What happens to your cell phone if the grid goes down?

What happens to your cell phone if the grid goes down?

Your phone may still work after a power outage, but it won't help you much if you can't use it to connect to cell service or the internet. It's one of the reasons why investing in additional communication equipment, such as a HAM radio or a CB radio, will be critical. If you are out in the middle of nowhere without any form of communications, then you'll need something that works even when the lights go out.

Most phones have an option known as "offline mode". This lets you use the phone while it connects to various networks to check for messages or calls that need to be made. If there are no connections available, the phone will stop trying to contact other devices until network services are restored. However, this only helps you if you're able to make calls during these periods. If you try to use your phone for email or browsing the web, you won't be able to do so because it requires constant connectivity.

If you lose connection with towers and cell sites, then your phone will switch from using them for navigation or audio streaming to using them for data storage. The more data it has to store, the less responsive it will be when you try to use it. Emails and texts will still arrive at other people, but you won't be able to send or receive new messages until connectivity is restored.

Phones also cache information about websites in order to load them faster when they are next visited.

How do you communicate if the Internet and cell towers are down?

Here are a few technologies that will assist you in communicating if a calamity happens and the power goes out.

  1. Cell phone. In a disaster, your cell phone should still work okay but the network may be disrupted.
  2. CB radio. Tristar 777 CB radio – Author: Paul Lucas – CC BY 2.0.
  3. Satellite phone.
  4. HAM radio.
  5. Walkie talkie.

Does a metal roof affect a cell phone signal?

If a utility tower is located near a home or business with a metal roof, your service may be disrupted. When this happens, the radio frequency of a cell phone can be disrupted, but the underlying problem is with the tower, not the metal roof. Cell phones use radio waves to communicate with base stations, and a metal roof can interfere with these signals.

As long as there are no metal panels facing the tower, you should have no problem using your phone's data plan. However, if any metal does face the tower, you'll need to find another place to mount your phone so it doesn't receive its signal from that particular tower.

This issue applies only to metallic-looking roofs. Other types of roofs do not affect cell phone reception.

If you own a business and have a metal roof, you should know about this issue before you hire an architect to design your new office space. If you want to ensure that you can still use your phone's data plan in the area behind your desk, then you will need to find another location for a utility box.

Metal roofs are common in large buildings such as shopping malls and airports, so make sure you tell anyone who asks that your roof is made of metal if you want them to avoid mounting phones or other equipment on top of it.

About Article Author

John Finch

John Finch is a software engineer who enjoys coding, working with people and playing basketball. He also loves to share his knowledge of technology through writing articles on Medium or by giving presentations at local meetups. John has been developing web applications since he was in high school, but now spends most of his time consulting for various companies as an independent contractor.


TheByteBeat.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Related posts