Will Cell phones work? I assume local service may not.

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I was wondering how society will communicate if the telephone lines and/or company services are not available or Jammed as if it were a holiday.

Are the satelites Y2K compliant? Will cell phones work? What might be the best vehicle to communicate in an emergency.

Thanks for your thoughts.

-- Betty Wisner (Betwisner@webtv.net), August 18, 1998


Hi, Betty

I don't know how well cell phones will work themselves, I suppose that many of the instruments have embedded chips and may have problems because of that. Cell phones will only be as compliant as the telecommunications systems are. When you call someone's "regular" number with your cell phone, you are accessing the regular telephone network to complete the call. Even if you are calling another cell phone, there is probably some point at which the call is routed over the "regular" network. I think your best bet will be battery operated cb's or ham radios. 'Course, I PREFER to think there won't be any disruptions at all, but the trouble with sticking my head in the sand is it gets in my eyes & all in my ...yuck.

-- Losing Sleep (LS) (lavoierd@gisco.net), August 18, 1998.

If the switches go down, cell phones are hosed along with everyone else. As Losing Sleep pointed out, cell phones also have their own embedded systems -- so I'd expect cell service to crap out first.

Emergency communications... amateur (ham) radio. Pass a simple exam, get a handheld radio at Radio Shack, join a local ARES or RACES (emergency services) group, and you have it.

If you don't get a ham license, at least buy a scanner so you can listen to emergency services. I suspect that the sheer number of CB radios will result in those frequencies being completely jammed.

-- Larry Kollar (lekollar@nyx.net), August 18, 1998.

I think I've heard that satellites circling our big blue marble are at risk due to Y2K-related problems. The recent satellite problem that caused so much trouble in the last couple months is suspected of having a computer problem that caused it to turn away...and disrupt communications for cel phones, pay at the pump and other telecom stuff. Any telecom gurus out there. I would think at least some of the cel tracking is done with computers...can't imagine a technology used now on the planet that is not in some way dependent.....CB radio anyone?

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), August 18, 1998.

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