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  1. #1
    BigDaveinNJ
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    I have always wondered about this and the few people I have asked about this have given me several different answers.

    Do different providers such as Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile etc... use the same TOWERS or do they each have their own?

    I currently have a Virgin Mobile pre-paid phone and I pretty much have the same signal coverage in specific areas just like I did when I had Cingular leading me to believe that they all use the same towers.

    Thanks in advance

    DAVID


    See More: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???



  2. #2
    Brad729
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    The major providers like Sprint, Verizon, Cingular, T-Mobile, and a few others all have their own towers. Then, there are MVNOs (what is a MVNO?) who purchase airtime from the big guys and resell it under their own name. Then, the ability to roam from one tower to another is dependent upon which technology the service provider uses; for example, Cingular's GSM cannot roam on Sprint's CDMA (Virgin is a MVNO of Sprint), and neither of them can roam on older TDMA towers which are still used in some areas, mostly by MVNOs of the former AT&T. Not to confuse you, but any phone with an analog band can roam on any tower with an analog transmitter (as long as the companies have agreements), even if the providers involved use 2 different digital technologies.

    Of course, your question wasn't about roaming or different technologies, but it's worth pointing out because that's probably the only time 2 major providers ever "share" a tower.
    Last edited by Brad729; 05-25-2006 at 08:07 AM.



  3. #3
    tavenger5
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    Good info brad!

    It's funny. I noticed the smokestack in the middle of my old college get filled with antennas this year. There's several different types of antennas that correspond to the major carriers. Turns out they all wanted to put antennas on the stack at the same time and rented the 'space' accordingly. I'm not sure who contacted who about doing this, but I think it was the school. Students had complained about poor reception around the dorms.
    John

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  4. #4
    twitchy
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    I'm not sure if this helps answer your question, but I use tmobile and half of the time I use my phone I am working off of cingular's network. I'm not sure if it's because of the towers or not.

    Hope that helps a bit



  5. #5
    Brad729
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy
    I'm not sure if this helps answer your question, but I use tmobile and half of the time I use my phone I am working off of cingular's network. I'm not sure if it's because of the towers or not.
    Umm, do you mean you're roaming? T-Mobile doesn't just work off Cingular's network unless you're roaming, and when you're roaming you're on someone else's tower. Your post didn't make any sense.



  6. #6
    twitchy
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad729
    Umm, do you mean you're roaming? T-Mobile doesn't just work off Cingular's network unless you're roaming, and when you're roaming you're on someone else's tower. Your post didn't make any sense.

    no I'm not roaming. I am in my home network and not roaming. At the top of my phone it says which network i'm using i.e. Tmobile, Cingular, Etc. I can even go into my network settings and pick which network I want to use



  7. #7
    Brad729
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy
    no I'm not roaming. I am in my home network and not roaming. At the top of my phone it says which network i'm using i.e. Tmobile, Cingular, Etc. I can even go into my network settings and pick which network I want to use
    Let's examine the definition of roaming before this becomes any more confusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by www.phonescoop.com
    Using a wireless phone outside of your service provider's local coverage area or home calling area. Roaming arrangements between service providers (carriers) allow you to use other carriers' networks. Service providers typically charge a higher per-minute fee for calls placed while roaming.
    Quote Originally Posted by www.answerbag.com
    Roaming is the term for when you use your cell phone outside of the area covered by your service carrier. Your phone will automatically "roam" or look for the next available carrier, and it will use that one.
    Are you sure you're not roaming when your T-Mobile phone says it's using Cingular's network? It's one thing to have "free roaming" like I do, then I don't pay for roaming but that doesn't negate the fact I am using someone else's tower, it's still defined as roaming to be one someone else's network.



  8. #8
    twitchy
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    No i'm not roaming, and I do have free roaming. But I am sitting inside my house in my local calling area and it says cingular.
    Here is a service coverage using my address. It may not be a bold green, but it is still tmobile



  9. #9
    Brad729
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    Okay, if you say so. But believe me, you are the only person in the whole world who can use a different provider's tower without roaming, because that's what roaming is by definition.



  10. #10
    twitchy
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    Re: Do CELL PHONE providers use the same TOWERS???

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad729
    Okay, if you say so. But believe me, you are the only person in the whole world who can use a different provider's tower without roaming, because that's what roaming is by definition.
    well then, i guess i'm special



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