Re: Cell reception

Message posted by lone wolf on May 07, 2006 at 22:42:57 PST:

The deal with the cell phone operation at the intersection of Groom Lake Rd. and the ET Highway is that you can (or maybe could) hit a Las Vegas since that corridor has a view of Vegas. Well, at least the lights at night. I think it was mentioned on the old UFO Mind website or the now defunct viewers guide of service there. I never got my phone to work there.

I used to have Verizon, and I believe the stretch of route 93 from Vegas up to Caliente uses Verizon towers. When I had a tri-band dual mode (CDMA/analog) phone, I could get full digital service in Alamo. I could even check my email via Verizon digital service.

I switched to T-mobile because the deal they made is just too good for where I spend most of my time, but it's not a good plan for use along route 93. It does work along route 95 all the way to Tonopah.

Tonopah had AT&T service for a long time and not Verizon. When I was a Verizon customer, I went through the trouble of filing a service complaint about this since I saw all these people using their phones and I was dead in the water. I guess they got a few complaints, so Verizon set up what they called "extended digital". This is a digital (in the case of Verizon, CDMA) roaming where you get voice but no digital services.

Along most of route 95, you get GPRS/GSM digital, i.e. the full works. [AT&T and T-mobile use GSM/GPRS. Technically, T-mobile just buys time on AT&T's network. AT&T and Cingular are the same.]

In Rachel, the last time I checked, you only get analog cellular. However, if you have any analog cell phone, you can always make a 911 call even if you are not a Verizon customer. I still have my Verizon phone just for emergency use. Due to terrain, you really need to be in Rachel to get service, or on a hill that can see into Rachel. I've made calls from Coyote Summit.

Given that analog is easily monitored, you can assume the base is listening to your conversations. I wouldn't bet against the base monitoring all the phone traffic, digital or analog. After all, the rules don't apply to them.

If you have a phone that can accept an external antenna, that makes a big difference. I have a magmount antenna for my Verizon phone, and have made calls from the power line overlook.

The whole stretch of the ET Highway from Rachel to highway 6 has no service. The same goes for 6 once you leave Tonopah. Satellite phones can be rented for about $50 to $70 a week. That's a little more than a tank of gas these days.

In Reply to: Re: Cell reception posted by Joe on May 07, 2006 at 21:34:54 PST:


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