Wayspots with zero cellular signal - good or bad?

What is the community opinion on creating or approving wayspots in locations where there is zero cellphone signal? There are no existing criteria which cover this situation.

In PoGo I'd imagine the waypoint would simply be useless, but in Ingress it could give one faction a considerable tactical advantage, if they have access to BGAN or Starlink equipment and the opposition doesn't.

I will admit to having taken advantage of such situations in the past: A portal with no cell coverage, but I had the (non-public) WiFi login for the cafe, given to me by the proprietor, who I knew. We anchored some significant fields off that. The portal in question now has coverage. But there are other potential candidates nearby which won't get coverage because there is no reason to extend coverage to their location.

It's worth noting that some portals lose coverage when older-generation cell networks are decommissioned, because 2G (and 3G) tended to have wider marginal coverage than their more modern replacements.


  • PaulingZubat-PGOPaulingZubat-PGO Posts: 581 ✭✭✭✭

    These seem like gameplay problems that is separate from Wayfarer. I see connectivity issues as a non-factor when considering to submit or review a nomination.

    Access to and using game objects have always been up to what real world resources the player has.

  • smantz0rZ-PGOsmantz0rZ-PGO Posts: 349 ✭✭✭✭

    I've been able to explore some rural areas with extremely limited or no service. I once left PoGo on in my bag to see if it would track my distance walked. At one point I must have gotten service, because a the map updated and there was a gym on the edge of the map. However, when I trekked to the point there was no signal. Still a fun opportunity to explore.

    I can imagine that you'd want to prevent encouraging people from going anywhere unsafe or somewhere they'd potentially cause damage with their presence.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 5,066 Ambassador
    edited October 2023

    Good in my view.

    Sure there’s no/limited signal near Smiles-Upon-Beach where I’ve submitted their community noticeboard but then three months later their local council approves a 5G mobile tower to be placed on a roundabout nearby and suddenly the town is alive with service.

    Then those who start playing one of the Niantic games have a bunch of Wayspots to use already as soon as they begin.

    On one game specific thing, you can still fly your Drone on Ingress to a Wayspot in a no signal area, provided you can fly it there (distance wise) and have signal wherever you are at the time.

  • Purptacular-PGOPurptacular-PGO Posts: 284 ✭✭✭✭

    There have been many times when I've been in an area with spotty cell service and have seen interesting Wayspots load at a distance. Sometimes I can't interact with the Wayspot in-game once I get there in person, but so what? I can still enjoy the point of interest itself. As long as location has accurately been placed, I think that these kinds of Wayspots provide a great way to encourage exploration.

    I have other game-specific opinions too, but I am never sure if that's okay to express here so I'll leave it at that.

  • AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 261 ✭✭✭

    There's also varying definitions of "no signal" without actual satellite phones. For example:

    1. Dead zone on one provider but perfect 4G on another
    2. No signal from normal phone, but if you stick even a small omni antenna onto your car or something metal, you can get enough 3G to load a game
    3. Pretty solid dead zone, but you can climb for higher ground, and aim point to point wifi down the hill
    4. Starlink!

    Personally I love POIs out in the sticks, I always have the make POI now, figure out how to use it later mentality.

    Back in the days when we weren't as equipped as we are now, we used to do whatever it took to get signal the cheap way...

  • RandomExploit-INGRandomExploit-ING Posts: 948 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A dead zone on one provider or technology might not be one on another.

    Coverage could change so something that has no coverage now, does have it in the future. Or vice versa.

    So they should still be wayspots.

    If people go out their way to make use of them, that is another element of their game, be it a gym its hard to kick them out of or a difficult to take down Ingress anchor.

    I think some people woukd be surprised at the lengths we go to in that respect 😁

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    These are great. Australia is full of places where there is virtually zero cellular coverage. I'm not usually equipped with technology (mostly because strategically important portals/gyms I don't really care about) but because I've started driving around for work a lot I find myself in places (such as the entirety of the Pilliga Forest, and the middle of the valley along Putty Road) where signal does not exist so I can't even nominate things in the middle of it.

