Hurricane and cell phones... why Denver?

Any cell phone experts have any idea why I can currently (7:50 pm Mountain, 9/23) Use my handy T-mobile phone to call my girlfriend in Houston but not call people in Denver? When I attempt the latter, it says the call cannot be completed because of the hurricane. I should point out that I am in Denver too.

Just a WAG, but I would say that an influx of people in Denver taking refuge from Rita all trying to make phone calls to loved ones is a possiblity. My sister is in Plano, having fled the hurricane from Galveston, and she keeps getting messages something along the line of: “The networks are busy.”

Since there is now less people in Houston (area), the cell networks there are not having problems connecting.

Welp, I sure messed that one up. I read Denver as Dallas, and my fingers stuck with Denver for some reason.

I can’t imagine many refugees driving all the way to Denver so that cannot be it.

Uh, look over there!


I’ve been getting regular messages of “All circuits are busy” for about 3 days now (Boulder). I use Cingular.

They actually have a message that includes the word “hurricane”? Are you sure it wasn’t “hhhrzcggttnnn”?

We’ve got refugees in Denver. But they don’t have to live like that.

I’ts one of those things that make you feel all fuzzy inside to realize that most, if not all of the major cities in the U.S have taken in refugees from N.O. I wasn’t necessarily referring to them, but the Texas coastline evacuees. Poor choice of words, perhaps? Anyhow I am not sure what you mean by “they don’t have to live like that.” seems pretty much context-less. Or my brain isn’t working this morning.

I don’t know why the networks would be down in Denver, but I would be very interested if somebody that knew more about cellular communications explained it.

As far as I know, cell towers are local, and aren’t routed through other cities, 800+ miles away. I suppose it is possible the storm is somehow interferring with Satellite communications, just seems unlikely, because if it would effect the signals to the towers there, it would effect the towers here and in KC, StL, and other cities in the same signal path. (Of course this is all conjecture)

Its possible that people all over the country, including Denver, are trying to contact friends and loved ones in the disaster area, which is putting an unusual burden on the overall network capacity.

Yeah, but I have cingular and have had no problems calling around here in Columbia, Mo, or calling home to Kansas City, Mo. Not a single message. I suppose it is possible that more people in Denver have loved ones in Texas, but it seems pretty improbable. (speaking of which, we have to call my sisters hotel phone because we cannot get her cell phone due to the messages, she is staying in Plano, Tx)

Our Work IT guy noted with Katrina that one of the big jobs in the days after Katrina was routing cellular calls (and Network Traffic) around a blacked out area around New Orleans and Southern LA. He said the big carriers (not the feds) were on it and had re-routed almost all of it within 24 hours –

Maybe you are experiencing re-routed traffic to and from Texas (that as **fatbaldguy ** notes is undoubtedly heavier than the strategic business plan calls for this week).

Not saying this is SDGQ so, just maybe

I belive he is referring to a Tom Petty Song where the lyrics are “you don’t have to live like a refugee” see Refugee Lyrics by Tom Petty

Dialing a 1 gets you a different (long distance) trunk–apparently there are a lot of LD trunks available but not local trunks. Could be the local lines are busy or there’s a cable out or other problem with the local lines.

Try calling a few different places and see what happens. Likely you can get to anyplace that’s not a 303 or 720 area code. Even more likely the problem has already been fixed.

One possiblity is that Denver has a lot of callcenters(because we don’t sound like idiots when we talk :slight_smile: ). The Red Cross, and several others run a lot of their informational hotlines from Denver answer centers, and if they are getting blasted from all over the country, it could have an impact locally. However those are land lines in Denver, so I can’t quite put together how the cell circuits here would be over loaded, but figured it’s worth a mention.