Most people today couldn’t go even more than a few hours without their cell phone. Our phones have become such a part of our lives that it is difficult to imagine being productive without them. They serve as our connection to the world, providing us not only with the ability to have a conversation with people at any time, but also providing us with the ability to access information and entertainment. Once cell phones became fully integrated with the internet, the race was on among different companies to provide the fastest data transfer rates available. In order to download or upload files that were larger and larger sizes, cell providers needed to increase their capacities far beyond anything that had been seen previously. People have grown so used to being able to stream movies without any delay, or have conversations with people from the most remote areas without dropping a call, that we have grown annoyed if the technology does not provide us with almost instant gratification. Our ability to gain instant access to almost anything through our phone is due to the technological advances that have come over the course of the last 10 years. Every time that the speed of data transfer is increased through network improvements, cell providers must figure out how to accomplish the goal without increasing prices. The competition between cellular providers has become so fierce that even the smallest pricing increases can cause consumers to seek alternative companies. While this benefits consumers, it certainly doesn’t make the cellular business any easier.
Cellular providers are constantly exploring methods to save money. Only through cost cutting in certain areas are technological improvements able to be rolled out without price increases. One of the main ways that cellular providers are able to cut costs is through the extension of the lifespan of equipment in the field. One of the largest costs with regards to cellular networks is the repair and replacement of equipment housed on or in cell towers. The physical makeup of cellular towers makes them magnets for lightning strikes, which damage equipment not just at the strike point, but also throughout the tower itself. This means that a lightning strike can happen at that tower top and still damage equipment at the tower bottom. This is due to the connection lines between equipment within the tower itself. In the past, the lightning strike to the tower top would be expected to also damage equipment towards the bottom due to the connection between them. The data transfer cables and power lines that are necessary to allow for communication between the devices are also the pathways that surges take after the lightning strike has happened. One of the ways that cellular companies are having success in reducing costs is through the integration of more effective industrial surge protection equipment in between these components. Technologically advanced surge protection devices are helping to keep your cellular service affordable by reducing the amount of expected damage that happens every quarter, especially that damage which can come as a result of a lightning strike. It’s not that cell service is becoming cheaper, it’s that systems are being made more efficient.