Coverage for Koodo Phone Bad in US Southwest

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We were in Nevada, California and Arizona in Oct 2016 and only got service when there where AT&T towers.  There were many areas that AT&T didn't cover like around Calaveras County CA, Cave Creek AZ, and outside Flagstaff AZ.  People from the US we were with did get good coverage from other providers.  Does Koodo only have an arrangement with AT&T?  We felt like we wasted our money buying the roaming add-on when it doesn't work 25% of the time.
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Dean Finlay

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Posted 2 years ago

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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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Koodo has arrangements with many carriers in the USA. AT&T and T-Mobile as well as some smaller carriers. The problem is more the area you were in. Sometimes those areas are only served by regional carriers that may not play nice with AT&T or Koodo.
Also AT&T limits roaming on some of its networks to only include AT&T customers. And even then it excludes it's own prepaid customers from using some of those areas.

Koodo doesn't own the foreign networks you use when you're roaming, they can't guarantee you will have service. The roaming packages only ensure discounts if you use your device while service is available.
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Dean Finlay

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Are Sprint and T-Mobile "regional carriers"?  So the question still remains, Does Koodo only have arrangements with AT&T?  If that is so then I can check their coverage to decide if an add-on is worthwhile or not on my next trip.

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Ivan, Mobile Master

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Sprint is a CDMA carrier. If they don't offer LTE service in that area, your phone is not compatible with their signal.

T-Mobile still uses the AWS band for much of its 3G service. Not all phones are compatible with this band.
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Southwest compatible roaming partner seems to be AT&T only. You may have to select AT&T manually rather than using automatic  when choosing a provider on a roaming Android phone.

So far, where AT&T has been available, my experience with Koodo prepaid has been flawless in AZ.

Other providers, such as Sprint and T-Mobile use at least a partially different frequency set, or as in the case of Verizon, completely different technology (CDMA) on many of their handsets.

There is an ongoing debate about AT&T vs Verizon service in many less populated areas. The advertised coverage maps tend to be rather optimistic.

AT&T coverage map: