Having no signal on your cellphone sucks enough, but imagine being lost in the middle of nowehere, or stuck after a natural disaster, struggling to get through to loved ones or emergency services. Phone company AT&T have come up with a solution for corporate and government customers in need, by creating The Remote Mobility Zone.
The Remote Mobility Zone [PDF] is a small cell tower--the size of a suitcase--that would allow first-responders establish coverage after a disaster rather than wait for a phone company's temporary trucks to set up. A satellite dish can be carried separately as well.
It may be small, but the tower can at least cover a network up to half a mile from the unit. The tower doesn't need a broadband line to operate fully due to the dish, and there are special phones on sale that can operate directly with it.
The Remote Mobility Zone starts at $15,000, depending how much kit (such as LAN and satellite services) needs to be provided by AT&T. Of course, the tower has its shortcomings: The tower needs outside power such as a generator to work, and it can only manage up to 14 calls at a time in a limited area, but it's better than no coverage at all--especially for emergency services in those first few moments after a disaster. These would have been (and still could) be so useful in Japan.
Find out more about the The Remote Mobility Zone by checking out AT&T's PDF rundown of the device.
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