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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Why More Bars are Not Necessarily Better

b2ap3_thumbnail_phoneservice400.jpgHave you ever had a cell phone call drop or not go through even though you had all five bars? What's up with that? Going against the grain of conventional wisdom and cellphone marketing, it's not always the case that more bars guarantees you better service.

The bars on your cellphone only indicate the signal strength from the nearest cellphone tower, not the availability of the network. If your network is unavailable, then you can climb to the tipiest-top of the highest tower and have five hundred bars on your phone, but your call still won't go through.

Mobile network issues like this are caused by too many cellphones trying to access a single tower at the same time. The tower may send strong signals to your phone telling you everything is fine, but the signals your phone sends to the tower will run into a congested network. You can think of this one-sided cell phone service like a highway if a world leader stopped in town to give a speech; the lanes going into the city would be jammed, but the lanes leaving the city would be wide open.

Actually, a big event like a world leader giving a speech illustrates our point perfectly. At such an event, there would be thousands of people in attendance, and well over half them would have a cellphone. In such an event, there would be thousands of people trying to make calls using one cellphone tower, and unless the event is held in a setting that's designed for regular public gatherings of this size and equipped with mega towers, then the network infrastructure would not be able to handle the increased traffic and drop calls in the same way that politicians drop convictions at the whim of popular opinion.

In times like this when cellphone towers are clogged with traffic, you can still make calls using your smartphone if you can establish a Wi-Fi connection. By taking advantage of a communication solution like VoIP, you can make phone calls using an Internet connection while everyone around you is complaining about poor service. There are also technologies like stronger cellphone antennas you can add to boost your signal, but even a big antenna won't do you any good if the network is jammed.

If you're a road warrior, and you use a smartphone to get important work done while on the go, then you will want to have a communications backup solution in order to keep in touch with the office and your clients, even if you find yourself in a dead zone. To learn more ways about how to stay connected when the cell phone network is down, call 607.433.2200 to speak with friendly IT professionals at Directive.