T-Mobile US Network Prepared for 2013 Hurricane Season
Equipment Tested, Fuel Topped Off, Emergency Drills Completed
Bellevue, Wash. - May 30, 2013 - With "more and stronger" hurricanes predicted this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: "TMUS") is preparing for the 2013 hurricane season by increasing drills and preparation activity throughout the country's Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast regions. The official start of the hurricane season is June 1.
The company's National Engineering Response and Crisis Management teams continuously monitor weather patterns and potential storms. In advance of any hurricane forecasted to make U.S. landfall, T-Mobile establishes an engineering Command Center near the expected area of impact, creating a home base for engineers and rapid response teams, and a staging area for equipment and supplies that may be needed in the storm's aftermath. As soon as it is safe, T-Mobile technicians and engineers are mobilized.
"Having the right equipment and being able to move it quickly are two critical ingredients for the success of our response efforts following a hurricane, or any other natural disaster," said Bentley Alexander, vice president, South Region Engineering, T-Mobile US. "But when it comes to the success of our response effort, our people and their high level of preparation are always the real differentiator. Nothing can replace the effectiveness of frequent drills and situational exercises."
T-Mobile Network Operation Centers (NOCs) manage network traffic during natural disaster events, and the company has redundant support in place, providing back up support for each NOC, if needed.
T-Mobile takes the following additional steps to prepare the company's network for major weather-related events so network service is available when customers need it:
- T-Mobile monitors evacuation efforts and routes, and takes steps to increase wireless capacity in those areas as customers move inland.
- Backup generators and fuel tanks for regional network switch operations are put in place and tested, and fuel is topped off for all generators in the potential path of a storm.
- To further supplement these generators, T-Mobile is ready to transport even more portable generators to impacted areas in the storm's aftermath.
- In the event of widespread power outages, T-Mobile has access to additional fuel to supply generators and company repair and transport vehicles, and for other emergency circumstances.
- Microwave radio equipment is readied to be trucked into affected areas to facilitate backhaul or data communication from the cell sites to T-Mobile's network switches, as backup, in the event that fixed-line service fails.
- The company also coordinates closely with the recovery efforts of local, state and federal agencies. T-Mobile pre-stages cell sites on wheels (COWs) in neighboring areas which can be moved in to provide additional wireless capacity in the hardest-hit areas.
T-Mobile Customer Tips
To better keep families and loved ones in touch before, during and after any storm, T-Mobile recommends that customers consider the following important tips:
- Send a text instead of making a call. Text messaging has a greater success rate of getting through the network during high-usage periods versus voice calls.
- If you have to make a call, keep it short.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before the storm.
- Have a plan to recharge your phone in case of a power outage, such as using your car charger or having extra mobile phone batteries on hand. Consider purchasing a portable battery pack and have it charged ahead of time so that you will have a back-up source of power for your phone.
- Familiarize yourself with Wi-Fi calling, a unique feature that allows T-Mobile customers with capable devices to make and receive calls via Wi-Fi, which can come in handy if the T-Mobile network experiences service delays or disruptions. Learn about T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1680
- For T-Mobile Customer Care assistance, please visit http://my.t-mobile.com, call 611 from your T-Mobile handset or dial 1-800-937-8997.
For business and government customers, T-Mobile's Persistent Communications solution combines the company's Wi-Fi Calling for Business or Wi-Fi Calling for Government solutions with access to satellite services for back-haul connectivity. During an emergency, this allows first responders or incident commanders to stay connected using the same Wi-Fi-enabled phone they use every day even when commercial wireless networks are out of service. A full suite of partner technologies means that the T-Mobile Persistent Communications solution can also help emergency response agencies to coordinate communication and track responders via a dashboard.
In addition to network and service preparations and recovery, T-Mobile also has a track record of helping customers in as many ways as possible. This often includes setting up free mobile charging stations if commercial power has been affected; providing free Wi-Fi Calling access if cellular service has been affected; facilitating mobile giving campaigns; and supporting disaster relief organizations, including the American Red Cross and many others. T-Mobile has crisis plans in place for employees who may also be in the path of a storm, and responds quickly to help safeguard our employees and our facilities.
About T-Mobile US, Inc.:
As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: "TMUS") is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company's advanced nationwide 4G and 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. It currently serves approximately 43 million wireless subscribers and provides products and services through 70,000 points of distribution. For more information, please visit: http://www.t-mobile.com.
# # #
T-Mobile Media Relations