Most people who are casual users of cellular technology only have a basic understanding of how their calls are connected. They understand that you must have a strong signal as a result of being somewhere in the vicinity of the cellular tower as well as have that signal be able to be received by the tower effectively. In order to receive a stronger signal, people understand that they may need to move to a different place which would provide an unobstructed path from the device in their hand to the tower, or at least the best situation possible. Connectivity issues are one of the biggest concerns for cellular users, and dropped calls as a result of interrupted signal receipt is also one of the primary concerns. With the ever-evolving consumption of data as a result of new features built into devices such as aps, streaming services and downloads of video, consumers demand even more from cellular providers in order to maintain high satisfaction rates. Most consumers have little sympathy for their carrier of choice when it comes to the normal events that can potentially impact connectivity. They only know that they can or cannot connect, or that their calls drop. Dissatisfaction rates are one of the leading causes of cellular customer loss, and the protection of the customer base through the providing of uninterrupted signals is the primary concern of every cellular provider. This is why most providers will factor in a significant amount of RF protection, even though it is something that almost no consumer has ever heard of.
“RF protection” is an industry term used to describe the sequences of protective devices which have been installed in order to protect radio frequencies. The communication between the base station unit and the remote radio head within most cell towers is the nerve center that must be unfettered in order to maintain customer satisfaction. These devices are connected through hybrid lines as well as standard power lines, and a lightning strike directly nearby any of these lines can cause a significant amount of damage to the equipment involved, trickling down to a lower customer satisfaction rate. Because data lines are directly connected to the equipment which processes data, losses can go far beyond just the lack of service. Data loss issues will cause significant customer unhappiness and can pose an almost insurmountable difficulty for cellular providers to deal with. Through both standard damage to equipment as a result of a power surge by lightning strike as well as electromagnetic pulse disruptions, which create rises in electric fields, costs associated with a single lightning strike can be large. These pulses can easily knock out critical communications capabilities within networks if antenna and radios are left unprotected. RF protection equipment installed at critical junctions within the cell tower systems can create both a happier customer base as well as a better competitive advantage for the provider.