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Apr 3, 2024

The Technical Myths of 2024’s Solar Eclipse  

Presentation of the new year 2024 on the theme of astronomy, with a total eclipse of the sun.

You may have seen it in the news, your local newspaper, or even on social media. The year 2024 has brought a sight to see. On April 8, ensure you are outside to witness the solar eclipse that has not been seen since 2017!  

The anticipation is palpable as people from far and wide will embark on a journey just to get a better view of this scene, traveling to states such as Southern Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Ohio, and Maine. 

As the eclipse has gotten so much nationwide attention, there has been ongoing talk that this solar eclipse will cause a significant cellphone disruption because of its electromagnetic waves.  

While this seems intriguing, this statement is false. 

While there is a great chance that a cellphone outage may occur, Infiniwiz is here to tell you the real reason your phone may have cellular issues on the day of the eclipse. Here’s why. 

Now, let’s first address the myth! 

The solar eclipse itself does not have a direct impact on cellular services. 

People from all over the nation are preparing for this phenomenon, ready to record videos, take pictures, and livestream. Others are using their cellular devices to travel to other locations. With so many people using their devices that day, cellular services may be slow, especially in parts of the U.S. that are in the moon’s shadow, where the best solar eclipse viewing will happen, especially in crowded viewer areas.  

So, what does this mean?  

A network outage due to the eclipse can occur due to several factors.  

Outages could vary depending on the volume of usage on that day. Because everyone will be utilizing their devices, telecommunication networks may experience strain.  

Additionally, it relies on service providers' level of preparation and contingency planning. Providers such as AT&T have already alerted their users that they will ensure continuous "support emergency communications for first responders and that they are prepared to deploy redundant, backup connectivity solutions” (CBS).  

However, while service providers are aware of the potential impact of events like eclipses and may take steps to bolster network capacity and infrastructure in advance, localized outages or congestion may still occur in areas with particularly high population concentrations or inadequate cell tower infrastructure. 

Total solar eclipse. The Moon covers the Sun, 3D illustration

What can I do to ensure I can capture this moment on my device? 

Reduce non-essential phone usage during peak times:  

Minimize unnecessary activities such as browsing social media or streaming videos to alleviate strain on the network during the eclipse. 

Avoid doing live-streaming of the event. Instead, record it on your phone and send it later in the day.  

Utilize offline apps:  

Download any apps or content in advance that you may need to use during the eclipse, such as maps or photography apps, to reduce reliance on real-time data and conserve bandwidth. 

Have alternative means of communication available if needed:  

In case of unexpected network disruptions or congestion, carry backup communication tools, such as a portable charger, a physical map, or a walkie-talkie. This will ensure you can stay connected and navigate safely during the event. 

Additional note: 

Use a solar filtering lens to protect your device's lens, just like you would protect your eyes with solar glasses.  

Solar Eclipse Lookup Tool  

If you would like to determine if you will experience a partial or full solar eclipse on this day, check out this tool. Essentially, it will inform you on how much coverage you will see.  

The Infiniwiz Team will be outdoors, equipped with proper viewing glasses, to witness this extraordinary celestial event, will you? 

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