Coming soon to Stovepipe Wells Village...cell service!

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Candace_66
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Coming soon to Stovepipe Wells Village...cell service!

Post by Candace_66 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:23 pm

During my recent visit, I had late lunch at the saloon, and was told by the bartender that SW will soon have cell service. After I ate, I went out to look around and saw the tower in the pic below. I don't think that was there before, so I presume it will be for the cell. According to my source, it will be AT&T service.

Furthermore, it should have already been farther along if not operational. However, the truck bringing the equipment overturned or otherwise crashed on the Daylight Pass Road coming over from Beatty! Not sure if that's 100% true, but that's how she explained it. She also stated there was some sort of contractual obligation requiring them to have it up by "the end of the year." I'm definitely not sure about that, but again that's what I was told.

At any rate, it appears that for better or worse, soon some more of the Park will have cell service. Sometimes its nice to genuinely be out of touch. ;-)

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wbdeford
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Post by wbdeford » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:42 am

Altogether, I would say this is a good thing for safety's sake. I have had good luck with cell service (Verizon) on the west side alluvial fans below Hanaupah and Trail Canyons and also in the Cottonball Marsh. The common denominator seems to be line-of-sight to Furnace Creek. But when doing any serious backcountry travel, I rent a satellite phone.

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:33 pm

wbdeford wrote:Altogether, I would say this is a good thing for safety's sake. I have had good luck with cell service (Verizon) on the west side alluvial fans below Hanaupah and Trail Canyons and also in the Cottonball Marsh. The common denominator seems to be line-of-sight to Furnace Creek. But when doing any serious backcountry travel, I rent a satellite phone.
A 406 Mhz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) is also a good thing to have, especially if you are hiking in the boonies. :cool: I currently have a McMurdo Fast Find. Note a "Spot" device is not the same thing.

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wbdeford
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Post by wbdeford » Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:14 pm

I rented a beacon one time....but my wife likes to get text messages periodically to know that I am OK.

stan
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Post by stan » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:13 am

I liked it better the "old" way.... But now folks can surf the net while they drive thru beautiful desert wilderness - ain't that cool ???
And what about the RF radiation in the pristine environment?? Oh the humanity !!!

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gedstrom
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Post by gedstrom » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:19 pm

I have to admit being an Internet addict. On the one hand, I enjoy the quieter environment of Mesquite Campground up north. On the other hand, I miss the Internet up there and need to come down to Furnace Creek for a couple of days to get my "Fix". :lol:

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TacoLand
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Post by TacoLand » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:56 pm

I've got no issues with added cell service – especially in an area that already has absolutely nothing to do with solitude or self-reliance.

Plus if you don't want it, don't use it! ;-)

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TonyG
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Post by TonyG » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:21 pm

stan wrote: And what about the RF radiation in the pristine environment?? Oh the humanity !!!
If we could only stop those galactic radio frequencies, the cosmic radiation and that pesky solar wind, we'd finally be in a radiation-free environment! Oh, wait: isn't the Nevada Test Site just across the range or two? ;-)

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:44 pm

I'll believe it when I see it. That doesn't look like the usual cell tower antenna array that I see, though I won't call myself an expert. Several times I've seen AT&T servicing some of the equipment in the microwave relay system, on top of the little hill just SE of the dunes parking area on the way to FC, and I've had staff at SPW make all sorts of claims about how high speed internet was coming... Last time I was at SPW there were new WiFi APs spread around the property, but none connected to anything out the other end.

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wbdeford
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Post by wbdeford » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:59 am

Last I tried it, Stovepipe Wells internet performance was dreadful even with one of their wired connections.

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:13 am

I was there just a few days ago, still no cell service. Imagine that! :lol:

This time, a different bartender blamed the delay on the Park Service! Saying how they had to approve everything that was installed in the park, such as the antenna tower, which might impact aesthetics (approximate quote). I pointed out that the tower is already there. It does still need the actual antennas installed, and maybe some other equipment, but as far as the most visually obvious element of the system, it is already in place! She was sticking to her story that the NPS is holding up everything...

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Death Valley Dazed
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Here's what the clerk at the Stovepipe Wells store-gas

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:38 pm

station told me on February 24th. I asked her about cell service:

"Before I hired on to work way out here I asked if there was cell service and they told me that there was. Well, I got out here and this is NO cell service. We have to drive eight miles toward Beatty cutoff to find the sweet spot. That's why you will often see our cars parked along the highway because we don't want to drive all the way to Furnace Creek to make calls."

So when will cell service arrive?

"We have a tower but nobody is setting up the final go ahead. It's been this way for a couple of years now. Who knows when we'll get service."

I needed to make a call so I followed her directions and with an iPhone 6 on At&t I pick up the sweet spot close the "Sea Level Sign" close to the Beatty cutoff.
Life begins in Death Valley

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:11 pm

Thanks for the info.

For the time being, if I need to make a call I'll stick with what I've been doing for years: Use a calling card with the pay phone at the General Store! :lol:

Over the years I've spent some quality time at those pay phones. Likewise at the ones near the store in Furnace Creek before they got cell service.

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:52 pm

There's a pretty quiet pay phone, usually with a seat, in the area between the motel lobby / gift shop and the restaurant. That's where I spend my quality time :)

anderld47
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Post by anderld47 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:38 pm

So if it is AT&T, that means those of us using the CDMA standard (Verizon and Sprint) won't be helped by the GSM equipment of AT&T.

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