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Hi guys! I'm sure this question has been asked to death before, but well, I wasn't here before. Anyways, what's service for AT&T like in the park? In the packet that Xanterra sends they say Verizon is one's best bet. I also have heard that AT&T works somewhat around Old Faithful. Do you guys know if it works anywhere else? I'm aiming for my stay there to be as rustic as possible but I'd like to be able to have a lifeline to the outside world without relying on public phones and what I hear is a rather unreliable internet connection in the employee dorms. Thanks!

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I had t-mobile and it worked at OF.  But I went and got one of those Tracfones and had reception in alot of places.  You didn't say which location you were working at......

Hi j I don't know exactly where I'll be yet. They told me they would tell me upon arrival. That's encouraging because T-mobile like AT&T is a GSM company. Tracfone is a mobile virtual network operator so it uses the network of one of the big 4 carriers. Do you by any chance recall whether your phone was GSM or CDMA for Tracfone? Btw thank you I appreciate your reply.

have no idea what GSM or CDMA are.  I just bought the cheapest phone they had at Wal-Mart.  i had excellent service at Mammoth, Canyon, OF, and some weird select spots thruought the Park.  Like up on the road by Swan Flats, just south of Mammoth.  Sometimes at Slough Creek in the Lamar.

No one gets service at Roosevelt or Lake (from what I hear)

It is an adjustment, but you will get over it.......Also, I was able to hook up phone calls thru Google for free, online.  was surprised at how good the connection was.  of course, that means no texting.  Funny how such little things have become such a big part of our lives and hard to let go of.  But, you are going for the wilderness experience.....right???

j I forgot to mention before. I believe you were referring to google voice above. With that service you actually can text as well if you opt to get a number from them. This is free as of 2012. Let's see what they decide next year.

att will be spotty in most location  if u work at old faithfull u  you will be  fine i have at and t  it doesnt work that good in mammonth  but  at old  faithfull excellent serivce there

The way things works in the park is kind of confusing.  The tower at OF is CDMA, primarily, but there's something in place that lets GSM roam for basic service. You might get a decent voice signal and texting, but no data transmission at all. That was my roommate's problem last year and she ended up getting a Verizon MiFi device to surf the net (We lived in an NPS apartment, and NPS doesn't provide any Internet service to its residents at all).

GSM works well at Canyon and at Grant, and CDMA works well at OF and Grant (there are two towers at Grant, one for each technology). Both work decently at Mammoth if you're in the right place. CDMA service at Canyon is not very good, though.

There is no cell phone service at all at Tower/Roosevelt and in the Lake/Fishing Bridge/Bridge Bay areas.

Awesome guys, thank you! I have a clearer picture of what to expect in the park. J indeed, I am going for the wilderness experience and I'd definitely go even if there was no way to communicate with the outside. I have worked with computers my whole life and I'm at a point where I want to disconnect from the world for a while. Hopefully, the park will be my Walden pond. :)

CDMA and GSM by the way are just different, incompatible technologies, as Pat said, that are used for cellular communications. Basically all it comes down to is the difference in the way in which the cell phone encodes your data and sends it to the tower. T-mobile and AT&T are the big GSM carriers here and they are characterized by the little chip (SIM card) that you have to put in the phone in order to use it. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA companies. For these companies the actual phone itself is the identification chip, hence no SIM card is required.

Again, guys thanks and hopefully I'll meet some of you when I get there in July!

ok, well that makes it a little more basic for me.  I was having alot of trouble with my T-moble phone while driving from Gardiner to Bozeman.  I went into Wal-Mart to see if I could buy another SIM card, because it seemed it would work if I would reinsert the card.

Well. they told me that Montana doesn't support SIM card technology.  ????huh????  ok, so that's why I bought the Tracfone.  However, Wyoming (where the park is located) must, because my phone worked fine at OF.

Have a great time!!!  Download some movies and TV series that you haven't seen yet to fill in the down times.  There will be some....

Thank you for your great recommendations j! I'm sure I will have an amazing time. I love nature and the outdoors. Also, glad to be of some help with the cell technobabble. :)

I work in Mammoth and the only place at&t picks up seems to be if you go sit in front of the post office. My old man has straight talk from wallmart and he picks up almost every place we have been in the park, even out at Osprey falls

if u go by spruce u can get service too

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