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In Room With No Cell Service, Verizon Works On Future of Mobile 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the app-of-tomorrow dept.
alphadogg writes "If you think your house has bad cellular coverage, Verizon Wireless has you beat: A small, windowless room high up in a San Francisco office building gets no service at all. That's not because carriers are neglecting the bustling South of Market business district where the room is located. Instead, it's because Verizon is paying so much attention to what's going on there. The room with zero bars is in the heart of the Verizon Innovation Center, where Verizon network and business experts help developers of new wireless devices and apps to turn their ideas into products."
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In Room With No Cell Service, Verizon Works On Future of Mobile

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  • by themushroom (197365) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @07:55PM (#45087059) Homepage

    I said... can you hear me now?

  • that "...small, windowless room high up in a San Francisco office building (that) gets no service at all." sure has one hell of a view according to the pic in TFA.

    • Re:hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @08:01PM (#45087111)

      They just took a picture of a room that gets no Verizon service at all. You can find oh so many of them.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Hey! That image looks really familiar! It fact, it looks just like where I work!

        They must have the wrong place. There's no innovation or new ideas around my office.

    • Re:hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mythosaz (572040) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @08:05PM (#45087149)

      that "...small, windowless room high up in a San Francisco office building (that) gets no service at all." sure has one hell of a view according to the pic in TFA.

      The shielded room, about the size of a walk-in closet, only has space for a small desk, a couple of chairs and a bank of network equipment. It isn't meant to stay wireless-free. Instead, Verizon engineers use current and emerging wireless gear to create special radio environments for testing.

      The "shielded room" is a small part of the VIC.

      • I used to work at a contractor that built radio based stuff. It was intended for at-sea use, so the devices were overpowered and overlapped with regular radio and TV so testing needed to be contained. We had whole labs 20x30 and bigger with copper mesh under the cheap tacky paneling, even the doors had mesh seals so the rooms were a perfect Faraday's cage.

        It's been 10 years since I worked there... Those would be Awesome for NOT getting signals now!

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        and stories like this are ran every year.

        every radio developer and most bigger operators have such rooms and cages, usually with equipment to simulate wireless coverage of varying qualities.

      • These rooms are common for anywhere people build radio products. We had dozens in an auto radio group I worked in. You also need them so you can run test broadcasts without it escaping to mess with the real world.

      • This is that room. [youtube.com]
    • Maybe they meant that is has no TCP window?
    • that "...small, windowless room high up in a San Francisco office building (that) gets no service at all." sure has one hell of a view according to the pic in TFA.

      it get's even more interesting when the ground starts moving...

    • by drkim (1559875)

      that "...small, windowless room high up in a San Francisco office building (that) gets no service at all." sure has one hell of a view according to the pic in TFA.

      That's not the room.

      • by WarJolt (990309)

        RF chambers feel like coffins and definitely are not for the claustrophobic. Additionally they are not that rare . Anechoic chambers are in practically every place that does RF testing or RF engineering. See if you can find one at your local University. This article was clearly not written for scientists or engineers.

        • by drkim (1559875)

          RF chambers feel like coffins and definitely are not for the claustrophobic. Additionally they are not that rare . Anechoic chambers are in practically every place that does RF testing or RF engineering. See if you can find one at your local University. This article was clearly not written for scientists or engineers.

          Right you are. People also forget that every MRI machine, in every hospital, everywhere in the world, is in a totally shielded room (and much, much larger than the little test closet in the article.)

          So reading about a room (closet really) that "Oh my golly gosh - has NO cel service!!!. Imagine that!!" is kinda lame.

          MRI RF Shielding specifications
          Copper soldered RF shielded enclosure for MRI scanner
          SECTION 13095 RADIO FREQUENCY SHIELDING FOR MRI SOLDERED COPPER RF SYSTEM
          PART 1 - GENERAL
          1.1 DESCRIPTION
          The p

    • 8 years ago, I worked for a wireless manufacturer in San Diego - and we had a room like this. It's an amazing new (177 year old) invention called a Faraday cage.

      • by stiggle (649614)

        This is Verizon we're talking about - so its about on par for them catching up with modern tech :-)

  • Eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558)
    Is there a good reason why the blurb for this is so poorly worded/written?
    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Is there a good reason why the blurb for this is so poorly worded/written?

      The editors must be furlough-ed?

      Please pass the budget or /. will have poorly worded summaries!

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        "The editors must be furlough-ed?"

        Editors?

        You must be new here. Slashdot has never had editors.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Rather than summaries in the summaries, they put the first two paragraphs of the article as a summary. The same thing submitted with an actual summary would probably have been rejected.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Probably because the article that the blurb is about is also poorly written.

