Have you ever been to a big event and you couldn’t get a hold of anyone because the wireless networks were so congested?
Maybe it wasn’t too important when you were trying to call a friend so they could hear the encore at the Rolling Stones concert, but imagine if it happened at the Democratic or Republican National Convention, events that help select the next President of the United States. With all the digital data streaming to the public during these high-profile events, wireless network failure would spell a communications meltdown.
However, since the last conventions four year ago, the telecommunication companies have made numerous technical advancements and have taken great measures to upgrade and expand their services. Even with the last minute change of venue for Barack Obama’s Democratic National Convention, the telecom companies are making adjustments and utilizing innovative solutions to ensure for a successful event.
COWS and COLTS are just a few examples of the innovative solutions that will enable telecommunications to maintain wireless service during the conventions. COWS and COLTS stand for "cell on wheels" sites and "cellsite on light truck." These wireless "animals" enable wireless providers to augment existing coverage so users can conduct business as usual.
The telecom companies are also accommodating for the increase of bloggers (expecting 10 times as many as in 2004), who will likely be heavy BlackBerry users. Not to mention, there will likely be much more video streaming and picture uploading as well. So while the change of venue isn’t a big deal for bloggers with little equipment, a reliable communications network is needed so they can update their blogs frequently.
All this is being taken into consideration as companies: AT&T, Qwest, Sprint, T-mobile, and Verizon Wireless invest millions of dollars to keep up with the increase of technology and resulting bandwidth traffic.
AT&T Wireless regional vice president and general manager, Dave Fine, claims, "Based what we’ve seen at previous large venues — the Final Four, the World Series, the [Barack] Obama rally in St. Paul — and what we expect to see at the upcoming Neil Diamond concert, we’re confident of what we’ve planned for at the Republican Convention."
If you’re attending either of these conventions, it sounds like you can rest assured that you’ll be able to use your cell phone for calling, texting, blogging, emailing, picture and movie uploading.
If you’re not one of the 76,000 expected to attend the Democratic National Convention or the 45,000 expected to attend the Republican National Convention, you can rest assured that you will be made to feel as if you were actually there.