Cell phone service in Alaska (AT&T)

Old May 20th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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Cell phone service in Alaska (AT&T)

My mother will be in Alaska (on a cruise) in June and will be using a cell phone to keep in touch with us (while on shore). Her wireless provider is AT&T. I called AT&T and the representative said that there are not many cell phone towers in Alaska and that she should not expect service. I think I got a fairly uninformed representative (she did not know that Alaska was part of the United States), so I checked on their website and it does not look like they have service anywhere besides Juneau.

Anyone have experiece with this? What are some of the providers there? I am presuming there will be payphones around which she could use as well to keep in touch.

Thank you!
Kaneez is offline  
Old May 21st, 2009, 09:40 AM
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I have used At&T successfully in Anchorage, and on the Kenai Pennindula (Homer, Seward, and environs), and also in some of the cruise ship ports in Southeast -- Juneau, Haines, Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:08 AM
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AT&T works in almost all towns in Alaska (its offered locally) so you will be fine. There will be dead areas on some stretches of road, and perhaps in some of the smaller villages.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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When we cruised to Alaska, I had ATT, and had no problem making calls, either on the ship or in the ports. When we went further inland, there was no service.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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I had AT&T for both my cellphone and my iPad when we were in Alaska last year. There was coverage most everywhere. My recollection is that some places thre was no 3G, so internet was slow, but there was still coverage. Juneau, Ketichan, Skagway, Seward, Homer, Anchorage.

I looked at AT&T's coverage map for Alaska, and while it certainly doesn't cover a lot of the state, it does cover the most popular tourist areas, around Southeast (Juneau) and Anchorage and the Kenai peninsula.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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A lot o Alazka is very sparsely populated and there is no coverage - but is that where your mom is going to be. Large towns will have coverage.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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Your Mom should wait until she gets off the ship and call in Alaska on land to avoid obscene charges via the ship's service.
Also if she has a stop in Canada (many of the ships do stop in Canada), she should be aware that she will pay roaming charges.. a short call can be expensive
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 06:03 AM
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I have been to Alaska 4 times -- in many different areas including the Yukon and found the service varies. I also carry my Mobal International Satelite Phone just in case and have never had a problem.
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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AT&T was better than verizon, but cell phone service in general can be pretty spotty. I would recommend skype or email.
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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AT&T works better than Verizon, but cell phone service in general is limited. I would recommend skype or email.
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Old Jul 20th, 2016, 01:33 PM
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I don't think you realize that you are a long distance from any cell tower when on board the ship. You only get service if you are close enough to a tower. If you go to Ketchikan, sitka, Juneau, or any other town, you almost have to be able to see these towns to get signal. Even the Alaska state ferries out of Bellingham, Washington take two full days of cruising to get to Ketchikan. I lived in Petersburg, Alaska for many years and worked out on the state ferries. You don't get signal until you get close to a populated area. Your ship will have public wifi though so as long as you have a phone that can receive internet via wifi, you can communicate with anyone.
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