BlackBerry Forums Support Community               

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Zeeland, MI
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Alltel
Posts: 16
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default I Need and Honest Opinion on Reception

Please Login to Remove!

I got my first Blackberry about a week ago. I decided on the 8830 from Alltel because Alltel had some attractive plans, and it has a good reputation around here (West Michigan). I previously had Nextel (i850), which has had a terrible reputation for service. I traded the convenience of the DC for what I figured would have much better phone performance (and because I wanted a nice Blackberry), but I'm very disappointed with the reception. Where I never had issues with my Nextel (my work -- in the building), I can't get enough reception to even talk on the phone throughout 3/4 of the building. Even when I have "full bars", I have people telling me that I must have bad reception. 9/10 I get somebody commenting on my poor service or the fact that it sounds like I'm at a party. As of right now, I'm assuming it's an issue with Alltel and can opt out of my contract because it's <30 days, but am I going to have the same issue if I switch to Verizon (reputation for best service around here)? Are Blackberry's or any smartphones generally worse for reception? I need a non-biased answer on this one. I'm not looking for "I love my Blackberry, and I don't have any problems with reception", I'm looking for a comparison to non-smart phones. Please help me, because I can't opt out of Verizon if it's <30 days.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Holz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: LA, CA
Model: 8310
Carrier: AT&T
Posts: 100
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoreef View Post
Are Blackberry's or any smartphones generally worse for reception? I need a non-biased answer on this one. I'm not looking for "I love my Blackberry, and I don't have any problems with reception", I'm looking for a comparison to non-smart phones. Please help me, because I can't opt out of Verizon if it's <30 days.
well, i can only speak from my own experience. i'm in LA and have been on at&t/cingular/at&t the whole time and have only had 3 BB's. before that, i was mostly a sony ericsson guy with one nokia mixed in. anyway, my 7130c, 8300, and 8310 have been excellent. i think for the most part they've all been about the same to me, but i rarely have dropped calls or lower than 3 bars of service. i get about 2 or 3 bars at work, but everyone does here on multiple providers. i've been pleased with the reception of the phones, especially since i always saw the blackberry as an e-mail machine first, phone second... but they've come a long way.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 02:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
 
Walt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida
Model: 8130
Carrier: Sprint
Posts: 320
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I know what you mean about Nextel. Their voice service is terrible. I can't help you with Alltel but I can say that Verizon is usually good everywhere. The only problem with Verizon is they cripple the gps and other features of the phone and charge extra for tethering. I have Sprint and the service is great and they don't cripple the BB and tethering is free. The best thing about Sprint is that they have a free incoming plan that works great for me since most of my calls are incoming.

Have you tried replacing the Blackberry? It might be defective especially if it shows full bars.
__________________
Walt
Florida, USA
Sprint 8130 Pearl 2
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
 
johnling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: MI, USA
Model: 9700
OS: .714
PIN: Cushion
Carrier: T-Mobile
Posts: 372
Post Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoreef View Post
I got my first Blackberry about a week ago. I decided on the 8830 from Alltel because Alltel had some attractive plans, and it has a good reputation around here (West Michigan). I previously had Nextel (i850), which has had a terrible reputation for service. I traded the convenience of the DC for what I figured would have much better phone performance (and because I wanted a nice Blackberry), but I'm very disappointed with the reception. Where I never had issues with my Nextel (my work -- in the building), I can't get enough reception to even talk on the phone throughout 3/4 of the building. Even when I have "full bars", I have people telling me that I must have bad reception. 9/10 I get somebody commenting on my poor service or the fact that it sounds like I'm at a party. As of right now, I'm assuming it's an issue with Alltel and can opt out of my contract because it's <30 days, but am I going to have the same issue if I switch to Verizon (reputation for best service around here)? Are Blackberry's or any smartphones generally worse for reception? I need a non-biased answer on this one. I'm not looking for "I love my Blackberry, and I don't have any problems with reception", I'm looking for a comparison to non-smart phones. Please help me, because I can't opt out of Verizon if it's <30 days.

I'm in West Michigan, Wyoming. T-Mobile is EDGE everywhere I have been in the Rockford to Byron Center area, Caladonia to Holland. I had a Samsung t809 before and while it was a good phone reception was not near as good as the with BB. Areas with 1 bar on the Samsung get EDGE with the BB. I'm happier with TMo than I have ever been with the BB and data plan.
__________________
Thanks,
johnling


9700, 8520 & Pearl -T-Mobile
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
Appleinator
 
Dubdub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Model: App5
OS: AJBR549
PIN: Ask
Carrier: ATT & Verizon
Posts: 20,030
Post Thanks: 54
Thanked 782 Times in 742 Posts
Default

Did you do your homework as far as reception goes, or did you just look at the maps and figured it would be ok?

When looking for a cell carrier, you really have to research them and determine which best fits your needs. You have to look at where you will use the device, where you live, work travel and play. The best way to get the info is to talk to people - friends, family, coworkers, etc. Don't look for a lot of help here, as we don't live where you live and we don't travel where you travel, etc. Do not trust the coverage maps. Look at them for general info, but you really need to talk to users.

