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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 23:30:31 07/03/13

In Reply to: Cell Service Degradation in Gardiner/YNP posted by SY


I suspect that AT&T has been converting the old Alltel sites from CDMA to GSM, which is bad news for Verizon Wireless users.

Do you know where the old Alltel tower is that was providing signal to Gardiner or the Hwy 89 corridor?

I remember when Verizon Wireless users had real reliable service all the way from Mammoth down to Gardiner and up to Slip 'n Slide Ranch. Then, back around 2004 or 2005, an area of flaky signal showed up around the old Maiden Basin Inn. Sometimes it was worse than other times, but most evenings, when you were headed north to Livingston, calls would be dropped in there. I always wondered if some card in a cell site had died. One night, I stopped on the roadside and called Verizon Wireless Tech Support. I talked to a technician on the east coast for about 20 minutes, but nothing ever happened to eradicate that several miles of signal "shadow". We started referring to the phenomenon as the "Devil's Slide Enigma".

The only towers I am aware of between Mammoth and Point of Rocks are the Verizon Wireless tower at the NPS Elk Plaza tower site and the newish tower on Dome Mountain, which covers the Hwy 89 corridor north of Yankee Jim Canyon and the Tom Miner Basin area. The Dome Mtn. location has way too much mountain above and behind it to cover anything in Yankee Jim or further upriver.

I remember hearing of an old beater of an antenna tower up near where the Malcolm Forbes cabin had been located in pre-CUT days, but I've never seen it. Supposedly, it was close to where the old dirt road went uphill toward Electric Peak (Mol Heron Gulch perhaps).

I'm surprised to hear about the 2010 action impacting cell service south of Canyon. I was using Verizon Wireless service in and around Canyon, including down in Hayden Valley right up until June of 2012, when I headed for Alaska. As long as I had line of sight to Mt. Washburn, I was good, which is why I could make and receive calls fairly reliably from the Grizzly Overlook, but had lots of trouble at the South Overlook (extreme south end of the valley, up above the bay/lagoon).

This is all very confusing, further complicated by the result of the NPS efforts to placate PEER, which effectively prevents the placement of additional towers in Yellowstone and most other national parks.

Thanks for posting this unsettling news.


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