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Cell coverage

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  • jtrolka
    There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and have no hope
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 27 9:45 AM
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      There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if anyone has been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop, Independence, Mammoth or Lone Pine.
    • Roleigh Martin
      Anyone want to volunteer and do this research of the archives? You could create a posting with links to all past findings, and perhaps summarize them. It
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 27 9:54 AM
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        Anyone want to volunteer and do this research of the archives?  You could create a posting with links to all past findings, and perhaps summarize them.  It would make a great file upload. 

        I wonder how many people know that as you go south from Quail Meadows (where the JMT meets Edison Lake junction), as you are on top of that ridge approaching (and/or on) Bear Ridge, that you can make ATT Cell calls. 

        I also know you can make ATT Cell calls as you go south of Reds Meadow near the Red Cones (before/at/south of the Red Cones).

        I also know you can make ATT Cell calls about 2 miles short of Whitney Portal and sometimes (difficult and finicky) on top of Mt. Whitney.

        You can also make ATT Cell Calls at Tuolumne Meadows Post Office and in Yosemite Valley (but not at Whitney Portal itself).

        -------------------------------------------------
        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
        _




        On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM, jtrolka <jeffrolka@...> wrote:
         

        There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if anyone has been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop, Independence, Mammoth or Lone Pine.


      • speedcenter2001
        What I know about ATT - ATT works in Yos. Valley, but you lose the signal pretty early as you head up towards the falls. You have signal on top of Cathedral
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 27 11:23 AM
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          What I know about ATT -

          ATT works in Yos. Valley, but you lose the signal pretty early as you head up towards the falls. You have signal on top of Cathedral Pass, and good reception everywhere around Tuolumne Meadows.

          ATT works on Donohue Pass, as well as south of Donohue at the second crossing of the creek heading southbound, about Lat,Lon 37.760661,-119.228974, with view to Mammoth Mtn.

          ATT works pretty much along the entire PCT alternate from Thousand Island Lake to Agnew Meadows. Didn't try it much on the regular JMT route, but should work fine on the pass after Gladys Lake, with line of sight to Mammoth Mtn, as well as in other areas around the Postpile. Definitely works fine at Reds Meadow Resort and a little further down into Fish Valley or up to Mammoth Crest.

          ATT no signal the following passes, last verified in 2010: Silver, Glen, Pinchot, Mather. Didn't bother testing at Selden and Muir and Forester - highly unlikely with any carrier.

          ATT works at the boat landing east end of Lake Edison, also works at VVR (need to step out of the woods a little towards the lake), never tried it on Bear Ridge, but should be a no brainer if it works at lake level. No signal at Florence Lake parking area.

          ATT works full bars at 12,000 feet below Whitney summit on the Mountaineer's Route (which few JMT hikers will use for descent, though). This is just 0.5 mile line of sight from the summit, so I assume it will work fine up there now. A year before that it didn't work at all in that area. I assume now it works fine on the summit, too. Will verify this later this fall, at least that's the plan right now. I haven't been on the regular Mt. Whitney Trail since 2010, but will verify next time I come down.

          And another data point in case you have to abort a hike like I did in Sept 2009: Exiting south of Pinchot Pass over Sawmill Pass, you will have ATT signal on the ridge outcropping you have to counter climb after getting below the treeline at about 7000 feet. The view is fantastic from that location, so you'll probably figure that this is the place to try a cell phone anyway. I was able to call Bob from Mt. Whitney Shuttle from there and by the time I got down to the trailhead my ride was already on its way.

          Even though this may appear like pretty decent coverage, you really only can make calls for short stretches between Yos. Valley and Lake Edison. You're without cell signal for 90% of the trail, possibly more.

          I recently checked T-Mobile as an alternate carrier. Would work fine where I live, but their coverage map doesn't even include Lone Pine!

          Peter (who is about to pull the trigger on an Iridium sat phone)



          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
          >
          > Anyone want to volunteer and do this research of the archives? You could
          > create a posting with links to all past findings, and perhaps summarize
          > them. It would make a great file upload.
          >
          > I wonder how many people know that as you go south from Quail Meadows
          > (where the JMT meets Edison Lake junction), as you are on top of that ridge
          > approaching (and/or on) Bear Ridge, that you can make ATT Cell calls.
          >
          > I also know you can make ATT Cell calls as you go south of Reds Meadow near
          > the Red Cones (before/at/south of the Red Cones).
          >
          > I also know you can make ATT Cell calls about 2 miles short of Whitney
          > Portal and sometimes (difficult and finicky) on top of Mt. Whitney.
          >
          > You can also make ATT Cell Calls at Tuolumne Meadows Post Office and in
          > Yosemite Valley (but not at Whitney Portal itself).
          >
          > -------------------------------------------------
          > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
          > links)<https://profiles.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
          > _
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM, jtrolka <jeffrolka@...> wrote:
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > >
          > > There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered
          > > if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and
          > > have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if anyone has
          > > been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop, Independence, Mammoth or
          > > Lone Pine.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • cjoslyn99
          Along the trail, reception w/ Verizon was pretty well limited to Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and either side of Reds Meadow (when in view of the tower on
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 27 1:08 PM
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            Along the trail, reception w/ Verizon was pretty well limited to
            Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and either side of Reds Meadow (when
            in view of the tower on Mammoth Mtn.) until you get within a few miles
            of Whitney Portal. There are a few places where I got "bars" but calls
            wouldn't go through and couldn't receive data (notably, top of Donohue
            Pass, Silver Pass, Forester Pass and Mt. Whitney).

