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AT&T customers can see recent network enhancements in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience.  Visitors to the new “Focus: Miami-Fort Lauderdale” microsite immediately view a map of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, and are prompted to select the city or county they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades. Miami Microsite Follow on Twitter: @ATT_Miami

In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built three new cell sites, providing more bars in the area.
  • Upgraded two cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds.
  • Added 224 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times.
  • Expanded 246 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T customers can now see recent network enhancements in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: Tampa-St. Petersburg” microsite immediately view a map of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, and are prompted to select the city or county they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades. In addition, AT&T has also created a dedicated Twitter handle that visitors can follow for up-to-date information on what is going on in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Tweets from the @ATT_Tampa

In Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built two new cell sites, providing more bars in the area.
  • Added 111 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times.
  • Expanded 135 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T customers can now see recent network enhancements in the Houston, Texas area. A telecom industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Houston microsite" immediately view a map of the Houston area, and are prompted to select the city or county they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection.  Houston Microsite Follow on Twitter: @ATT_houston

In the Houston area, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built eight new cell sites, providing more bars in the area.
  • Upgraded 20 cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds.
  • Added 256 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times.
  • Expanded 325 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.

AT&T customers can now see recent network enhancements in the Dallas Fort Worth area. An telecom industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Dallas-Fort Worth” microsite immediately view a map of the DFW area, and are prompted to select the city or county they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades. Follow Dallas AT&T updates on Twitter: @ATT_DFW

In the DFW area, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built four new cell sites, providing more bars in the area.
  • Upgraded 22 cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds.
  • Added 648 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times.
  • Expanded 700** network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


Overage charges for data usage is one of the biggest new wireless industry scams that is starting develop.  How can carriers charge consumers for data usage when consumers have no context to understand how much data they are actually using?  What regulatory parameters have the FCC and FTC done to manage the developing crises.  How can you trust the carriers themselves to self regulate their own customer data usage?  Who or what independent application is measuring the amount of data you are using on the phone?  How can carriers charge you the ridiculous overage fees similar to what they have done in the past for text messaging.  Text messaging is a scam and its a $10 billion dollar business for both Verizon and AT&T.  Data usage will probably be a $100B dollar business without any fair competition.  


Wherever there are dead cell zones, dropped calls, static during calls and generally bad reception are bound to follow. Cell phone users that live in an area where there is not even one bar of reception anywhere in their vicinity will have a hard time rectifying their situation without a provider’s solution. However, for those that can pick up even one bar of reception, a cell booster is a very affordable solution to improve cellular signal reception.

In the simplest terms, cell boosters take weak cellular signals and amplify them within a home, office or building. A typical cell booster kit includes an external antenna (for picking up weak signals), an amplifier (for boosting weak signal) and an internal antenna (for rebroadcasting the amplified signals). But how does one go about selecting the best cell booster?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when shopping for a booster: application and frequency. There is a difference between a small home cellular repeater and one designed for a warehouse. Large, multi-story buildings or spaces larger than 30,000 square feet often require custom cell booster installation and the expertise of a specialist.

However, for smaller cell booster applications, the most important thing to take note of is frequency. Amplifiers operate on different frequencies including 800 MHz (Verizon, US Cellular, and Alltel), 1900 MHz (T-mobile, Sprint and Metro PCS) and iDEN (Nextel). For those that aren’t sure what frequency their carrier utilizes, a Dual Band booster is probably the best choice. These amplifiers operate on both the 800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands, covering most carriers (with the exception of Nextel).

Basic cell boosters typically fall into the $200 -$250 price range and can be installed with minimal technical assistance.


Dropped iPhone calls are one of the most annoying things about our new smartphones.  iPhones are convenient for mobile computing but they are increasingly becoming a challenge to talk on reliably.  There are just too many wireless consumers, trying to use smartphones in the same locations.  iPhone users are  competing for coverage access on the same tower.  AT&T experienced this problem firsthand when they started selling the iPhone many years ago.  Now that Verizon Wireless is selling the iPhone, their customers are starting to experience more dropped calls as well.  The survey should look a lot different in 2012 because it is our belief that Verizon's network is starting to suffer now that they have the iPhone.  Our complaint volume for Verizon has increased significantly in 2011 and this correlates with the launch of the Verizon CDMA iPhone.

