Cell Phone Tower POIs

 

Has anybody ever had a list of cell phone tower POIs? Most of the time, most end users really don't care because it doesn't matter to them. They either have coverage or they don't. And, if they don't, they might move a short distance and the signal improves.

What I am interested in would be for rural coverage. My wife and I are ATVers. We get on some very rural trails where there is often no cell service what-so-ever. If someone where to break down and needed to go call for help, it would be great to know which way to travel to get signal.

Here is a good example, let's say someone in the group needs an ambulance because they are having a medical emergency. We are on the trail in a remote area. If a signal could be found by going north only 1 mile vs. having to travel south 10 miles, that would be a huge difference.

Does anybody know if such a POI file has been attempted? Granted, there are several different carriers, but if you had to call 911, any tower that can receive your signal should work.

Seems like a daunting task but.....

Cell Towers

We know they follow major highways...interstates , four lanes and if they can cover towns with the same towers they look at that. Problem is how to find out who owns and operates each tower. there are cell phone signal boosters , i have one for home but never looked at mobile boosters...hope this helps

Been there, done that

I traveled cross country and was alarmed at the lack of cell phone coverage. But it makes sense. The population density is so low in areas, there is hardly any need for cell towers. Companies are not going to spend millions of dollars to put up a tower that only supports a few minutes of calls and data.

If you need a cell phone to work, head towards an area that looks like it has the most population density or there will be significant cell phone traffic. Head towns, intersections, shopping areas, large truck stops, police stations, etc. and places that there will be lots of people.

Other than that, get a CB radio or a ham radio.

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GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

Actual Tower Locations Are No Help

A POI file of actual cell tower locations would be of little help. Just because you see a cell tower doesn't mean it provides service from your phone's cellular carrier or can handle 911 calls. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other carriers aren't always co located on a particular tower. Some towers are owned by carriers but most lease antenna space from independent tower companies.

Another problem is the fact that tower transmissions are sometimes "shaped" or beamed in certain directions. In some locations, you may be able to see a tower but not receive it's signals even though it is owned by your particular cellular carrier.

Leases expire and may or may not be renewed at a particular location and new towers go online almost weekly. This is why your cell signal strength can vary at the same location over time.

To keep track of these lease changes and new tower locations would be a monumental task. To further complicate the issue, a separate file would have to be created and maintained for each cellular carrier.

Your best bet is to get hold of detailed coverage area maps from cellular providers in the area. You can use the maps to move toward the nearest area with coverage in order to make an emergency 911 call.