View Full Version : No Whispernet in Montana...


TadW
12-07-2007, 05:03 AM
Unbelievable, but true. A guy bought the Kindle with high hopes for its wireless features. Instead, he found out that it wouldn't work for him. Amazon's tech support then revealed to him that there is no coverage in Montana. Worse, other areas may also be affected (like Wyoming, Alaska...)! :sos:

Have you tried any other US places where Whispernet stays dark?

montsnmags
12-07-2007, 05:21 AM
The following may be of assistance:

http://www.showmycoverage.com/mycoverage.jsp?id=A921ZON

As to its accuracy, well I'll leave that to the American correspondents. :)

Cheers,
Marc

HarryT
12-07-2007, 05:24 AM
I'm not surprised at all. I've spend quite a lot of time in the more rural parts of Arizona where cell-phone coverage is virtually non-existant.

wallcraft
12-07-2007, 06:15 AM
In the South, coverage tends to cluster near Interstates and other major roads. The coverage area might only be 5% (or less) of the land, but I assume it is much higher fraction of the households.

rflashman
12-07-2007, 11:21 AM
That guy is blowing out of proportion the fact that his house has no Sprint coverage.

Montana has 1xRTT Sprint coverage in all its major cities: Missoula, Great Falls, Helena, Butte, Billings, Bozeman. Maybe he lives in Kalispell, which has no coverage.

But from the Sprint coverage maps it is clear that the bulk of the population in Montana DOES have coverage. Sure there's no EVDO "high speed" network there, but a 1xRTT download should not be so slow as to be unusable.

rflashman
12-07-2007, 11:22 AM
The following may be of assistance:
http://www.showmycoverage.com/mycoverage.jsp?id=A921ZON
As to its accuracy, well I'll leave that to the American correspondents. :)


That map is only of EVDO coverage, not of the wider 1xRTT data network that the Kindle supports too. A better map is here (be sure to select the DATA drop down at the right to show data networks):

http://coverage.sprintpcs.com/IMPACT.jsp

montsnmags
12-07-2007, 05:40 PM
That guy is blowing out of proportion the fact that his house has no Sprint coverage.

Well, that's what we do. Doesn't the word "Consumerism" come from the Latin for "God-Given Right To Everything I Want". ;) Someone ask HarryT.

Montana has 1xRTT Sprint coverage in all its major cities: Missoula, Great Falls, Helena, Butte, Billings, Bozeman. Maybe he lives in Kalispell, which has no coverage.

The reason I happen to have seen this map is that I have a close friend in Missoula, and she had made comment that even if she wanted a Kindle (she doesn't, but we were talking about it amongst a group) she'd be wary of the coverage requirement, as even living in the middle of Missoula, in an area that indicated coverage, it had a tendency to being...I believe the technical term is "flaky" at best. That's why I thought I'd leave it up to you Americans to determine the accuracy or otherwise of the map. :)

But from the Sprint coverage maps it is clear that the bulk of the population in Montana DOES have coverage. Sure there's no EVDO "high speed" network there, but a 1xRTT download should not be so slow as to be unusable.

We experience similar here. If you looked at our maps for mobile phone coverage, you'd see how very little is covered by some of the networks. Of course, if you looked closely, you'd see it followed the major highways, a lot of the eastern seaboard, and clumped at cities (it sort of reminds me of a 2D version of those maps of galactic distribution in the universe). Saying that, well, my mum's in the middle of a coverage area, but unless you're okay with intermittency in your connection, you probably want to go out the front yard or at the very back of the back yard to get decent reception. ;)

That map is only of EVDO coverage, not of the wider 1xRTT data network that the Kindle supports too. A better map is here (be sure to select the DATA drop down at the right to show data networks):

http://coverage.sprintpcs.com/IMPACT.jsp

That certainly looks better. I can't remember where I came across the first map, but I think it was somewhere like Gizmodo or Techdirt. I'll have to go try find it again, as someone is sure to have corrected it, as you have above, in the comments.

I think that part of the reason for "blowing out of proportion" this is that he bought the device and had it sent by Amazon to an address that didn't have coverage. That is, he believes they should have warned him that his delivery address wasn't covered (I believe they do actually warn you to check your area for coverage, but, you know, us consumers like retailers to wipe our backsides on our way out. ;)

It's possibly something Amazon could incorporate into their website - a checker of the delivery address for coverage - purely as a courtesy with no guarantees, but they probably quite rightly don't want to open that can of worms and the whole "You told me I had coverage!" reactions they'd inevitably get.

