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  1. #1
    Within the Bonds of Salvation
    Join Date
    07-18-2004
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    Wisconsin
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    Question Quick question on roaming ...

    Hello friends -

    It's been awhile since I've posted - hope everyone is doing well! I guess it's a good thing I haven't posted in awhile because that means my 7135 is behaving itself.

    Took my first road trip with the ol' 7135 last week - from Wisconsin to Florida. Most of the time my phone is roaming using a Verizon tower near my home because the Alltel tower is about 40 miles north of me and the signal isn't strong enough. When I do go up north though, the roaming indicator goes out and it's not blinking. I usually update my PRL software while I'm up there just to be sure I have the latest version.

    When I went to my parents' house in the panhandle of Florida, that's a highly concenetrated Alltel area - they have towers all over the place. I had a great signal, but the dumb roaming triangle was blinking as it usually does when I'm at home.

    Even though I may have been using an Alltel tower, is it correct that my phone's roaming indicator is blinking? Will the indicator only go out and stop blinking when you' re physically in your home area (eg. northern Wisconsin)? I guess I'm a bit confused when the phone should be roaming and when it shouldn't be.

    Any help would be most appreciated!

    Muchos gratias!
    -Michael

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    02-28-2004
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    'Frisco, California, USA
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    My guess would be that you're right and the roaming indicator should not be lit when you are using an Alltel tower away from home, but that may have as much to do with Alltell's programming of their towers as anything. I think you should check with them.

    As a Verizon customer my roaming icon is only lit when I am outside of a Verizon coverage area but in someone else's. It's pretty rare for me to see that icon, or hear the roaming ring tone. Whether I'm at home or on the opposite coast, if I'm on Verizon's network I don't see the roaming icon.

  3. #3
    Semi-Converged
    Join Date
    09-20-2004
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    93
    You would think from Verizon's advertizing that "device"'s experiance would be common, but I discovered two weeks ago that Lincoln, NE has NO Verizon coverage. Didn't call home the whole weekend.

  4. #4
    Registered User thaxman's Avatar
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    09-16-2004
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    Tucson
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    Once upon a time, Verizon's service operated this same way (except I think the icon - "R" for us 7135 users - was steady in Verizon areas, & blinking on "hostile" networks, not the other way around) Then they figured out how to make phones operate the same across their entire hodge-podge conglomeration of networks. Alltel just hasn't done that, & I imagine US Cellular hasn't yet either, for all you USCC people w/the same question.
    Anyway, When Alltel customers are in the area where the phone is programmed to accept as "home" (usually where the ph# is from) then there will be no "R", but when travelling on "Friendly" networks, i.e. other Alltel cities, some Verizon areas, even some other carriers' networks, then the "R" flashes, but when in "Hostile" areas the "R" is present and does not blink. The phone's icon flashes when on the National Freedom Network, and is essentially a compass to using that specific plan.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    05-03-2004
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    6
    I know on the verizon network you are supposed to dial *228 and select option 2 to update your roaming capabilities on a monthly basis or when in a strange area (IE: Virginia when you used to be in Mass). This has helped me on a regular basis if I am in a new area that I am having problems getting verizon service. I am not sure if Alltel has a similar programming option.

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    05-16-2005
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    Alltel does have a roaming list update capability. In fact, the number to call for the over-the-air update is the same as Verizon - *228.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    11-25-2005
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    Ohio
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    I can confirm that Alltel uses *228 to update the cell tower list in its cell phones. I just did it on an Audiovox 8910. I performed the update in Youngstown, Ohio. You have to wait for your phone to power off for the update to take effect. You just call *228, wait for the message to say that the update is successful, press "OK" and wait for the phone to power off then start up again. Customer service recommended doing this every few months.

    I can also confirm that the "R" roaming icon is off when you are in your home area, and blinks slowly when you are using friendly towers, but if the "R" icon stays on steadily, then you are out of the network. I am on the National Freedom plan, so these indicators work to tell me when I can roam for free and when I can't. This might not be true on all of their plans. I might also add that Alltel has been very good about giving me credits for roaming charges in areas where they are supposed to have service. You really have to watch your monthly statement like a hawk, though, because almost every month they manage to tag on charges that I was not expecting or that were in error.
    Last edited by JeffWasHere; 11-25-2005 at 01:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-16-2005
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    299
    The problems described by JeffWasHere are the reason that I have the Alltel Total Freedom plan. I travel a fair amount and I didn't want to have to always be wondering "am I in, or am I out?" With the Total Freedom plan - or some equivalent - there are never any roaming or long distance charges, period.

  9. #9
    Registered User thaxman's Avatar
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    09-16-2004
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    Tucson
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    Now that Alltel bought all of Western Wireless they have changed their PRL so that it all counts the CDMA parts of the aquisition as free on National Freedom, which opens up the plan significantly.
    BUT there could always be some odd place where the preferred signal is too weak - like the tower may behind a hill where the non-preferred tower is 100 ft away - where you could get roaming on the plan, like JeffWasHere has experienced. So Total Freedom is the best choice if you can afford it - it tends to be a little pricey in the 500-900 min range because of its worry-free nature.

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