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

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:59 pm

FYI, straight from the AT&T website, here are screencaps of their coverage map for DVNP and vicinity.

They seem to show coverage in a lot more places than I would expect (or have found). Maybe I need to switch to AT&T?! :lol:

But it looks a little off, with all those straight lines showing coverage on one side of a sharp line and different (ie, third party) or no coverage on the other side of that line... Wireless signals don't quite work that way!


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David_Bricker
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Post by David_Bricker » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:48 am

Candace, whoever drew this map is as overly optimistic as in my area. My house shows full coverage, and I can't get a signal even with a tailwind.

PSR has no signal, Trona has no signal. You can get a bit of signal on a good day, down around Minietta Rd on the Panamint Valley Road.

David Bricker / SYR

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:37 pm

LOL, "overly optimistic" is one way to put it!

Problem is, I am looking to make a change with my phone. But then I check out coverage maps and notice that they show service in areas where I know it is actually non-existent or hit-or-miss at best. So I'm left wondering how "optimistic" or downright misleading the maps might be with regard to other places. :roll:

Aedwards27
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Post by Aedwards27 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:37 am

Candace,

Take a look at this site, they rely on user submitted reports regarding coverage. This seems to be much more reliable than the carrier maps.

https://opensignal.com/

WyoCarbon
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Post by WyoCarbon » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:22 am

Hey, all.

I've been doing some research on wireless service in the park. I've compiled the majority of the information on my site below, but here's the main points.

There are exactly two cell sites within Death Valley at this time. One is at Furnace Creek, and the other is at Stovepipe Wells. Both are owned by Commnet, and both will serve CDMA and GSM customers, meaning Verizon and AT&T both work fine. Sprint and T-Mobile both should be fine too, but I don't know anyone with them to try. There are a few sites on the boundary that penetrate, most notably Cerro Gordo. That one is GSM only, so AT&T and T-Mobile are the only possible users.

The biggest travesty is the NPS trying to manage these systems. They are being absolutely ridiculous with timelines and fees. I understand we need to protect the assets, but that's not what is impeding their process. My main gripe with that is Rogers Peak. There is a site still up there from when Alltel served the area, and that site covered more square-mileage within the park than anything else to date. Very long story short, they won't allow the current owner, AT&T, to get it up and running. They're so disconnected from the process that they cannot even grasp that AT&T bought Alltel, and that it's truly their own equipment still up there. There can't possibly be an impact given they already have stuff up there, and there is already a road. There's no reason for further review, so long as they operate within the constraints they always have.

I've been trying to reach out to the NPS, AT&T, and lately, our State Representative, because nothing is getting done. AT&T is ready to roll, but the NPS won't get their ducks in a row.

So, there is more than you ever wanted to know. If you want even more details and technical specifics, look here:

http://www.trona-tech.net/death-valley- ... -coverage/

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Death Valley Dazed
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WyoCarbon - thanks for report. My visit to the towers

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:31 pm

on Rogers Peak was two years ago in the spring. I hiked up the service road at Mahogany Flats in a fierce windstorm. Great tail wind on the east bound zigs and nearly a crawl on the west bound zags. At one corner I had to kneel down for fear of being blown off the edge.

I was amazed at how that wind whistled through those towers and how sturdy they were.

Not being an electrical engineer or communications geek I just assumed they were a microwave transfer/relay station and had no idea that they were cell phone towers.

The gate, road, buildings, structures and mechanical stuff all appeared to be well maintained and I just assumed someone in a four wheel truck just drove up there on a regular basis to check on things.

So, yeah, if cell service could be expanded by turning on those towers the NPS should go for it because there will be no more impact than already is there.

BTW - great view of Telescope and all of the other mountain ranges from there.
Life begins in Death Valley

WyoCarbon
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Re: WyoCarbon - thanks for report. My visit to the towers

Post by WyoCarbon » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:16 pm

Death Valley Dazed wrote:Not being an electrical engineer or communications geek I just assumed they were a microwave transfer/relay station and had no idea that they were cell phone towers.