    • Because it's an advertorial? It's not as if it's news for nerds, or stuff that matters, is it?
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @08:02PM (#45087125) Journal
    Let us hope that the work they do there comes to nothing, and is overwhelmingly forgotten. It's a more charming approach than simple brute force and lobbying; but this is also an extension of Verizon's work to stave off becoming a dumb pipe, and reap the rents that doing so allows. That isn't good news for anybody except them, and possibly their favored app and/or device buddies.

    Not only are they surprisingly bad at it (hands up, everyone who ever had the pleasure of a phone with a fully Verizoned ROM, or a Comcast-rented cable box UI); but the conflicts of interest inherent between offering a product or service and controlling the infrastructure over which that offering is delivered are irreconcilably dangerous.
  • Faraday Cage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by condition-label-red (657497) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @08:09PM (#45087191) Homepage

    It is called a Faraday Cage [wikipedia.org] and it works very well at blocking RF signals. Pix.... [google.com]

    I helped assemble one many years ago. There was an FM radio inside the cage that would receive the local campus station quite well...until the cage door was closed, then would just hiss.

  • The downstairs bathroom at my house gets no Verizon reception, zero bars. The rest of the house does, just not that room. Other providers work fine, go figure...
  • by bitpyr8 (1120657) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @08:17PM (#45087249)
    Are typically RF shielded as well. There is nothing new, exciting, or exotic about a Faraday cage. Why is this article even here?
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      If you go to your home improvement stores, you can buy "magnetic paint" that significantly attenuates RF. Two coats and running the paint over a copper strip that goes to the outlet ground will make a HUGE dent in RF penetration into a room. It has an incredibly high iron content and it is decently conductive.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @08:31PM (#45087357)
    "... help developers of new wireless devices and apps to turn their ideas into LOCKED-DOWN products THAT GOUGE USERS."

    There. FTFY.

    Come on, Verizon. Charging EXTRA to tether when they're ALREADY paying for the data?

    Booooooooo.
    • What I hated about when I had Verizon was that a good 50% of my calls would be dropped, and most of my calls were shorter than 5 minutes long.
      I asked to get out of contract because they weren't holding up their end of the service and they wouldn't let me go. Apparently Verizon gives one sided contracts where they don't have to provide a service on their end, but you need to still pay them. PS: A Faraday's cage isn't impressive technology, they teach undergrads and possibly highschoolers how to make em.
  • A small, windowless room high up in a San Francisco office building gets no service at all...... because Verizon is paying so much attention to what's going on there.

    If you're wondering, that means that they've built a faraday cage the size of a room. They're a lot of fun if you can get one.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      If you're wondering, that means that they've built a faraday cage the size of a room. They're a lot of fun if you can get one.

      In what way? Every company I've ever worked at has either had one, or bought time in one. They suck. They're poorly ventilated, noisy & hot (from all the equipment running in a confined space), and if you forget to leave your phone outside, they'll kill your battery.

  • by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @09:00PM (#45087545)

    Anybody who develops or tests radio receivers of any kind (including cell phones) has one or more shield rooms - it's no big deal. As a more economical (though less effective) alternative, many also have screen rooms, which are little rooms built out of two-by-fours that are surrounded with copper screening. It's about as amazing as the fact that Ben & Jerry's R&D department has a freezer.

  • Recent innovations include:

    * Innovative means of continuing to maintain a completely locked down network, even in the face of FCC regulations regarding LTE, in the name of security.
    * Forcing device manufacturers to lock down bootloaders such that only Verizon can issue security updates.
    * Failing to issue said security updates, creating insecure devices, forcing customers to upgrade.
    * Requiring upgrading customers to obtain a downgraded (limited) data plan in order to qualify for subsidized phones. (You're
  • by JustOK (667959)

    That's nothing. All of Canada is blocking Rogers cell service

  • What they really want to do is figure out how to charge you for using your phone over WiFi like you can do with properly equipped T-Mobile phones.
  • the bars I get on my verizon iphone 4 are there for looks only. the moment i step into my house, all bets are off. I can go from 4 to 0 to 1 to 4 and back, just sitting in the same fucking location.

  • Unless they're talking about service in an uninhabited, isolated place, the obvious answer is wiFi. At my house there is no decent cell service from any of the major carriers. This is one of the reasons we have been using Republic Wireless' "hybrid" service--it uses wiFi for data and texting when you're near a known hotspot and mobile service from Sprint (or its roaming partners) when you're not, and it includes unlimited data--all for $19/month ( review here: http:///www.longmeadcrossing.com/republicWire [longmeadcrossing.com]
  • spammity spam!

    Fuck off, Samzenpus.

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