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C Spire Wireless Mobilizes For Tropical Storm Isaac
Wireless Provider Readies Network For Emergency Operations and Recovery
Ridgeland, Miss., (August 24, 2012) – C Spire Wireless is readying its network, operation centers, retail locations and workforce for the possibility that Tropical Storm Isaac will develop into a full-fledged hurricane over the next several days and cause extensive damage along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
National Hurricane Center forecasters are predicting that the storm will move westward into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, where it is expected to develop into a Category 1 hurricane by Monday with wind speed between 74 mph and 110 mph. While it is still too early to know for sure, projections indicate the storm could make U.S. landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border early Wednesday.
"We are taking this situation very seriously and we’ll be ready for whatever occurs. Our preparations are designed to give customers maximum reliability from their wireless phones at the time of greatest need," said Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire Wireless. "When disaster strikes, individuals, families and emergency response personnel depend on their wireless phones as a lifeline to the outside world. We are committed to providing our customers with the best network coverage possible in every situation."
C Spire has prepared its wireless network and workforce for a wide range of potential disasters, including major weather events such as hurricanes. The company routinely reviews and updates its emergency preparedness plans and conducts drills throughout the year to test the readiness of its network, employees and backup systems.
Hollingsworth said the company has put restoration teams on stand by and is massing equipment and materials to protect critical company facilities and cell sites. The company uses back up batteries and diesel generators at sites and has made arrangements for replacement fuel supplies in case normal fuel delivery options are interrupted by commercial power outages.
The company will rely on two multi-million dollar, hurricane-ready "super switches" in Mobile, Alabama and in Hattiesburg, Mississippi that provide added protection and service for customers in south Mississippi, along the Gulf Coast and in south Alabama and the Florida panhandle.
Both high-tech mobile phone switching facilities, which are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 miles an hour, connect millions of calls, wireless data transmissions and other critical services daily for consumer and business customers. In addition to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel and concrete structures house large-scale 500 kilowatt diesel power generators, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and technologies.
C Spire also relies on an extensive network of microwave technology that can circumvent damaged or destroyed landline systems and ensure that wireless calls can be routed to their final destination, Hollingsworth said. "This microwave technology is critical to support communications during natural disasters when landline systems are inoperable," he added.
The company’s workforce and all network resources will remain on "high alert" and C Spire will be ready to immediately activate its Emergency Response Plan, which guides the deployment of resources and personnel during a crisis, he said.
To help customers prepare for a potential hurricane and its aftermath, C Spire has activated its mobile website with links and information on weather, traffic, evacuation routes, gasoline availability, power outages, school closings, hotel information, news, maps and more. The site can be accessed through the mobile web at www.cspire.com/storm on a mobile phone or with a personal computer at www.cspire.com/hurricane.
C Spire also has activated its #STORM hotline, which is accessible by dialing #78676 from a mobile phone or by calling toll-free 1.888.276.8845. Customers can also get updates on the network and other news via social links by following the company on Facebook and Twitter.
The company is coordinating its emergency response preparations with local, state and federal agencies, including the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the office of Gov. Phil Bryant.
About C Spire Wireless
C Spire Wireless is a diversified wireless communications company passionately committed to helping customers by personalizing wireless services designed just for them. The company is the first wireless provider in the U.S. to personalize customers’ experience by offering apps that fit who they are, services that anticipate their needs, and rewards for using their phone in new ways – all with seamless ease and at amazingly fast speeds. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire Wireless and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire, Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire or Google+