'Tis, as you suggest, pretty much a chaotic meteorological activity held within the confines of a porcelain vessel used for holding the leaf-infused liquid form of dihydrogen monoxide.

Cheers,
Marc

JSWolf
12-07-2007, 06:03 PM
Amazon should have put in wifi as a backup for EVDO. Not everyone place in the USA is going to have EVDO. But if you can get wifi, then it doesn't matter.

Zoot
12-07-2007, 06:13 PM
In the South, coverage tends to cluster near Interstates and other major roads. The coverage area might only be 5% (or less) of the land, but I assume it is much higher fraction of the households.

"Together, urbanized areas, urban clusters, and rural places occupy 5.4 percent of the nationís land, while urban areas alone cover just 2.6 percent. Rural open space thus covers between 94.6 and 97.4 percent of the land in the United States."

http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=12402

Throw a dart at a map of the US and chances are the spot that it hits will have no mobile data coverage, yet hardly anyone cares.

Would you be willing to increase your mobile phone bill by a factor of 19 (say instead of $29/month you had to pay over $500/month) to have 100% coverage in the continental United States? Is it worth everyone paying that much more just to increase the number of people with coverage by 5%?

Z.

rflashman
12-07-2007, 10:50 PM
It's possibly something Amazon could incorporate into their website - a checker of the delivery address for coverage - purely as a courtesy with no guarantees, but they probably quite rightly don't want to open that can of worms and the whole "You told me I had coverage!" reactions they'd inevitably get.

They are unlikely to do that for the same reason cell phone companies will not do that. They have no way to know, without a physical signal check, how good the quality is in any specific part of your house. Maybe your house is in a slight valley, or made of metal, or on top of several thousand tons of undiscovered uranium, who knows. So all they can do is say the 'area' around your house is within a coverage area. But they will steer clear of any promises of reception.

Much easier to simply offer a generous return policy (which they do).

Alisa
12-07-2007, 10:54 PM
They are unlikely to do that for the same reason cell phone companies will not do that. They have no way to know, without a physical signal check, how good the quality is in any specific part of your house. Maybe your house is in a slight valley, or made of metal, or on top of several thousand tons of undiscovered uranium, who knows. So all they can do is say the 'area' around your house is within a coverage area. But they will steer clear of any promises of reception.

Much easier to simply offer a generous return policy (which they do).

Yep. And they have this on their site:

Checking Wireless Coverage: To see if wireless coverage is available for your area, please use our Contact Us form, or call 1-866-321-8851 Monday through Friday 6am-8pm Pacific Time, Saturday and Sunday, 6am-5pm Pacific Time.

Note: There is no wireless coverage available currently on Sprint's data network for Kindle in Montana and Alaska.

JSWolf
12-07-2007, 11:07 PM
That's why I like the Sony better. No dips in my service.

Alisa
12-07-2007, 11:17 PM
The "dip" in Kindle service takes you down to Sony-level service. You can still buy a book and load it via USB.

montsnmags
12-08-2007, 04:29 AM
They are unlikely to do that for the same reason cell phone companies will not do that. They have no way to know, without a physical signal check, how good the quality is in any specific part of your house.
...

Thus, the aforementioned reception at my mother's house, despite being in a "coverage" area - near nothing inside, but up to a couple of "bars" out the front or right in the back corner of her battleaxe block.

Much easier to simply offer a generous return policy (which they do).

...and thus, an also aforementioned chaotic meteorological activity held within the confines of a porcelain vessel used for holding the leaf-infused, liquid form of dihydrogen monoxide. ;)

Cheers,
Marc

catsittingstill
12-09-2007, 11:40 PM
Amazon should have put in wifi as a backup for EVDO. Not everyone place in the USA is going to have EVDO. But if you can get wifi, then it doesn't matter.

Um. I think free wifi coverage is going to be considerably spottier than even Sprint's cell phone coverage. I have wifi at home because I installed it (but it's funneled through my dial-up modem--it's not fast), and I have wifi at a college library 4 miles from here because my husband works there so I got a username and password as a faculty spouse, and man, that's it, and I consider myself lucky to have that much.

There are some restaurants in Knoxville (45 minutes drive from me) that supposedly have free wifi but I haven't checked personally.

Whereas supposedly Sprint's EVDO network covers me out here. Haven't talked to any local Sprint cell phone owners about it yet, but according to the map, there should be coverage in my neighborhood.