On Sat, 30 Sep 2006, SMS wrote:
>> The Alaska railroad more or less follows the line of the George Parks
>> Highway, which is not covered much by any cellular.
> I had AMPS coverage for much of the train trip between Anchorage and
> Fairbanks, but I had to eventually turn off the phone because the train was
> so slow and the AMPS coverage was draining the battery.
And this contradicts what I said in what way?
Did you try placing a call? AMPS can be picked up a long way from the
tower. That doesn't mean that the tower can pick up your handheld.
The same tower broadcasting the AMPS signal that your phone (barely) hears
is also broadcasting digital (GSM and/or CMDA, possibly TDMA too). It's
just that the phone can recognize a fainter and noisier AMPS signal than
it can digital.
I found many places in Alaska where I picked up an unusable AMPS signal.
However, there were only a few places in which there was a usable AMPS
signal but not a digital signal. McCarthy was AMPS only the last time I
was there, but now that Copper Valley Wireless has gone CDMA that's
probably changed by now.
> The only place where I had a big period of no service was inside Denali.
Again, try placing a call in those areas along the railroad which seem to
I would definitely recommend disabling AMPS while in Alaska, simply
because there are so many no-service zones. Otherwise, your phone will be
transmitting AMPS at full power trying to get the attention of a tower
that it can hear but which won't hear your phone. If you're in a village
and there's no service, then try turning on AMPS.
I personally found AMPS capability to be useless in Alaska and the Yukon
these days. If need phone service in an area where there isn't a good
digital signal, I'll use a satellite phone.
-- Mark -- http://panda.com/mrc
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.