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Thread: AT&T in New Mexico

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    AT&T in New Mexico

    In the northern New Mexico mountains, near Taos, the situation exists where AT&T, according to their coverage maps, is blanketing the mountain tops with LTE coverage, while in the valleys, in places such as the year-round resort town of Red River as shown on this screen grab, where human beings actually live and play, they do not have any coverage or service at all.

    I don't know if things have changed since, but the last time we were in Red River, we heard constant complaining from people, from Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, where AT&T is a dominant carrier and where the majority of Red River visitors come from, that their phones either did not work at all or they were receiving warning notices from AT&T that their 100 Mb roaming data limit was about to be reached. 100 Mb is a ridiculous number and is appropriate for another discussion entirely, but if you are going to cover the mountain tops, why not build a site IN the valley to cover a place where people actually exist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    In the northern New Mexico mountains, near Taos, the situation exists where AT&T, according to their coverage maps, is blanketing the mountain tops with LTE coverage, while in the valleys, in places such as the year-round resort town of Red River as shown on this screen grab, where human beings actually live and play, they do not have any coverage or service at all.

    I don't know if things have changed since, but the last time we were in Red River, we heard constant complaining from people, from Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, where AT&T is a dominant carrier and where the majority of Red River visitors come from, that their phones either did not work at all or they were receiving warning notices from AT&T that their 100 Mb roaming data limit was about to be reached. 100 Mb is a ridiculous number and is appropriate for another discussion entirely, but if you are going to cover the mountain tops, why not build a site IN the valley to cover a place where people actually exist?

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    How is AT&T’s spectrum ownership holdings in the area? If they don’t have spectrum, then roaming is forced and roaming is expensive to provide. If AT&T has spectrum holdings, the problem is cost of getting fiber optics cables to those communities or even microwave or other connectivity which offer slower speeds. Using existing devices on satellite will be a reality but how quickly it could be deployed as well as roaming fees if any are unknown at this time. AT&T has a deal in place for the satellite service. Due to privatization successes like Virgin Galactic, it could actually move quicker than using the government controlled space agencies for launching services. Lots of unknown variables as to how long such will take and pricing and usage fees if any or any data limits. AT&T is definitely still improving coverage when it can and will continue to do so over time.

    Penn Station in NYC unlike many parts of New Mexico has high accessibility to fiber optics and lots of people around and only recently was a contract signed wiwhich will allow people at platform and concourse level to use wireless services from all the providers or their own wifi service. Hard fo believe it took so long. New Mexico is a rural market which has different challenges but solutions keep coming to fill needed coverage gaps over time. I do recall AT&T’s Plateau communications acquisition which acquired added spectrum on the New Mexico and Texas border areas. I am not sure how much improvement that part has seen but it all went to AT&T native service without roaming and they must have made at least some upgrades since acquisition.
    Last edited by LTENetwork; 07-17-2021 at 03:29 PM.

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    AT&T's purchase of Plateau Wireless turned out really well, they blanket the mostly empty plains of northeast New Mexico with great service and they are installing 5G in lots of little tiny towns, quite a few that are not shown on their coverage maps. You have very good AT&T service all the way across the plains from Oklahoma and Texas to the mountains. It's IN the mountains where everything falls apart. Some of it is understandable, with highways running through narrow canyons that are pretty much impossible to cover because of line of sight issues. But in the towns, there are ways of providing service, fiber, microwave, etc that T-Mobile and Verizon use, that would provide service. Maybe not gigabit 5G but surely something better than a 100 Mb data limit and basic phone call service. Now even those are not available, it's just No Service. Why did Commnet go away?

    Commnet used to provide service for AT&T in the valleys but that went away 4 years ago. For what reason, I do not know. When you ask the local town officials about it, they just say it went away, no reason was ever given. Commnet is AT&T's go-to in a lot of mountainous areas, but the service you get with it is pretty much a joke, only serving as a license-holding measure at best.

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    AT&T has decent spectrum holdings in Red River. For whatever reason they just do not seem eager to build there.

    Band 12 B-C block
    Band 5 A block
    These licenses end a few miles southeast of Red River (Angel Fire is in a different license area) but this should not preclude coverage in the valley.

    FirstNet Band 14
    WCS Band 30
    AWS A, D, E
    AWS-3 J


    AT&T also owns PCS blocks B, F, C but they are leased to Commnet.

    They should still be able to run band 5/12/14/30/66(x2) in Red River if they wanted to. And could add band 2 after the lease agreement expires.
    Active CellMapper user (since 2014). Happy to answer any questions anyone may have about networks in the western Midwest and parts of the Mid-South.

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    The Eagle Nest and Angel Fire areas are well-covered by AT&T. Eagle Nest is basically a bump in the road at the junction of highways going to and from Taos, Red River, Angel Fire, and Raton, and AT&T has a site located at that junction. I asked an AT&T customer friend who was in Red River last week if his phone worked and he said it was useless. Any stub phone or data service is completely gone now. So, I guess that Commnet has completely shut down whatever they had in Red River and AT&T has done nothing to re-serve the resort town. Interesting. First Net doesn't apply in the New Mexico mountains I guess.

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