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Cellphone carriers gear up for eclipse jam

Smartphone eclipse observing
If you use your smartphone to photograph a partial solar eclipse, you should cover the camera lens with a solar filter – even if it’s a makeshift one. (NASA Photo / Sten Odenwald / Lou Mayo)

One month from today, Americans could well be in on the most photographed, most widely shared total solar eclipse in history – but it’s up to telecom providers to make sure it doesn’t turn into a total bust.

From Oregon to South Carolina, millions of eclipse-chasers will be in what’s likely to be unfamiliar territory, outside the usual hot spots for cell service, scrambling to put photos online or stream live video.

Cellphone carriers will be using their tools of the trade – including mobile communication towers, portable power generators and beefed-up backhaul connections – to keep up with the flood of data and phone calls.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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