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Thread: PWS Cell coverage

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default PWS Cell coverage

    Haven't been out on the sound since last August. Has AT&T added any coverage? I used to run out of cell range just around Pigot. My buddy had MTA and had coverage around N. Knight.
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    It certainly seemed better this year than last but I don't know for sure. I have Verizon and I think they run on the ACS network. I noticed the two times I've been out this year that my phone worked out in Eaglek Bay but not in Cochrane Bay or Surprise Cove. Last year it worked out around Knight Island and Montague but I haven't been out that far yet this year.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    AT&T does not work beyond Passage Canal. If you have GCI as your provider, they have just added a tower near the village of Chenega.
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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I have AT&T and lose service at Pigot, but get full signal all around Smith Island.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I have Copper Valley and can text or call from the entrance of Hich.

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    I have ACS and get good service just outside the south end of Culross Passage. Just used it last week.

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    ACS has tower on naked island any where with a somewhat line of sight to naked will get reception. unakwik valdez narrows , green , inside of montague,knight island the needles usually lose signal at pigot pick again within somewhat sight of naked island. someone said they have new tower around chenega will check that out when up that way

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    I live on Kalgin Island and get good service from ACS. But this year 2014 I upgraded to the new ACS with SIM card and it didn't work at all. The new frequency uses different cell towers or hardware and is not yet active for the Cook Inlet. Also Verizon works just the same as they contract with ACS to use their towers. ATT does not work more than a few miles off shore. Kalgin Island is about 20 miles from the Clam Gulch cell tower, no problem unless there is heavy rain. Rain absorbs the microwave radiation of the cell towers, just like it does in your microwave!

  9. #9
    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
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    With AT&T I lose service before Pigot Bay when leaving Whittier but regain it without data (via Cordova Wireless) past Knight and keep it at northern Montague. As others have noted the reception will decline dramatically with rain and fog so I don't rely on it unless I am certain of bluebird days.


    There may be other spots that I am unaware of like around Chenega. I usually keep my phone off while out there.

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    The Admiral has ACS 3G phone, works good within about 20 to 25 miles line of sight off Knight. I have an ACS 4G phone and it will not work at all out there.
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  11. #11
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    I bought the InReach Explorer last year:

    http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreach-explorer.php

    Like SPOT it has an SOS function but better coverage area. The best feature is you can text message, and the service plan is monthly not yearly. You can also run the device from a smartphone via blue tooth, by far the best way to go.

    I was out by myself last fall for a couple days and it was really nice to stay in touch with family, they can also track your location. Now I donít really care if I get phone service on the water, I can send and recive text messages anytime anywhere.

  12. #12
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I have AT&T, and get coverage out by Knight and Crafton as well as sporadically within the sound. I get voice and text, but no data such as Email outside of Passage Canal.
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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I have AT&T, and get coverage out by Knight and Crafton as well as sporadically within the sound. I get voice and text, but no data such as Email outside of Passage Canal.
    Yep. Same for me.

    I have AT&T but I still pick up the Cordova after Pigot. That fades as I head south.

  14. #14
    Member KenaiFly's Avatar
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    The collective experience of cell coverage in the sound follows exactly the installed system infrastructure.

    On Naked Is, the site is owned by Copper Valley Telephone and uses CDMA, which is compatible with earlier ACS equipment, but not ATT, GCI, or any other 4G carrier. Roaming with certain carriers on this site will not allow data (1xRTT or EVDO). Near Whittier, ATT and other 4G carriers will work. Same with Cordova. I'm not sure who owns equipment in Chenega, but it's CDMA technology, so I think CVT.

    I spoke with a big-wig at Alaska Wireless Network. We were lamenting on lack of system coverage in the sound. We both agree that more infrastructure is needed and I was happy to learn that it has been discussed. We even talked site locations.

    All it takes is money. I didn't want to carry two phones, so I went with InReach SE two-way satellite messaging and only activate during the summer. Here are a couple of other ways to get data in Prince William Sound...

    Inreach over Iridium system, 160 character text messages, around $40/month, NO DATA OPTION
    Iridium GO has data service in addition to above, about 9.6kbps, around $100 per month, you get free incoming voice calls
    Sat-Fi is on Globalstar, with "data calls" you can expect 9.6kbps to 114kbps, starts at $50 and goes up
    Fleet Broadband, 150kbps and up, starts to get useful, good compression tech, equipment starts at $5k for off-brands, but you can pay-as-you-go with Linkwav

    With 25 years of networking and communications experience in Alaska, I am happy to see a steady shift to data connected boats. I'm glad to help with vessel broadband solutions, remote monitoring, and data integration...even regular navigation stuff. polarmarine.net

  15. #15
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Here is a new product I am looking at that goes beyond the Spot and InReach

    https://www.iridium.com//products/Ir...tCategoryID=29

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