Mobitex Technology - Technology - Reliable

This is why Mobitex is so special

Time and time again Mobitex has proven itself in time of crisis. Because of its outstanding reliability Mobitex plays a key role for emergency workers and others groups that are dependant on wireless data communications for their mission-critical task.

Mobitex, a lifeline.

US: The Hurricane Rita (2005)
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, 2005, and will officially last through November 30, 2005. Hurricane Katrina was the forth hurricane of the season but the first of category 5, making it the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. (see story below)

Coming right in the heals of Katrina, hurricane Rita put Velocita’s Mobitex network to the test for the second time in a very short period of time. Again, the Mobitex network showed its strengths. As a result of extensive experience and dedication in combination with a highly robust network infrastructure, Velocita’s service crew and management team kept the network coverage to approximately

85% of normal network coverage even during the height of the hurricane. In preparation for the storm, the company mobilized and repositioned key support and engineering personnel to Texas along with substantial inventories of generators, mobile satellite equipment, cell sites on wheels (COWs), satellite phones, fuel and emergency supplies to restore service and make repairs as needed.

The network continues to be utilized by customers, relief and emergency organizations communicating critical information within the impacted region, including the hard-hit areas of Beaumont, New Orleans, Port Arthur, Lake Charles and Lafayette.

Read more in the Velocita Wireless press release


US: The Hurricane Katrina (2005)
Even during the height of the storm, the Mobitex network remained operational with approximately 75% of normal network coverage in the Gulf area due to network site overlap and redundancy. The network was able to be utilized extensively by relief, emergency and media organizations communicating critical information within the immediate New Orleans area.

As of the end of the day on September 8, 2005, Velocita Wireless reported more than 95% of network coverage in the Gulf area had been restored and was operational with only four sites down in

the immediate coastal impact area from New Orleans to Mobile. Supporting the restoration efforts are two COW’s (cell sites on wheels) in the New Orleans region, one in service in eastern Mississippi, and an additional one standing by.

“We continue to receive and honor numerous requests from various organizations, including the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, for mobile handheld devices enabled over our data only network, to support emergency efforts in the Gulf area,” said Craig Gosselin, chief marketing and sales officer at Velocita Wireless. “By providing these dedicated, data-only devices, emergency officials can exchange critical information in real-time without tying up limited voice lines.”

Read more in the Velocita Wireless press release


Sweden : The storm Gudrun (2005)
On January 8, 2005, southern Sweden was hit by the worst storm in decades. Before it was over, 415,000 households were left without electricity. This massive power outage naturally also affected telephones and other communications networks.

Fortunately, Mobitex weathered the storm and was always available to repair crews as they began the extensive task of restoring power. Communication needs were twofold during the repair work. First and foremost was the need to manage resources to ensure that power was restored as quickly and efficiently as

possible. Of equal concern was security, since many tasks could not be performed without adequate coordination. “The Mobitex network provided excellent coverage and proved to be extremely robust during the storm and its aftermath,” says Johnny Olsen, product manager at Mobitex operator Multicom Security. “These are factors that all companies and public authorities should take into consideration in procuring equipment for mobile communication. Everyone who has a need to communicate must in future put geographic coverage and robustness first.”


US: The Northeast Blackout (2003)
The lights went out; the trains stopped running and traffic snarled, but Cingular's Mobitex wireless data network kept working, staying true to its reputation as the most reliable, robust and rugged wireless data network in the U.S.

Business customers like FedEx Ground, who use one of Cingular's data networks to support mission critical applications, experienced minimal impact during the power outage. Cingular provides the Wireless Wide Area Network backbone and wireless messaging platform that supports FedEx Ground's package pick up and delivery tracking system. All of the 10,000 FedEx Ground mobile field units running on Cingular's network operated

normally during the power failure. At a time of heightened public concern about service availability in general, FedEx Ground wireless communications continued without disruption, providing its customers with continual updates and confirmation on package delivery status.

"All FedEx companies share the belief that the delivery information on a package is as important as the package itself to our customers," said Roman Hlutkowsky, vice president of Operations Technology and Systems Support for FedEx Ground. "We rely on technology to deliver on our promise and Cingular's Mobitex data network has once again proven to be highly reliable under extreme conditions, allowing us to remove uncertainties about package delivery."

In addition to FedEx Ground, almost all of Cingular's Mobitex customers had network access during the outage. Cingular data services including Interactive Messaging and Xpress Mail email access were available to customers via their Rim Blackberry™ wireless devices. Although some outages were reported in New York, Ohio and Michigan, Cingular's network actually experienced an increase in messaging data traffic of approximately 25 percent immediately following the outage. This increase in traffic flow and delivery lasted for three hours.

"Cingular Interactive plays a key role in providing enterprise data communications during times of emergencies and our employees work tirelessly to maintain the network," said Charles Nelson, president Cingular Interactive. "Reliability is the number one reason more than one million business wireless customers use Cingular Interactive Wireless data services and why our Mobitex customer base continues to grow."

Press release from Cingular


US: The terror attacks of 9/11 (2001)
Mobitex kept running during 9/11 while others failed because it is better suited to emergency use

Through the terrorist attacks and during the resulting surge in traffic, Cingular kept the Mobitex network running despite losing many base stations in Manhattan. Mobitex may be slow compared with newer networks and it does not support voice, but its advantage is its robustness, as demonstrated during 9/11.

“Mobitex has shown its mettle in these kinds of environments, it keeps operating when other networks do not,” says Richard Donnelly, vice president for

engineering at Velocita Wireless, which last year acquired the Mobitex US network from Cingular Wireless.

According to Mr Donnelly, Mobitex kept running during 9/11 while others failed because it is better suited to emergency use. It is a data-only technology and so does not have to share precious bandwidth with voice. Also, it does not matter if an e-mail gets delayed a few seconds because of network congestion. If the message cannot be sent immediately it is queued and sent later.

After 9/11, police and fire departments as well as federal authorities signed up for BlackBerry devices running on the Mobitex network. The US House of Representatives also decided to equip all of its members with the devices.

Financial Times June 2005
US Press coverage after Sept 11 (pdf)