Cellular Outages Hamper Puerto Rico and Virgin Island Response

Tim Karney on October 30, 2017, 11:00 am

Reports from the island indicate that people are travelling miles to find a useable cellular signal to request aid or contact family members. Many of the towers that are operational are overloaded as people flock to the areas served to communicate.

In most storms that cause cellular outages, telecom companies can supply portable cellular systems to impacted areas in 24 to 48 hours. But the recent spate of massive storms has overwhelmed the stocks of portable cellular systems.

Responder organizations, healthcare providers, schools, retailers, and businesses of every size should have reality-based business continuity plans and alternative systems to provide their own power and communications prior to the next major storm.

Federal, state, and local relief agencies have begun deploying portable communication cases developed by Plum Laboratories to provision their responders with high-speed data and voice capabilities in the affected areas. Each Plum Case contains a highly sensitive antenna array that can reach out many miles to capture a useable cell signal. A single Plum Case can provide connectivity to 128 to 256 simultaneous users.

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