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Tips for finding the best wireless coverage

March 18, 2007|by JULIE E. GREENE

The Federal Communications Commission offers tips for consumers to find the best cellular coverage for their situation.

Consumers need to know where they plan to use the phone most frequently - from the office, home, certain travel routes - so they can check coverage areas provided by different cellular services.

Even though a company provides a coverage map, that doesn't mean there's a strong signal or even a signal everywhere within that area, the FCC warns. These maps usually come with a disclaimer pointing that out.

People can ask their neighbors, co-workers and friends about the quality of their cellular service and check Web sites that allow people to list dead spots.

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Such Web sites include www.deadcellzones.com and www.cellreception.com/deadspots.

Check to see whether the cell service provides a trial period, and test the areas you'd call to and from most frequently before that period expires. Check the fine print about refunds, because you might not get all of your money back if you cancel the service.

When you do find a trouble spot, notify your wireless service. Wireless companies such as U.S. Cellular have employees who check these trouble areas to see if they can be fixed or if capacity or coverage needs to be adjusted.

For more coverage tips from the FCC, go to www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cellcoverage.html.

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