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Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Re: Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Postby ChrisRoberts » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:55 pm

75% of the time I can get reception on RMNP peaks, enough for a text and sometimes a pic. Pretty much any time you can get a line of sight with Estes Park or Grand Lake you'll have reception.
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Re: Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Postby Klinger1986 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:14 pm

We have Sprint and had horrible reception.

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Re: Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Postby YEONDERIN » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:32 am

Was on Meeker a couple weeks ago and had no reception from Verizon at all. Was very surprised by this as I was in line of sight of the entire northern front range. Have had better coverage in remote locations so I was confused.
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Re: Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:36 am

I was on Ypsilon last weekend and had two or three bars from T-Mobile. The summit is at the head of a long drainage that runs straight down to Estes Park, so I suspect you might get reception from other carriers. However, every time I checked my phone that day, whether during the hike or at the TH, I had at least a couple bars.
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Re: Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Postby Sugar Madison » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:38 pm

YEONDERIN wrote:Was on Meeker a couple weeks ago and had no reception from Verizon at all. Was very surprised by this as I was in line of sight of the entire northern front range. Have had better coverage in remote locations so I was confused.


There are a couple of issues that can cause no reception even when line of sight to a cell tower:

1. Distance: GSM towers (ATT / T-Mobile and their MVNOs) have a 35km maximum range (about 22 miles). This is due to "timing advance" with packet times from phone to tower being what dictates it. Since the same channel (frequency) is used for multiple calls, packets for each phone are sent in timeslots. If they fall out of their timeslot, they are dropped. Analog towers are only limited by signal strength.

2. Directional antennas - Cell tower antennas are highly directional and are configured to send the majority of their radiation out in a fairly horizontal pattern (resembling a pizza slice). As you move above (or below) that area, signal strength rapidly drops. The signal looks like this:

Image

It doesn't take a whole lot of vertical elevation to move out of the range of a usable signal. When you do get a signal at a very high altitude, it's usually a reflected signal. There are some areas up high in RMNP, in sight of the tower (on Prospect Mountain), where you can go from no signal to a pretty good signal pretty quickly due to terrain reflections. Near the Keyhole on Longs is one place.

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Re: Cell coverage in RMNP/IPW?

Postby YEONDERIN » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:42 am

Sugar,
Thanks for taking the time to explain, that makes sense now. I also wonder how much affect heavy fog or clouds have on the signal. Can the signal go through these atmospheric conditions or is it reflected by them? I had heavy fog roll in that day on Meeker.
Life and death are only a breath away, no matter where you are...
Living is only a breath away in the high country !

Being lost is a state on mind not a location of the body...
if you always are where you want to be then you can never get lost.

NEVER GROW OLD.....YOU WILL LIVE TO REGRET IT ! (John Wayne)

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