Cell service at Rainier: Do you want to hear me now?

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  • In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, a group of people huddle together to take a selfie photo on a cell phone at the Paradise area at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon. Some say cell service would improve safety and provide a convenience for visitors. Others don't want it, saying the proliferation of phones will distract from the natural beauty of the surroundings. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, a group of people huddle together to take a selfie photo on a cell phone at the Paradise area at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth ... oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon. Some say cell service would improve safety and provide a convenience for visitors. Others don't want it, saying the proliferation of phones will distract from the natural beauty of the surroundings. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, Mount Rainier fills the sky behind as a group of snowshoers head out of the Paradise area for an outing at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon. Mount Rainier National Park is considering proposals to provide cellular service in the park, setting off debates about whether people enjoying the park and surrounding wilderness areas should have access to calls and social media while in nature. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, Mount Rainier fills the sky behind as a group of snowshoers head out of the Paradise area for an outing at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's ... fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon. Mount Rainier National Park is considering proposals to provide cellular service in the park, setting off debates about whether people enjoying the park and surrounding wilderness areas should have access to calls and social media while in nature. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, snowshoers look at a cellphone while in the backcountry near the Paradise area at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon. Mount Rainier National Park is considering proposals to provide cellular service in the park, setting off debates about whether people enjoying the park and surrounding wilderness areas should have access to calls and social media while in nature. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    In this photo taken Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, snowshoers look at a cellphone while in the backcountry near the Paradise area at Mount Rainier National Park, Wash. Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of ... Seattle, but that could change soon. Mount Rainier National Park is considering proposals to provide cellular service in the park, setting off debates about whether people enjoying the park and surrounding wilderness areas should have access to calls and social media while in nature. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (The Associated Press)

Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon.

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Mount Rainier National Park is considering proposals by two carriers to provide cellular service in the park, setting off a debate about whether people enjoying the park should have access to calls, and social media while in nature.

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have applied to install telecommunications equipment on the visitor center at Paradise, one of most heavily used areas in the park. No towers would be built; antennas would be located below the roofline of the visitor's center.

Some say cell service would improve safety and provide a convenience for visitors. Others say the proliferation of phones will distract from the natural beauty of surroundings.