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Bigbartguy

cell phone service in Mcgregor/ Big Sandy

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Bigbartguy

hi folks

can anyone tell me a decent cell provider the Big Sandy area>? currently have Verizon, but goes in and out at my cabin on the flowage (near the 232/Palisade bridge). I have to re-up my contract so I'm shopping.

My buddy has T-Mobile up on Bridge Rd and gets good service, but not sure if he'd get it at my cabin or not. Anyone have any opinions?

thanks!

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Macgyver55

Hey Bigbart, I'm the guy you met that has a place on Minnewawa. (probably less than a mile from you as the crow flies) I had AT&T before and had a weak but usable signal at my place, with a few dropped calls. I now have Sprint and can sit inside on the recliner with a fairly good signal and havent dropped a call yet. My brother on the other hand has Cingular and can only use his phone while standing out on the deck.

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lipp_ripper

This is a much discussed issue with my neighor at the cabin. We both have Cingular and he has an OK signal in his cabin. I don't get a good signal at all. I have friends that come up to the cabin with Verizon and can get a good signal on the dock. From what I have found, the Cingular signal comes from a tower north of the dam and the Verizon signal comes from McGregor. Our cabin is in Goef's bay so the poor signal from Cingular is a function of the hill between us and the tower north of the dam. If I want to make a clear call I just take the four wheeler up to the bridge and I get full bars on my phone.

I think it has alot to do with the phone and where your cabin is located. Rumor is that there is going to be a Verizon tower put up near Big Sandy Lodge. Does anyone else know annything about this rumor???

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charliepete2

I've got T-mobil and I absolutely hate it. I don't get a good signal hardly anywhere up there. My buddy has Verizon and gets a great signal even at our deer shack well off the beaten path. If I didn't get free T-Mobile from the wifes work I'd probably with Verizon.

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knoppers

t-mobile just recently partnered with cellular one, which covers this area. the only way to get this service is to upgrade your t-mobile phone. I upgraded last year, and get great service throughout this area.

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MnIceman

I have Unicel and it is great anywhere but Big Sandy. My Father-in-law lives on the south end of Fishermans bay. The phone barely works in the driveway, not at all in house,and great out on the main part of the lake . I do know that Unicel and Verizon seem to use the same towers . That is why my phone works up the north shore and some friends don't.

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Bigbartguy

I had heard something about T-Mobile's agreement w/ Cellular One up there from someone else. I may have to explore this option. thanks everyone for their input

It's just a bad area I think - I'm not aware of anyone that can get service at Pier65.

Macguyv-hope all is well - I keep waiting for snow!

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PierBridge

Really Sprint works in northern Mn since when?

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Orlip

Quote:

Really Sprint works in northern Mn since when?


For a while now. works better than my verizon did.

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The Yeti

I have Cingular and seem to get pretty decent reception when I'm up there. Not a strong signal, but enough to hear clearly..

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chester

I have a place on Minnewawa. Our Verizon didn't work. I did some research and bought a "Tracphone" prepaid cell phone at Target which works fine up there. Important Notes: it must be a digital phone and not the cheaper models they offer. Also, the per use minute fees are a little high--so don't let the teenage daughter get a hold of it. It does the trick for us.

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crappie todd

I have Verizon and was ready to cancel looking for a better plan. I could only get service if I was on the lake. Gun Lake. No luck in the cabin.... Always noticed my phone service changed to " extended network " North of Mora about Knife lake. I have verizon but the phone upgrade went to a "tri mode " phone. Since then I have had no problems. I can text message but can't send pictures with my picture phone. No big deal there.

The upgrade to a tri mode is a different typ of signal. So far, so good. smile.gif

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farmfishing

I have sprint the nationwide plan this feature is nationwide no roaming no longdistance works great on aitkin lake and all over the USA just keep away from the fancy flip phones and camera phones.

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Freddy1

I'm on Horseshoe, I had a weak signal with Cingular but switched to Qwest with free roaming and it's great. I can now use my phone in the cabin rather than at the end of the dock.

