Need to get cellular service in Montana for the summer

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Gilligan

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I will be moving to Kalispell for the summer. I've used Nextel for some time in OKC and it's great. I have heard, though, that Nextel doesn't work at all in Montana and that Sprint itself doesn't even have any of their own cellular towers there. One man did tell me that he has had friends come through w/ Nextel and it worked fine, but I'm thinking it could have been the new hybrid phones.

Does anyone know if Nextel works at all in Montana, particularly for Kalispell?

If I need to go w/ a prepaid phone or something, which service is recommended? I have found most people like Alltel and that some like Verizon, but I really need good coverage in Kalispell, even if it doesn't work anywhere else in Montana.

Does anyone have any experience using a hybrid sprint phone and roaming on other towers up there? I have heard that the service is really bad but if it's okay I may just switch to Sprint hybrid.

Thanks for any and all input. I have to make a decision very quickly.
 

ppems

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When i moved to montana 2 years ago, Nextel did not work at all here. What we currently use is Alltel and it works great in most areas, very good in Kalispell.

For personal use, i use a tracfone prepaid, and it works very good in the kalispell area as well.
 

chrismol1

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Get a Tracfone, they buy out cell service from numerous providers all over the US so they mostly have coverage everywhere and their a bunch of tri-band and quad-band phones they have.

I took off the stubby plastic 1/2 inch antenna from me phone and replaced it with a 30" telescopic and I get FULL bars everywhere here in NY. lol i wonder if that 30'' antenna has anything to do with it? lol
http://www.tracfone.com/jsplib/verify_mapcov.jsp
Thats pretty, good, Verizon would work too as tracfone leases service from them too.
it you dont get the control channel on your cell then stick in a 30" telescopic antenna and go up high and ur likely to get coverge with that
 

Rburli

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Attel or Verizon are your best bet. I know from personnel experience that you can get great coverage with Verizon. Even if your sitting on the river bank 11 miles north of Columbia Falls. Can't say the same for Northern Virginia, but then your not going to be in Northern Virginia for the summer. Enjoy your stay out in Flathead County
 
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Nextel has no phone service in Montana. I vacation there each year. I have one of the new hybrids but have not been to Montana since I bought it. Looking at the map even with the hybrid service would be very very spotty and only in a few of the bigger cities. I bought a Tracfone that I use when I go out and it works pretty good.
 

Gilligan

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Looking back through, I found this thread and figured I'd update it with what I found over the summer. I have a Sprint hybrid (Spring & Nextel) phone and it worked great. Throughout Kalispell I had a great Sprint phone signal (4-5 bars most of the time) and the Nextel service was decent. If one service didn't work, there was a possibility that the other one would. Once outside of Kalispell, I got no signal at all and was not even able to roam onto other carriers.
 
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N_Jay

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I had decent luck with an ATT TDMA/Analog phone. (I was all over the state)

Hopefully they have done a good job converting the sites to GSM.
 

blantonl

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I live in Whitefish MT (just outside of Kalispell) around 2 months out of the year, and I've got AT&T GSM Service. Coverage out here frankly sucks, and up on the Mountain where I live I'm lucky to get 2 bars of service.

I'm thinking I'm going to head into town today and get a tracfone and forward my iPhone calls to that when I'm out here.
 
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N_Jay

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I live in Whitefish MT (just outside of Kalispell) around 2 months out of the year, and I've got AT&T GSM Service. Coverage out here frankly sucks, and up on the Mountain where I live I'm lucky to get 2 bars of service.

I'm thinking I'm going to head into town today and get a tracfone and forward my iPhone calls to that when I'm out here.
Whitefish! What a beautiful area.

What network is TracPhone on out there?
 
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Just got back from Montana. Spent most of the time in Roundup. Still no phone service there except for my Tracfone. While in Billings, Sprint phone service on the hybrid phone worked great. No Nextel direct connect though.
 
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