On a recent trip to the California desert, with access to both a BlackBerry Storm and an iPhone 3GS, I had a chance to test Verizon's vaunted claims about better coverage.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park, about two hours south of Palm Springs by car, is California's largest state park and covers roughly 1,000 square miles of desert. In other words, it's mostly raw, but stunningly beautiful, wilderness. Over the years, I have often made day trips (alone or with friends/family) to boulder up washes (aka arroyos) in the surrounding mountains (see photo).
The largest town in the area, Borrego Springs (the 2000 census put the population at about 2,500), is famous for having rock-solid 2G (and increasingly 3G) coverage for most major carriers. In fact, in the spot shown in the photo (embedded in this post), which was taken after an hour of bouldering up a wash just west of Borrego Springs, there is no hiccup in service.
But Borrego Springs, surrounded by a desert (figuratively) of dead zones, is the exception. Outside of town, in places like the outback of Coyote Canyon or in the desert east of the Shelter Valley area (part of Julian, Calif.), it's very hit or miss.… Read more