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Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

Philadelphia...
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Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

Arriving in Kona on Thursday - spending a few days on the Kona side, then traveling to the Hilo side and renting a house in Pahoa. With a big, diverse group that plans lots of activities, including hiking, Waipio, Volcano Park, etc. Several ex-native Big Islanders with us. Can anyone speak to ATT cell phone coverage? We are considering bringing our old-fashioned Cobra two-way battery operated walkie talkies with us (which have about a range of several miles depending on terrain) to keep in touch when separated on hikes etc. What do you think? I heard ATT has terrible service on the Big Island.

Maholo-

Marianne

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1. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

I have AT&T and didn't notice a problem.

Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

It's mostly fine. You won't get any coverage in Waipio and most of Honokaa (but that's probably true of all carriers) and it's spotty along the Hamakua Coast, Saddle Road, and parts of VNP.

Are you sure you're actually in Pahoa? I notice lately quite a few people thinking they were staying in Pahoa when they're actually not, which is usually a good thing. Pahoa town itself cell phone wise is fine, other parts of lower puns can be sketch.

Edited: 3:46 pm, June 09, 2013
Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

Sorry, lower *Puna

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

Shea G-

Yes, we are actually staying in Kapoho near the tide pools.

Marianne

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

Ah, ok, that's not Pahoa at all :-) I've always had decent cell phone coverage in Kapoho (AT&T).

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

It just depends which carrier has the towers. AT&T is probably the best where you are, but I hear itʻs not good in Kalapana.

To put it in perspective, I have AT&T, I live here, I have had this service for at least 7-8 years, and Iʻve never had any concern when I go around the island that Iʻll be out of service. Now back in 2003 I frequently ran into dead zones of complete non-service, and most of Hamakua Coast was fuggedaboudit.. So things have improved a whole lot in 10 years.

On the west side, Waikoloa Village still has truly bad coverage for AT&T, including around the Market, and also I have friends in North Kohala who dropped AT&T for Verizon for similar reasons.

Slopes of Mauna...
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7. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

So true about Waikoloa/ATT. As of at least January the reception at the shopping center is better.It will cost me a lot to switch to Verizon and it may not be much better, over all. I do not have good reception in Waikoloa home and had to buy a MicroCell, to make/get calls from inside the house. If I upgrade phone, which I now can, and it has better antenna built in, it might be better. Or I might be stuck with yet another two year extension on this stupid contract.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

I feel your pain, Vegan_Foodie.

Not to go too off topic, but at my sonʻs house in the Village, I got good reception with an iPhone 4S, but he got terrible reception with his iPhone 4, and it may have been the phone. I have not noticed I can hear him any better when he calls now that he has Verizon. OK maybe a little better but not that great an improvement.

My other son uses Skype when he calls from the Village, and it works well off of his iPad.

I have not tried the iPhone 5 there yet, but I had no problem browsing with my 4S on ATT&T there. It is talking that seems to be the problem.

Edited: 5:46 pm, March 06, 2014
Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

A little OT, but it drives me nuts how there's no (AT&T) cell phone/internet coverage in the Foodland at Waimea or Waikoloa Village Market. I often use my phone to look up recipes or ideas if I see something they're selling that looks particularly good, like meats or fish or certain fruits in season. It's when I'm food shopping that I usually figure out what I'm going to make for dinner. I have to actually leave the store and walk outside and try to find some reception to look up stuff.

seattle
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10. Re: Big Island ATT cell phone coverage

I sometimes visit this forum to see what is being discussed, and this string caught my eye as it reminded me of an experience I had in HVNP walking on the trail to Pu`u Loa Petroglyphs off Chain of Craters Road. Magnificent surroundings in fairly isolated, undeveloped area. No one in the vicinity, but us, at the time. And my cell phone rings. It's the Mac Store in Seattle calling me about a hard disk install. Brought me back to reality with regard to the reach of our current technology.

Anyway, you can go to the site below for an AT&T coverage map; just start zooming until you reach the scale you want. The signal strength is color-coded, and the area around Kapoho is easy to locate.

att.com/maps/…qN31To-P7df

The type of phone you have could make a difference in the quality of reception as well,