Alaska is the largest state in the USA by size. It is also the only state that is not bordered by any other. It is bordered by Canada on the east, the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean in the north, the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea in the west, and the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Alaska in the south. It has an area of 665,000 square miles, which is about 17% of the total US land mass. The population of the state is estimated at 731,000 in 2022. The huge difference in the land mass and population is due to the fact that Alaska has a lot of uninhabited land mass, most of it extremely cold.
By way of comparison, it will help to compare Alaska to a few other states. Which are the top 3 biggest states in the USA? Alaska has the largest land area and is followed by Texas and California. Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas. If travelling to, or relocating to, Alaska, here are a few important things to know about telecom and wireless services in the state.
What is the state capital of Alaska? While the biggest city in Alaska is Anchorage, do not fall for the temptation of assuming it is the capital city. The capital city of Alaska is Juneau. I mentioned earlier that much of Alaska is uninhabited land mass. What is even more unique about Juneau is that it cannot be reached by road. There are no roads in and out of the city. To reach Juneau, you have to fly or boat. Well, or hike, if you can endure the experience. How cool is that?
Telecom Carriers And Wireless Providers in Alaska
- Verizon has a very strong presence in Alaska
- ATT is also another carrier that is present in the largest state in the USA.
- General Communications Inc (GCI): Apart from the two national carriers, Verizon and ATT, that are present in Alaska, GCI is the next largest carrier. It is indigenous to the state. If you are a T-Mobile user and were already worried about the lack of mention of your carrier, T-Mobile has a roaming agreement with GCI, so your SIM card/line will work here.
- Alaska Phone Company offers VOIP services in the state.
- TelAlaska is a local service provider using cable to deliver voice telephoney, data and television in the city.
Besides the above-mentioned telecom operators, there are other smaller players active in Alaska, the largest state in the USA. They include: Alaska Communications, North Slope Telecom, Copper Valley Telecom, OTZ Telephone, and Cordova Telephone Cooperative, among others. Covering a state as large as this requires extensive investments and infrastructure, because of its unique layout.
Travelling Through Alaska
While travelling through Alaska, especially between cities, be prepared to experience pockets of carrier blackouts in remote areas not currently covered by existing operators. In an emergency, you should be able to use Apple’s emergency satellite SOS service if you own an iPhone 14 series device. This service allows you to connect to satellites to send a text message to emergency services when you are outside of carrier tower coverage. You can also share your location via satellite in the Find My app.
Unfortunately, older iPhone models are not equipped for satellite connectivity, but it will be available on all future iPhone models as well. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series are rumoured to also arrive ready with emergency satellite SOS connectivity.
Alaska: Key Facts
- Land Mass: 663,000 square miles
- Population: 731,000
- Weather: Cold; with Winter from October to March
- Main Carriers/Telecom operators: Verizon, ATT, GCI.
- Largest City: Anchorage
- Capital City: Juneau
Fun Fact: Alaska was sold to the United States in October 1867 for $7.2 million by….guess…Russia. Yes, the same Russia. Alaska officially became a US state in January 1959.