6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2013 10:38 AM by rick_in_fairbanks RSS

    Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska


      My husband & I upgraded to the new iPhone 4s just before Christmas.  We absolutely love our new phones, because it helps us stay connected with our families that are so far away.  Yesterday, we got orders to Fort Wainwright, AK.  I'm reading everywhere that there is no data coverage in AK because there are no towers.  So basically, did we spend hundreds of dollars for a couple of phones that are going to be bricks now?  Are there any plans of coverage coming to AK anytime soon, or can we get out of our contract?

        • 1. Re: Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska

          Alaska is an extended service area for Verizon Wireless. You can use the phone as a phone while there. You would be connected to the local CDMA carrier's towers. As for data, I don't recall from previous posts on this community if you can get extended 1x data coverage. I do know that you can't activate, reprogram (dial *228, option 1) to the Verizon Wireless network or update your roaming capabilities (dial *228, option 2) while in Alaska. All of that needs to be done within range of a Verizon Wireless tower.

          • 2. Re: Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska

            You'll have data service through ACS.  I'm not sure about the iPhone but I know on my droid there's an option to turn on data while roaming.  You'll have to turn that on but your data will work fine up here.  Just as long as you don't change your number or have to reactivate your phone you'll be fine up here.

            I'm stationed at FTWW, been here almost two years.  Hope you guys enjoy it.  Good luck.

            • 3. Re: Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska

              Yep my Verizon IPhone worked just fine in Fairbanks..and it picked up 3G from the local carrier..you'll be all set.  Just make sure that data roaming is enabled in the settings.  All of Verizon's plans include unlimited/free roaming now so don't worry about it.


              If you have any more questions please let me know...I've travelled all over Alaska with my Verizon IPhone and it has worked great (I'm in the Air Force).



              • 4. Re: Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska

                I have Verizon here in Alaska.  All the services work wherever the local carrier Alaska Communications has coverage.  Before you travel, you'll definitely want to do a *228 to update your roaming list, because once you arrive in Alaska, over-the-air programming is NOT available.  If you are experiencing any problems with your phones, it would behoove you to make a trip to the VZW or Apple store to have them addressed BEFORE moving to Alaska.


                It's important to note, your active duty military PCS orders are sufficient documentation to release you from your contract, without paying an early termination fee.  If you have been with Verizon long enough with a satisfactory payment history, call into support and have them "Unlock" your phone.  This could enable you to utilize your already purchased iPhone on other carriers in the area, such as GCI, ACS, or AT&T, saving you from being locked into another contract.


                Should you run into any issues canceling your service following a PCS move, I strongly suggest you consult your base legal service office to see if they can prepare a letter on your behalf to assist with disconnecting service without being forced to pay an ETF.


                Thank you for your service, and best of luck to you and your family!



                • 5. Re: Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska

                  I see that Verizon has now got towers going up in the Fairbanks area and supposedly plan to go active in summer 2013.  Anyone got more info on this?  Will Vzn 4G service (or at least 3G) be available without roaming?  I don't have Vzn phone service but have a MBB (4G LTE) which i have NOT been able to use at my home in Fbks.  (Apparently contract between Vzn and ACS will support 2G only which results in my device shutting down auto when can't get at least 3G!)  Ugh!  Would love to get an updated phone and bundle if possible but won't do it if I have to continue to pay and not be able to use MBB!!

                  • 6. Re: Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks) Alaska



                    Quick note:  Press release/News Article in the local paper states that Verizon turns the network on this Friday June 7th.  Data will switch on and voice will be going over local networks per contractual agreements.  Walmart and Sam's Club will start selling accessories, and there has been no news yet on when we could acquire an actual Verizon store in Fairbanks, but this is a major development.  I know we will all be glad to have the network up here to carry our service instead of dealing with the roaming.