Cellular Carriers – One Is None Two Is One

Those of us who like to be prepared know that one is none and two is one for most things in life. It is always good to have a backup when and where possible.

This philosophy should hold true to cellular carriers as well. I suspect nearly everyone reading this has a cellular phone of some sort, be it an iPhone, Android, or just a simple flip phone. You have this phone with you at all times (or you should) and use it for communication. Communication could be voice, text, email, and/or social media like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Cellular Carrier Outage

Have you considered what would happen if your cellular carrier went down? You may think that has never happened, but it actually has and can happen.  I have been in an area where my cellular service was down after a severe storm. Yes, the outage was local to my area, but due to the storm I was in no position to be able to drive out of the area, which would have been 30+ miles in order to get cellular service for the carrier I had. However, my spouse, who was on a different carrier, had cellular service.

Now the point of this post is not to pick on any one specific cellular carrier, because they all have outages, just check out downdetector for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.  To be fair, the reports on downdetector include reports of all types of service outages for each provider, not just cellular, but if you read through the reports, there are mentions of towers being down and cellular service being unavailable.

No Cellular Coverage

There is more concern to cellular than the outage of the carrier. There are times when you may travel into an area that does not have good coverage for the cellular carrier you use. For example, I was Verizon as my primary carrier but in my office building Verizon doesn’t get service but AT&T does. Yes, I could use the land lines in the office but I miss getting emails on my phone or family/friends calls.

So what is the solution? Well for me, my friends and family know if they can’t reach me on my Verizon phone they can try my Cricket Wireless phone (which is on AT&T towers). Out of the two, one always has service.

Multiple Carriers

Some may say it is too expensive to have two carriers, actually, for me, it isn’t. My Verizon service was $122 a month. I downgraded my plan so now it is $56 a month. My Cricket Wireless plan is $45 so the total is $101. In my case I actually save money and now have two cellular carriers. As far as phones go, you can use a premium phone for your primary carrier and a lower, cheaper phone for your secondary carrier.

It may not be feasible to have your kids carry two phone, but, it is a good idea to know what carriers your kid’s friends have and know what their numbers are. Kids normally hang out with the same bunch of friends, one of them should have service in case of an outage.

This type of solution may not work for everyone, but I write this as something for you to consider. We have all become very reliant of cellular service and assume it will be there when we need it, but what if it’s not? What is your back up plan for communication? Let me know.