posted on May, 31 2012 @ 08:28 PM
reply to post by SpacedOut85
Cellular service used to end at Alamo. There was speculation for years that the USAF didn't want cellular service around the range because of a fear
that the press would be alerted of an incident (crash, etc.) before the DoD could contain the area. The Verizon site popping up in Rachel was a bit of
a shock. My theory is the contractors that worked out of Rachel wanted some secure comms, i.e. not having to use phones or the fax at the Little
Aleinn. So a really crappy cell site showed up in Alamo. It isn't even a tower, but just an antenna on top of a small building. Without height, it
doesn't go very far.
There is large multiuser comm site on Mt. Irish. Multiuser in the sense of military, state, county, and commercial telecom. Verizon could have easily
put an antenna on Mt. Irish and served both Rachel and users on the ET highway. In fact, that would be normal operating procedure since Verizon
Wireless is in business to make money and serve the public.
Verizon has a site on a hilltop above Alamo. However it barely works on Tikaboo. I suspect they use a directional antenna to keep service out of the
area. AT&T pulled a license to put up GSM in the same area. However, that hasn't materialized yet. If you study the AT&T cell sites along route 93,
they are your basic sector type facilities. But there is a catch. The towers only have 3 sector antenna on them instead of the usual 4. This is so
there is no coverage in the Nellis range. Now it is totally possible AT&T didn't put the 4th sector up to save money since there are not going to be
very many users on the range. This is the kind of situation where you will never get the real story.
At the northern edge of the range, i.e. well away from Groom, there are both GSM (EDGE) and CDMA facilities. The GSM signal makes it to the Monitor
Peak area near the TTR. There is no blocking by the base as far as I can tell. That is, the distance is in line with the 35km range limit of GSM. The
CDMA signal makes it a bit further, but still not even up to the TTR mancamp.
To finish off the coverage, there is GSM and CDMA all along route 95. This may reach into the west edge of the Nellis range a bit. There is no way to
tell other than being there unless you can examine the cell site antennas to see if they are directional. Some of the CDMA and GSM sites are on the
NTS hills, i.e. restricted territory.
Even with an extensive radio repeater system on the range, the NTS and probably the DoD use sat phones.