A few months ago the UK government warned in a Cabinet Office report of an upcoming decrease in mobile network speeds and capacity due to higher volumes of traffic during the London Games. Even if additional capacity and coverage for mobile phone networks have been installed around the Game venues, at times of peak demand there are serious concerns about mobile network’s ability to handle higher demand.
With over 3.5 million Olympic tickets sold by July 3rd 2012 and the UK expecting to receive an extra 330,000 international visitors as a direct result of hosting the London 2012 Olympics – are the UK mobile networks really ready for the Games?
Two years to prepare the mobile networks for the London 2012
The UK mobile network provider O2 has been assuring that it has a plan to ensure O2 mobile network will be able to function during the event. According to O2′s London 2012 CEO, Derek McManus, “The mobile industry is expecting to cater for 80 million mobile phone users in 100 different event locations next summer. We know that the nature of sporting events means that we see huge spikes in traffic at key moments.” He continued, “As an industry, we have been planning for over two years and O2 alone has invested £50m in London 2012 – increasing capacity on the current network and building new temporary sites across the country.”
Sounds great … until the news that the O2 network suffered an outage over the past couple of days – just a couple of weeks before the opening ceremony.
Navigating without mobile network
“Only relying on mobile network and Internet while driving can be frustrating and – at worst – distracting”, comments ALK’s own David Quin, Head of Consumer Applications. “there’s a real risk of being unexpectedly stuck without directions or maps if you lose mobile internet coverage. This is why on-board maps in navigation apps such as CoPilot live remain popular options for drivers. All the maps you need are stored directly on your smartphone or tablet, so you don’t need to rely on your mobile connection for navigation. So even if your mobile network struggles to maintain service this summer, you can at least keep on driving with clear directions. With just two weeks to go until the Games begin and a likely corresponding strain on both the road and mobile networks in London, it’s a good time to get prepared!”
What is your opinion? Are the mobile networks ready for the London 2012 games?