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cell phone reception

ohio
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36 posts
10 reviews
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cell phone reception

I was wondering how the cell phone reception was on the Island? I need to check on my "kids" periodically.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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260 reviews
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1. Re: cell phone reception

It depends on where you are on the island. There are places where I have a strong signal and places where my signal is lost.

I'm sure it also depends on which carrier you have.

ohio
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36 posts
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2. Re: cell phone reception

We have sprint that is now part of nextell. We are staying at the Island House.

Manistique, Michigan
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for Manistique, Curtis
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3. Re: cell phone reception

I went to the Sprint web site and it says if you live on Mackinaw Island you can buy a sprint phone. I am not that up on cell phones but if they say they will sell you a phone to use on the island, it would seem it would work there. From what I can tell there is a tower in Traverse City. (if that means anything)

ohio
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36 posts
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4. Re: cell phone reception

Thanks so much for the help. I didn't event think to look it up on the sprint website. Duh. LOL!

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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5. Re: cell phone reception

sono...I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I don't think you'll have very good reception on the island. I don't know about Sprint, but I can tell you for certain that Nextel's service in Northern Michigan is shoddy at best. I live about 1/2 hour south of Mackinaw and have tried just about every cellphone carrier. I settled on Alltel and get pretty good reception most everywhere (including the island). I used to have, and have had several friends who also used to have Nextel...with dismal results. Sprint and Nextel seem to work great in metro areas, but not so well once you're out of town. You'll get a signal here and there on the island, but I'd bring a phone card just in case.

If you don't mind, post after your trip and let me know how your reception turned out. Alltel has great service, but their phones are way outdated...I'd love to be able to switch to Sprint and get a better phone if the service is good.

ohio
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36 posts
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6. Re: cell phone reception

I just wanted to let you that I have full strength with my cell phone. I just don't seem to want to use it. Thanks for everyones responses. By the way I am on Sprint service.

Kansas
Destination Expert
for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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4,813 posts
260 reviews
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7. Re: cell phone reception

Glad to hear it. I have Virgin Moble, whose coverage is provided by Sprint, and lose my signal practicly anytime I am in a building or in the interior or the island.

Michigan
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8. Re: cell phone reception

My sister has Nextel which is part of Sprint. We were on the Island last year and she had no problem. She also has a Motorola phone and I think that makes a difference. Also Nextel has been putting up new towers. We just switched from Nextel to Alltel. Two days after this they put a Nextel tower in our town.

I was just in Mackinaw City yesterday and had full strength with Alltel.

Swartz Creek
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1,395 posts
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9. Re: cell phone reception

Verizon coverage is very good on the island.

Mackinac Island, MI
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10. Re: cell phone reception

The Island is one big rock, with lots of hills and valleys. Cell and radio reception is most often dependant on where you are standing when you attempt to use it. There are spots that just cannot pick up reception---then twenty feet later things are fine.

The Chippewa Hotel has a cell tower on its roof, yet sometimes it's impossible to get reception just outside their front door.

If you ever visit Harrisonville, the village in the Island's interior where many locals and summer workers live, you will see people standing at the side of the road talking on their cell phones. Because that's the spot that will pick up the signals.

Rather than invest in cell phones, you might want to look into inexpensive walkie talkies. I know there are some that cover quite a range.

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