Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cell Phones

Let me begin by saying I AM NOT A PHONE GEEK. The ONLY reason I have a cell phone is because of my mother. I NEED to be contacted if something concerning her goes awry. I am responsible. However, as a retiree, I don't want anything to do with any phone.

Nana, too, didn't want a cell phone, but she's got one. She got it because we were traveling and, again, were concerned about my mom. She kept it because of where she works. It is an isolated place and use of the facility phone is limited. With a cell phone she is now able to call whom and when she wants.

This isn't much different from anyone else. However, in our area, we have some limitations both in the infrastructure equipment and in siting of that equipment because of our proximity to the National Radio Observatory in Greenbank, WV.

We recently had an incident in which Nana took a short swim in salt water with her purse AND cell phone. That pretty much did in the cell-phone. Nana now "needed" a replacement. That necessitated some research on my part.

What I learned was that there are two or more systems. CDMA and GSM are those two which apply here. Nana needed a CDMA phone for her school area. My GSM phone is already known to be non-functioning. Unfortunately we couldn't find a CDMA phone locally. I ordered one. It came promptly and in coordination with our carrier the old number was transferred to the new phone. Nana is happy.

So why talk about that here? Because outdoorspeople might often be in rather remote, or MORE remote areas. A cell phone or other communications asset might very well be the difference in a successful evacuation should somebody be injured. You might also be able to use these to locate a late arrival at a link-up/rally point or coordinate last minute supplies and transportation.

I had to learn a lot to get Nana the correct phone. I took the time and did it and apparently made a good choice. Her new phone works well for her and she is happy. That's always a good thing!

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