Cellphone coverage

I try to be ‘off the grid’ … but not having Internet access may be the hardest part (for me). I do use a smartphone and access the www often. Many things these days cannot be done without access to web and it is close to impossible to find a payphone.

I’ve found I can tell how many people are awake in a location by the quality of the cell coverage. It is common for the data coverage to be good prior to about 7am. It degrades through the day. This is, in my opinion, the cell towers being overwhelmed by users as they wake and then travel about.

I can tell I’m near a bedroom community as the cell coverage improves after about 9am: folks are away at work. Coverage then begins degrading mid-afternoon as kids begin coming home from school.

Weekends the data is available a bit longer into the morning, especially on Sunday mornings, and is VERY bad through the day – worse than weekdays. This shows people are about through the day and similar to road traffic being worse on weeks vs. weekdays as everyone is going to random locations instead of just to and from work.

Unlike landline phones cellphone providers are under no obligation to guarantee service. This is the ‘free market’ v. how the ‘last mile’ and ‘service guarantee’ legislation enacted for phones and electricity service after World War II.

So what does this mean? Sometimes I can’t access the web or it is ssssslllloooowwww with data drops and frozen applications that don’t work well with poor data access.

The liveaboard life …

4 thoughts on “Cellphone coverage

  1. I went about 8 years with no phone of any kind. Now I’m wrecked by my iPhone, I can’t and don’t want to live without it. It’s my weather station, navionics, video camera and still camera. I can use it to hot spot WiFi to my laptop and pretty much does everything. Ps I don’t actually use the phone function 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cell phone have always been a prepaid unit. GoPhone, Tracfone, generic. Last year had to upgrade from the flip phone. Service up here required 4G capable phone. Loved the old flip. Unlocked, dual sim, worked most places in the world with proper SIM card. Now bit similar to your live aboard issues. But I’m on land. When the seasonal residents show up, tourist volume is high and/or wrong time of day high chance of “unable to connect”. Ditto with DSL internet connection. Slows to fraction of a MBs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same boat as you – Tracfone made me upgrade from Flip to Smart last year due to a G upgrade. Last May I used the internet option on it to pull up weather radar while on my 12′ microcruiser on the Wye River for 8 days. Went through 3 severe thunderstorms and one windstorm, all at night, while anchored out. While getting whacked about by the wind and rain, the weather radar on the phone allowed me the comforting feeling of knowing when the worst of it had passed.


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