    Always fun to find myself in these places. Two memorable experience include the exploration and fascinating dance of getting reception at Long Plain, the other earlier this month is finding an entire town near Coonabarabran that has both no reception or wayspots whatsoever. The immense efforts I've seen people do is pretty stellar.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,360 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember there used to be a view that a qualified wayspot is not a problem even if the signal strength is zero.

  • dramaticNZ-INGdramaticNZ-ING Posts: 9 ✭✭

    They can lead to some dangerous behaviour. We have a trailhead portal in a steep-sided valley about 500m from where a kink in the valley blocks out coverage from all providers. A teammate had one of the Res-NZ BGAN sets but the hills blocked the satellite. I worked out a way to capture it: Hit deploy and drive like hell along the narrow access road trying to get back to coverage before the timeout, praying that nothing was coming the other way. Repeat 8 times. This was in guardian days so of course it got killed by spoofers.

  • dramaticNZ-INGdramaticNZ-ING Posts: 9 ✭✭

    I should have said that IMO coverage by one provider equals coverage, no problem. There's a bunch of about 20 portals near my city which I've never gotten because my provider doesn't cover that valley. Highway goes through there but there are maybe 6 residents so unlikely to change. My current phone has dual Sim so one day I'll probably get a SIM for the network which does cover it.

  • Grogyan-INGGrogyan-ING Posts: 133 ✭✭✭

    Ingress players regularly use a variety of communications gear for hard to reach wayspots. And have done so since Ingress began nearly 11 years ago

    Other games can use the same gear to achieve whatever goals players want.

    In a way, these hard to reach wayspots encourage exploration.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Grogyan-ING Exploration, yes!

    I've been to so many really cool out-of-the-way places that I had no idea even existed before I started playing Ingress. It's one of the most wonderful aspects of the game.

  • AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 261 ✭✭✭

    By the way, now that certain toys are more accessible, no phone reception, no problem:

    I enjoyed interacting with a lot of wayspots with no phone service over the holidays, now I need to source a transformer and some 12V batteries for even more fun. 😁

  • Whoab0t-INGWhoab0t-ING Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    I'm all for it. It makes more sense in Ingress than Pogo, but you know. My car has pretty decent wifi in a number of dead zones in my state, so not much is out of reach. Plus it's a lot cheaper than a satellite phone 😂

  • cherry2299-INGcherry2299-ING Posts: 56 ✭✭

    While you don't need to consider communication capabilities, remote areas like deep mountainous regions where communication is unavailable may fall under the "safety" disapproval criteria.

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 5,339 Ambassador


    Hello and Welcome

    Safety when assessing a wayspot is more about physical safety, not connectivity to the outside world. This is what the information gives guidance on what you should consider:

    These locations are not safe: 

    Dangerous locations include, but are not limited to, a highway/freeway, bridge with car traffic, crossing a waterway (pond, lake, river etc.), airport runways, railway tracks, industrial sites, power plants, or air traffic control towers.

    Not having access to a mobile signal is not dangerous and therefore not a reason to consider somewhere unsafe.

    in addition there is no way a reviewer with the information provided could assess connectivity.

  • cherry2299-INGcherry2299-ING Posts: 56 ✭✭


    I apologize that I did not communicate this accurately as we are conversing via translation. I did not mean to imply that I am concerned about the safety of access due to the lack of radio reception, but rather to convey that candidates in the mountains or at sea, where radio reception is generally not available, have many concerns about safety aspects. One of the safety criteria stated is that there must be a walkway that provides safe access to the object.

  • AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 261 ✭✭✭

    Interesting how you mentioned this.

    Please have a read of one of my adventures: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ingress/comments/ki2rqp/mt_cloudmaker_takedown_op/

    Remember that with remote areas, how prepared you are is a big part of it. One person's definition of remote might also be another person's walk in the park. Having said that, where I went to make a point was by all definition legit wilderness (as listed by UNESCO - https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/917/) and I knew there would be places where phone reception would be sketchy, for instance when I descended several hundred metres down one of the gaps, I didn't expect to have phone reception at all. That is why when I go on hikes in the wilderness, I carry multiple phones on different providers, spare power banks and 4G dongle with external antenna.

