Pokemon Go and cell service
Posted by ryric

I'm having a thought which is making me somewhat concerned. I have this vision of 20000 people all trying to play Pokémon Go simultaneously in the convention center, and the local cell towers throwing up their metaphorical hands in frustration.

Is anyone else concerned that actual phone service might be spotty at best?

Posted by monkeyknifefight

Has cell service ever been reliable at GenCon? Last time I went in 2012 and 2013 cell phones were nearly unusable. I could only imagine with 15-20k more people.

Posted by david campbell

I'm on AT&T and I've always had a signal in almost everywhere. My son on T-Mobile was almost never able to use his phone.

Posted by brion

I will vouch for T-Mobile being unusable at the Con. 4 years running and it's almost easier for me to find my friends in person than it is to text them. Last year, every couple of hours, I would receive the same duplicate texts from the same people for pretty much the whole weekend. One of them came through 23 times in total. And yes, I did confirm that it wasn't some elaborate prank :)

Posted by keithbradburn

I have Verizon and have no trouble in most places.  With the expansion into LOS, it will be even worse for some.

Posted by bushmaster

Any have experience with US Cellular?

Posted by doombunny

Never had an issue with Us Cellular, I have a dumb phone though and only texted while I was there for the longest time since i was always roaming. My new plan no longer roams but it is still a dumb phone and I've never had an issue making calls. as long as I have a few bars I'm good. So I don't foresee a problem with cell service at the convention.

The Pokemon Go servers on the other hand...

Posted by ayoung98683

Pokemon Go murders mobile phone batteries, so it shouldn't be a problem for long ;-)

Posted by ryric

I have friends that have stocked up on external cell batteries, just for the con.

Posted by tdb

This may sound like a crazy question, but who has time to play games on their phone while they're at GenCon?  I'm going to be trying to spend all my time doing awesome stuff I couldn't do the other 361.25 days of the year, personally. 


Posted by bith

Any word on sprint and/or project fi connections?  I know T-mobile is god awful (I had that for the past two years), but this year I'm on project fi, which uses t-mobile, sprint, and one other minor provider.

Posted by ryric

Tdb, I hear you but I know for a fact that I'm traveling up with at least three obsessed Pokémon players. They will at the very least be trying to hatch eggs while wandering the exhibit hall.

Personally I only touch cell games at the con while sitting atop the porcelain throne, so to speak.

Posted by buttcabbge

We probably need to add "Cosplay Performer Poses for Cell Phone Holder Who is Actually Playing Pokemon" to our Gencon Bingo cards.

Posted by tdb

Hatching eggs on the porcelain throne?  Oh dear...  ;-)


Posted by monkeyknifefight david campbell

david campbell wrote:
I'm on AT&T and I've always had a signal in almost everywhere. My son on T-Mobile was almost never able to use his phone.
Maybe it improved then. All 4 of us in our group have AT&T and could never receive texts in a timely manner until 2 blocks away from the convention center. Phone calls would usually drop or never connect either. Most of this was in the main gaming hall/exhibit hall.

Posted by joecool10424

Indianapolis Pokemon Go player here.

A few items:

Cell service has always been spotty during the con; lots of people in a small space - and I've had Sprint and Verizon. Additionally, we're going to have around 70,000 people - with many of us working on eggs as well (i.e. the app will always be on when we're walking). 

Also, there will be other events this weekend such as a baseball game and concerts (just on Saturday alone!). 

To add to that - there is a canal nearby that will have lots of lures and draw Pokemon players there.

But, to be honest - the server crashes on the PGo app will give us intermittent breaks so the rest of humanity can access the towers. So, in this case - server issues can be a great thing!

Also, I'd recommend deciding ahead of time when your lunch and dinner breaks will be with friends and arranging to meet somewhere.

For those of you coming to Indy - WELCOME! :)

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