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Emergency Management (Radio and cellular communications) - Assignment Example

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Cell phone is one of the wireless communication technologies that “facilitate discussion about mitigation efforts, identification of potential hazards, connectivity between response organizations of all types, warning messages to the public, and diffusion of important disaster…
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Emergency Management (Radio and cellular communications)
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1. Many disaster drills start with the assumption “cell phones don’t work.” How accurate is this assumption, and what is the basis for your answer? Cell phone is one of the wireless communication technologies that “facilitate discussion about mitigation efforts, identification of potential hazards, connectivity between response organizations of all types, warning messages to the public, and diffusion of important disaster information” (Richardson & Byers, 2007, p. 275). However, during the aftermath of unexpected events like disasters, cell phones are not working or inoperable, thus, leaving everything in chaotic situations. The heavy traffic or limited usage of cell phone networks during disasters can be attributed to technical limitations like system overloading or overuse, and height signal because of destroyed or damaged networks. This scenario has been observed every time there is a disaster; thus, this event deserves to be a part of disaster drills. Disaster drills are created for disaster mitigation and successful response, and it is just right to start with the assumption “cell phones don’t work.” Cell phones are wireless communications that have wide geographical connectivity and “multiple modes of communication” (i.e. internet, e-mail, texting, & making calls) (Smith, Darling, & Searles, 2011, p. 378). Normally, a rapid exchange of quality information is happening when disaster hits because there is a strong demand for an instant reconnection/messaging, tracking locations, and other disaster responses (Phillips, Neal, & Webb, 2011, p. 412). However, it is discouraging that cell phones are not working when it is needed the most; hence, this assumption is accurate. Disaster drills that are based on this assumption are effective because they have “forced people to improvise by adopting technologies new to them and by using familiar technologies...” like femtocell, communication redundancy, satellite phones, etc., that will continue working during disasters (Shklovski, Burke, Kiesler, & Kraut, 2010, p. 1231). The expectation that cell phones must efficiently work during disasters is difficult to meet; thus, cell phone networks should set users’ expectation with their capabilities. They should give importance on load balancing and equal distribution of frequency, particularly during disasters.
Phillips, B. D., Neal, D. M., & Webb, G. R. (2011). Introduction to emergency
management. USA: Taylor & Francis Group.
Richardson, B. K., & Byers, L. (2007). Communication studies and emergency
management: Common ground, contribution and future research opportunities for two emerging disciplines. In D. A. McEntire (Ed.), Disciplines, disasters, and emergency management: the convergence and divergence of concepts, issues and trends from the research literature (pp. 272- 283). Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas Publishers.
Shklovski, I., Burke, M., Kiesler, S., & Kraut, R. (2010). Technology adoption and
use in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. American Behavioral Scientist, 53 (8), 1228-1246.
Smith, T., Darling, E., & Searles, B. (2011). 2010 survey on cell phone use while
performing cardiopulmonary bypass. Perfusion, 26 (5), 375-380.
2. Cellular companies are marketing 4G even though they don’t meet the standards for 4G. How does this impact the range of cellular device users?
People are becoming more and more dependent on wireless communication technologies for connectivity, and this trend will continue to evolve for many years to come. This growing trend has urged many cell phone companies to innovate and offer high speed wireless communication services to attract consumers. Devices using 4G LTE-Advanced system have high demand among users because the system offered high speed services (about 50 times) compared to its predecessors (2G & 3G). Cellular companies have been allowed by ITU-R to label their devices as 4G technologies, even though high standards and advanced features for 4G (i.e. data rates of 100 Mbps-1Gbps) are not actually delivered (Routray, 2010, p. 9). Since then, many users have complained that they are being fooled and deceived by cellular companies because “4G systems were not in place, and....the system did not fully comply with ITU 4G requirements” ever since it was released (Akyildiz, Gutierrez-Estevez, & Reyes, 2010, p. 218). They are buying 4G devices, but they are not getting the actual or real functions (e.g. high speed & reliable service) promised by 4G networks because technically they are 3G (Yager, 2010). For instance, Verizon Wireless has explained that the issue was “unforeseen, despite careful, diligent planning, deployment and ongoing upgrade programs” (Hood, 2011). In line with this incident, many cellular device users have expressed their dissatisfaction and discouragement on false advertising in various social networking sites and blogs, which could ruin companies’ reputation. Also, this issue has lowered the market confidence of users as companies take advantage of their preferences; thus, companies are planning to give different kinds of tokens to regain users’ trust, particularly those speed-conscious consumers.
Akyildiz, I. F., Gutierrez-Estevez, D. M., & Reyes, E. C. (2010). The evolution of 4G
cellular systems: LTE-Advanced. Physical Communication, 3, 217-244.
Hood, J. R. (2011). Verizon explains 4G outages...sort of. Consumer Affairs.
Retrieved from
Routray, S. K. (2010). Evolution of personal wireless broadband services from 3G to
4G. In S. Adibi & A. Mobasher (Eds.), Fourth-generation wireless networks: Applications and innovations (pp. 1-19.). USA: IGI Global.
Yager, F. (2010). 4G cell phone may not be a good investment. Consumer Affairs.
Retrieved from
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