Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bad cell signal?

There's something deeper afoot, which goes into the details of how today's cell phone networks operate. 

1. One cell phone tower can handle only x number of call events at a time. This limit derives from the limits to cell tower radiation, the frequencies that can be handled, etc. 

2. Increasing density of mobile towers in an area inflicts the population with increased cell tower radiation, hence the courts and govts cracking down on illegally built towers, esp the ones built in close proximity to people. Even birds and bees, I've read, are negatively affected by them. 

3. So there a logical limit on the number of mobile calls that can simultaneously happen in any geographical area for reliable, uninterrupted mobile service. 

4. There is no regulation happening on cell phone sales and new connections... no attempt to reign in the numbers. (security measures don't count in this consideration). It's on an infinite growth trajectory and applauded by our economists for being so. 

5. Indian population densities are hence hitting the logical limits to cell phone network operation. 

6. The service providers that bribe government officials, violate safety regulations and install more towers, will be the ones providing "better service", hence pulling more customers, and with increased profits, getting incentivized to violate safety standards and put people at risk. The providers complying with the rules will get screwed. People will leave them in the droves because of "bad service".

One thing worth noticing : We're predomiantly using GSM rather than CDMA networks in India. And, GSM has an inherent limit to number of users it can serve.

More info:

Whatever the case, one thing is clear : "bad mobile service" can not be solved with commercial competition and consumerism. The efforts in that direction end up causing immense harm, in terms of children belonging to vulnerable classes being exposed to unhealthy amounts of mobile tower radiation with the towers being propped up where they live. This needs collective decision-making.

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