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No Data in times of Emergency #5236801 10/11/19 10:04 AM
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redhat Offline OP
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In times of emergency, (disaster, storm, etc.) would it ever be applicable where Verizon (or really any carrier) would prioritize voice and turn down data? I know with the advent of an all LTE network, voice and data will be both be LTE. But is this ever a reasonable possibility from a disaster/risk standpoint? My thought is that a carrier voice+data plan would still have benefits over SIP calling solely over a data network. Thoughts?


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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5236838 10/11/19 10:34 AM
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My understanding is there are 3 tiers on the network. Emergency, contract, and prepay.

I believe that Verizon prepaid is the next rung down on the deprioritization ladder after postpaid, but before non-VZW mobile virtual network operators.
Most towers allows at least 30 simultaneous users for voice calls and 60 for 4G data.

Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5236863 10/11/19 11:04 AM
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bdcardinal Online Content
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They always tell us that in the case of an earthquake to communicate via text, preferably to someone out of the state as an intermediary.


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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5236920 10/11/19 11:56 AM
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During the hurricanes here in FL, text was the most reliable. The power failed early on, but some cell service remained for a while. Back up power supplies I'm sure. Then that failed too. Texting would work when ever the phone was within distance of a working tower or WiFi.

Last edited by Cujet; 10/11/19 11:58 AM.

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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: bdcardinal] #5236943 10/11/19 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcardinal
They always tell us that in the case of an earthquake to communicate via text, preferably to someone out of the state as an intermediary.


Not even close to an expert but I believe that is due to text requiring much less bandwidth than voice.


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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5236951 10/11/19 12:25 PM
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Texts send a packet of information over the network, your device will try over & over to send it, until a working cell tower is available. We have AT&T for work here, for iPhone & iPad, I already have very poor VoLTE coverage in economically depressed neighborhoods as it is, I would really hate to see what would happen in a disaster. Many times I can only make calls using voice over customer’s WiFi, or my personal Tracfone iPhone which can use anyone’s LTE network.


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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5237168 10/11/19 03:46 PM
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Trav Offline
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What gets me is the emergency test every night, the cable is the first thing to go out right before the electricity.
So much for that and VOIP. I don't usually carry the cell phone, I hate the size of the frigging thing although the old smaller phones and chocolate phones I always had with me.

I don't text, social media or email on it so other than online check deposit and maps occasionally I don't even need a smart phone especially one you need a suitcase to carry it. Instead of making things better they have made things so much worse for many of us.

Once this iphone SE dies I will get a new battery for my old Nokia E51 and toss the iphone in the bin once and for all, the E51 is a much better phone in every way by far as a phone goes.


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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5237170 10/11/19 03:47 PM
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I can speak from firsthand experience during the magnitude 7.0+ quake here in Anchorage last November. I also work in the telecom industry. Texting worked reliably where voice calls didn't over the cell network because, as Bullwinkle says above, texts are packet based, where voice calls consume a circuit. You can overload a packet based system and stuff just slows down, but goes through okay eventually. When you overload a circuit based system, when you're out of circuits your done until calls terminate and free up circuits.

Not only were virtually all cell sites' voice capacities immediately overloaded with everyone trying to call everyone they knew, but many cell sites were knocked completely offline. Most cell sites (at least here in the Anchorage metro and nearby areas) only have a small UPS system to protect against short-duration drops of AC power, so when those batteries were exhausted they went down. The ones that stayed up were the few that had generator power or were in areas where the power didn't drop for some reason.

As far as service "tiering" (for lack of a better term) for allowing certain calls to go through over others, there is a mechanism in place nationwide that provides priority calling for those involved with critical infrastructure, but as far as I'm aware no cell provider allows you to just pay a fee and buy your way into a higher priority.

I know that everyone's obsessed with their cell phones these days, but there are still absolutely excellent reasons to have an old style land line telephone in your home that doesn't rely on AC power.

Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5238103 10/12/19 08:22 PM
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I spent three weeks in the V.I., some between Irma and Maria, and then after Maria.

AT&T data still functioned. Not well, but it did. Those data capabilities were better than voice. We were using FaceTime to be connected with family during the storm.

AT&T (actually the tower owner) paid us to go assess damage after the storm. Each tower had damage but each was different, and the key infrastructure was in hardened structures.

No, data is possibly more robust than phone, certainly than land lines. The towers are tough. Destruction of towers, data centers, and networks, via damage or cyber attack is a different story, but then is a bigger problem too.


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Re: No Data in times of Emergency [Re: redhat] #5238779 10/13/19 08:09 PM
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I was in the Philippines during Typhoon Haiyan. There was no electricity in our area for six weeks. Texting was the main communication.

Charging cellphones became a huge industry overnight. Those that had generators would connect countless extension cords with multiple outlets. Some places had 50-60 phones charging at once. The owner charged a minimal fee to cover fuel costs.

A couple of tips, turn off all unnecessary items on your phone like Bluetooth for example. Turn the screen brightness way down. Shorten the time frame to sleep. Another thing I did was to charge my MacBook Pro and then use that to charge the phone. That saved a lot of trips to a charging outpost.


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