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Cell Phones

Posted by Stephanie Bernhagen on March 03, 1999 at 16:52:45:
         Has anyone heard anything about AirTouch Cellular's rate that is like AT&T's
         One Rate? I have heard they use the AT&T system and offer the same service
         but their rates are lower. I also heard they offer the service in only a few states,
         such as Ohio. I have not been able to confirm any of this. 

Posted by Woody Webster on April 23, 1999 at 09:30:54:
        In Reply to: AirTouch Cellular posted by Stephanie Bernhagen on March 03, 1999
         Don't know about AirTouch. Sprint PCS has a new digital system nationwide
         no roaming, no long distance on their network. $30 @ month for 120 minutes.
         Phone extra: dual band analog/digita = $130 less a $30 rebate until the end of
         April. Just bought the system this week. Any Radio Shack will be able to help
         you, Circuit City also. 
 

Posted by Marilyn Schoenwether on April 26, 1999 at 15:39:16:
        In Reply to: AirTouch Cellular posted by Stephanie Bernhagen on March 03, 1999
         I spoke with AirTouch this week-end and they told me that starting in June they
         will provide a One Rate program to compete with AT&T. They did not have
         info on what the rate will be. We live in San Diego and AT&T is not available.
         
 

Posted by Toni Warriner on February 20, 1999 at 12:41:26:
         My husband & I have been looking forward to early retirement for the last 5
         years. Its finally getting close, as in months. Our question is -- does anyone
         have advice on which cell phone company gives the best service at the best rate?
         

Posted by Bill Firestone on February 21, 1999 at 16:55:25:
        In Reply to: cell phones posted by Toni Warriner on February 20, 1999
         Toni, It is obvious to most RV'ers that the AT&T One Rate is the only cell
         phone service that makes any sense at all. It comes closer than any other
         service to working nation wide. All calls are local calls, that means no roaming
         or long distance charges for calls no matter where you are connecting from.
         The down side is that the cheapest plan you can get is 600 minutes. and at a
         cost of $90 dollars a month. Hope this helps, Bill Firestone 
 

Posted by Carole Helmig on February 23, 1999 at 20:50:37:
        In Reply to: Re: cell phones posted by Bill Firestone on February 21, 1999
         We will begin full-timing, hopefully, in six months or less. Our only hang up is
         selling our condo. We currently have it on the "market". My husband checked
         into AT&T One Rate and found that if we wanted to stay connected, via
         Internet, the hardware alone would cost around $600.00. We would have to
         figure out have to do a lot of things offline and then go online to "send". I am a
         surfer, guess I will have to wait until we are at a park for awhile so we can get a
         telephone line. Any comments? 
 

Posted by Bill Firestone on February 24, 1999 at 16:04:55:
        In Reply to: Re: cell phones posted by Carole Helmig on February 23, 1999
         Hi Carole, I replied to Toni Warriner's original posting asking for information
         about what cell phone provider had the best plan for the RV'er. She nor I dealt
         with using a cell phone for accessing the Internet. However I did post a request
         for information on the AT&T One Rate Plan on the bulletin board at "RVers
         Online" at, http://www.rversonline.org and the e-mail below is a sample of the
         several replies that I received. "Frank (Bob) Gummersall"
         frgummer@ix.netcom.com Wrote: Hill Bill, We subscribe to ATT One Rate
         which for $90 gives you 600 minutes per month, roam free, long distance free.
         It truly is one rate and with a 10000 mile trip around the states we found only
         one small cell phone area in Georgia that would not honor the rate. The service
         was generally very good. This is a basic Digital Dual Band service so that if
         there is no Digital Cell available it automatically switches to the old Analog Cell
         site if it is available. The coverage with this dual band phone is great. We
         bought the Modem and cables for the Nokia phone, total cost about $350, to
         do data primarily email from the motor home and it works sometimes. When
         doing data, the phone is forced to analog because that's all that is supported,
         and so you get less quality connection and therefore intermittent service.
         Sometimes, it work fine, other times, even when the phone works, that data
         connection does not. I know of no other service currently available for general
         traveling in wide areas. There are some systems using Cellular Side Band, and
         FM Side Band, but they only work in some big cities. There is planned by at
         least two companies using low altitude satellites true ubiquitous personal
         communication, but they are at least a year away. Safe Travel Frank Franks
         price for the cable and modem to access e-mail from the cell phone is generally
         in line with other replies that I also received. If you want more information on
         Franks experience using his cell phone write him at the address at the top of his
         e-mail. He is very agreeable to requests for information. For the best and most
         complete information on using the One Rate Plan when RV'ing, Go to Rvers
         Online and at the start page click on "Articles, Editorials and Travelogues". On
         that page click "Computing on the Road" and read the article called "AT&T's
         One Rate cellular telephone plan" This article is the very best information on this
         plan and is very complete. It is a little out of date now since it was written on
         Aug. 26, 98. The information about the availability of cables and modems is no
         longer true, but probably would explain any delays or other problems in getting
         accessories from AT&T. Sadly I have concluded that reliable sending and
         receiving e-mail from a cell phone is probably at least a year away still. I am not
         sure that surfing the Web from a cell phone is ever going to be affordable or
         practicable. In my own case I purchased a phone and the One Rate Plan last
         week, but plan to wait for a while to try getting a cable and modem. One thing I
         live just outside of a AT&T sale area and so had to provide an address inside
         that sales area to get the service. Luckily I had a friend that allowed me to use
         his address. I hope that all of this information is of use to you. -Bill Firestone
        

Posted by Barbara Hofmeister on February 24, 1999 at 23:08:36:
        In Reply to: Re: cell phones posted by Carole Helmig on February 23, 1999
         Carole, From our experience and from what I have heard from others, surfing
         and full-timing do not go together. It is one of those things we call "trade Offs."
         Hopefully, you will be so excited seeing new things that you won't miss surfing
         the web. A lot of folks go to libraries when they feel the need to surf. Using a
         library computer and their ISP is easy. The good news though is that sending
         email is easy and many campgrounds and businesses allow us to plug in to a
         phone line long enough to download email. When we are on the road, I only
         get mail once a week. I find I an too busy having fun to be tied to the computer
         anyway. I don't know if I helped or not. I wouldn't trade full-timing for all the
         surfing in the world. And in the winter when we sit still for a while, we get a
         land line and I get my fix. Barb 

Posted by Laura Reeves on March 02, 1999 at 12:07:50:
       In Reply to: Re: cell phones posted by Carole Helmig on February 23, 1999
         Carole, I am surfing the internet right now as I sit in the Brandon, FL library.
         We have been very successful using libraries around the country. It is wonderful
         and free! In most libraries, all you do is walk to the front desk and ask if they
         have Internet access. They will direct you to the proper area where you will
         sign up for an hour or so. The only downside is that there is a time limit, some
         computers are slow, and once-in-awhile you must have a library card (although
         this is usually the exception, not the rule 
 

Posted by Woody Webster on April 23, 1999 at 11:18:28:
        In Reply to: cell phones posted by Toni Warriner on February 20, 1999
         Have no experience yet, but just bought Sprint PCS digital. This is a nationwide
         service, $30 @ month for 120 minutes, no roaming fees, no long distance fees.
         The phone was $130 minus a $30 rebate for a total of $100. Won't be
         activating until middle of next month. Will keep you posted as we travel re:
         servicability nationwide. We don't plan on using the cell phone for surfing the
         net. Still too expensive, but $30 @ month for the service is very affordable, and
         cheaper than AT&T one rate. Good luck.