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Thread: T-Mobile in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

  1. #16
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    T-Mobile Is Back Up in Bayamón, Caguas, Carolina, Cataño, Guaynabo, San Juan, Toa Alta, & Toa Baja in Puerto Rico

    https://www.reddit.com/r/tmobile/com...guas_carolina/
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackdad View Post
    I am actually taking food and supplies down. I was at 15 missing family members. I am down to only three. Even if they are off the island since the local switch is down calls don’t get routed back to mainland. I have friends from Puerto Rico who are in Florida and North Carolina and can not make or receive calls.
    We wish your family the best. I hope everyone is okay?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackdad View Post
    ....... Even if they are off the island since the local switch is down calls don’t get routed back to mainland. I have friends from Puerto Rico who are in Florida and North Carolina and can not make or receive calls.
    I never believed we'd see another Katrina-like communications blackout. After Hurricane Katrina (2005), most cell towers in S. MS were still operating but the interconnections between networks were down. You could call someone on the same network but not from one network to another. Eventually people learned that texting worked. (This was when most Americans never texted.)

    I wish you and your family in PR all the best.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Data is down around isla verde and airport area. The San Juan area is up and data is working full bars. I was able to roam on Claro while down here.

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    Seeing the photos of all the generators that T-Mobile had to ship to PR to get their network functional again, makes me ask, "Since the infrastructure down their was already so brittle, why weren't T-Mobile's main sites already equipped with generators?" I mean, island in the hurricane belt, brittle infrastructure. It should have been a no-brainer.

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    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/pue...cid=spartandhp

    So many U.S. satellite phones are being shipped to Puerto Rico right now that phone providers say they may run out by next week.

    With 90% of the island’s cell phone network down and few landlines operating, satellite phones are one of the few ways for people to*communicate and for relief workers to coordinate efforts.

    Unlike cell phones, the heavier and more powerful phones don't rely on cell towers or landlines. Instead, they communicate directly with satellites in orbit around the earth.*

    “Our industry is a small one and everybody’s just had their shelves wiped out because demand is so high given all these hurricanes,” said C.J. Webber, CEO of the SatPhoneStore in Miami.

    He just got an order for 350 sat phones from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "We're scraping the bottom trying to get them those phones, so even FEMA's having trouble," he said.

    Normally after a big disaster, satellite phone usage lasts about three to five days and then falls off as temporary*cell towers mounted on trucks are brought in.

    “That isn’t happening in Puerto Rico. We’ve had eight days of incredible spiking of usage — up 100 times over normal,” he said.

    There are usually no more than ten Iridium phones working in Puerto Rico. As of Friday, that number was around 2,000, he said. “And that doesn’t include the phones the Department of Defense is using there.”

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    At some point they will saturate Iridium's capacity for so small an area.

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    Looks like all US based carriers are struggling

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/puert...?.tsrc=applewf

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    DoD video begs the question: Why does AT&T fly on a USAF C5M while T-Mobile has to hire a Russian AN124?
    https://www.dvidshub.net/video/55614...es-puerto-rico

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    DoD video begs the question: Why does AT&T fly on a USAF C5M while T-Mobile has to hire a Russian AN124?
    https://www.dvidshub.net/video/55614...es-puerto-rico

    It's common practice for U.S companies (including Boeing) to airlift items on Antonov aircraft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy84094 View Post
    It's common practice for U.S companies (including Boeing) to airlift items on Antonov aircraft.
    No issue with the AN124. Just wondering why AT&T gets to ride on USAF plane?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Seeing the photos of all the generators that T-Mobile had to ship to PR to get their network functional again, makes me ask, "Since the infrastructure down their was already so brittle, why weren't T-Mobile's main sites already equipped with generators?" I mean, island in the hurricane belt, brittle infrastructure. It should have been a no-brainer.
    T-Mobile has pursued a business strategy that cuts a lot of corners, favoring build out over disaster reliability. They have the reputation of being an innovative bargain carrier. A lot of the reputation for being a bargain carrier is hype. They are not much less expensive than Verizon and AT&T.

    It is unfortunate for the T-Mobile subscribers of Puerto Rico, but I see it as a reasonable business decision to not tie up their capital in generator backup for a one in a hundred year storm for a small number of subscribers there.

    Also, with the brittle infrastructure there, does it make sense to tie up capital in backup generators when the connecting infrastructure could be expected to be knocked out for extended time? A cell site with a generator doesn't do much good without the backhaul working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    .....Also, with the brittle infrastructure there, does it make sense to tie up capital in backup generators when the connecting infrastructure could be expected to be knocked out for extended time? A cell site with a generator doesn't do much good without the backhaul working.
    Microwave is a viable way to assure a core functionality survives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    but I see it as a reasonable business decision to not tie up their capital in generator backup for a one in a hundred year storm
    The only problem there is we've had 3 of these once in a hundred year storms just this year alone, with forecasters saying they are going to become more common going forward.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Microwave is a viable way to assure a core functionality survives.
    That's a good point, but you likely still need site visit to a majority of sites after a major hurricane since entire sites will snap/fall , microwave antennas will be knocked down or, at best, microwave antennas will move and lose LOS. Not to mention the chances of failure when you have many hops in your microwave link and some structures have failed completely and you have to plan re-routes , etc.
    Not having many sites with backup generators was not the biggest issue for T-Mobile (or any carrier) in the case of PR. Considering that T-Mobile opened roaming on both Claro and AT&T , they are really doing what they can for subscribers there.

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