Articles Blog

Surprisingly Phones Don’t Work in Grocery Stores, Here’s Why

Surprisingly Phones Don’t Work in Grocery Stores, Here’s Why

So I’m in the middle of the most important
phone call in the world. No, really, it’s the one that changes your
life, your happiness and future depend on it! I think you know what kind of calls I’m
talking about, right? And then, excited and distracted, I enter
an elevator. End of story. I mean WHY??? People have been to space, they have invented
antibiotics, you can chat with your friends with the help of your watch! But once elevator doors close, all our gimmicky
phones just quit! But the worst thing is that there’s nothing
we can do about it. Look at the phone in your hand. Most likely, you don’t remember how you used
to survive without this gadget. But what magic makes it work? To put it simply, your cell phone is something
like a two-way radio. Inside, it has a radio receiver (which gets
signals) and a radio transmitter (which sends signals). Now, imagine you are having an important talk
with a friend. While you’re updating them on the most recent
developments in your life, your clever gadget is busy, converting your voice into a series
of electrical signals. Then, your phone uses its radio transmitter
to send these signals (via radio waves) to the closest cell tower. After that, the process repeats, but in the
opposite direction. Cell towers begin to send radio waves from
one to another until, finally, your coded voice reaches your friend’s phone. Finally, their gadget converts the received
radio waves first to electrical signals and then to your voice, which is telling your
friend how your latest date didn’t go according to plan. But let’s get back to that pesky elevator
and the way it can wreck even the best conversation! Come to think of it, this phenomenon has a
perfectly logical explanation. I don’t want to scare you or anything, (mu-wah-ha-ha!)
but an elevator is a compact box made of thick sheets of metal and stuffed with electronics. This box moves inside a narrow concrete shaft
through the building’s multiple floors made of bricks or stone blocks. In most cases, radio waves easily penetrate
all kinds of materials, but massive chunks of solid stuff, such as rock or metal can
stop them. For example, if you’ve ever driven in a
mountainous region, you might have noticed that your phone signal vanished and reappeared
again. This mystery has a simple explanation: if
there is a cliff or a mountain between your phone and the nearest cell tower, it will
easily prevent radio waves from getting to you and it may sound like this… “The number you’re trying to reach is
unavailable or out of the coverage area.” Boy I hate hearing that… Something similar takes place when you’re
in an elevator. Radio waves from your friend’s phone are
desperately trying to reach your cell phone. But they meet a barrier they can’t penetrate. Let’s see: a metal box that doesn’t let
radio signals in and out; an elevator shaft built inside a narrow concrete space and reinforced
by steel; numerous floors and walls of the building surrounding it. It means that there are several layers of
solid materials between your phone and the perfect reception. That’s why those poor radio waves are physically
unable to reach your gadget during an elevator ride. But let’s imagine that there is a super
strong and powerful cell tower that can deliver signals to your phone (which is trapped inside
an elevator). Happy ending? Unfortunately, far from it: the transmitter
on your beloved gadget is so weak that its signal won’t burst through the walls of the
metal elevator car, let alone all those layers of steel and concrete! I’ll admit it doesn’t sound too inspiring
for my elevator conversations. Well, at least, I can understand the reasons
and accept reality. But have you ever noticed how your phone refuses
to work properly once you enter certain grocery stores? (Really? Who does that?) Despite a popular myth, it’s not because
stores want to prevent you from looking for better prices online. For one thing, it’s illegal in the USA to
jam a cell signal on purpose. What’s more, there are tons of supermarkets
with perfect cell reception. But most commercial buildings (shopping malls
or big supermarkets) are built with the help of massive iron supports, are covered with
aluminum roof tiles, and have walls filled with concrete. Just like an elevator, such construction will
either prevent signals from getting to your phone or seriously weaken them. But let’s say there is a powerful cell tower
very close to the store, and it manages to get through the concrete walls and pass radio
waves to your phone. And here we go again, back to the elevator
situation: even though your phone receives the signal, its transmitter and battery are
too weak to establish a two-way connection. Some stores install baby cell antennas that
are no bigger than a good old household router. It can help you to receive a signal even when
you’re inside this huge cage made of steel and concrete. Clearly, not all businesses do it, but it
might be better for business! Statistically, the more you stare at the screen
of your smartphone in a grocery store, the more money you spend! And it can be as much as 41% more! Just FYI. Anyway, elevators and grocery stores are solid
boxes no signal can burst through. But what if I tell you that my phone also
regularly lets me down at concerts, big conferences, and even sporting events? Do you know what I mean? Then sound off in the comments below! And now, imagine yourself in a stadium: a
lot of people are cheering around, and the atmosphere is full of excitement. Apparently, you won’t be the only one who
will be eager to share the score with those who haven’t managed to come. That’s why your cell phone must compete
with thousands of other phones for the attention of the nearest antennas. Those overworked cellular networks experience
incredible strain because people not only call and message but also use photo- and video-sharing
apps which are data-heavy. The craziest thing here is that you’ll still
see enough bars on your cell phone, telling you that the signal is available, but your
gadget just won’t work like it’s supposed to. It may seem very confusing, but the truth
is that your phone will know that there is a network out there and that this network
does work. But at the same time, it won’t be able to
connect to it. The absence of the “LTE” sign next to
the bars may be the only hint that may help you to understand why you can’t reach your
friend. The good news is that cellular networks are
getting better and better at dealing with traffic in challenging situations. On the other hand, people use more and more
smartphones as well, which means that cell jams will increase too. That’s why phone companies build cell towers
and add and upgrade antennas near big concert halls and stadiums. Plus, they install “small cells.” These devices look like boxes and don’t have
such a wide range as cell towers. But in extreme cases, “small cells” can
help cell towers and boost the signal in crowded areas. But until all these changes are made, you
still have to deal with the situation on your own. Phone companies claim that old ways still
work so, hold your smartphone high in the air and wander around searching for a signal. (Now flap your arms and make duck calls! Wait. Just kidding about that last part.) Also, keep in mind that texts usually get
through more easily than phone calls, so if the situation seems hopeless, better send
a short message. Ah… This all used to be simpler… Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other videos I think you’ll
enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!

