To the cellphone users, the wireless networks look like made out of thin air; however, there are plenty helpless to super storms and returning to the old path may take more time than expected. After 4 days of Sandy occurrence on Friday, the major carriers, T Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and AT&T, were still reconstructing their networks in the damaged areas. About one fourth of the cell phone towers in the storm region were demolished, according to Fed Communications Commissions. There was electricity cut and many had to stay back at home due to power outage and their backup systems too drained very soon. The lines connecting the cell towers to rest of network were also ripped out. The companies used generators to supply power, but use of more fuel than required was another limited resource.
In an urgent crisis, a lack of phone receptions can be risk, particularly as more people have selected to cut landlines out of their budgets. Four years back, American household had about 78% landlines, but this year it has reduced to 60 percent, according to an independent cell phone analyst, Chetan Sharma. The companies are still saying they are trying hard to deal with unusual disasters, while as in past, they had soon addressed to recommendations from governors that they invest more cash on emergency tools, like long-lasting backup battery systems.
T Mobile USA Chief Tech officer, Neville Ray said that the super storm was the biggest natural disaster recently and that made companies and services to deal hard with their systems. He told to the press in an interview that there is an amount of ground work that company can do; however depending on the scale and size of Sandy, it is hard to predict every situation. When there’s a failure of networks, trucks (known as COW’s that act like temporary mobile towers) are deployed by the carriers; however, carriers found it extremely tough to deploy these networks that required wider network and microwave radio link.
They made other efforts to supply services, while rebuilding their coverage; AT & T made use of RV’s where clients could charge their mobiles and it made a deal to share networks with T-Mobile in damaged areas of New Jersey and New York. When users of both carriers place calls, they use whichever coverage is available in their region. The unreliability of the coverage may lead to severe problems and no companies offered timelines signaling when clients could expect the service back.