Ever wonder how your wireless phone works?

Of course not. Just like a car or an Apple Computer, we don’t wonder about these things. We just turn them on, and they work. Miracles abound, but we don’t really think about them.

I had a chance recently to think about — and actually see — how my wireless phone works. It was pretty impressive.

I visited the Verizon Wireless switching facility, “Mobile Telephone Switching Office” or “switch” in Orlando. It’s a fortress where all Verizon calls to and from Central Florida feed through. This otherwise non-descript building, with its brick trim and secured entrance, represents the brain and spine that mean when I hit “Send,” my call gets sent. Or when I log on with my broadband access card, Gmail comes to my laptop. It knows all.

The name “Hal” came to mind.

My first impression, though? Cool. Read More »