Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jul 12, 2006

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Home Page - Maharashtra
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
Industry & Economy - Terrorism
Cellphones of no help in crisis situations

Our Bureau

Mumbai , July 11

Television footage of Monday's wounded commuters in Mumbai fumbling with their cellphones to call someone, somewhere, got people asking themselves this question: why, during every crisis in the city, do telephone networks get jammed?

Is it because networks are congested with the sudden burst of traffic or have the cellular companies been asked by the authorities to plug their networks "fearing rumours?"

For a short period of time even landlines were jammed, calls just yielding the `engaged' signal or simply not going through at all.

It's only congestion

There is no request from police to jam networks, wireless company officials said. "No cellular network is equipped to handle the kind of volumes that pour in when such calamities occur," said an official with one of them.

The traffic rises enormously, several fold, said officials. Not only that, this traffic is "instantaneous", all happening at one time rather than spread over a period of time.

There was a period of time after the bomb blasts when hardly anyone could communicate with anyone, whether on the wireless service or the landline service.

Police would not ask cellphone networks to plug their service, said these officials. It is too useful. And its possible misuse by a few people is not a reason to stop wireless services, they said.

Landlines too jammed

It was not just cellphones this time, even landline phones were jammed from time to time. As a bad testimony to their own service most of the wireless company officials themselves could not be reached on their personal phones, helplessly out of touch.

The mobile merely makes life more convenient, it is not useful in times of community crisis, was the general opinion doing the rounds.

Cellphone-equipped commuters tumbling out of suburban railway stations as trains were cancelled first headed to public telephone booths and to wayside shops to make their calls to their loved ones.

More Stories on : Maharashtra | Telecommunications | Terrorism

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

PNB Philip Kotler

Stories in this Section
Farmers asked to transplant paddy seedlings

Train blasts rock Mumbai
`It felt like large stones were pelting down on the train roof'
Cellphones of no help in crisis situations
BPO growth may slow down, says Forrester
RNRL may end up paying more for gas from RIL
Cabinet committee to decide on sugar exports by mills
Markets may show resilience
e-waste: Greenpeace demands action from Wipro
GSLV launch wasn't insured
Bombay Stock Exchange tightens norms for listing of shares
Markets take a breather; Sensex ends on a weak note
Thermax betting on order book
Auto stocks up on Q1 hopes

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line