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  #1  
Old 06-21-2018, 2:39 PM
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Default Cell Phone carrier reception when hunting

Hi everyone, I am looking for some opinions on carriers with the best reception in the mountains out west. I hear a lot of people say Verizon. I have Sprint now and AT&T was better but I am curious as to what you see/hear.

My business is growing and I need to have some availability in CA, AZ and UT when I am hunting.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-21-2018, 2:48 PM
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Verizon, ATT, then Sprint but Sprint covers some locations that the other 2 don't, not many but a few. If your worried about reception get a satellite phone.
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Old 06-21-2018, 3:18 PM
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I have AT&T and it isn't as good as Verizon which my buddies have has been better.
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Old 06-21-2018, 5:06 PM
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Where I hunt, Verizon is by far the best.
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Old 06-21-2018, 6:52 PM
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Haha i guess it clearly depends on where you are because I had AT&T for 15 years and recently switched to Verizon and have been disappointed.
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Old 06-21-2018, 7:37 PM
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US cellular is the best remotely where I am and Verizon is second...everything else is garbage. That being said neither really work with any reliability. I am very rural and north for what it might be worth.
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Old 06-21-2018, 8:12 PM
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Sprint is garabage every where! Verizon works best.
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Old 06-21-2018, 8:13 PM
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Verizon by far in the Sierra east of Sac and desert of San Bernardino Co.

I switched from ATT.
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Old 06-21-2018, 8:15 PM
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Iridium sat phone works great for voice, data n text 4 me. Works everywhere.
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Old 06-21-2018, 8:18 PM
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My Verizon phone always works the best when I’m out hunting with my buddies. And yes, it’s stupid expensive. I don’t pay the extra money for no reason.

Last edited by deckhandmike; 06-21-2018 at 10:44 PM..
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Old 06-21-2018, 9:37 PM
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Verizon. (Period).

Uh, ya. Verizon, I donít work for them.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesa Defense View Post
Iridium sat phone works great for voice, data n text 4 me. Works everywhere.
Yes, a SAT phone is best when you are off the grid.

I bought one about 5 years ago to use when 4wheeling or backpacking. Older model but it still works. Just needs a new subscription/sim card to activate; paying by the min is the cheapest as long as you only use it when absolutely necessary. If you can see the sky, you can get a signal. Would be willing to sell it. PM me if interested.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:13 AM
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On the Marine Base Sprint works at Camp Wilson and Quackinbush, Verizon or ATT don't. So it really depends on the location, but generally Verizon has the best coverage.
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Old 06-22-2018, 5:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishfisher View Post
Where I hunt, Verizon is by far the best.
I find Verizon gets the best cell service. There are some Deep canyons I fish up in the Sierra and can pretty much get a signal .
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Old 06-22-2018, 7:39 AM
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Inmarsat followed by Iridium (just because of the increased bandwidth of inmarsat), then Verizon and Google Fi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesa Defense View Post
Iridium sat phone works great for voice, data n text 4 me. Works everywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgt1372 View Post
Yes, a SAT phone is best when you are off the grid.

I bought one about 5 years ago to use when 4wheeling or backpacking. Older model but it still works. Just needs a new subscription/sim card to activate; paying by the min is the cheapest as long as you only use it when absolutely necessary. If you can see the sky, you can get a signal. Would be willing to sell it. PM me if interested.
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Old 06-22-2018, 8:23 AM
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Verizon hands down. I've used almost all major carriers and for the most part, if I don't have service, nobody else with a different carrier does either.
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Old 06-22-2018, 8:41 AM
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Had AT&T for many years and it was adequate. I could get a weak signal in some spots. Mostly just enough to get a text through to my wife to let her know I am okay each day and check voice mail/email for work.

Now I have VZ & it's much better signal. Some places I used to have nothing when I was with AT&T, I can now use my phone when on VZ. But data is a bit more challenging. Checking messages from voice & email is much slower and often not possible. I'll get the preview on emails but the actual email may or may not download. That's not a problem for weekends but when I'm gone on a weekday and a client emails me, I have to just call them to see what they needed. It's frustrating at times but it hasn't been bad enough to switch back to AT&T. I still have a wider range of service than I did before.

I'm curious about sat phones, though. Anybody have a carrier that they'd recommend for a pay per-minute plan? How about lighter weight phones for backpacking?
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVShooter View Post
I'm curious about sat phones, though. Anybody have a carrier that they'd recommend for a pay per-minute plan? How about lighter weight phones for backpacking?
For carriers I have no idea, I do sat phone stuff at work, but I don't write the contracts.

That being said there are really two (maybe three) carriers, but many 3rd party vendors. The carriers are pretty well limited at this time to Inmarsat and Iridium. Third party vendors will cell or rent you a phone, a SIM, and air time. You can often come to a third party vendor with a phone you've acquired yourself from someone else.

As for Iridium phones, the 9575 is the current top of the line from Iridium. It's smaller, lighter, and more rugged than it's predecessors.

The Iridium Go is (I think) a bit smaller and perhaps lighter, but requires you to use your cell phone in conjunction with the device. There are pluses and minuses, but given how much people use their cell phones these days it's probably easier for the average person to just hook up an Iridium Go to their phone than learn to use a standalone device.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:10 PM
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At my deer camp my att signal is weak. Guys with verizon are working fine.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:39 PM
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I'd go AT&T in my opinion
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:50 PM
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Verizon for me. Central cal, so cal, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado hunting excursions have netted the best signal compared to the other carriers. I’m my group we have them all covered. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and a whole slough of subsidiary’s of those three.
Now it’s still spotty even with Verizon if your in an area where your pushing the limits of coverage. For the most part the voice ability goes away quickly, but I’m able to send out a text far more easily with poor coverage.

If your wanting coverage in the deep deep words, then go satellite. As long as you have a clear line of sight to the sky your good. A bit spendy, but you can’t beat it when you absolutely have to make that call.
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Old 06-22-2018, 8:08 PM
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No cellular carriers in the boonies of Idaho. I and 2 buddies went in on a sat phone...not cheap but workable since no one abuses talk time. We also each have a SPOT locator.
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Old 06-23-2018, 5:29 AM
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It really depends. Look at the cell tower map apps and check your area.

Out here only verizon and then might need an antenna and booster.
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Old 06-23-2018, 5:50 AM
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It depends upon your location.
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Old 06-23-2018, 5:53 AM
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I live in the mountains and Verizon is the only carrier that works, but when I hunt, there is no reception at all.
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Old 06-23-2018, 7:00 PM
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Iridium 9575 and a solar charger here. Monthly plan is 90 I think. With rollover minutes.
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Old 06-23-2018, 7:25 PM
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I use an inReach sat texter. Very affordable and works 100% where ever I hunt.

.
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Old 06-23-2018, 9:18 PM
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We hunt NE Idaho and Verizon wins out by far. One hunting buddy has a work phone that is ATT and almost never gets a signal. Our personal phones on Verizon are significantly better.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:06 AM
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Sprint stinks in the mountains.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:17 AM
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As for cellular I'd go with Verizon but a SAT phone would be the best choice if you have to be "connected" out in the boonies.
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Old 06-24-2018, 7:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckhandmike View Post
My Verizon phone always works the best when Iím out hunting with my buddies. And yes, itís stupid expensive. I donít pay the extra money for no reason.
I use "PagePlus" provider. Very cheap, no annual subscriptions and sits on Verizon network, so actually it is Verizon for 1/2 price
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Old 07-01-2018, 7:25 PM
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Half the fun is getting away....
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Old 07-02-2018, 9:40 AM
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Half the fun is getting away....
Till you get bit by a rattlesnake.
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