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General Montgomery

My work phone service is with Verizon. Works great from the cabin on north end Big Sandy, but there are holes in coverage all around town. It also works from our deer shack way out in the middle of nowhere north of Palisade.

I'm getting a new phone and switching to T-Mobile so I'll see how that goes.

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SCUMFROG

80 to 90% of lost calls is the phone. I've had Verizon for over 10 years now and I always have service any place on Sandy, Atkin lake every were I go. I'd think about looking at a higher end phone before changing who I use. I have a Motorola (not a razor) that's 2 years old and have yet to not have service. I've even proven this to people that my phone will work, they can't belive that it does. These people are not on verizon. Sux to be them when they need a phone out in the wild.

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Spork

I've always had Cingular up until a few months ago when I switched to Verizon. Cingular worked fairly well up on Round Lake (just north of McGregor). Sometimes I would get a faint signal from the ground, if that didn't work, I could go about 40' up in the tree house and be able to get a better signal. Normally when I got up there, I never use the phone because I'm trying to get away from all that. It's basically for emergency use.

I'll see what it's like when I go up there this spring with my Verizon phone. I'm expecting the same, perhaps better since my phone was definitely an upgrade from my last one.

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Fish4Food

I have Nextel and have never had better luck up north around the area. I had t-mobile and had problems loosing service in many areas. Nextel just added new towers in the lakes area and I get service almost everywhere up here. So I would reccomend going to a nextel store, showing them where you are located, and they'll tell you if you'll be good. good luck!!

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Fish4Food

I forgot to mention that nextel has merged with sprint now so this also gives them more towers in the area. You can't get service if there are no towers, that is the other main reason with dropped calls other than the phone itself!!

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PierBridge

Nextal works in the Mcgregor area now? do older Nextel phones work or would a person need a nextel/sprint phone?

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Fish4Food

Yea, nextel merged with sprint so either one would work, but you dont need a old nextel because everything is the same now. It always depends exactly where you are located but i'm pretty sure the coverage is good in Mcgregor.

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PierBridge

Just had my friend check his old Nextel phone and it does not work past Mora.

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Macgyver55

Same result with my brothers Nextel. Nothing past Mora on 65, and he has a top of the line phone.

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Fish4Food

yea actually I was just looking at the coverage on their website and it doesn't go that far, sorry about that.

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UdeLakeTom

This is an old subject, but a new update....From this weeks

Voyager......

The Aitkin County Commissioner’s Board has approved a permit for a 320 foot communications tower to be built next to Big Sandy Lake this summer.

The measure was passed with no opposition at the board meeting on May 21. Many people in attendance spoke of how badly a tower is needed.

McGregor resident Jerome Carr said, “I get better coverage from Anchorage to Fairbanks in Alaska.”

Carl Rippie of the Horseshoe Inn and Ron Richardson of Big Sandy Lodge said they get complaints daily from customers that there is no coverage. Also, a spokesman from the sheriff’s department said they get many emergency calls on cell phones and a tower would provide a better audio signal as well as GPS coordinates in case they need to locate someone.

Dave Tjosvold, president of T A Towers, Inc., and Wayne Alden, of Minnesota National Golf Course, own the land and applied for the permit.

Towers are already located in Jacobson and McGregor; however, reception between those places is sparse or dead. According to Tjosvold, the tower should vastly improve cell phone service in Shamrock Township. He says, “As the crow flies, there should be seven miles of good service.”

Construction of the tower, which Tjosvold estimates costing between $140-160,000, will be done by the Vinco company out of Forest Lake.

Rural Cellular Corporation, owner of Verizon and Unicel, has already signed a lease to use the tower, but Tjosvold expects more interest to come. “I believe all major carriers will sign up within a month or two.”

The tower will be located in a heavily wooded area 800 feet south of Highway 14, between Big Sandy and Lake Minnewawa (see graphic, front page). Construction is expected to start in early June and may be finished by July 1.

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