Today I learned… that data bandwidth on 3G networks suck in Los Angeles because they’re oversubscribed. This is one of the major reasons the cell companies are pushing 4G so hard… to reduce pressure on the existing 3G networks.
It’s so bad, that in large concentrations of people, you’ll find that basic services & apps requiring TCP/IP DATA networking can completely fail – EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE “4 BARS” – whereas VOICE services will work just fine. This is because, as I understand it, digital “voice services” transmission is relatively low bandwidth and executed in a different manner than Digital “data services” transmission, using different channels.
Example: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena
During UCLA football games, there may be 80,000 people in attendance & the majority of them have phones that operate on AT&T & Verizon. As a result data services… will… SUCK. Meanwhile, Sprint users & T-Mobile users will often find their data networks work just fine. @#$^%.
The bottom line is: If you attempt to hit up Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, LinkedIn or any number of other social networks in a location where the cellular towers are over accessed, (football games at the Rose Bowl for example [ahem]) you won’t be able to get anything through, nor will you get a response. Your apps won’t work, and web browsing is probably next to complete fail.
USING TEXT/MEDIA MESSAGING
It turns out that SMS text messaging & MMS media messaging services operate on the same system as VOICE services, meaning that you can still post updates and pictures to Twitter & Facebook through these services if your data services are failing.
(Note: I personally haven’t had to use SMS or MMS messaging to communicate with Twitter or Facebook in years since the emergence of comprehensive mobile apps that serve the same function but if data networking doesn’t work, these apps are worthless – hence my “interest” in these services all of a sudden.)
Here’s the text messaging numbers to use when your data service isn’t working:
- Twitter: Text message to 40404
- Facebook: Text message to 32665 (FBOOK)
I realize that this isn’t news however it’s something to consider when you can’t frickin’ get a data signal from your area.
- TWITTER PREP
In the case of Twitter, you have to activate your phone as an authorized device to post to your Twitter account before texting to 40404. Follow the instructions here:
Once you’ve done this you can tweet away via SMS messaging. There’s a bunch of commands you can issue that are documented here:
- FACEBOOK PREP
In the case of Facebook, you have to ‘activate’ your phone to make sure only your phone can text updates. Follow the instructions here:
Once you’ve completed this process, you actually have a series of commands that you can issue to Facebook through SMS messaging: (https://www.facebook.com/mobile/texts.php)
- Update status: is at john’s party
- Add friend by name (or phone number): add john smith (add 1234567890)
- Subscribe to status: subscribe john smith
- Photos help: photos
- Unsubscribe: unsubscribe
- Help: help
- Stop sms; stop
- Start sms: on
- Twitter: Share a photo via text message
- Twitter: SMS Messaging: Basic Features
- Twitter: MMS Support for AT&T, Verizon, MetroPCS, US Cellular, C-S
- Facebook Text Messaging
- Facebook Text Messaging Activation Setting