Carriers Bring Support to Texas and Louisiana Communities

To help residents in Texas and Louisiana impacted by the recent storms, the major carriers have rushed emergency services crews to the stricken area and are waiving domestic call/text/data usage service for the next few days. All have reported success in bringing connectivity to customers throughout the region with more work ahead. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) said it is utilizing all available resources to fully restore service and said engineers have already restored more than half of the initially impacted sites.

Verizon said one hundred percent of its macro cell sites, which provide large area coverage, have backup battery power and more than 90 percent in Texas and Louisiana have backup generators. While commercial power is out, Verizon equipment and facilities across the area are being powered by these batteries and generators. Refueling efforts are underway to ensure those generators continue to provide power. 

“Our engineers are confident we have the fuel and crews we need to keep that operation running 24×7 until that happens,” said Michelle Miller, Verizon Coastal Plains Market President. “We want to make this process as seamless as possible.” 

T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) reported that while some of its network sites in the Houston area were impacted by commercial power outages from the storm, most customers have some level of service due to overlapping coverage. The carrier said teams were able to restore several sites overnight with portable generators and will continue to do so as conditions safely allow. 

T-Mobile said it is also ready to deploy SatCOLTs (Satellite Cell on Light Trucks) and SatCOWs (Satellite Cell on Wheels) to restore coverage in areas where repairs could take longer due to the storm’s severity. Community Support teams are en route to Houston and greater Harris County, according to T-Mobile, to bring WiFi, device charging and charging supplies.

AT&T (NYSE: T) said its wireless network in Texas is operating at more than 99 percent of normal capacity with all Louisiana and Mississippi sites currently operating in full. AT&T crews reported they will continue to navigate storm damage to deploy and refuel generators until commercial power is restored. The carrier said public safety agencies have access to a fleet of 180+ dedicated mobile cell sites that link to FirstNet via satellite and do not rely on commercial power availability.

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