Cel reception and meetings
This is going to be my first big road trip so I would appreciate insight on this topic.
I am going from Mass to Grand Teton-Yellowstone-WY, back thru Badlands/black mountains-SD.
The deal is that I might need to take a meeting here and there while on the road. I was thinking about getting one of these cheaper cell phone refill accounts that I can use during the trip only. The key being picking a company that use different towers than mine (mine uses T-mobile) to shore up my ability to get reception, just in case.
Good idea? bad idea? Options?
All the best to all!
Not What We Do Generally
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
Cell phones, carriers and towers aren't really our 'thing'. You might get a response from one or two people with specific experience with a particular supplier along a precise route they've driven, but I doubt that most of our crew will be able to help you. But I did do a quick web search and found a forum devoted to just your area of concern. Hope that helps.
My experience in that area of the country with AT&T has generally been positive. I don't know if T-Mobile is any better or worse. I hear that Verizon has good service in most areas of the country. Almost all hotels I've been in recently have wifi.
If you have to take a meeting at a national park, you will be lucky to get reception anywhere. In Yellowstone, for instance, about the only places I found reception was at Old Faithful and in the north reaches near Gardiner. Grand Teton was iffy at best. This was my experience, which was with Verizon, but have heard from others with other companies and similar experiences. Let's face it - nobody really wants to muck up the view at a national park with a cell tower, and they are very difficult to hide!
You're going to use data - a lot - if you're trying to do a video meeting, such as on Zoom or Skype.
I would look at Google-fi, since I believe they will ping off of almost anyone's tower.
But as Donna mentioned, even there, within national parks you're going to have very limited service at all. The key to your plan will be to have some level of advance planning so you can leave the park or find a hot spot within the parks when you have to be connected.
I would also recommend Google Fi as well (I use their plan as my primary so have a little bit of experience over two years now, national and international travel). It would be a low cost option. They will provide a free SIM and you pay for what you use up to 6GB of data.
If you go the Google Fi route, install a sister app, Signal Spy. It enhances signal jumping. Despite the eerie name it is a legit app and they work closely with the Google Fi folks.
T-Mobile is the "primary" carrier for Google Fi, but in some areas of the USA, they subcontract with Verizon and AT&T, so my carrier signal may show one of them.
Your other option is using WiFi for verbal calls or video meetings, so some hotels would suffice.
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