January 16, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
If you experience cell phone problems next Tuesday, January 20, President-elect Barack Obama will be to blame. More specifically, excitement caused by Obama will be the culprit. Anticipating a large spike in calls and text messages during the presidential inauguration ceremony, carriers are bracing for logjams due to increased traffic.
Cell phone networks occassionally experience jams during high-volume periods like New Year’s Eve or during a natural disaster. The swearing-in of America’s 44th president is expected to be a historic occassion that causes such a scenario. Cell phone industry trade association CTIA estimates that 4 million people may visit the district for Inauguration-related events, and this increase in MMS messages, SMS messages, and mobile calls could pose a problem. According to an MSNBC blog, the industry will respond with Cell on Wheels (COWS), equipment rigged to mobile trailers that deal with increased traffic.
D.C. is a markets with T-Mobile 3G service, and G1 users will be happy to know that T-Mobile has reportedly invested millions of dollars to deal with anticipated data problems during the inauguration. Follow the official Obama Inauguration Twitter page for more updates.