    It'd would be pretty much impossible to judge how "safe" pedestrian access would be due to lack of phone service. One provider might be great in a spot while another might have nothing at all. Common sense would say the summit of Mt Everest doesn't have safe pedestrian access, but as far as I'm concerned, as long as you don't need special tools to climb somewhere, it's all good.

    I would've made a good Ingress agent given my love for remote areas with less than perfect reception but oh well. 😂

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cherry2299-ING In general, if you can hike to it and it's not fundamentally in an unsafe location (see the list in an earlier comment) then it's OK.

    There are lots of really cool wayspots at the top of mountain peaks, some of which can only be accessed by expert climbers, and these wayspots are some of the most-valued in Ingress because of the challenge in accessing them. Those would 100% be unsafe for me to access because I'm not competent to climb them but they are still excellent wayspots.

  • cherry2299-INGcherry2299-ING Posts: 56 ✭✭

    The criteria for evaluation indicate the necessity for general accessibility to pedestrians. It is not common for swimmers or climbers to equip themselves perfectly and head into harsh environments.

  • Eneeoh-PGOEneeoh-PGO Posts: 679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There I was, all set to agree that remote does not equate to unsafe, but I'm afraid you have contradicted yourself. We are explicitly instructed that all points of interest must be accessible to pedestrians. This means not only to skilled individuals with special gear.

    If an island lighthouse may only be nominated when there is a footpath, bridge or dock, how can a mountain summit that is only accessible by experts be allowed? The lighthouse can be reached by swimmers, divers, boaters of all types, even by fools using a pair of styrofoam water-walkers. The fact that the lighthouse exists is proof that tradesmen have been there to install and maintain it. It remains expressly forbidden under Wayfarer rules.

    If mountain-climbing gear or a helicopter, snow-shoe or ski expertise, crampons, pitons, or a hang-glider are prerequisite to approach a place, that seems a whole lot less accessible than any lighthouse.

  • Eneeoh-PGOEneeoh-PGO Posts: 679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are instances all over this site, where long-time Wayfarers have asserted that your photo must prove that a toddler has a safe path to touch an object like a WW-2 pillar box, a lighthouse or light-beacon. Seasoned veterans have tried to claim that parking areas were like lava because the pavement was black and cars could run kids over, while there was photographic evidence aplenty that every parked car, storefront or stairway attested to pedestrian accessibility.

    Heck, the argument against aerator 'fountains' in small ponds is that it might not be safe to stroll out and touch the streaming water.

    There is obviously access for SOMEBODY, anywhere that a man-made object has been placed. Please explain in detail how you can use a helicopter to visit a mountain-top and create a really cool POI, but must show how ANYBODY can reach a water tower, lighthouse, etc.

    When there is an architectural feature on a building, folks here say "I can't reach it, it's invalid!", but if window-washers can get there, how are they not as pedestrian as the mountain-toppers? Somebody can reach it, so it's fair game, right?

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Eneeoh-PGO People have made all sorts of ludicrous claims, but that doesn't make them true. I've never heard anyone say that you must prove that a toddler has a safe path to touch an object, and I think that's a silly claim. I roll my eyes when someone says that anything in a parking lot is fundamentally unsafe.

    To counter your argument about man-made objects, I think we can agree that buoys do not have safe pedestrian access.

    As for features on buildings, Niantic has said that their games have no Z axis. If you can stand at the base of the building underneath the third-floor artwork then that counts. However, hanging off the side of a building does not seem to constitute pedestrian.

  • cherry2299-INGcherry2299-ING Posts: 56 ✭✭

    The criteria state that it's necessary not only for pedestrians to have access but also to be "safe". Does the ability to dive into the deep sea with a submarine make the deep sea safe? If approached by a helicopter, would a steep mountain peak be considered a safe location due to the absence of the danger of slipping? Instead of childish desires like celebrating by placing a flag on the summit, we should strive to ensure that all players can enjoy the game with confidence, following standards. Wayfarer is not a game of make-believe.

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