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#259256 - 04/17/13 04:01 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: Pete]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Pete
Can they just shut down calls, but still enable texts??

Cell phone service uses different radio frequencies (or "channels") for different functions. One channel is a control channel that is used to ring your phone, notify you that you have a new voicemail, etc. The control channel is also used for carrying text messages. The actual voice call is carried on a separate channel. Data is usually another channel.

So, it's possible to block just the voice channel and allow text messages by just turning off the voice channel, but that would seem to defeat the purpose of blocking remote bomb activation. A text message could just as easily trigger a cell phone-activated bomb as a voice call.

Sounds more like the voice channels were simply overwhelmed with too many calls, making voice calls impossible but still allowing text messages and data traffic through on the other channels.

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#259261 - 04/17/13 04:48 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: Dagny]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1680
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
a comment on a much smaller scale interruptions... a few years ago, our school had 3+ hour building evacuation due to a prank bomb threat... once the local TV news helicopter appeared overhead.. both the school switchboard and the local county 911 call center were overloaded by anxious parents... it doesn't take that much to delay a response...

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#259282 - 04/17/13 11:50 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: ireckon]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: ireckon

Was the Internet working for anybody? Cable or satellite?


Good question. I know some people had cable tv systems running off generators but I never thought to ask about their internet connections.
-Blast
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#259283 - 04/17/13 11:57 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: ireckon]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: ireckon
Originally Posted By: Blast
Don't rely on landlines, either. When hurricane Ike decimated Houston the landlines that weren't taken out by trees were commandeered by emergency services. We didn't have phone service of any type (cell or landline) for ten days and even texts took up to 24 hours to be sent.
-Blast


Was the Internet working for anybody? Cable or satellite?


I wondered about this today too. When a disaster happens, the phone lines get jammed with people calling to check in. Sending emails seems like it should be another option if you have the ability. I suppose though, that internet speeds could be crashed too, if there's too much demand. That used to happen with us with another carrier right after the dinner hour EVERY night, no special circumstances to increase the demand.
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#259297 - 04/18/13 04:00 AM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: ireckon]
acropolis5 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/18/06
Posts: 358
Ireckon, please elaborate for we who are old and not so tech savvy, how does one use a smartphone to access a LAN or other network?

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#259299 - 04/18/13 04:22 AM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: acropolis5]
Quietly_Learning Offline
Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 164
Originally Posted By: acropolis5
Ireckon, please elaborate for we who are old and not so tech savvy, how does one use a smartphone to access a LAN or other network?


If you are using an android phone the screens might differ slightly based upon your version but basically:

Click settings
(Turn on WiFi if it is off)
Click wireless & networks
Click setup and manage WiFi access points
Enable the phone to tell you when there is an open network
Click on any network without a lock next to it.
The phone will access the network.

On some open networks once you go online you will need to select ok in the terms of use.

In the phone's preset widgets you can enable the toggle that will turn on/off your phones WiFi network.

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#259302 - 04/18/13 07:45 AM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: Dagny]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Yes, what he said. Also, by LAN, I also mean Hotspot. On iPhone, it's in the Settings.
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#259316 - 04/18/13 01:55 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: Dagny]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2944
My parents looked into a satalite internet service a while abck and the one they were looking at used the phone line for outgoing data and satalite for incoming so it wouldn't have worked when the phone lines were out for two months after hurricane Sandy. They are starting to look again to see whats available.

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#259321 - 04/18/13 03:30 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: ]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2944
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
[quote=Eugene]
General it's a rip off. People who lived in rural areas HAD to get it because it was the only option. Now with the cellular technology of 4G/LTE you can just get a Hotspot that your computer links to and it's faster than some landline internet connections. It's cheaper than Satellite.



They are rural so cell speed is 1x, no 3g or 4g coverage (actually no official coverage but 1x speed works).

I was looking into cellular before until the carries did away with the unlimited data plans now its not feasable at all.

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#259322 - 04/18/13 04:01 PM Re: Don't count on cell phones in a crisis [Re: Eugene]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Eugene
I was looking into cellular before until the carries did away with the unlimited data plans now its not feasable at all.


Anyway, I actually do NOT want a carrier that advertises unlimited data. It's a crock. Nobody can offer their entire customer base unlimited data at a reasonably fast speed for everybody. Any carrier who advertises unlimited data is absolutely throttling that data. It's better for the carrier to be honest upfront.

For example, T-mobile currently advertises plans with "unlimited data" and 500 GB of high-speed data. That basically means you're guaranteed 500 GB of data transmission at a certain speed. (You will use that up FAST with Internet phone calls or video.) Then, T-mobile will definitely throttle any additional data. The throttling is dependent on (1) how much other data is passing through the T-mobile network and (2) how much other data is more important than your "OK to throttle" data.

Throttled data gives me a headache. I'd rather pay a premium for data to be transmitted at a guaranteed minimum speed.
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