Milwaukee area mobile carriers

I’m moving from Madison to Milwaukee later this month and will be taking the opportunity to switch mobile carriers.  I currently have Sprint PCS, but when I was at the new house for the inspection I noticed I got no signal.

I’m really leaning toward a GSM carrier as I want a Bluetooth enabled phone to use with my iPaq h1945.  Plus I spent two years (as a consultant) helping to launch Aerial Communication back in the mid-90’s  so there is a soft spot in my heart for GSM (Interestingly, Aerial still has a web presence – they are now part of TMobile).  Plus GSM gets all the cool phones before CDMA does.

Nonetheless, no matter how cool a phone is, it is worthless without a radio signal, so I’m curious on people experience coverage in Milwaukee, specifically the near-west suburbs like West Allis, ‘Tosa, and Brookfield.  I do know that coverage at the Microsoft office is generally pretty poor no matter the carrier.

Comments (6)

  1. Rob says:

    Sprint has a huge coverage problem in the Brookfield area. USCellular doesn’t have the best available phones, but the coverage has been consistent throughout the area.

    Good luck finding a new carrier, please post your findings.

  2. DDysart says:

    Thanks – I hadn’t thought of USSC. You are right though, their phones are big-time lame.

    I’m really interested in how good (or bad) TMobile’s coverage is as they seem to offer a decent price on rate plans and I can get me a Bluetooth phone. They are also at the top of the rumor pile for offering the Moto MPX220, which looks super sweet.

  3. Tom B says:

    I dumped Sprint for Verizon to get better coverage at home in New Berlin and over to Hartland, where I work. Can’t say there’s any improvement (they may even use the same carrier system). A big Bluetooth user in this area is Abaxent – nice people who probably will tell you what works for them. They have a website w/phone number etc. Good luck.

  4. Jeff says:

    I use Verizon. Live in Fox Point, work downtown MKE. I too am dying for a new phone/converged device, and most are coming out on T-Mobile. So far, in the last 5 years, I have used USCC, Sprint and Verizon, all CDMA carriers, and I have had good coverage with all of them, especially Verizon. But, I long for a new device (eyeing up h63xx on T-Mobile or PPC4100 on AT&T) and I am afraid to make the move to a GSM carrier for fear of a lacking network.

  5. DDysart says:

    I used to do a lot of mobility evangelism in the area, so I do have a few contacts and it is funny you mention the h6300 series and the 4100. Evidentially they are almost identical devices, except the h6300 offers a lot more like detachable keyboard.

    A lot of the sales folks in the office got MPx200’s from ATTWS. Initially the big gripe was coverage on the Madison to Janesville stretch of I-90, and out toward Lacrosse (most of the sales reps cover the whole state). Once I finally pin some of them down (it’s the end of the fiscal year and every salesperson is madly trying to close deals before 6/30) I’ll relay the experiences of GSM coverage in Milwaukee.

    As for Verizon, they bar none have the best network. I am heavily considering the Samsung i600 Smartphone from them.

  6. Jeff says:

    Cool – let us know. I’d love to give one of the other carriers a try. I like the i600 as well, but the price was so high, especially when compared to the mpx200. So, I’ll probably keep a std flip phone on VZ for voice, and replace my ipaq 1945 with one of the devices mentioned above for wireless email/browsing/pda uses.