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Lake Powell Coverage Report

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by Andy, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    We had one Verizon phone, two U.S. Cellular phones and about a dozen Cingular phones on our trip as well as one T-Mobile. Here's the report:

    Cingular GSM service performs quite well on native Cingular until past Beaver where we took U.S. 20 to U.S. 89. As soon as you leave I-15 your Cingular services goes bye-bye and stays that way until a little after you start going south on U.S. 89 towards Panguitch when it picks up the ALLTEL GSM roamer network. Coverage through Panguitch was fine. There were some holes going down towards Kanab, some holes were large, others were small. ALLTEL has GSM service in small towns like Mt. Carmel/Mt. Carmel Junction which is amazing. Then there is no service from outside of Kanab until you hit the Lake Powell area just outside of Page, AZ where it picks up ALLTEL out of their Page tower. ALLTEL GSM service at Wahweap is good on hills, but poor/unavailable the further you go down towards the docks and at the docks the phones often displayed no service. On the lake itself ALLTEL GSM left a lot to be desired. The people ended up using my VZW phone or the two U.S. Cellular phones.
    ALLTEL's only GSM towers that reach the area seem to be out of Page. Their Navajo Mountain cellsite has no GSM, nor CDMA on it for that matter.

    I often forced my phone onto ALLTEL CDMA to compare it to my native Verizon service and it performed much more poor at the lake than my Verizon service. The only CDMA signal also comes out of Page. Their coverage along I-15 down past Beaver was fine and picked up coming down the mountain just before the U.S. 20/89 merge. The only stretch I found with ALLTEL CDMA but not Verizon was through the small communities of Mt. Carmel Junction area.

    Verizon performed best by far. As I stated before, their rural I-15 coverage does seem to be covered cheaply with few towers somewhere high up on mountain tops. Their new Beaver cellsite gave me full service even indoors and Verizon natively covers nearly every small community ALLTEL did other than the ones mentioned. Verizon has more cellsites(or maybe more CDMA cellsites) around Lake Powell than ALLTEL. They have one cellsite in Page that I know of broadcasting SID 1026. One Verizon site is on top of Navajo Mountain and one is outside of Big Water, UT right at the AZ/UT border on a mountain top. Those three sites give you awesome coverage in all areas I went to as far up as the Natural Rainbow Bridge. The only area Verizon even failed me was Navajo Canyon. Verizon coverage at Wahweap was excellent and my phone was being used while we were there as well as on many areas along the lake. One rather strange thing, though, was that Verizon's cellsite at Navajo Mountain and the one outside of Big Water were broadcasting on Channel 777. I've never seen my phone camp on or utilize that channel before...does anyone know why Verizon would chose to have those sites broadcast that channel??? As soon as you hit the Kanab cellsite or any other cellsite along the way it camps out on Channel 384 again.

    The U.S. Cellular phones acted exactly was my Verizon phone. They roamed on the VZW network but were AMPS capable so in fringe areas wehre my phone grabbed 1 bar of digital and took 20 seconds to connect, the U.S. Cellular phones switched to Analog and worked fine.

    Overall I was quite surprised at how well my service worked, not only considering the rural area I was in, but also the terrain. It was very hot and I'm glad to be home again.
     
  2. RH

    RH Junior Member
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    Andy84094 great detailed report thank you. Hey how did T-Mobile do were they able to roam on the carriers that Cingular did?

    Thanks

    RH
     
  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin Bronze Senior Member
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    Most importantly how was Powell? Did you houseboat? Powell is still my favorite lake, with Lake Shasta a close second. Hoping to get up there to houseboat in 2007 or 2008.
     
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  4. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Thank you for the report Andy. I hope to visit Powell some day. :)
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    The only GSM signal available surrounding the Lake Powell/Page area is the ALLTEL GSM roamer network and both Cingular and T-Mobile were able to roam on it.

    Lake Powell was a blast. We had a houseboat, a speedboat as well as a couple of jetskies. The topography and landscape of the lake and the surrounding area just fascinated me.
     
  6. NokiaKrazy

    NokiaKrazy 2010. I'm still around
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    The new Beaver site. Did the map I send you help you find it? I heard that it works well from the 3 Verizon people that I know.
     
  7. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
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    That is how Commnet Cellular built most networks in the mountains back in the day. That was fine if you have a 3 watt car phone, but we don't use 3 watt car phones today.
     
  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    So do you think that Verizon will one day invest in those areas? There are way too many small coverage holes along that corridor and if one travels that route a lot your calls would drop left and right.
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I think so. Isn't the hill like southeast of town with two towers on it...east of I-15???
     
  10. agentHibby

    agentHibby Iowa Cellular Guru
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    Putting up reapters should fix the problem. VZW may have to add a cell site or 2 but mainly reapters would be the best route.
     
