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Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy | 397 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Bottom line: don't count on cell phones in a situation like Sandy.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 17 2012 @ 04:35 PM EST
Amen. I've strung civil defence antennas in trees during near
hurricanes, propped the wires off the snow with rocks, kept
batteries warm and/or dry as required. Portable radio was
my business, and portable radio is not a suitable communications
medium for the general population in emergencies like Sandy.

The apparent consistency of cellphone coverage is a charade
maintained by back office management of a multinode network.
When one node fails signal may drop in the immediate area,
but the network keeps running. Two adjacent nodes fail and
the system starts to wobble. Three adjacent nodes fail and its
Game Over Man.

I have a solar charger for my phone, but I know that when
the tower goes down I'm on my own. We've already seen the
reports of why NYC data centers went offline, in spite of having
full capacity backup generators on site. It's not only the
network companies' fault, city, state and federal government
are all involved.

POTS is still far more reliable, and can bounce back more quickly.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy
Authored by: JamesK on Sunday, November 18 2012 @ 05:14 PM EST
{
Cell towers get their power from the grid. If you lose the grid, you lose your
phone. POTS, land line based service, is battery backed, in the central office,
but the connections between COs need to work.
}

Batteries and alternate power sources can be provided for cell sites too.

---
The following program contains immature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Sunday, November 18 2012 @ 11:19 PM EST
Not all new POTS nodes have the same level of backup as the old Ma Bell Central
Offices.

My land line service replaced after Katrina is not backed up to the extent the
old COs were.

For what it's worth the old CO standard was 46 volt DC supply with 8 hours of
battery backup and continuous duty rated generators to back up the batteries.

I forget the on site fuel storage requirements, but I remember a CO that had the
ability for the generators fuel to be resupplied form a barge at the roof
level.

There is in fact a standard which specifies all of this.

---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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