 AM
John - I was one of those "I'll never buy a cellphone" guys until last year. Of course, I broke down and needed to get one for work. They can also be immensely handy when you're running late or need to change your pick-up time on the RipRyder.

They can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be. Mine has voice recog dialing, ping pong, txt messaging etc but I never even figured out how to use these features and have no desire to.

My suggestion would be to hunt around online, get a deal where the phone is free (mine was) and don't sign a contract for longer than one year. I have voicestream which has excellent customer service but poor coverage (VS does not pick up analog signal). Therefore I will switch carriers so I can get recption in the mountains, on the slopes, busting poachers or whatever. I try to keep it simple whenever possible ;)

Good luck,


03-06-2003, 02:02 PM

Here's my .02 for what it's worth. I have had a wireless phone (actually I have 3 right now / private, work, and work nextel)since the early days since I am a technophile and have learned some hard lessons about different phones. The one phone that I would recomend would be the motorola flip phone series because of it's durability and reception range. Granted it does not have all the bells and whistles of some other phones ie.. games, funky rings and the ability to change covers but like a timex it takes a licking and keeps ticking and in my business that is really important. Oh and get the insurance for the phone too !!!

As for which carrier to get it will depend on what you want to do with your phone but make sure you SHOP around since most carriers will require at least a years sign up time.

03-06-2003, 02:02 PM
(during business hours no less!) on a cell phone per month I've found two things: 1. you'll use far more minutes per month than you think if the word "business phone" is anywhere in the equation. 2. Most home areas are far smaller than you'd think and then you're into "roaming." This is where they stick it to you in the shorts.

"Free long distance" is a great addition (don't think I've made more that two LD calls a month on my home phone), but do get a service (such as AT&T's, but I'm sure there are others) that has 'free roaming AND free long distance).

Forgot to add: several "plans" have multi state coverage with the roaming/LD included in the basic monthly fee. Mine covers the 7 western States. Don't get into a 'different state" all that often but the 'free roaming/LD' will save you a ton of bucks.

03-06-2003, 02:05 PM
All I can say is I am happy with Sprint...no dropped calls ever.. and that is a good thing!!!

Willie Gunn
03-06-2003, 02:16 PM
I was never convinced I would ever use a cell phone, then someone said " try explaining to your grandchildren how you used to phone a building and ask to speak to someone."


03-06-2003, 02:22 PM
I've been with Sprint for a while now. Their reception seems to be patchy in places. When i'm 30 miles north of home fishing, i'm in roaming territory. Although, a few weeks ago I got a signal standing in a field out in the boonies of east texas. Weird.

I'd get a phone w/ a vibrating ringer and caller id. Voicemail is also nice, and is usally part of the deal.

I pay about $30 a month for my plan.


John Desjardins
03-06-2003, 02:35 PM
Thanks for the replys so far. I'm still formulating the requirements and will get back with more questions.

03-06-2003, 02:40 PM
In my opion coverage is the most important factor. After that are rate plans. Any company will offer everything else. I used to live in Marlboro, MA and found that Sprint had lousy coverage once you crossed 495. I have been with Verizon for about 3 years now and have really no complaints. With their America's Choice plan you have very few times you will roam and pay no long distance. My biggest reccomendation would be to ask everyone you know in your area about what company they use and any issues they have with coverage. I think just about every phone vibrates, has voicemail and most have voice dialing, which are the only features I really use.


03-06-2003, 03:08 PM
I second the Verizon recommendations... I am surprised to see that I actually out-talk Fred on my cell plan :devil:

Here's my take:

It's hard to track your minutes, so get into a plan that gives you enough. It's cheaper than paying minutes over the limit.

Get a national plan that lets you call from anywhere you need to without roaming charges. Verizon charges the same within a huge national area encompassing populated areas of most if not all metro areas. For the first time I was able to call from Minneapolis, Seattle, or Logan with the comfort of great reception and no additional charges for being out of the area. I even called while driving from Forks Washington, a remote logging town on the Olympic Peninsula, with crystal clear reception to Boston w/o a hitch.

Verizon has the biggest coverage area period. You will get a signal in more places with them than any other carrier.

To hang on to my old cell phone number, I held on to another carrier for several years. That mistake cost me thousands of dollars over the years I had it in extra charges, roaming, out of home area charges, etc. I could have bought a nice little skiff with all that money I pissed away.

Verizon works for me, I am extremely happy since I switched over.

