Why Is It Better To Send Texts In An Emergency?

5:26 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- The day after the Moore, Oklahoma tornado, emergency officials asked people not to call to check on loved ones. Instead, they asked them to text.

But 2 Wants to Know wanted to know why it makes a difference -- it all goes through your cell phone, right? WFMY News 2's Engineer Lee explains why texts are easier.

He said, "So what is the advantage of using a text message versus talking on your cell phone? Number one, its a lot quicker. It doesn't tie up the system. Type in your message, hit the button, it's sent. Normally, when you use a phone and talk on it, my voice goes into the phone, goes into the cell tower, goes to the cell system, but what if there's a problem? What if phone lines are down, there's something called a control channel, where even though I'm not using my phone, its still communicating with the cell system. Data is constantly sent back and forth, who I am, where I am, even sets the time for me. Part of that control channel is something called SMS, short message service, when I send a text message, it goes over that very quickly, doesn't tie up the phone lines and the message is delivered."

Engineer Lee also said texts take up less time and space. They can be sent in a second, whereas, when you make a phone call, you're using bandwidth for several minutes.

WFMY News 2

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