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Back Talk – Coverage

By: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News

Question from Rob:

I would like to know how you can tell if a cellphone will have coverage in an area or not. I have a phone and the coverage map from the company showed that I should have coverage at my house, but I don’t. My contract is up and I want to get a cellphone that will work at my house. How do I know if it really works?

My Answer:

Well Rob it’s difficult to know if a cellphone towers range will meet the coverage maps expectations do to a few flaws in the coverage area. The map is merely an estimate of where the coverage should be. Most mobile providers will assume that a repeater antenna will cover an average amount of area specified by the antenna manufacturer. They may not have accounted for structures, mountains, valleys or electrical lines in the vicinity of the repeater. All of these conditions will unfortunately have an adverse effect on the range of the tower. At times you may be a mile from a tower, but due to a power station and a mountain you will not receive signal. Your best bet is to try out the service. Many of the companies this area offers has a “try it out” period.  Three of the major companies in this area have a 2 week period (14 days) to use the phone and return it if it doesn’t meet your needs. Be careful doing this because some of the carriers have a restocking fee. If the phone doesn’t work with “Company A” for example, you’re still paying $35.00 to return it. Where with others it’s just a free return. So that’s a question you’ll want to ask before signing any paperwork. Hope this helps!

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