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Author Topic: Cell Phone Coverage in the Park  (Read 35676 times)  

Offline Casa Grande

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« on: February 21, 2006, 02:05:47 PM »
just in case someone's interested, and it seems many are, I thought I would share my findings with you on my last trip to the park.  

Between my girlfriend and I, we have Verizon and Sprint.  Verizon, forget it, no coverage.  Sprint, however, there is an analog signal, though very weak that is available through much of the park. There is a tower in Terlingua that services the west and a brand new tower  in the Rosillos providing the same analog service in the east side.  The sprint phone managed to get a signal down to Ernst Tinaja, for sure in the east and in the west a weak signal down at Luna's Jacal.  It is analog roam so forget about texting or sending pics from your phone.  Only, good ole fashioned talking cell phone service out there....yeeha.

Offline homerboy2u

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Well...thatґs good...right?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2006, 08:40:08 AM »
Reading what you wrote,David, kinda gives me dual feelings towards it.

 GOOD, because we can get an opportunity to get communicated with the rest of the world....Bad?, maybe. Because, in the first place, i want to go out there to get away from the world..second, because in the back part of my head i know that i can count on my cell,but then again i donґt give an opportunity to  see if i can get in and out of any situation i get myself into.

  Least to say,I would know i am NOT out there going to the adventure. I would not get my adrenaline rush....just my two cents, there. :-k

Regards to you all...
Stay thirsty, my friends.

Offline RichardM

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Cingular coverage in Big Bend
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2007, 10:05:00 PM »
here is a coverage map of the area

http://www.cingular.com/coverageviewer/?zip=79834&x=47&y=13

Quote from: RichardM
I found a site that lists cell tower locations (http://www.cellreception.com/).  Here's the data it has on the tower in BBNP:
http://www.cellreception.com/towers/details.php?id=1053652

It shows it being in the employee housing area behind Panther Junction.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 10:07:15 AM by RichardM »

Offline PyramidBlaster

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 05:41:52 AM »
I just got out of the hospital--was there for months because some lady was too busy talking on her cell phone to watch where she was driving on the River Road.....


.....OK, just kidding....but it's only a matter of time.
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."-H.P. Lovecraft

Offline The Trout Whisperer

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Verizon rocks!!!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2007, 07:41:18 AM »
I just got back....
I didn' drive to Rio grande village this time but did drive the other paved roads....

I had coverage coming into the park astarting about 5 miles from Panther Junction.  West from there coverage was good to fair for 8 or so mile til ya got closer to Study Butteand then it picked up again.

No coverage on the road to castoloon.

David, it could be the type of phone ya have with verizon...mine worked great!

Offline txrounder

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(un)coverage
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2007, 08:41:49 AM »
....over New Years I tried my Sprint phone and only found coverage a mile or so around PJ, nothing in the Basin...but coverage picked up towards Studde Butte(yea, its analog/roaming/price gouging)and was good in Terlingua and was able to wish Happy New Year to a few from the Black Eyed Pea-Off on the Terlingua porch! Discreetly though,....they frown on them things ya know.
The "Off" button and "lack-of-coverage" excuse allows me my solitude the rest of the time.
Margaritas and Motrin- It's not just for breakfast anymore.

chisos_muse

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2007, 08:44:42 AM »
I currently have NO Cingular coverage in the park, and have not had it for about 4 days now. Jon said there were other people complaining of the same who usually drive down Basin road to make calls. We went to Terlingua last night and the coverage was fine.
I don't know what happened, but if they've discontinued coverage in the park, I'm saying "bye, bye". My contract's done and I've been on a month to month.

Offline Casa Grande

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2007, 08:49:22 AM »
recently, with my Sprint Sucks phone, I can usually get a really good signal from the Basin Road at the scenic overlook as you pull into the road or up a ways to the "bear and lion territory" sign.  ONly problem is it's an analog signal which really drains my battery power....don't really care, actually, as I like to turn it off anyway.

Offline Robert

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2007, 10:55:58 AM »
My new Sprint phone only picks up digital roaming signals so I could not get phone coverage. My friend's older phone did pick up the analog signal so we could use it and picked up a signal between PJ and cutoff to Basin.

Offline TexasGirl

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2007, 02:58:18 PM »
I didn't even try my phone last summer.  In fact, as I left my office the Friday before, my boss asked, 'will you be available by cell?'  I said, "No, sorry, no coverage!" (while trying not to sound too gleeful, but thinking, Don't call me!  I'm on vacation!).
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

Offline Casa Grande

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2007, 03:20:50 PM »
Quote from: "TexasGirl"
I didn't even try my phone last summer.  In fact, as I left my office the Friday before, my boss asked, 'will you be available by cell?'  I said, "No, sorry, no coverage!" (while trying not to sound too gleeful, but thinking, Don't call me!  I'm on vacation!).


yeah, remembering back during my first few trips in the early 90's, one of the fascinating aspects of the park was the total lack of communication with the outside world. No radio signals, no cell, no XM, nada.  I remember back in December of 91, I was out there during the Soviet Coup.  The whole coup attempt.  Knew nothing of it until I returned to civilization (Fort Stockton Radio).  Heard the whole thing happened during my trip.  I remember thinking, WOW...the world could end I wouldn't know a thing about it.

Although I admit to using my satellite radio quite a bit out there these days, the Bend is becoming quite a bit smaller and closer to the outside world in this 21st century.  I won't get back to those days ever again. :(

Offline BIBE FNG

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2007, 04:36:05 PM »
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was in Big Bend with my brother, our father, and high school best friend, Brian.  Friday afternooon, we started our climb to the South Rim.  As we were outside any radio coverage, we relied on outside text messages to keep us up-to-date on the Texas/A&M game.
 