03-06-2003, 03:28 PM
Don't forget you usually get 2 weeks or so to try the phone out and can return it within in that time and not break the contract. TAKE IT EVERYWHERE in those two weeks. If you like it keep it, if it is not working well, take it back.

The amout of variety in cell phone coverage from plan to plan is amazing. It may be a pain, but its worth it in the long run.

Also, the variety in cell phone reception from phone to phone on the same plan is pretty big too. I personally have had GREAT luck with samsung phones on the sprint network. Their coverage is great as long as you're near a populated area. Only place I've had a problem is in upstate VT while skiing, and it works on and off there. I'm kind of a cell phone dork, I could probably write for hours about the latest ones coming out, technology options, coverage, plans, but I'll stop here. Funny thing is it has no relation to my business at all.


03-06-2003, 03:42 PM
I echo Juro's comments re Verizon - the only cell carrier I know of that provides coverage in the tram on the way to the summit of Jay Peak.

I'm ditching Voicestream/T-Mobile tomorrow and making the switch. Too many dropped calls and dead spots.

03-06-2003, 04:15 PM
Most all plans with any carrier will give you a cell phone for free. The catch is, you usually have to sign a contract for one or two years and they are usually entry level phones. You will probably want/need a three way phone, analog, digital, and SAS or whatever that "other" system is that is used on the East coast. They switch automatically to whatever system is available no matter where you are, so the coverage is much better. Get a really good phone to start with because there is absolutly NO value for a used cell phone.

03-06-2003, 04:35 PM

Don't sell out. Be strong!

03-06-2003, 06:08 PM
I put between 1500 and 2000 minutes per month on my cell phone with work.

I've had Cingular, Verizon and now Nextel. I really like Nextel for work becuase of the walkie-talkie feature. Obviously, your friends or co-workers would need Nextel for you to realize any benefit. More than a few of my friends have Nextel as well so it works out quite well.

Cingular dropped many calls, Verizon was really good so I gave that Motorola phone to my wife when I switched to Nextel. I've had no complaints with the new phone so far. The walkie-talkie feature is supposed to go nationwide sometime soon so that will help. My current plan has unlimited walkie-talkie minutes, unlimited night & weekend minutes, free long distance and 1000 peak minutes all for $55.

Also, bear in mind, you can donate your old cell phones to organizations that provide for battered women. You need no type of cellular contract/service to dial 911. Any cell phone with battery power can call 911 at any time. They provide them to women in case the scumbags they're involved with decide to beat them again. You help them out and get a tax write off.:)

I also can endorse Motorola flip phones. All Nextel phones are Motorola models. As for games, I spend enough time on that damn phone without playing Tetris.........

03-06-2003, 08:55 PM
"Also, bear in mind, you can donate your old cell phones to organizations that provide for battered women. You need no type of cellular contract/service to dial 911. Any cell phone with battery power can call 911 at any time. They provide them to women in case the scumbags they're involved with decide to beat them again. You help them out and get a tax write off. "

Not worried about a couple of bucks for a tax deduction but the where/what of the donation makes an ''upgrade" worth every penny. Will look into this locally asap.

03-06-2003, 09:13 PM
I Have Cingular, Their coverage is not the best. I can't use it in the back field here. I can get between Block Island, and Montaup NY, and can call home with no additional charge. I tried Verizon, and their coverage was lousy, I only had it for a day, what a hell of a time I had getting rid of them, took a good 6 months. I was smart I bought it at Radio Shack and had a little piece of paper saying if I couldn't make a call from a certain area the contract would be cancelled, be very CAREFUL. I don't use it often so I been wondering about getting one using a calling card, I would save about $25 a month. Some months I don't make a call.Here in RI the taxes kill you. The state takes $1.00 just for 911. The taxes on $30 plan is $6.25 what a ripoff.

John Desjardins
03-07-2003, 11:41 AM
Thanks guys. now I just need to get my justoification in line so that it is paid through work. :devil:

03-07-2003, 11:56 AM
I've had Nextel for 5 years as have some of my family members(brother, cousins) they are pretty slick. IMO the best thing going. They will soon be adding nationwide direct connect this year also.

03-07-2003, 02:53 PM
John -

I just rolled up my local and long distance home land lines, my wife's and my cell phones, and initiated a DSL hookup for the computer using a Verizon plan called Veriations. Five separate bills consolidated into one and MAJOR monthly $avings. Worth a look.

