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Mobile Carriers Readying for Eclipse

Cell tower
5g cell tower | Image by ArtisticOperations/Pixabay

With the total solar eclipse around the corner, mobile carriers are making efforts to ensure customers remain connected amid the bump in expected activity.

The April 8 eclipse comes in the wake of last month’s massive service outage. As reported by The Dallas Express at the time, AT&T said a “software glitch” prevented cellphone users nationwide from placing calls.

While cell phone usage will likely spike during the event, the upcoming eclipse is not expected to affect cell service, said AT&T in a March 4 statement.

“Our network has drastically changed since the last solar eclipse in 2017. Our customers now have the benefit of AT&T 5G, which provides unique experiences, faster speeds, and capacity to do more of the things our customers like,” reads the statement.

Still, carriers could experience above-average traffic as people capture and share images of the rare event. This could be impacted by the concentration of people in certain areas, as viewers flock to the best spots to catch the show. Some regions could see triple the normal population during the event, inundating cell towers.

Texas alone anticipates one million visitors to descend upon the state. As a result, Damon Mack, an assistant manager with AT&T, recommends connecting to Wi-Fi to share images when you have the option.

AT&T is not the only carrier better prepared for the next big event. T-Mobile said it has increased “investments in network hardening by more than 30%” to help limit outages during disasters, severe weather, or other events, reported CBS News Texas. Not only that, but the company also said it has fixed backup generators at key sites around the country. It is also adding additional cell sites to help support areas expecting higher cell traffic.

Dallas residents will have some of the best views on the continent for the April 8 eclipse. The Dallas Express has compiled a list of some of the best local happenings in the city to enjoy the rare event.

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