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cell phone infrastructure in 2022

this year is going to be interesting….. 2021 cell coverage was noticeably better than 2019.
Perhaps this was due to less people, or maybe better infrastructure…. hard to tell.

what will be interesting this year is that several large carriers have dropped 3G voice
and they want you to use VoLTE (if you don’t have a 5G phone), which is in essence data. It would not surprise me if coverage
takes a turn for the worse outside the metropolitan areas…..unless the move to VoLTE dramatically increases the channel count, compared to 3G…

anybody have any tech comments on this?

7 Replies

Uncle Kraig, May 9, 2022 at 4:35 pm

This post has no reference to pie, kybos, beer or Iowa hospitality so you may get limited feedback :) But, as a retired exec. in the wireless telecomm space, I can only tell you that not enough carriers deploy COW’s, micro-cells and leaky co-ax (did I just give my away my age :) Seriously, dont count on great voice or data service, especially late afternoons when everyone gets to town, busy hour in our old lingo. You can usually get a text through but have a back-up plan just in case. See you in July my fellow telecom guy.


garywilk, May 11, 2022 at 12:04 pm

With a northern route, population is less and likely less lines of service. Also we will be further away from I80 so those towers will become out of range. Our group will likely give up on phone calls and send texts. It may take a few minutes to go through but they should go. He also pins the location of where he parked the RV when he gets there and that helps because then he rides around town or back a town.


direwolf, May 13, 2022 at 10:06 pm

We have encountered cell tower snarls sufficient to block text messages and Google Maps. We try that. If it fails we also carry Garmin inReach satellite communicators.


HelenP, May 13, 2022 at 11:47 pm

You know what might help?

If enough of us simply put our phones in Airplane Mode around that time each day, or whenever a delay occurs, those communication problems would clear up faster.

We can’t change the infrastructure in Iowa, but we can improve its efficiency by our behavior.

That said, it might work well to choose when all members of a team would briefly reconnect to phone service for messages during peak times. For example, on every quarter hour.


Sandaltan ., May 18, 2022 at 10:00 pm

Uncle Kraig is the oracle on this. Have a backup plan. Otherwise you could spend a night as our Uncle Tommy did; not showered, still in his bike kit, unloved and lonely on a cot in the Red Cross tent, shivering under one thin wool blanket.



TheHammer, June 7, 2022 at 8:38 pm

This will be my eighth trip across God’s country….when you have 30,000 rolling gypsies rolling through towns of 968 peeps -Lansing for ex. Cell phone coverage always has sucked. Look out for the Iowa Telecom trailers. They have free internet and AC! I would always check my e-mail and touch base with home from there. Keeping your phone charged can be as much fun sometimes as getting a signal so bring a stored power device of some kind. This year we are also bringing a SAT phone. Peaches And Cream Sweet Corn are in my Future!


JimCoonRapidsMN, June 13, 2022 at 12:49 pm

And FYI to add to Helen’s suggestion: Satellite location services still function in airplane mode. (iPhone user – can’t confirm but assume this is also true for other mobile phones.)


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