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Wireless Industry Boosts Capacity to Handle Phone Service From Inaugural Crowds

With more than 1 million people and up to 4 million expected for Barack Obama's inauguraion, some have been wondering whether cell phone companies will be able to handle the volume of calls, texts and email from people watching on the Mall. According to the Associated Press, wireless companies are planning to increase capacity:

Sprint said Tuesday that it plans to increase wireless capacity by 40 percent for cellular service and 90 percent for its walkie-talkie like feature. T-Mobile’s preparations exceed those of any single-day event in the company’s history, according to company spokesman Peter Dobrow.
But the industry warns that some dropped calls and delayed transmissions will be inevitable.
“If 4 million people show up on the Mall, absolutely expect delays,” said Joseph E. Farren, a spokesman for CTIA, which represents the wireless industry.

Industry experts suggest sending texts and email instead of making phone calls and refraining from sending pictures, which take up more bandwith.

By David A Nakamura  |  December 16, 2008; 6:42 PM ET  | Category:  Crowds
Previous: Obama Team Adds Inaugural Email Alert System | Next: D.C. Council Amends Inaugural Bar Hours

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