TAMPA, Fla., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Cingular Wireless today announced an expanded emergency preparedness program for the 2006 hurricane season. At the heart of this multifaceted program are two new mobile command centers that can be brought into an affected area quickly, providing full communications capabilities as well as working and sleeping quarters for Cingular employees. The objective: Making sure wireless service can be restored as quickly as possible.
Cingular is investing $1.8 billion this year to enhance and improve its network coverage in the Southeast, including adding more than 800 new cell sites. That investment includes more than $60 million for hurricane preparedness to harden the network with additional generators and to implement Cingular's enhanced emergency response program.
"Cingular's goal is to be as prepared as possible whenever and wherever disaster hits; to be able to restore any wireless service outages as quickly as possible; and to assist with overall relief efforts as much as we possibly can," said Ralph de la Vega, chief operating officer of Cingular. "We continue to invest millions of dollars in our networks, our systems and our emergency response efforts to be better prepared for hurricanes and other disasters."
This year, Cingular will introduce two new two mobile command centers called Mobile Access Command Headquarters (MACH 1 and MACH 2) to its hurricane and disaster relief efforts. These fully-equipped, completely self-sufficient centers can be rapidly deployed into an affected area where they can be set up and operating within two hours of arrival. They are equipped with generators, a satellite dish for constant communications, LAN connectivity and a PBX phone system. More than 30 technicians can work in and from MACH 1 and MACH 2. MACH 1 is a 53-foot tractor-trailer that expands on each side to reveal 1,000 square feet of workspace. MACH 2 is a 38-foot gooseneck trailer that can be transported to more remote locations.
"Nearly 60 years ago, the legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier and achieved Mach 1. Today, Cingular is breaking another kind of barrier with our MACH 1 and MACH 2 mobile command centers, which will enable us to respond rapidly to hurricanes and minimize their impact on our customers," de la Vega said.
Other elements of Cingular's enhanced emergency preparedness program include:
All of Cingular's enhanced emergency preparedness equipment, which is housed near Atlanta, can be deployed in just two to four hours, the company noted. Atlanta is also the location of the company's regional network operations center, which monitors and maintains Cingular's network 24/7 and allows Cingular personnel to assess and begin to act on an emergency situation within minutes.
Cingular provides updated information on its hurricane preparation and tips for consumers to stay in touch during and after a storm strikes at cingularhurricaneupdates.com/ . High resolution photos are also available for download on the site.