Can You Hear Me Now: Strongest cell signals in the ArkLaMiss - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Can You Hear Me Now: Strongest cell signals in the ArkLaMiss

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Almost everyone with a cell phone has issues with dropped calls or dead zones in coverage. We put the three big providers in the ArkLaMiss to the test to find out who has the strongest signal.

Cruse Flowers lives in River Oaks community in Monroe and has to stand in a very specific spot in his backyard to make a call.

"No, no where in our house do we have service. You have to walk out to the backyard to use the phone," says Flowers.

His provider, AT&T, says the coverage issues are due to tower distance, and even though Flowers is in the city limits, he may not be near a tower.

"Now, it does take time to build a new tower," says Sue Sperry, AT&T Louisiana, "Really the biggest hurdle, is the first one, which is getting all of the zoning and permitting done."

Zoning restrictions can keep new towers from being built, leaving permanent dead zones in coverage areas. Many people, all over, struggle with cell phone networks and the already existing dead zones. We put the big three providers - AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint - to an unscientific survey.

KNOE Facebook fans chimed in on where the dead zones are, so the road trip started down Highway 34 to Chatham, where I called the same land line number from each provider on iPhones with 3G service. With AT&T, I couldn't make the phone call, while Sprint had no service at all. Verizon kept a solid signal and several Chatham residents told me that's why Verizon is their favored provider.

Next, was a dead zone along Highway 80 on the way to Rayville. All three phones worked well, but Verizon appeared to register the most bars.

Then, I headed North on Highway 2. AT&T not only seems to be the popular choice near Farmerville, but it's the one with the strongest signal.

Verizon came in a close second, and Sprint's signal seemed weak, but you could still make the call.

Each provider was given the results and had the opportunity to respond. Verizon and AT&T were satisfied with the outcome, but say everyone should do research before switching or choosing networks. Many services, including Sprint, offer your money back if you're not happy within the first few days of signing up.

"What's going to work for your area," says Hunter Williams, Verizon retailer, "that's what's good about Verizon, that we can provide for those people because that's what we love to do."

Providers say spotty coverage can be found in more than just rural areas, do some testing and ask others what service they prefer before you commit. A smart consumer who does some homework on his or her own, in the long run, will be the best connected consumer.

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