[aprssig] Re: Cell phone and Pager alerts

KC2MMi kc2mmi at verizon.net
Wed Feb 1 15:09:23 EST 2006

<<As someone who lives in an area where cell capacity can't keep up
with subscribers, I can just imagine how this works.

1)  An emergency occurs
2)  The system sends out alerts to thousands of cell phones, all at once.
3)  All of the cells become overloaded, and the calls drop. >>

Rich, I don't think you can imagine how it works. The reverse-911 systems
typically use SMS messaging, which goes on the cell systems' data channel,
first. They've got capacity up the wazoo for SMS messaging, it is not the same
as voice capacity at all.

But I'm frankly disappointed to see all the hams snigglng at the "civilians who
are too dumb to be hams" again and again. You all--including Bob--wouldn't WANT
a hundred and fifty million more hams licensed, you'd be complaining there was
no bandwidth. Oh, wait, that's right, that's already a problem.

The fact is that if your concern is public safety, rather than elitism and
snobbery, the cell phone and pager systems are the best public safety comms that
we've got. Are they good? Maybe. Could they be way better? Easily. So, quit
making rude jokes about the unlicensed masses and try building a better world
for all of us instead.

Write to your local CongressCritter, and ask them to improve the cell phone and
pager infrastructure. It can *easily* be made more robust. It can easily be
given backup power. It can easily be hardened and given higher capacity. And,
unlike your 1950's ham radios, it is fully computer controlled so there's an
awful lot that can be done in the software to manage traffic. More than any hams
will ever accomplish on ham radio.

Honest, folks, the schoolboy niggles at the unlicensed masses are outright
embarrassing. Cell phones worked in Florida after Wilma. They worked in NYC
during and after 9/11 and even during the Great NorthEast Blackout.

Or, is all that laughter just the sign of closet anxiety, because the unlicensed
masses have a better handitalkie than hams do? Hmmmm.....Longer battery life,
full encryption, full duplex, thousands more repeaters....Envious?

More information about the aprssig mailing list