Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Extended" pseudo-roaming in West Virginia: Is Sprint providing more coverage in remote areas than Verizon? Looks like it.

For the first time ever, my new iPad showed an “Extended” coverage icon as it reached Internet sites while I was on an excursion train from Romney West Va Friday.  Apparently it was able to access the web through Sprint in an area where Verizon did not have towers.  At first, the iPad would say “no Internet service” but if I keyed in Google as the web address, it would start working in Extended mode.

The cell phone was able to access Internet only as “1X” at the train station, which means that it is in extended mode, in this area connected with Sprint.

But later, in Wardensville, the cell phone could not locate service at all (even for phone), despite the fact that the restaurant said that Sprint was available in the area.

A link on how extended “pseudo-roaming” works is here

It's interesting to compare Verizon coverage (here) with Sprint (here).  If you enter a zipcode in a white area for a town in West Virginia, where Verizon is weak, you find pockets of "extended coverage" (dark red) that work only for a few miles.  It seems that right now Sprint has fewer areas of no coverage. That's a surprise.  Not all coverage is 4G, much of it is 3G in remote areas.

It does look as though some people in the area (both along the railroad and in the hollows back toward Lost River State Park) must indeed live "off the grid".

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