49 thoughts on “Surprisingly Phones Don’t Work in Grocery Stores, Here’s Why”

  1. bright side i know why phones dont work in a concert the sound/sound waves are blocking the internet waves… internet waves lol

  2. So thats why in mobile legends that game needs strong signal wee were both playing it his phone is was realse 3years ago but mine 1year ago we use the same mobile signal company and my signal is so strong while his signal is slow we were close when we were playing

  3. Doesn't have to be solid metal. Wire mesh will do the same thing. Also electrical interference from electronics throwing out waves in the same spectrums. Ever lose your WiFi when you fire up your microwave?

  4. If someone experiences using the phone inside lift, the telegraphic repeater was installed in the lift trunk intentionally.
    Basically the phone cannot be operated in the lift car without any repeater.
    But the case of trunk that is open type, it is possible.

  5. I’ve seen no one comment about phones not working in WALMART. Sure I can call and receive calls from people while I’m inside Walmart BUT the internet on my phone does not work at all while inside. Not only internet but also cannot send/receive picture messages. It’s legit only WALMART that it happen. Works fine in every other major store.
    …. which kinda makes me believe the conspiracy theories about Walmart… if you know why I mean.

  6. F.Y.I. If you go into a store and you start to lose signal ask the store if they have free public WIFI as todays smart phones often have the option to use wifi to do what is called WIFI CALLING. *ps. This trick also works if you have wifi at home.

  7. {|•|} Comment section {|•|}
    1- 100%= My phone works in the elevator
    2- 90%= my phone works in the grocery store
    4- 1%= comments like this
    5- 0% random stuff like not from the vid

  8. yes, there is an inexpensive way to solve this problem (assuming there is a nearby cell tower- usually, on the very same building the elevator you're riding in is located… ); you can simply install a "passive repeater" on the elevator car- it is nothing more than 2 antennae and a tuned circuit (usually a small piece of transmission line) through the metal box at some point (usually through the ceiling) and the issue is reduced.. OR if the nearest cell is too weak/far away, you can install an ACTIVE repeater which is the same, but with amplifiers between the antennae (this method, however, is considerably more expensive due to the amplifiers which have to be precision pieces of equipment.) and… You are also referring to a "Faraday Cage" and the "Micro Cell" is a form of passive repeater and those things can cost in the thousands of dollars/pounds!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *