Wireless Networks Prepare For Inauguration Traffic Jam

    January 19, 2009

With the 2009 Presidential Inauguration taking place Tuesday, wireless companies are working to optimize their network capacities in and around Washington, D.C. to prepare for the expected increase in demand.

"For months, wireless carriers have been working hard to prepare for what could be an unprecedented Inauguration week," said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Wireless Networks Prepare For Inauguration Traffic Jam
Steve Largent
President & CEO

"Companies are going to extraordinary lengths investing significant amounts of time and money, and are doing everything within their power to boost network capacities in Washington, D.C. for this historic event."

To prepare for the crowds and huge spikes in wireless traffic, carriers are adding more technicians to monitor their networks and work with government agencies involved in the Inauguration events.

They are also taking steps to address capacity issues, including adding new radio channels to augment existing cell sites, provisioning additional portable sites and enhancing in – building wireless coverage at key locations throughout Washington, D.C.

"Despite all the industry’s efforts to increase network capacity, it’s really important for the public to understand that unusually large crowds can generate congestion and communications delays," Largent continued.  "Think of a wireless network like a highway.  Even though we’re building more lanes, if millions of people jump on the road at the same time, there could be a traffic jam."

"For this reason, we want to remind Inaugural event attendees to do their part in decreasing network demand by texting instead of placing voice calls, and holding off on sending cell phone pictures or video until after the events are over."