When a massive number of people require cellphone assistance at the same time, cellular networks can become congested and fail. We have seen the effects that a failing network can have during natural disasters like Katrina and terrorist attacks during 9/11.
Now, Mai Hassan, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, has developed a solution that could provide emergency assistance during mass audience affected disasters.
In the past, a cell phone network could crash when too many people attempt to make calls home or send a text message. Under her plan, the system would piggyback off other radio signal types in order to maintain an active, working network.
In a press release Hassan writes:
“I proposed a more effective way to use any channel in the neighborhood, even if those channels are being used by radio or television stations. The challenge was finding a way to make sure the cellular signals didn’t interfere with the people using those channels in the first place.”
Hassan hopes to create a system that changes the shape of wireless signals, so users can transmit on channels that use radio and television frequencies. She proposes a specialized antenna that can send messages directly toward the receiver’s direction. The new antenna’s would replace traditional options that broadcast in all directions. The new antenna’s would avoid radio and TV signal interruptions while operating on the same channels.
In a recently posted YouTube video, Hassan explains that the system could also be used at crowded concerts, sporting events, festivals, and any other time when a large gathering of people are using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile-related devices.
The system could earn wireless spectrum owners money by allowing them to lease out their data space for sporting events and other highly congested events.
Do you think using radio and TV signals to help cellular networks stay afloat is a smart way to curb cellular network overcrowding, especially when the wireless spectrum is being consumed almost faster than it can be acquired?