With over four million extra people expected in London over the Olympic period, many have been asking how on Earth mobile operators are going to cope with the additional barrage of mobile data traffic brought by the influx.
Even before the Games’ arrival, telecoms companies have been contending with a huge twofold increase in traffic over the past 18 months, according to recent findings released by Ofcom.
Thus, Everything Everywhere, the communications union of Orange and T-Mobile, has been preparing for London 2012 for over two years already. A statement from the firm was published on tech blog Tracy and Matt, saying the build-up had already begun before the telecoms merger brought about Everything Everywhere back in 2010.
The statement outlines the investment of “millions of pounds to ensure a good experience for both British and international visitors to the Olympics who will benefit from our integrated networks which provide the UK's largest 2 and 3G coverage. “
Research has been thorough, as the company explains, “Our network specialists have looked to previous global and national events, and analysed sites around the UK where we expect additional demand over the course of the summer - including tourist attractions, transport hubs and sporting venues, and upgraded hundreds of key sites to cope with additional demand.
“We've also increased measures in place to maintain service and operational stability during the games. Additional field maintenance resource in the areas of the country most affected are in place, alongside dedicated incident managers to ensure a very rapid response time to any service affecting incidents.”
The statement also notes how a special alliance has been formed between the UK's key network providers to help deal with the mobile traffic burden, in the form of JOOG – the Joint Operators Olympic Group.
“The Joint Operators Olympic Group [...] is providing as much capacity as possible using external mobile base stations in the Olympic Park to support the number of visitors expected each day. The operators have built 30 sites across the Olympic Park including 14 in-building solutions. At off park venues a further 17 temporary sites are being provided to add additional capacity."
Credit to the operators, they seem to have it covered. But the proof of the Olympic pudding will be in the eating (or attending) and ITProPortal will be tracking all the technological effects the Games has on the country over the forthcoming weeks.