Obviously, we lost all mobile coverage ascending the rim.  Brian became increasingly frustrated not knowing the outcome of the game (we left the parking lot with about five minutes left in the game and Texas needing a touchdown).  And us telling him that a miracle play was highly unlikely did not seem to convince him.

We thought we'd have to wait until Saturday morning to find out the final outcome of the game; but once we made the final push to the Northeast Rim, Brian's cell phone chimed with the confirmation of bad news (to us anyway) - Texas lost.

Some people use a phone in Big Bend to let loved ones at home know we're still safe.  On the Friday after Thanksgiving 2006, it was used to keep up with scores.

WayneR

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Cell Phone Coverage in the Park
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 08:03:39 PM »
A Satellite phone offers about the best coverage at BIBE but even this technology  cannot assure 100% coverage.  Even the Park Ranger's radio system has dead spots.  There would have to be a relay tower on many more of the peaks at the Park for there to be cell/radio coverage like most of us are used to.  I vote no to that notion :!:

Wayne

Offline SHANEA

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Ah Ha....
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2007, 06:05:59 PM »
The Ah Ha factor, no wonder I was having problems making calls into the West Texas Trans Pecos Big Bend Region.  From the border hotline...

Quote
What happened to the backup plan?
Linda Bailey Potter 04.FEB.07
ALPINE – Last week business came to a screeching halt in the Big Bend area when an AT&T fiber-optic cable was cut by a construction crew east of Alpine on a highway construction site. Seems as though the cable was not where it was suppose to be. It took most of the week to finally get all service backup and running. The effected area covered from south of Valentine east to Lake Amistad, which included not only AT&T customers but also the Big Bend Telephone (BBT) service area.

And, then to complicate matters, another fiber-optic cable was cut on I-10 between El Paso and Van Horn on the same day, also near a highway construction site. Only this time the effected area was Pecos with phone and Internet service in limbo for several days.

The scary part of the entire episode was that it was not only businesses that had to move at a snail’s pace, but also law enforcement, schools and all levels of government, federal, state and local.

Emergency calls to 911 went unanswered frustrating law enforcement and local citizens. Local restaurants and gas stations could not process credit card sales for a period of time and it became a cash-only world in a society that only operates on the latest technology. This does not even taken into consideration the fact that we live on an international border venerable because of lack of security, and this was before the phones went out.

“It’s scary,” BBT Project Manger Rusty Moore told Border Hotline. “It was completely out of our control,” he said regarding that there wasn’t a backup plan to re-route the phone/Internet service. “We have been trying to get Bell to come to the table for an alternate route, they could ride our fiber to Midland.”

As it was, BBT had to wait for AT&T to fix the cable before their customers were back in business, which represented some 6,000-access lines. The AT&T cable that was cut was the major connection point for BBT for their phone and DSL lines.

Last Monday when the service went out, AT&T had put a temporary fix on the cut cable east of Alpine. Then they spent several days re-breaking and re-splicing fibers.

While this was not considered a national emergency, most of area residents were surprised that an emergency plan was not put in place that would ensure continuation of service. However, something to consider, satellite Internet users did not have problems, nor did ham radio operators.

Offline SHANEA

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NO LOTTERY TICKETS!!!!
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2007, 07:15:15 PM »
http://www.alpineavalanche.com/articles/2007/02/04/news/news02.txt

Quote
Service cut plunges Big Bend into pastIf you wanted to buy a lottery ticket Monday, you were out of luck.

About 7:45 a.m. Monday morning, AT&T was informed that a construction crew had cut a fiber optic cable a few miles north of Alpine.

An out-of-town visitor from Victoria, Texas, having just spent an hour stocking up at Baeza's Supermarket, was told she couldn't charge her groceries and left empty-handed. People sending money to their families in Mexico couldn't access Western Union.

At La Trattoria Cafe, on Holland Street, where normally you'd find writers hunched over their laptops taking advantage of the WiFi connections or the cafe's complementary computer, the usual afternoon crowd was forced to actually converse. The customers, who are used to paying for their lunch with their debit cards, were forced to run a tab, or fall back on the quaint ancient custom of promising to pay the next time they stopped in.

Yolanda Natera at TransPecos Banks was still able to make deposits and cash checks, but normal banking business and ATM machines were out of order.

KALP Radio had no weather reports.

Long-distance calls, even to such locales as Marfa or Marathon, wouldn't go through, not even with cell phones.

Digital Studios owner John Green said some cell phones, mostly those with a "386" prefix, were working, and some people with satellite connections were still able to connect to the internet. But for most people, a cut in a fiber-optic line north of Alpine and a second service interruption near Van Horn plunged the Big Bend back into the 20th century.

Green pointed out that data lines, like those that carry the information for ATMs, credit card purchases and Western Union, as well as phone lines, all travel on the same huge cables, and are intricately connected throughout the world.

"AT&T and so-called 'wireless' all go through fiber-optic cable. When the local switches are out, nothing works," he said.

Fiber optic cables use light pulses to transmit information as opposed to the older copper wiring used in the 1990s.

Although fiber optic cables have been used to carry telephone data since the late 1970s, the ability to transmit more information though a single line has meant more and more data carried by a single cable. With one cut, the whole system is out, especially in isolated areas like the Big Bend.



 

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