Operations center in NJ tracks global cell usage

The Global Network Operations Center or GNOC facility in Bedminster,  NJ monitors live communication engagement happening around the world....and so much more.

"We're keeping the eye on the overall flow of activity in the AT&T network and what happens here pretty much is reflective of what  is going on in the world around us," said Steve Moser, Visitor Program Manager. 

In real-time, engineers have a sense of how many of its users are engaged and how they are interacting with one another.

Using a green laser pointer, Moser explains how these three graphs detail daily cell phone usage globally.

"This would be the total number of phone calls being made. this would be for the number of minutes people are talking, so the total minutes of usage and this is for text messaging. A lot of texting. Far more texting than voice," said Moser.

Cyber attacks are a very real possibility and GNOC  has a system in place to address any potential threats.

"This is a threat visualization map.  It detects abnomalies in the network and color codes them by threat risk. So for instance the magenta and the red indicates a transactional issue. So there's something about the call has been set up or the connection between a host and a server that's not quite matching our models and that would suggest maybe that a hacker is trying to do something they shouldn't do," said Moser.

Among the lessons learned from 9/11, an isolated communication network is neccessary for all emergency responders to use to communicate without disruption or interference.

Just announced -- GNOC and AT&T are now working with the federal government to make this type of high-speed broadband system a reality and calling it Firs tNet.

For now, GNOC's primary focus remains this -- no alerts this period. "Generally speaking: if a screen is blank in this place.,it's good," said Moser.