Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 through November and T-Mobile is gearing up preparations to weather any storms that might otherwise bring down its network and leave customers stranded. That’s according to a new outline the company has posted to its official blog as of May 31. With some experts predicting that this year’s season has the potential to equal 2017, the company is getting started now rather than waiting for disaster to strike. Of course, a lot of that means getting its own networks ready and ensuring that it has a plan of action for when storms do hit. To that end, the carrier says it is ready to begin monitoring any adverse weather activity and its workers have a plan in place to set up emergency engineering command centers. Those are central hubs T-Mobile uses to redeploy and repair networks in areas impacted by hurricanes and other storms. Moreover, the service provider says its operation centers are ready to take over and manage the extra network traffic in the event that a high-impact storm does make landfall.
However, perhaps more importantly, T-Mobile is taking the opportunity to help remind its users how they should respond in a storm. Service interruptions are just inevitable under some circumstances, so the company is reminding people that they need to remain calm so that it’s easier to take the correct courses of action. Restoration of a downed network can also take time and repairs can only be made once its safe to make them. The company has prepared emergency equipment ranging from portable generators and fuel trucks to mobile vehicle-based cell sites to keep service active as much as possible. The primary concern is, of course, to make sure users can call out to emergency services. In the event that users can’t reach out via the mobile network, T-Mobile has outlined the steps for turning on Wi-Fi calling because storms don’t always affect every network. That’s accessible on Android through the settings menu, under the “More Connection Settings” option and then “Wi-Fi Calling.” Enabling that allows users to make phone calls on some devices over Wi-Fi so that they don’t lose the ability to contact emergency services in an outage.
While all of that is great advice and T-Mobile – as well as nearly every carrier – has done exceptionally well with keeping its customers connected through natural disasters over the past year, it still isn’t always enough. Stability of a temporary small-cell mobile network is difficult to maintain and events often result in a much higher rate of traffic as people try to connect with loved ones or get help. So it’s of almost equal import that customers of any mobile carrier use text messages instead of phone calls wherever possible in those scenarios. Not only are text messages more likely to get through but they’ll also free up network spectrum for phone calls for those who have more urgent need to make contact. Any non-essential phone calls should be kept as short as possible, too. That keeps the load on the network down and allows focus to be placed on getting the full network up and running instead of managing emergency small cell sites.
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