Where Does Your Phone Drop Calls The Most?
 Never
 In My Home
 At The Office
 In the Car
 Everywhere




  

Over the last 10 years we have been running the web site deadcellzones.com and we are surprised to see that cell phone coverage is actually getting worse.  We would appreciate your feedback on the survey above and let us know where you drop calls the most.  Please submit additional locations feedback below.


Are you prepared for Hurricane Irene?  Does your family have an emergency communications plan for when you cannot reach your friends and family with cell phones because the network is jammed?  Cell phone operators cannot prevent the worst from happening and consumers and small business owners should be prepared before and after the storm hits. Here are 10 tips that should help you be prepared for the worst during a disaster.
  1. Have a two phones ready possibly from two different carriers. One corded or landline phone and one mobile phone. The landline phone is critical because it is not dependent on electricity in the case of a long power outage.
  2. Make sure all of your local emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses are in your mobile phone. Police department, coast guard, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
  3. Keep your cell phone batteries charged at all times and keep an extra on hand. Have a plan to charge your battery in case of a long power outage using your car charger or generator.
  4. Keep your wireless phone dry in a dry pack or waterproof housing. If you phone gets wet or is exposed to excessive humidity you might not be able to use it.
  5. You can track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device but don't use too much phone battery power or data on the phone to jam the network. Try not to upload or download a lot of video during the storm.   Thousands of homes will lose power during the storm and if you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports through mobile TV.  
  6. Download one of the many weather apps if you have smartphone to track your local weather Accuweather, Weather Undergound and Weather.com are some of the best apps to see the radar.
  7. Have a camera and video phone on hand to take and send photos and video clips of damaged property or people in need of emergency help. It is also helpful to document the damage for your your insurance company.
  8. Use location-based mapping technology from Google and other services to help with evacuation routes or avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines. Download and use location based friend applications to track a family members and friends on wireless device in case you get separated.
  9. During an emergency cell phone networks are typically jammed by multiple people trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume or data traffic on the network can create network congestion, leading to a "fast busy" signal on your mobile phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, be patient and wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again. Keep non-emergency calls and usage of video uploading and downloading to a minimum. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.
  10. Use text messaging as much as you can during an emergency as messages may go through more quickly than voice calls. Text messages require fewer network resources and will get priority before voice calls.
Cell phone carriers do recognized the risk of their cell phone towers going down during an emergency and typically send out emergency teams and boost capacity in the area with additional towers.  This usually includes the installation of back-up generators at cell sites and switching facilities. They also try and locate critical communication equipment in less vulnerable areas and try to upgrade copper wiring with fiber optic cable. Also, elevation of switches on the network above expected flood levels and extra protection of physical facilities against flooding is also important.


Phil Falcone of Harbinger Capital Partners has invested billions of dollars into building a satellite wireless 4G network that will disrupt the the large and corrupt incumbents AT&T and Verizon who want to crush him. These incumbents are making false claims and a gross misrepresentation of facts in the marketplace. Verizon and AT&T are not competing fairly once again by using their unfair lobbying strength in Washington to create obstacles for innovation. The incumbents are using their power to stamp out a new entrant into the marketplace. Is it ironic that the chief lobbyist for AT&T and Verizon in Washington is also the head of the GPS Council? Smells like corruption and a PR spin to me.

The ridiculous drama surrounding LightSquared's attempts to launch its terrestrial/satellite network continues to unfold in the court of public opinion, and more importantly in the halls of the FCC. The corrupt FCC is in the midst of trying to decide if LightSquared should be allowed to commercially launch its satellite cell phone service. There is some minor evidence that the spectrum to be used will cause interference with commercial GPS systems that do not have proper filters. LightSquared has said that the interference issue is being caused by GPS devices not equipped with the proper filters, and in addition has filed a new spectrum plan that would see the company initially use a different chunk of its spectrum in order to reduce interference issues in the near term.

Listen to Phil Falcone's Interview on CNBC

See this video on Light Squared from RCR Wireless

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