The gate, road, buildings, structures and mechanical stuff all appeared to be well maintained and I just assumed someone in a four wheel truck just drove up there on a regular basis to check on things.

So, yeah, if cell service could be expanded by turning on those towers the NPS should go for it because there will be no more impact than already is there.
Yea, there is a ton of stuff up there. NPS stuff, Federal Government stuff, Military stuff, but also that one piece of cellular equipment. I really hope the NPS can get their stuff straight with this one.

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Post by matmiss » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:16 am

Trona has a strong Verizon signal. The cell service in the Park is ATT, but my Verizon phone works fine on "extended"

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Post by D.A. Wright » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:51 pm

Back in the days of analog service, when I lived in Big Pine and worked in Trona, there was good coverage in all of Panamint Valley on the main roads. I'd start getting strong coverage topping Slate Range Summit. There was only a short dark spot traveling west on CA190 around the Darwin road before I'd start getting signal off of Owens Valley towers.
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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:35 pm

Maybe things have changed, but when I was on Rogers Peak about 18 months ago, I got a really nice cell signal - from either Beatty or FC.

I'm not sure why I think this, but I believe at some point I was told that a bunch of what is up there is military communications gear having to do with China Lake and all the flying that is done in the area.

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Post by Gowergulch42 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:54 pm

That's because they are. There was an old analog cellular tower up there that has since been decommissioned, but somewhere on this site are pictures of one of those big metal buildings being trucked up the Mahogany Flat road on a big flatbed!
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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ETAV8R
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Post by ETAV8R » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:44 pm

While I haven't read this whole thread I will say that after I switched to AT/T from Sprint I noticed MUCH better coverage in Owens Valley. I liked most of my Sprint features better but it comes down to safety and being able to communicate with friends/loved ones.

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:48 am

ETAV8R wrote:While I haven't read this whole thread I will say that after I switched to AT/T from Sprint I noticed MUCH better coverage in Owens Valley. I liked most of my Sprint features better but it comes down to safety and being able to communicate with friends/loved ones.
Which Sprint features are younreferring to?
All cell providers sell the same service. The only diferentiators are price and coverage area.

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:16 pm

WyoCarbon wrote: If you want even more details and technical specifics, look here:

http://www.trona-tech.net/death-valley- ... -coverage/
Interesting...so I shouldn't expect my prepaid AT&T GoPhone to work in DVNP?

It's a Samsung 'droid phone which works great all over the place, including on my summer travels. Except in the areas of Lake City and Creede, Colorado where there are no AT&T towers and I couldn't roam (Emergency calls only). Thankfully there was a payphone and a free wifi hotspot next to the Centurylink building in Lake City, so I wasn't completely cut off.

I had 4G service at the Horseshoe Canyon trailhead out in the middle of nowhere in Utah. :lol:

No service in FC will be disappointing, given that my old Tracfone 3G phone worked fine in FC except I couldn't do data...just calls and SMS texts. At least I didn't have to use a calling card at their payphone anymore, lol. Guess I will find out next time I get out to DV.

I firmly believe I got coverage in many more areas back in the day while using my Verizon analog phone with pull-out antenna.

BTW, even if a company kept an analog tower going, who has a phone these days that would work with it?

Maybe I need to nonchalantly email the Park and ask why we can't get cell service reinstated on Rogers Peak. ;-)

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:32 pm

BTW, if you want to know what exactly is on Rogers Peak, check out this document: http://www.trona-tech.net/wp-content/up ... s-Peak.pdf

In it, they mention the facilities on Mormon Peak may have to be moved to Rogers Peak (since Mormon Peak is a designated Wilderness area). Here's what was up on Mormon Peak on May 25, 2015:

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And I'm glad Charlie was keeping a close eye on the AT&T workers while they were up there... :razz:

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