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "jtrolka" <jeffrolka@...> wrote:
            >
            > There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I
            wondered if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have
            Sprint, and have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if
            anyone has been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop,
            Independence, Mammoth or Lone Pine.
            >
          • Bill Hegardt
            I would just add that Verizon also works great in Little Yosemite Valley campground and the top of Half Dome where you can see the valley. Now I have T-Mobile
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 27 1:23 PM
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              I would just add that Verizon also works great in Little Yosemite Valley campground and the top of Half Dome where you can see the valley.

              Now I have T-Mobile which I know does not work at TM and I had no luck with it near Reds either.

            • pdawg893@yahoo.com
              Att worked on top of Donahue pass for me Sent from my iPhone
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 27 1:40 PM
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                Att worked on top of Donahue pass for me 

                Sent from my iPhone

                On Aug 27, 2012, at 9:54 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:

                 

                Anyone want to volunteer and do this research of the archives?  You could create a posting with links to all past findings, and perhaps summarize them.  It would make a great file upload. 

                I wonder how many people know that as you go south from Quail Meadows (where the JMT meets Edison Lake junction), as you are on top of that ridge approaching (and/or on) Bear Ridge, that you can make ATT Cell calls. 

                I also know you can make ATT Cell calls as you go south of Reds Meadow near the Red Cones (before/at/south of the Red Cones).

                I also know you can make ATT Cell calls about 2 miles short of Whitney Portal and sometimes (difficult and finicky) on top of Mt. Whitney.

                You can also make ATT Cell Calls at Tuolumne Meadows Post Office and in Yosemite Valley (but not at Whitney Portal itself).

                -------------------------------------------------
                Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                _




                On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM, jtrolka <jeffrolka@...> wrote:
                 

                There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if anyone has been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop, Independence, Mammoth or Lone Pine.


                =
              • Bill C
                Verizon worked great atop Split Mountain!  Spent a half an hour providing trail updates to friends and family Tuesday evening :D Verizon worked great atop
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 27 4:21 PM
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                  Verizon worked great atop Split Mountain!  Spent a half an hour providing trail updates to friends and family Tuesday evening :D

                • sanfran_rwood
                  I normally use a T-Mobile phone, but their network is completely useless outside of of the big cities, suburbs and some small cities. Heading up to Yosemite
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 27 7:34 PM
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                    I normally use a T-Mobile phone, but their network is completely useless outside of of the big cities, suburbs and some small cities. Heading up to Yosemite from San Francisco, T-Mobile loses coverage quickly after leaving the I-5/US-99 corridor in the central valley.

                    Luckily, my ancient phone is unlocked and I can pop in an AT&T prepaid SIM chip with twenty minutes of time for mountain usage, and AT&T has excellent coverage (well, relatively) in that part of the Sierras.

                    A few years ago I was going up Half Dome and overheard a bunch of middle-aged guys who were coming down talking about cell phone reception. I caught enough of what they were talking about to confirm, and yeah, they had brought over a dozen cellphones up with them to test coverage, and were quite pleased and amused at how easy it was to make cellphone calls from the Dome. Except for T-Mobile, of course (laughs all around).

                    If you have an unlocked T-Mobile or other GSM carrier, I'd recommend getting an AT&T pre-paid SIM chip for the trip. If you're using a CDMA carrier, I can't tell you whether your network will be adequate in those mountains, but I will point out that picking up an AT&T pre-paid, no contract phone and minutes for as little as $35 (Google found me a $20 Samsung A157 at BestBuy, where they also sell refill cards for as little as $15. Dunno how many minutes that gives you, though.

                    They also have a "Daily Access Fee" provision, where you pay a flat $1 per each day you use the phone. If you only expect to be in coverage range a few days of a trip, that might be the best way to go, since you could make many calls those few days.

                    Re: Sprint's coverage. Looking at their coverage map (http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp) it appears they should do fine in Lone Pine, although it looks like they're using roaming to do so. Amusingly, their map shows Owens Lake as blue, which is pretty anachronistic. Didn't they ever see Chinatown? Their own coverage seems to be extensive in Mammoth, which makes sense. Lotsa people head up there for skiing, so it would be a much higher priority than the less touristy towns along US-395.

