With Iowans scrambling to prepare for the full fury of the Missouri River flooding and more rain expected over the next ten days, wireless service will be vital to residents, businesses and emergency personnel. Mobility is only available, however, if a carrier commits to providing wireless service in severe and unusual circumstances.
Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) member Chat Mobility, a rural wireless provider that serves south central and southwest Iowa, is pulling out all the stops to maintain service for flood ravaged victims. So how does a wireless provider stay on the air to provide voice, 911 and data services in disaster areas? “We’re moving our equipment to the roof top of one our buildings and making a lot of unusual changes to how a cell site operates in a flood, including anchoring down a 1,000 gallon propane tank and making it work underwater” said Robert Mauer, General Manager and CEO of Chat Mobility. Chat Mobility’s dedication and innovative thinking has even coined a new wireless term. Some may have heard of a “COW” or a cell on wheels or even a “SOW” which is a switch on wheels but Chat Mobility has developed a “COB” or a cell on building.
“Our customers and our roaming partners will not experience any degradation of service but we had to pull a lot of rabbits out of our hat,” said Mauer.
Chat Mobility’s final preparations to keep service up and running should be complete within the next week with the flood waters expected two to three days later. The rural provider is preparing for the worst case scenario of eight to ten feet of water.
“This type of commitment to rural constituents in rural areas during difficult times is the epitome of the kind of service RTG members strive to provide,” noted Tanya Sullivan, RTG’s Executive Director. “Chat Mobility is literally moving mountains (in this case cell sites and equipment) to make sure there is no loss of service during this expected disaster.”
About RTG – Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers. RTG’s members have joined together to speed delivery of new, efficient and innovative telecommunications technologies to remote and underserved communities. ruraltelecomgroup.org @RTGwireless
About Chat Mobility – Serving south central and southwest Iowa with cellular service, where every rate plan is nationwide and includes unlimited incoming minutes, unlimited nights and weekends and unlimited mobile-to-mobile. chatmobility.com
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