Cell Phone Reception And Wifi Connection In The California Foothills

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					Cell Phone Reception And Wifi Connection In The California
Foothills
Valley Springs, California is the epitome of random connections especially if your passing through or
a new resident of the area trying to make a simple phone call. Its entertaining at the kids ball games
watching a city transplant walking around furiously scowling at their cell phone, pacing, circling,
raising the phone up to the sky like an icon worthy of worship, only to swing it back down towards the
ground as if a huge sweeping movement will bring the cellular connection rulers to your phone.
Shaking their head they snap the phone shut only to try again a few minutes later. I know this
because I was that city transplant. I thought something was wrong with my phone. No "bars"?! What
the heck? How could I have NO "bars". My friends now, giggling parents then, knew exactly what I
was doing because they had gone through the same dance when they first moved here. Anyone with
a child in Valley Springs, at one time or another, ends up on that campus trying desperately to find
connection for a phone call or internet query and if your like me, from the city where connections are
everywhere, you'll find yourself baffled until someone tells you, there is no reception on the school
grounds at all, ever, zero, zilch, zip.
As a bus driver for the area I became well versed where the reception was and where the dead zones
are. There aren't a lot but where they are, they are dead!
The dead zones are on average less than a mile long. Hwy 26 heading west, toward Stockton, is one
of the larger dead zones. Its a major commuter highway, so a car on the roadside broke down is
expected. What isn't expected is the driver walking around with his celll phone trying to find reception.
They look like they are doing some sort of voodoo dance in their attemts to find enough reception to
call for a tow truck.
Between friends, family and transport drivers in the Valley Springs area I have a good idea of what
company gets what kind of reception. It seems like everyone has a different carrier in their attempt to
find a solid connection. AT&T customer's seem to get the best all-around coverage. The AT&T
customer is the one that's rarely going to experience a dropped call. On the other hand T-Mobile is
one of the worst. One lady doesn't bother carrying her phone when she's in Valley Springs. She says,
"Its pointless. It'll ring but if I answer I can't hear them and vice versa". Sprint appears to be pretty
good, but not as good as AT&T. Most 611 calls in the area go to AT&T operators.
The service for any one particular company is so sketchy that often your cell phone call will be routed
through another cellular company that has reception, without you even knowing it. The "roaming"
indicator doesn't come on because your not necessarily "roaming", your within your calling area, your
just using another air service.
One way to find out who's air space your on dial 611 on your phone. The west side of Silver Rapids,
in Rancho Calaveras housing area, if you dial 611 the operator that answers will be AT&T. If your
normal carrier is, let's say Sprint, the operator that answers will tell you to try again in your own
service area (nicely of course).
Repeaters are located in hilly terrain areas or where a signal is notoriously poor, for what ever
reason. A repeater "boosts" the signal from the cellular towers to allow cellular and Internet access
where it would not normally be.
Unlike standard home boosters, that work well at home or where there is a router nearby, they
amplify the gains to strengthen the signal, the Cel-fi works on the 3G and 4G wireless signal!
A mobile signal repeater has been developed in the UK that will do the same thing as a repeater but
instead of "boosting" the signal for a town or region, it "boosts" the signal for your cell phone. Cel-fi
consists of two wireless devices a Window Unit and a Coverage Unit that work together to increase
3G and 4G mobile broadband connectivity. Its been tested for use inside buildings and looks
promising for remote use. Nextivity Inc. Is the company behind the creativity here.
For a small town, Valley Springs, has an abundance of good wifi hot spots. The two local coffee
shop's have wifi available. Starbuck's carrier charges a nominal fee to use their service, even if you
purchase an item, to log-on you have to pay.
On the other end of town we have a coffee house called Common Grounds. Their wifi is absolutely
free. Yes, totally and completely. Often when the sunset has that brilliant orange and yellow sweeping
across the sky, I enjoy pulling into one of the parking spaces and surfing the web from my car. The
view is incredible and so is the wifi connection!
Below you'll find a map of the coffee houses and information on other spots to jump a wifi connection
in Valley Springs!

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