November 26, 2011

Mobile: Not all coverage areas are the same

 

Coverage Map Thumb Tack

On an earlier post, it was suggested that consumers are focusing at other factors, such as what phones are available, when deciding which mobile carrier to go with. This is not saying that other factors, like network coverage, are not being considered. This is especially apparent when choosing a regional cell carrier.

When looking at a cell phone coverage map, keep in mind there is the “coverage area” and there is “native coverage”. While they sound very similar, they are not the same. The “coverage area”, or also called “service area”, is the area that the carrier covers with their service. This is important when you are concerned about roaming, signal strength, and coverage in general. The “native coverage” is quite different. This is when the cell phone company uses their own towers in that area in which they can also provide cell phone number in that area.

What does this all mean?

News Mobile Native vs Coverage Area Samir

This means while you have near nationwide coverage area for a given carrier, you may not be able to sign up for that provider, even though you live in the area covered by the nationwide coverage map.

e.g. You live in Some City, Maine. The coverage map shows that it covers Some City, Maine. You call the carrier to sign up but they cannot sell to you because you live in a city outside their “native coverage”.

The following link has an article that explains a situation concerning “coverage area” vs “native coverage” when signing up for Cricket, a regional cell carrier.

Link: Cell Phone Coverage Map May Not Reflect Reality

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  1. [...] Mobile: Not all coverage areas are the same When looking at a cell phone coverage map, keep in mind there is the “coverage area” and there is “native coverage”. While they sound very similar, they are not the same. [...]

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