In general, the best carriers are Verizon and ATT, followed by Sprint and T-Mobile. Alltel would fit in there someplace, but they are not a national carrier.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 02:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Zeeland, MI
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Alltel
Posts: 16
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I'm on my 2nd phone right now, because I figured there was something wrong with my 1st phone because I was dropping calls and everyone was telling me I was "breaking up". I went with Alltel because it was very highly rated by Consumer Reports (right up there with Verizon), and I also did a lot of asking around and got the same feedback from people I know. I got a lot of positive feedback on Alltel around here (Holland, MI). I know Verizon will be as good if not better for service, but I'm wondering if it will be good enough. My boss' Nextel 7520 BB actually had better reception than his previous Nextel phone, so I was under the assumption that a BB from another service provider would be better, although I'm getting some mixed opinions on BB reception. I've heard that smartphones in general do not have as great as reception as regular phones, because they're strengths are in other features. I thought I had the worst service (Nextel), so I was surprised that I'm having more issues with my new phone.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Zeeland, MI
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Alltel
Posts: 16
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I guess I need to know if things could improve, or if the BB is just not for me because of the reception. I love the phone though...
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 03:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Model: 8130
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Sprint
Posts: 26
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
I know what you mean about Nextel. Their voice service is terrible. I can't help you with Alltel but I can say that Verizon is usually good everywhere. The only problem with Verizon is they cripple the gps and other features of the phone and charge extra for tethering. I have Sprint and the service is great and they don't cripple the BB and tethering is free. The best thing about Sprint is that they have a free incoming plan that works great for me since most of my calls are incoming.

Have you tried replacing the Blackberry? It might be defective especially if it shows full bars.
I have Sprint also. They have the absolute best network and fastest network that I have seen. I usually do comparisons with all of my friends on ATT, Verizon and T-Mobile for speed. All networks have trouble areas, but during all my traveling I have found very few areas that Sprint doesn't perform great.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 04:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
Appleinator
 
Dubdub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Model: App5
OS: AJBR549
PIN: Ask
Carrier: ATT & Verizon
Posts: 20,030
Post Thanks: 54
Thanked 782 Times in 742 Posts
Default

It all depends on where you are. Just like real estate - its location, location, location.

According to the Verizon website, they just located a new tower in Holland on Dec 21st.

A quick Google search on cell coverage there turned up this link:

Cell Phone Coverage - Holland, MI - Page 1 of 2 - Cell Phone Coverage Search
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 05:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Model: All
Carrier: Plead the fifth.
Posts: 63
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

When comparing radio sensitivity of handsets it is important to compare perfomance in the same frequency band.

My experience of all the BB's @ 900/1800mhz is of a device with average to reasonably good sensitivity. Uplink/downlink balance and stability seem good, with speech lost in both directions, followed by drop when received signal level is poor. Compared with other devices used on the same network in the same location. Short of RF analysis kit these are the best way to confirm whether network or device is the issue.

At 1800mhz certainly Samsung and LG are as deaf as posts, newer Nokia handsets are also of low average to average sensitivity, Motorola and S.E are marginally better.

None are as good as the older stubby antenna devices like the nk6110 circa 1998 or so.

Where voice quality is concerned received signal level isn't the be all and end all to be honest. If you apparently have o.k received signal levels and other services don't suffer, e.g reasonable edge rates then possible the BTS/traffic channel is attempting to use a reduced rate speech codec which the BB can't handle.

I would query with your network whether they are using a reduced rate speech codec on the BTS's which serve you (more likely in busy urban). Straight half rate most devices can handle, but hardly anyone uses half rate anymore, more common is a form of adaptive multi rate. This in most respects is preferable in that it will scale speech compression according to requirement, but you can end up with some strange, device type centric speech artifacting. As a network it's undoubtedly worth looking at because if this is the cause there is a good chance other device types are affected.

I would also insist that your intention to withdraw <30 days is noted and agreed to, pending the results of any investigation they perform.

cheers

Worm

Last edited by Worm : 02-01-2008 at 05:28 PM.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 05:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
EPIC MOD
 
ezrunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Virginia Beach
Model: ZED10
OS: DOS 3.1
PIN: INK STICK
Carrier: Tmobile
Posts: 12,214
Post Thanks: 9
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Default

Alltel feeds off of Verizons network as they feed off of Alltel

Alltel is the number 5 carrier and growing, the Mycircle is working wonders for them.

in my experience Blackberrys tend to have very good reception particularly in my area.

