AT&T’s Portable Cell Tower Is Useful in Natural Diasters
By Elizabeth Fish
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.