View Full Version : BMT cell phone service?

01-04-2012, 15:00
So I'm still planning to head out next Tuesday for my thru-hike, but I need to find out how decent cell service is along the way. I finally landed a job and am waiting to get the call that I'm cleared to start working, which could come the day after I start or 4 months from now, no way of knowing. Either way I have to be able to get the message the day they leave it, and I'll have no problem getting a ride back home. I just know that the BMT goes through more remote areas than the AT. Have you guys noticed how spotty signals are along the way? Decent enough that I could check my voicemail a few times each day?

SGT Rock
01-04-2012, 21:06
I found on the high grounds in most sections I could get service, however I didn't notice any coverage from about Sandy Gap until I got to Sasafrass Gap up near Shuckstack. There is a land line phone on the outside of the Deals Gap motorcycle hotel that is available even when they are closed but only does local calls. If you have a calling card you can use it for long distance. I've also gotten good service at Fontana If you plan to go there for resupply in that section. I do mention there is sometimes service for a cell right at Deals Gap as soon as you get to the road intersection, but that isn't a guarantee.

Also, I have US Cellular. I did have AT&T but I found them to be even worse.

01-04-2012, 23:08
The only time I tried to make a call and couldn't for more than an hour was on the Lakeshore Trail in GSMNP.

Any other time I might not have had service right away but I got it within an hour or so of trying. I remember because we had a mini-crisis at work. Someone had forged $75,000 worth of checks on our business account.

.... that's one of the reasons I take a cell phone, in case something like this happens.

Edited to add: I have Verizon

01-07-2012, 00:32
Verizon does seem to be the cellular of choice when hiking the BMT and the AT for that matter. AT&T, Sprint, MetroPCS have all let me down on the BMT, only Verizon seems to have consistant coverage.

SGT Rock
01-07-2012, 12:44
True. Although I think that US Cellular uses the same technology as Verizon so you do roam on their towers in sections.

01-28-2012, 02:51
So i'm thinking maybe the safe phone choice if you have a GMS carrier is a cheap $10 prepaid Tracfone CDMA phone as you can get either CDMA or GSM from WalMart or Dollar General depending on where you live. I use a Net 10 prepaid GMS and it was spotty even on the AT but I bought my mom a CDMA Tracfone that I could swap with her if needed or just buy another one.