Cell phones are out of range of an operating signal tower for more than seventy percent of the total surface of the earth. This is because the earth is more than seventy percent water, and your cell phones will not work at sea unless you are on a commercial liner that has its own cell tower or a naval submarine. When you also account for an additional twenty percent or so of the earth where you are on land and out of range of a cell tower, that is almost ninety percent of the globe where your phone will not work. Here are some alternative communication devices that can help you cover the gaps and open/ out-of-range areas where your cell phone will have zero bars.
Long Range Walkie-Talkies/ Push-to-Talk Devices
Long range walkie-talkies and push-to-talk communication devices have a greater range and can pick up on other channels when you are trying to find a signal. When you are lost in the middle of nowhere, a long range walkie-talkie or push-to-talk device can be picked up by ranger stations if you are within a certain number of miles. Since you will undoubtedly need the rangers’ help to find your way out of the wilderness or out of a blizzard, these devices become more invaluable when you plan to drive through a no-cellular zone.
CB radios that you install in your vehicle may help save your life too. The long range antennas on these devices can help you communicate with police cars, emergency vehicles and truckers on the road. Many people who drive very large pickup trucks often install CB radios in their vehicles too, as do tow truck companies and their drivers. If you cannot afford satellite radio, CB radio is the next best thing when your cell phone is dead and/or out of range.
Satellite Two-Way Radios
Similar to walkie-talkies, these radios rely on a system relay of signals. The difference here, however, is that satellite two-way radios use satellite transmissions to send and receive messages. If you have a fully charged, waterproof satellite two-way, you could be lost on a deserted island and still make contact with someone within a twenty-four hour period when the satellites in orbit move overhead and a ship gets within range. The satellite radio in some vehicles works this way, which is why it might be a good idea if you are traveling great distances on land through phone dead zones.