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Joshua Tree is a Huge Cell Phone Dead Zone

Over 1.25 million people visit Joshua Tree National Park each year.  However, I can tell you that you won't be able to make phone calls or receive data to your phone.  No carrier has coverage throughout the National Park.  You can drive almost 50 miles across the park and still not have one bar of reception.  If you are lucky you might have a faint signal if you climb on top of a mountain or hill to receive a text.  Good luck making a phone call if you are in an emergency situation.  

I guess its one of the last remaining places where you can truly unplug.  

Cellular 4G LTE vs WiFi

To cope with the exponential increase in data demand since the introduction of the Smartphone, many wireless carriers have been trying a variety of solutions to help meet the needs of their customers. In some cases, these service providers find themselves with a troubling choice: they can either offload their cellular traffic to public, unlicensed WiFi networks, or risk losing customers to their competitors. It is understandable that most would choose the former, but the increasingly widespread practice of WiFi offloading has many cell site owners concerned about the implications. Could this offloading practice take business from cellular providers and site owners, or worse– render them obsolete?


Experts think not. In fact, the practice of WiFi offloading isn’t nearly the threat to cellular service that it might seem at first glance. While there are certainly issues with this practice that will require a bit of patience, flexibility, and extra preparedness from cell site owners and renters, there are still several challenges in the wireless industry that make cellular service a necessity. In fact, issues particular to WiFi capability not only ensure cellular services’ secure position in the wireless data industry, but could also prove a boon to savvier investors.

Meeting Hotspot Requirements

No matter their size, any given WiFi access point will have limitations in both service radius and number of users that can be supported at once. Hence, the growing demand for WiFi hotspots, and the access points available at each, has many wireless carriers scrambling to develop new cellular sites and improve those already in existence. This means more investment opportunities for cell site owners and renters alike.

Even with their best efforts, there are still significant gaps to be found in WiFi coverage, particularly in more rural areas. As a result, customers continue to utilize cellular coverage as the more reliable option. Since WiFi planning and development often takes several years to process and implement, cell tower owners in these areas are particularly secure from any threats that could be posed by WiFi offloading.

Interference

On the other side of the coin, more population-dense areas are facing an over-saturation of data access points in WiFi hotspots. This overload of competing access points creates interference between WiFi carriers, which diminishes both security and quality of user experience. In these scenarios, cellular service provides an access point with greater security and protection from interference, enhancing the user experience on all points.

As a result, a large percentage of users continue to rely on cellular coverage even in thriving WiFi hotspots. Those owning or renting cell towers in these areas may do well to upgrade their sites to keep up with evolving WiFi technology, but maintaining the quality of cellular technology on site will also be crucial to the property’s value.

Meeting the Demands of High Call Volumes

Along with their limitations in terms of radius and user capacity, WiFi also faces challenges in terms of high call volumes. Most WiFi access points can only handle 15 calls simultaneously, and this number decreases in areas of high interference. As long as people continue making voice calls, the need for reliable cellular towers will remain constant. This is especially true in areas that experience higher call volumes, such as neighborhoods rich in multifamily housing and city business districts. 

Ensuring Seamless Connectivity

Currently, most WiFi access points require users to sign in at least once to be able to use the network. This inconvenience is strongly felt by those in transit, in the midst of a conference, or for those handling time-sensitive matters over the network. As such, most users opt for cellular service for hassle-free access to their data network. While steps are being taken to make WiFi access a smoother process for users, it will require protocol development and technological updates that will take several years to implement. The process will also require additional partnership and cooperation with cellular service providers, creating a potential benefaction for cell tower owners.

Maintaining Continued Security in a Changing Industry

With WiFi service providers facing challenges that only cellular providers can overcome, cell tower owners can take assurance that their property is certain to maintain its value in the years to come. However, there are steps that cell site owners and renters can take to not only ensure this security’s longevity, but to increase property value in the interim. By practicing savviness and adaptability, cell site owners can ensure the continued worth of their investment for many years to come. The consultants at Lease Advisors are prepared for such contingencies and are ready to help cell tower owners make the most of the changing times. By offering their expertise and insight, they can help turn this potentially worrying trend into a long-lasting advantage for you and your investment.

Are You Seeing A Message Like This While Watching Video on AT&T or Verizon Wireless?

Apparently, Netflix has recently begun paying both Comcast and Verizon to improve network performance and carry its video streams at higher bandwidths, but so far only Comcast has reciprocated with better service. Not only has Verizon’s performance become dramatically worse, the company has continued to try and foist the blame for the problem on Netflix, claiming that the online streaming giant is deliberately degrading performance by attempting to stuff data down specific congested Verizon pipes.

If you are streaming via wireless, you might want to check your data plan and usage.  You wireless carrier might be throttling your data usage.  Here is a video that shows using a VPN that data rates are faster proving that some sort of throttling is going on.  If you want to understand the technical details behind the issue read this article.


Does your Google Chrome browser crash all the time?  If you have not updated your browser software in a while its probably time that you do it.  Look for About Google Chrome in your menu in the upper right corner and you will see a screen like this below.  The browser will check for updates automatically.  The update should stabilize your computer a bit and it should not crash as frequently.

50% of e911 Calls Are "Pocket Dials"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | ,


The FCC commissioner says half of 911 calls are pocket dials. That would mean that approximately 84 million 911 calls a year are pocket dials.  The real question is why are phones doing this and what apps are enabling this?

I think the bigger problem frankly is many of these calls are also attempted in dead zones or areas where cell phone reception is not available. The FCC has address this issue over the years but has not been very transparent on the issue.   Read more

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