Why don't we use the emergency channel for calls?

03 April 2011

Question

Why is it that when u don't have signal but can communicate to emergency numbers? Why can't cellphone use that channel?

Answer

We put this question to Professor Mark Beach, Bristol University...

Mark - In a mobile phone network we have what we call broadcast control channels, and the traffic channels that the general communications go out on. The broadcast control channels can also carry the emergency calls and your SMS messages. So yes, it does happen that sometimes you've only got emergency cover and not general call cover.

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