Cell Service in Albuquerque- AT&T or other?
April 19, 2010 1:43 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is moving to Albuquerque this summer for at least a year. She's had her heart set on an iPhone for years, but is wondering how AT&T coverage is in the city. As this will be her only phone, it's important that her phone work well for talking (not just data). How's AT&T's service in Albuquerque? What provider has the best Albuquerque coverage? Her contract w/ Verizon will be up soon so she can move to any provider.
posted by jz to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This doesn’t answer your question, but if your girlfriend decides to get an iPhone she should really hold out until Apple releases their newest model (likely to happen this summer). There is nothing worse then getting a fancy, shiny new toy and realizing two weeks later that it is no longer the fanciest and shiniest toy on the market.
posted by mazniak at 2:16 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

My partner and I each have iPhones with AT&T. These serve as our only phones, and it works out fine. That said, Verizon is almost certainly the best provider in the city. With AT&T, we don't really have issues with call quality, but we do have dropped or failed calls weekly and dead spots around town. Before AT&T, I had Verizon since the mid-nineties and never had these issues with them. 3G coverage is pretty decent and reliable but reverts to Edge when you leave the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area. Do you know what general part of town in which she will be living? We love our iPhones, so in the end it's worth it, but if/when Verizon picks up iPhone, we'll be jumping back. (Don't forget Apple will be introducing a new iPhone model in a few months.)
posted by jroybal at 2:19 PM on April 19, 2010

Verizon has by far the best coverage in New Mexico. Most people go with Verizon here.

Here's AT&T's voice coverage map for Albuquerque. It's not too bad in the city, I would think, but not optimal -- a lot of it is marked as "Good" on that map, which means "most in-vehicle coverage and possibly some in-building coverage" (which is not, precisely, my definition of "good" when it comes to cell phone service). Maybe someone who uses the iPhone in ABQ could clarify. (On preview: looks like they did.)

Please note that if she ever wants to drive around the state, she's very likely to encounter drop-outs and areas of no service. Pretty much the entire state outside the I-25/I-40 corridors is in AT&T's Partner category: i.e. "may not have service for in-vehicle coverage or in-building coverage. Excessive use of Partner coverage may subject your service to early termination." Compare Verizon's coverage here -- a far greater percentage of the state is covered.

I would personally choose the Android over the iPhone in New Mexico, simply because it works with Verizon.
posted by vorfeed at 2:24 PM on April 19, 2010

Ex-NMican here. ATT is spotty throughout ABQ, and more or less nonexistent off the Rio Grande corridor. Verizon is the carrier in NM.
posted by PMdixon at 2:26 PM on April 19, 2010

Same experience here. Verizon was wonderful; Apple just ok. If she's going to live near Corrales, forget it - near constant dropouts. Since I moved to the South side I don't think I've had one dropped call. If she is moving near UNM the service on that side of town is fine, 3G included. Traveling around the state? Not so much.
posted by dual_action at 3:33 PM on April 19, 2010

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