TELECOM Digest Editor asked in a message:
> My next question was 'what about roaming?' If you do not have your own
> cell tower, you must have access to someone else's tower in the area ...
> (and Dobson came to mind). No, he said, Nextel does _not_ roam. Either
> you get our service or you don't get service.
Nextel uses a technology called iDEN which is different from all of
the other carriers in the U.S. A Nextel phone will work anywhere
there is iDEN coverage, which is Nextel's network in the US and
Mexico, Telus in Canada, and some carriers in a few other countries.
Nextel's coverage is pretty good, and they have as good a claim to
national coverage as anyone else. Their coverage has holes in rural
areas, but so does anyone else's. The holes are just different.
There is for example a narrow valley about 20 miles east of here where
no cell phones work at all and, considering how rural it is, they
never will. No mobile carrier anywhere provides 100% coverage, and it
was pretty foolish of your nephew to expect to be reachable all the
Somehow we all managed to survive back in the dark ages when
travellers had to drop coins into pay phones to call home, and you
couldn't get in touch with travelling friends and relatives at all
unless you were able to leave a message at a place where they'd be
staying. How come now it's a major crisis if someone a thousand miles
away isn't instantly available at a touch of a button? Sheesh.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: It is not a 'major crisis'; but rather,
just quite inconvenient when you are sold a device (commonly known as
a 'cell phone') with the assurance it will work 'anywhere', and you
have no particular reason to distrust the seller of same only to then
later find out the seller was full of hot air. And it is not merely
that the 'push to talk' function is not available (I certainly would
not miss that feature very much; it is more of a curiosity to me) but
even the 'traditional cell phone features' do not work either. PAT]n