Please Complain About Cellular Coverage on Campus!

Posted on: October 29, 2015

 

Please help Information Technology Services (ITS) complain about poor cellular service on campus. Faculty, students and staff who make mobile phone calls (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Cricket, etc.) are strongly encouraged to share their experience especially the bad, and the ugly. By providing feedback via the Cellular Service Report Form , you give ITS staff the evidence needed to convince carriers to address their customers cellular coverage problems. Our Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) contractor also uses this complaint data plus independent drive testing to identify poor cellular service conditions on campus for each carrier.

Better news! Recently some carriers began offering new Wi-Fi Calling features, which enable certain mobile phones to use the University’s Wi-Fi system to make phone calls in areas with poor cellular coverage. The new feature seamlessly roams back and forth between the cellular networks and the University’s Wi-Fi network. A list of Wi-Fi Calling carrier options is available on the Cellular Service on Campus website .  Also, in the Overview section of this website, there is a link to a document of reported cellular service issues as of September 24, 2015.

Some carriers have offered the ability to use the University’s Wi-Fi network on certain devices for several years, yet most of those systems dropped calls when users roamed. The difference with Wi-Fi Calling, enabled by Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) technologies, is the ability to roam between Wi-Fi and LTE without dropping the call . All major carriers have committed to deploying this technology, and have announced it will be available on most newer mobile phones.

After carriers have deployed this capability, the need for the University or carriers to invest funds for expensive in-building Distributed Antenna Systems may be dramatically reduced. So ITS is keenly interested in feedback from those of you who are using the new Wi-Fi Calling features and have created a dedicated survey to record your experiences. Feedback-to-date: so far, so good!

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