Death Valley Cellular Coverage

Many of the main tourist areas of Death Valley National Park used to be covered rather well with analog cellular coverage. Unfortunately, the analog site that provided service to most of the area (on top of Rogers Peak) has been decommissioned, and no replacement has been authorized by the NPS at this time.  It is extremely unfortunate that so much coverage was lost in the area. When the FCC set the permissible sunset date for analog service, they stated that “discontinuance of analog service shall not result in any loss of wireless coverage”. However, this clearly is not what happened in reality.

For more information on what’s currently happening at Rogers Peak, see this page.

There are currently only two cell sites within park boundaries at this time, and both are operated by Commnet Wireless. Both sites offer CDMA, GSM, and UMTS service. AT&T (Postpaid) and Verizon (Postpaid) have been confirmed to allow roaming on these sites; I have not seen any confirmation from Sprint and T-Mobile customers at this time.

The first site is located at Furnace Creek. The antennas are 60 feet above ground, or approximately 127 feet below sea level.

36.4573889,-116.8695000

Here is a photo of the site:

The parameters of this site are as follows:

CDMA:
- SID: 3002
- PN Offset: 72 / 240 / 408

GSM CellID:
- MCC/MNC: 311-040
- CellID: ?

UMTS CellID:
- MCC/MNC: 311-040
- CellID: DEC 06445 / HEX 192D

This site serves only the area immediately near Furnace Creek.  See this document for a plot of where Commnet anticipates coverage from this site.  Please note: this scan is black and white, and of terrible quality.  It was originally scanned in by the Inyo County Planning Department in 2010.

The second site is located at Stovepipe Wells. The antennas are 70 feet above ground, or approximately 112 feet above sea level.

36.6042500,-117.1451389

Here is a photo of the site:

The parameters of this site are as follows:

CDMA:
- SID: 3002
- PN Offset: 30

GSM CellID:
- MCC/MNC: 311-040
- CellID: ?

UMTS CellID:
- MCC/MNC: 311-040
- CellID: DEC 06814 / HEX 1A9E

This site serves the area in and around Stovepipe Wells.  See this document for a plot of where Commnet anticipates coverage from this site.

There is one additional site outside of park boundaries that provides some coverage within the park.  This site is located at Cerro Gordo, and is owned by AT&T.  As an AT&T site, there is no CDMA being broadcast; only GSM and UMTS.  The site was previously a CDMA-only site when owned by Alltel, but AT&T turned off all CDMA on June 23rd, 2013.  The antennas are 60 feet above ground, or approximately 9132 feet above sea level.

36.5303889,-117.7893333

The parameters of this site are as follows:

GSM CellID:
- MCC/MNC: 310-410
- CellID: ?

UMTS CellID:
- MCC/MNC: 310-410
- CellID: ?

There may be other small areas of service within the park due to reflection off of the taller features in the park.  These come from other sites well outside of the park’s boundaries.

Hopefully there will be some improvements to service within the park in the future.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.