03-07-2003, 11:37 PM
Good evening,
Normaly I would not touch this subject that was at one time so close to my... ah.... wallet.
So might I suggest an option not yet discussed
1- Buy a Cosco membership
2- Purchase a calling card for aprox. $20 for 500+min.
You will not get a better deal, you will not be bothered by phone calls that come at the worst times, and the best part is NO unexpected bills.
The being "connected" thing is marketing, pure and simple.
If people WANT to work with you, they will wait for you to get to a phone, and if it's a must that you not miss a call, get a pager, it's the lesser of two evils.
I agree with OC, Don't sell out, be strong!

Bob Pauli
03-08-2003, 01:05 AM
John D-
There are several considerations:
Battery life: There is nothing more important, in my opinion, than the time a mobile phone will operate without battery charging. That leaves out all the sexy small units. There are two battery life stats: digital environment and analog environment.
Read the mobile phone specs to learn the battery life in analog environments. 98% of the country is analog, so a fisherman leaving the city or the interstate highway system absolutely must have analog capabiliaty. Non-sexy mobile phones with extended life batteries will last at least 24 continuous hours in analog conditions. Small units are only good for a very few hours and some get too hot to hold when in analog mode.
There are several companies that offer only digital service. "All digital networks" are of negiligile utility to an outdoor type. Verizon and AT&T offer dual networks, meaning analog & digital, with vast coverage.
I use Verizon, and get good coverage in the US and Canada. The only areas I have experienced poor Verizon service are Warm Springs, Oregon [upper Deschutes River--AT&T has good coverage here], central Utah between Price and Duchesne and Fairbanks, Alaska.

An interesting side note. I traveled to B.C. September 10, 2001, to fish the Bulkley River on a two day float in the upper canyon. I was able to call home with Verizon analog roaming service during that very tense time. This was truly the boondocks--kudos to Verizon.

Just me
03-09-2003, 06:44 PM
I'm from Washington(the state). And I have Verzion service and not to happy with it. If you get out of site of their towers you seem to lose the signal. And the only way that it works in the mountains is if you are high enough to get in line with any tower. It works wonderful in the I-5 and I-90 corridors,but get off the beaten path and good luck. But from what I'm reading it seems to be the same all over.

03-09-2003, 06:49 PM

I agree don't do it, I have refused beepers, cell phones to date.

You are just going to be more accessible.

Maintain your personal privacy.

Only time I may wish I had one is when I am stranded some wheres but thats it. I can deal with being stranded once every ten years but not continually bothered with cell phone calls and beeps etc...

PM Out

P.S. If you get one never bring it fishing with you on the water. A cardinal sin.

John Desjardins
03-09-2003, 08:09 PM
Thanks for all the advice everyone. No decision has been made yet. Still working through the thought process.

03-10-2003, 04:48 AM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher

You are just going to be more accessible.

Maintain your personal privacy.


That is the whole purpose of a cell phone, is to provide access to friends, business, and most important family.

As for privacy, your number is not listed, and you have v-mail as well as a vibrate feature to avoid ringing.

03-10-2003, 07:20 AM
And there's always the power button...:hehe:

03-10-2003, 11:06 AM

Newer 'gee-wizz' stuff maybe the wrong answer to may users questions. If you need to 'log in' to read the article, registration is free (and bless them almost zero spam!).

Post Script: Hal nailed it with this comment: "P.S. If you get one never bring it fishing with you on the water. A cardinal sin." I'm forever amazed at howmany business calls I get on the weekend/evening/on the river from someone who just has to know!!!! some mundain bit of info.

03-10-2003, 11:45 AM
What if you were to fall while fishing and break a leg, or a family member turns gravely ill.

Here in the GL's you can turn in a snagger by calling an 800# and get the DNR out pronto.

A cell phone would be a blessing, it may save your life.

John Desjardins
03-10-2003, 12:19 PM
A prime reason to bring one fishing is to avoid the annual fight when I walk in the door to the sounds of screaming kids, sick wife and "DID YOU HAVE FUN FISHING.... WHERE WERE YOU I CALLED THE OFFICE OVER 2 HOURS AGO....." :hehe: And answering yes doesn't help the situation.

03-10-2003, 12:31 PM
I find my cellphone to be extremely helpful in keeping me out of hot water with the little lady :smokin:

My cellphone stays in my car. I never want to be available 100% of the time. Power button is key.

I agree with Hal that cellphones have no place on the river or on the golf course. Nothing is more irriatating than some clown standing around on the tee box, slowing up play, chatting away...