New Cell Phone Tower Could Help Heavy Traffic Issues

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Updated: 1/31/2014 7:08 pm
        The roads weren't the only thing experiencing heavy traffic during Tuesday's big snow event.
        Cell phone towers were dealing with call, text, and data overload.
        "It just kept dropping calls.  Every time I would try to call someone it would drop the call," said Karen Scott.
        "I tried to make a few calls and I just got a busy signal," Kim Dwier said.
        It leaves the question, is Chattanooga equipped to handle large scale emergency situations in the future?
        Matt Bates with Wireless Properties believes more towers can help,
        "The cell sites are designed to work for an average use during a particular time of day and they design that network. So when the cars stop and the populations confined to that given area, if it can only handle a thousand calls and you have two thousand people on your network, those call wont go through," Bates said.
        His company is in the planning phase of building a 180 foot tower near UTC.
        "I wouldn't say it would alleviate the problem entirely. But what will happen is when our towers go in,which ever providers decide to use it, they will have an additional capacity in that given area.  So whether it's for emergency situations or whether it's just for the new housing that will be developed just down the road from us, there's gonna be new students with multiple devices, they're gonna have additional availability for those services," said Bates.
        Bates' plans go before the zoning committee on Wednesday.
       The project can take any where from one to four years to complete.
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