                    Actually, even T-Mobile's map claims coverage along 395. Ordinarily I'd take that with a grain of salt, but down in a flat valley that probably isn't actually difficult.
                    --
                    Richard

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "jtrolka" <jeffrolka@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if anyone has been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop, Independence, Mammoth or Lone Pine.
                    >
                  • John Ladd
                    Lon Cooper (aka Halfmile of the famous PCT map set) was maintaining spreadsheets of cell phone coverage along the PCT. I have forwarded this thread to him in
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 4, 2012
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                      Lon Cooper (aka Halfmile of the famous PCT map set) was maintaining spreadsheets of cell phone coverage along the PCT. I have forwarded this thread to him in hopes he will add the information to his spreadsheets

                      http://www.pctmap.net/cell/ 

                      John Curran Ladd
                      1616 Castro Street
                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                      415-648-9279


                      On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM, speedcenter2001 <pburke@...> wrote:
                       

                      What I know about ATT -

                      ATT works in Yos. Valley, but you lose the signal pretty early as you head up towards the falls. You have signal on top of Cathedral Pass, and good reception everywhere around Tuolumne Meadows.

                      ATT works on Donohue Pass, as well as south of Donohue at the second crossing of the creek heading southbound, about Lat,Lon 37.760661,-119.228974, with view to Mammoth Mtn.

                      ATT works pretty much along the entire PCT alternate from Thousand Island Lake to Agnew Meadows. Didn't try it much on the regular JMT route, but should work fine on the pass after Gladys Lake, with line of sight to Mammoth Mtn, as well as in other areas around the Postpile. Definitely works fine at Reds Meadow Resort and a little further down into Fish Valley or up to Mammoth Crest.

                      ATT no signal the following passes, last verified in 2010: Silver, Glen, Pinchot, Mather. Didn't bother testing at Selden and Muir and Forester - highly unlikely with any carrier.

                      ATT works at the boat landing east end of Lake Edison, also works at VVR (need to step out of the woods a little towards the lake), never tried it on Bear Ridge, but should be a no brainer if it works at lake level. No signal at Florence Lake parking area.

                      ATT works full bars at 12,000 feet below Whitney summit on the Mountaineer's Route (which few JMT hikers will use for descent, though). This is just 0.5 mile line of sight from the summit, so I assume it will work fine up there now. A year before that it didn't work at all in that area. I assume now it works fine on the summit, too. Will verify this later this fall, at least that's the plan right now. I haven't been on the regular Mt. Whitney Trail since 2010, but will verify next time I come down.

                      And another data point in case you have to abort a hike like I did in Sept 2009: Exiting south of Pinchot Pass over Sawmill Pass, you will have ATT signal on the ridge outcropping you have to counter climb after getting below the treeline at about 7000 feet. The view is fantastic from that location, so you'll probably figure that this is the place to try a cell phone anyway. I was able to call Bob from Mt. Whitney Shuttle from there and by the time I got down to the trailhead my ride was already on its way.

                      Even though this may appear like pretty decent coverage, you really only can make calls for short stretches between Yos. Valley and Lake Edison. You're without cell signal for 90% of the trail, possibly more.

                      I recently checked T-Mobile as an alternate carrier. Would work fine where I live, but their coverage map doesn't even include Lone Pine!

                      Peter (who is about to pull the trigger on an Iridium sat phone)



                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Anyone want to volunteer and do this research of the archives? You could
                      > create a posting with links to all past findings, and perhaps summarize
                      > them. It would make a great file upload.
                      >
                      > I wonder how many people know that as you go south from Quail Meadows
                      > (where the JMT meets Edison Lake junction), as you are on top of that ridge
                      > approaching (and/or on) Bear Ridge, that you can make ATT Cell calls.
                      >
                      > I also know you can make ATT Cell calls as you go south of Reds Meadow near
                      > the Red Cones (before/at/south of the Red Cones).
                      >
                      > I also know you can make ATT Cell calls about 2 miles short of Whitney
                      > Portal and sometimes (difficult and finicky) on top of Mt. Whitney.
                      >
                      > You can also make ATT Cell Calls at Tuolumne Meadows Post Office and in
                      > Yosemite Valley (but not at Whitney Portal itself).
                      >
                      > -------------------------------------------------
                      > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
                      > links)<https://profiles.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
                      > _
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM, jtrolka <jeffrolka@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > **

                      > >
                      > >
                      > > There have a been a few messages regarding cell coverage, and I wondered
                      > > if we could consolidate this into a thread. I for one, have Sprint, and
                      > > have no hope of a signal on the trail, but wanted to know if anyone has
                      > > been able to get a signal with Sprint in Bishop, Independence, Mammoth or
                      > > Lone Pine.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >


                    • John Ladd
                      ... from this thread. John
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 4, 2012
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                        On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 7:58 AM, I wrote:
                        Lon Cooper (aka Halfmile of the famous PCT map set) was maintaining spreadsheets of cell phone coverage along the PCT. I have forwarded this thread to him in hopes he will add the information to his spreadsheets

                        Lon said he would update his cell phone information with the information from this thread.

                        John 
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