Solar eclipse may impact cellular service

(Photo courtesy NBC News)

(NBC News) As throngs of people travel to the cities that will be in totality during the eclipse they may face a challenge other than overcrowding: cellphone network blackouts.

“Cell networks are basically like highways but instead highways that travel over the air,” says Roger Cheng, CNET Executive Editor.

The more people who use those cell phone highways, the slower it gets.

Many eclipse destinations are in rural areas where networks aren’t set up to handle large crowds, and travelers will want to share the experience on social media which demands a lot of mobile data.

To combat the possibility of a network outage cell phone carriers are preparing to beef up coverage by bringing in portable cell towers.

Emergency planners still warn that some areas may experience a wireless service blackout in the hours surrounding the eclipse.

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