  11. NokiaKrazy

    NokiaKrazy 2010. I'm still around
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    That's right! Verizon is the south tower. South Central is the north tower.
     
  12. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Whatever they do, hopefully they will do something soon. Many people that travel that route have Verizon service and get their calls dropped all the time.
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    That's what I thought. Where before I had 3 bars I now have full service in parts of town. At least they did some improvement in the rural area.
     
  14. NokiaKrazy

    NokiaKrazy 2010. I'm still around
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    Verizon/CommNet here in Beaver has been poor for years. That is why I did not go with them. I have had Cellularone for years. C1 has always worked better here in this valley. That was the only choice here in my opinion.

    Now that Verizon has come up to speed. I still doubt that I will switch. Alltel is doing a very good job.

    I'm glad to see that Verizon works better now. At least now I can call the 3 people that I know with Verizon and hear them.:)
     
  15. CellGeek

    CellGeek Sprint is the BOMB!
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    What about Sprint? How well does it work in that area?
     
  16. NokiaKrazy

    NokiaKrazy 2010. I'm still around
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    Sprint does not have coverage at Lake Powell.
     
  17. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    ALLTEL surely does a super job here in UT covering their license area. Have you ever taken UT-20 from I-15 to UT-89 down to Panguitch area??? If so, how did you think coverage was??? There was no digital coverage until just before you hit U.S. 89 and then there were more dead spots and huge dead spots from Kanab to Lake Powell. I'm just wondering how well a phone with AmPS backup would have worked.
    I was a little surprised at ALLTEL's lack of digital CDMA and GSM coverage at the lake itself. Their only CDMA/GSM site was out of Page, AZ at the Wahweap marina itself there were places with no service. On the lake itself their GSM/CDMA coverage left a lot to be desired.
     
  18. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    IN Beaver??? I'm sure Sprint works in Beaver but their coverage is solely along I-15 and they have no off-interstate coverage whatsoever unlike Verizon and ALLTEL.
     
  19. NokiaKrazy

    NokiaKrazy 2010. I'm still around
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    Well, In Beaver, Sprint has coverage here. I have noticed that Sprint is aimed up and down that #@!% Freeway. At my house, I can see the tower that Sprint, Alltel & Cingular is using. Alltel is alot stronger that Sprint's signal is.

    So if you want to go much further off the freeway than my house with Sprint, you will be without a signal.
     
  20. CellGeek

    CellGeek Sprint is the BOMB!
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    I assume that Sprint would roam on Alltel or Verizon in that area. Is that a correct assumption?
     
  21. NokiaKrazy

    NokiaKrazy 2010. I'm still around
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    That assumption is correct.
     
  22. storkus

    storkus Junior Member
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    I know this is a late entry here, but I just started visiting these forums again.

    When I was an over the road truck driver last year around this time I went up the
    I-17/US-89/I-15 corridor several times. I have a Cingular phone (though not for
    much longer now--contract ends in December, YAAY!!) and coverage up I-17
    was mostly good, as you would expect. Coverage was also great up US-89
    until (as I recall) the US-89 turnoff or thereabouts where all sites disappeared as
    far as my ham-radio-trained eyes could tell. Another site came into view where
    you climb up and go through the "gash" in the mountain, but no GSM signal.
    Only in Page, as mentioned, did I get one, and it sucked unless you were actually
    in town.

    A short ways into Utah and away from the canyon GSM dropped out again and I
    got no service until I got to (I think) Kanab (where US-89 and 89-A rejoin), where
    there was a site on a hill overlooking the town and not reaching very far.

    Very sporatic service after that until I reached the pass and started to decend
    into Panguitch (sp?) where a site on a far away mountain was broadcasting a
    signal on 1900 MHz (I know that because it would instantly disappear when
    anything got between me and it); this signal was very reliable once I got into the
    valley, though. Then up UT-20 (I believe) to hop over to I-15 and up to SLC. No
    service, though, for most of this 15 or so mile stretch, which is Alltel/WW on
    the east side (US-89) and Cingular (or someone posing as them) on the west
    or I-15 side. From then on north, coverage was rock solid with only 2 or 3 minor
    exceptions (little passes).

    Anyway, particularly during the jaunt between Kanab and Page I saw absolutely
    no radio sites of any kind out there. Are you sure there's actually coverage
    there?

    Mike
     
  23. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Mike, thanks for posting your findings...they almost go hand in hand to mine.
    I saw at least one site between Page/Lake Powell and Kanab and I saw a person using a big brick phone(which I assume is AMPS) while in a traffic jam on that stretch of road...I believe ALLTEL has a site there that has just not been upraded to CDMA/GSM.
     

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