Just a few years ago it would be unthinkable to not use your computer for the majority of your daily life. Only two decades ago your cell phone was just a novelty that allowed you to receive and make phone calls without having to be connected to a cord, but few could ever envisioned what would ultimately become a total dominance of the internet space by cellular phones. This has led to a near total replacement of that connected computer sitting on your desk with your mobile phone. It has evolved from being able to create clearer calls and better connectivity through an upgrade of the equipment involved in the process, to actually transmitting larger packets of data across the network. Once the possibility of this was realized, the integration of internet connections was the next logical step. Once people were able to make calls, connect to the internet and stream video to a variety of platforms, the cellular phone has seemingly all of a sudden become the way that people remain productive in innumerable ways. It also creates the issue of a total reliance upon that connection in order to have so many aspects of life remain functional. If a mobile phone cannot connect to the towers around it, life almost stops completely as far as productivity goes. Most people do not have a backup wireline phone to rely upon, and fewer every year have another source of internet connectivity. If the phone goes down, so does the ability to access the network, resulting in almost no ability to do the things that are necessary to do throughout the day. As a result of the magnitude of this issue, cellular providers have invested heavily in devices that are intended to protect the integrity of their connected networks, and investing in industrial surge protection devices for their towers and equipment in the field has become the norm.
Because of the general makeup of a cellular tower, they are magnets for lightning strikes. Being the tallest structure in a region is necessary in order to provide uninterrupted signals to the users on the ground, but this physical characteristic also makes the tower the prime target for lightning strikes. The materials with which the tower is constructed also plays a role in the attraction of lightning. The damage as a result of a lightning strike to the tower itself is seen as not only the damage that occurs at the strike point but also the damage that occurs as a result of both network outages and equipment overload. Lightning strikes produce a massive power surge which will damage the circuitry of the equipment which is used at the top of the tower to send and receive signals as well as the bottom of the tower which houses critical network equipment. Equipment at these positions are connected through both power lines as well as data transfer cables, which provide a perfect pathway for the electrical surge to travel and damage that equipment. Only through investment into the most robust surge protection devices, those that can take a lightning surge and not fail, are cellular providers able to keep your calls connected and your internet connection functional.