Frequency is going to be the biggest factor and towerlocation. call alltel and have them send an update to your phone
__________________
ZED 10
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 05:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Model: All
Carrier: Plead the fifth.
Posts: 63
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezrunner View Post
call alltel and have them send an update to your phone
Ah, magic, an interesting approach :D
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 07:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Leonard Wood, MO
Model: 9650
OS: 6.0.0.719
PIN: 3306BEB2
Carrier: Verizon
Posts: 102
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The BlackBerry's use a moto chipset...they should get good reception, i haven't lost much on mine unless im in a really dead zone. I have an 8703e and a 8130. The 8130 obviously creams my 8703 but i've heard nothing but good from the 8830 for all of my BB guys that use them here at work. Try doing *228 then hitting option 2 to update the phone's PRL file with the newest towers. It's possible it doesn't have the newest PRL.

Try that and see how things are...otherwise maybe check out the 8130...the suretype is pretty nice on it
__________________
Jacob
Partner & I.T. Consultant
Buzzworthy Consulting

Devices:
BlackBerry Bold 9650
BlackBerry Playbook
iPhone 4S 32GB
HTC DROID Incredible 2

Last edited by DarkCobra : 02-01-2008 at 07:40 PM.
Offline  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
BlackBerry Mensa
 
tsac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Others run out when we run in
Model: Z10
OS: 10.010219
PIN: No Pin just a Tack
Carrier: at&t
Posts: 8,260
Post Thanks: 42
Thanked 572 Times in 567 Posts
Default

I think you will see you need to do a bit of research on service in your area by asking around. Everyone has some issues at some time.
__________________
If someone helps, tell them by clicking the Thanks button


9810 BES
Z10 on BES
9700 BIS
Offline  
Old 02-03-2008, 10:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: verizon
Posts: 35
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Smile Reception????

Well here I am the first time I have ever posted a thread or even used my computer to enter the cyber community in any way. I hope my spelling is OK.
I have a BB 8830 with verizon and was amazed at the reception. I live in the mountains of NC and where I live now I had no reception with LG. I thought it might be verizon until I got a motorola E815. The reception improved greatly with that phone. Now I upgraded to the 8830 very skidishly with verizon because I wanted the smart phone. The guy at verizon told me of all the smart phones BB had the best reception. After all thats the bottom line.
I have to admit it has the best reception at my house than any other phone.
tethered to my laptop I found It was much better than a new air card I got from verizon. Being within thirty day I took the air card back and got the 8310 for myself and tethered the BB 8830 at my rental cabin. Funny I should see your post. I have had the 8310 for about 4 or 5 days. For some reason it does not have the same reception as the 8830. They can both be setting next to each other and I will use my landline to call both. The 8830 picks up at least 95 % of the time where as the 8310 I would say maybe 50 % being lucky. But like I said I am in a fringe area and the 8830 works better in the window or outdoors, it's just that the 8830 has spoiled me. I will probably take the 8830 in for an exchange since verizon techs say they both should work the same. (8830 can use a 8 gb microsecure digital card) Both have a fantastic sounding music player. To some up I want the 8830 at the cabin for guests to get the best internet service. The size of the 8310 is better because it is smaller just hope the next one has the reception. I have had cell phones since they were bricks. The reception and the internet pull on the 8830 was by far the strongest I have ever had. mike
Offline  
Old 02-04-2008, 10:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Zeeland, MI
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Alltel
Posts: 16
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Very good information. I looked up the info that Dubdub was talking about, and found out that there is a Nextel tower about 3/4 of a mile from where I work. That may be the reason my Nextel works in the building I work at and the Alltel doesn't work as well. I'll have to see how it goes, knowing that the Blackberry that I have should works as well (if not better) as other phones. I may have to look into the VOIP wi-fi from T-Mobile too, because that would guarantee me service at work and home.
Offline  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
BlackBerry Mensa
 
takeshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston
Model: 8310
Carrier: at&t
Posts: 7,741
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

You have to test real world coverage to see what you're going to get. Coverage maps and Consumer Reports won't help you (as you've found out) because odds are pretty good that no one from either organization has wandered into your office building to test signal levels. This is precisely what your trial period from your new carrier is for.
Offline  
Old 02-06-2008, 06:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
 
dbltap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pflugerville, Tx
Model: 9800
OS: 6.0.0.570
PIN: N/A
Carrier: AT&T
Posts: 382
Post Thanks: 2
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default

One thing I have found interesting..... I am on AT&T... and i consistently get better call quality.... when I am outside the US. Calls in France, UK & Chili have been outstanding. Anywhere in the US I think the calls sound closer to a walkie talkie than a land line. I'm just talking about voice quality & clarity. I haven't had nearly the dropped calls with my Blackberry that I did with the BlackJack. Data has been excellent pretty much anywhere there is an EDGE signal.
Offline  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:14 AM   #19 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
kjjb0204's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Model: 9630
Carrier: VZW
Posts: 1,813
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

My experience with Verizon has been very good. Great reception, great sound quality on my 8830. If you're unhappy with what you have, return if you can without penalties. You should not have to get by with mediocre performance on your bb. Whether you end up with ATT, Verizon, Sprint or Tmobile, just do your homework, talk to friends, co-workers, and people you see on the street using a bb.
Offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On





Copyright 2004-2014 BlackBerryForums.com.
The names RIM and BlackBerry are registered Trademarks of BlackBerry Inc.