Who has the best coverage in Western Mass
May 2, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

We are moving back to Western Mass next month and need the advice of local mefis. Our iPhone 3G is ready for the recycling bin and we will be buying an iPhone 4 in the next week. Between At&T and Verizon which has the best coverage along route 9 between Northampton and Amherst?
posted by a22lamia to Technology (14 answers total)
I'm sure someone will come along who can compare their Verizon experience to my AT&T one: I rarely have any trouble with AT&T on my iPhone, but when I do, it's in Hadley on Route 9. The Hampshire Mall is a total deadspot for me, and the surrounding 1-2 miles are iffy. I've had dropped calls along Route 9 through Hadley several times. There are also parts of Holyoke where I can't get the 3G data network.

Welcome back to Western Mass! Representing Easthampton!
posted by dayintoday at 9:22 AM on May 2, 2011

Should clarify for you or for others reading, Hadley is right in between Northampton and Amherst along Route 9.
posted by dayintoday at 9:23 AM on May 2, 2011

I don't have experience with Verizon, but my experience with AT&T on my iPhone 3G matches dayintoday's: my iPhone generally works well in the Valley but it's in stores on Route 9 in Hadley (e.g. Target in the Hampshire Mall, or Stop and Shop) that reception is worst. It's not great in downtown Northampton either, unless things have improved in the last year or two.

I can't say what reception is like on Route 9 itself (apart from the stores), because I'm almost always driving or cycling when I'm there and I never use my phone when I'm behind the wheel (or handlebars).
posted by brianogilvie at 9:49 AM on May 2, 2011

It's been nearly 5 years since I commuted that stretch daily, but when I did I never had any trouble on the Verizon network (my phone for most of that time was a Motorola e815).

I've never noticed problems with AT&T and my iPhone 3G down there, but that may simply be because I'm not down that way nearly as often as I used to be and therefore not using my phone therenearly as much. I know I've made successful calls on the AT&T network from the Hampshire Mall & surrounding areas, FWIW.
posted by usonian at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2011

I have Verizon too, and while I have heard about problems in Belchertown and Palmer, I have never had any problems in Hampshire or Hampden counties...
posted by Hanuman1960 at 10:44 AM on May 2, 2011

I was just visiting that area last month and had no issues with my Verizon coverage.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:09 AM on May 2, 2011

Another voice for no known dead spots in the Pioneer Valley with Verizon.
posted by AthenaPolias at 11:24 AM on May 2, 2011

I was a happy Verizon customer for years and consistently got 1-2 bars of coverage at my house (a few miles from downtown Northampton, and kind of a wireless dead zone). When I switched to AT&T for the iPhone 4, that coverage turned into 1 or no bars. We actually had to buy an M-Cell for our house. Had no problems with either service when downtown, but in general Verizon's coverage is better. I have yet to meet a resident here who disagrees.
posted by chowflap at 11:27 AM on May 2, 2011

I lived right along route 9 in Hadley (right next to the Donut Man) for several years, and I never had any trouble with coverage. I had Verizon. I moved two years ago, but I can't imagine the coverage has changed in any negative way in that time.

I wish I could move back, too!
posted by rosethorn at 12:53 PM on May 2, 2011

I have a Verizon iPhone, and I have never had any trouble with reception here in Noho or driving to Amherst on Rte 9 (or anywhere else in the Valley).
posted by lysimache at 3:50 PM on May 2, 2011

Verizon is the first carrier to announce 4G coverage in the area, if that would make a difference for you. Unfortunately, both Verizon and AT&T still have dead spots in downtown Northampton and along Route 9. (Some of it's signal, some of seems to be transient tower problems.) Problem areas we've noticed: the area around Applebees/Hampshire Mall, downtown Noho near Sweeties, downtown Noho along the bike path... all populated places where you'd think there'd be no problems! If you're just driving through, you probably wouldn't notice, but if you live in one of the dead zones, it would suck to buy a phone without being able to hand it right back to the carrier.
posted by Gable Oak at 4:00 PM on May 2, 2011

I live in Easthampton (second person to represent! woo!) and work in North Amherst, so I find myself on Route 9 all the time. I have an iphone through AT&T. I have fine coverage on the road itself, but weirdly NO reception in Target or the mighty Hampshire Mall (No coverage, no real stores. It seems to fit.)
The other dead zone I've noticed is most of Leverett and Montague.
Welcome back!!!
posted by missmary6 at 6:58 PM on May 2, 2011

I'm in Hadley, (right next to the donut man!) and have a Verizon phone that works great all along route 9. My girlfriend has an AT&T iPhone and she doesn't have any coverage problems where we live *or* in the big box stores along route 9...I've actually been impressed with AT&T's coverage since we moved here.
posted by prior at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2011

Thanks for the info all!
posted by a22lamia at 12:06 PM on May 3, 2011

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