2014-09-08 18:51:51 UTC
hazard to post my question here. If there's a better place to post this
query, let me know.
Last week I was at home when I heard a commotion outside. A young couple was
yelling and screaming, arguing over a very young child. I could tell from
the tone that this was going to become physically violent.
So, I went outside to observe with my cell phone in hand. I called the local
direct line for our city's 911. The couple started to punch each other with
the child physically in between. I was speaking to a dispatcher when my cell
service dropped out. I redialed and was speaking again to another dispatcher
when a minute later the service dropped out again. The police got enough
info from me and another neighbor to respond.
I have unreliable cell service at home. But I don't use my cell phone much
at all, so I haven't worried too much about it until now.
But I don't want to be in the position again where my cell calls to 911 from
my own front yard drop out. It is scary thought that had I not been able to
communicate with the police dispatcher, I might have had to physically
intervene should the child have become the target of the adults' blows.
The reasons I can think of that my service is unreliable are several.
1. My cell phone itself is inadequate. It is an old, cheap simple Motorola
GSM phone, 8 years old. I don't have trouble with it when I'm some other
places. And I do have trouble with it at other locations.
2. My location could be in a "shadow." It may be that given the locations of
the cell towers for my service (AT&T), that signals don't reliably reach the
3. There could be an overload of calls in my area for my service provider.
4. Or simply that my service provider is generally inadequate.
How do I diagnose the issue? If all I need is a new, better phone, I can
just get one. If I need a new carrier, how do I determine whether at my
specific location that the service will be any better?
I'm in West Berkeley.