It was interesting to see at Suncorp Stadium how badly the mobile phone networks struggled to keep up with 50,000 Coldplay fans tweeting, posting, liking and uploading. And it’s not just a one off… over the past few years at many large public events, I have experienced social blackout – that is my connection to our digital world failing under the massive strain of thousands of users all trying to stay connected at the same time.
On many occasions I have thought that surely the mobile network providers must realise when you have 50,000 odd people in one place, network traffic will increase, and network reliability will suffer. I’m no data communications expert, but surely there must be a way to increase bandwidth? Well interestingly enough Optus are trialling a new service utilising the cloud to make heavy network traffic a thing of the past. It will be interesting to see the outcomes of these trials.
It seems this issue is not limited to large, public events using the cellular network. On two occasions this year I have been in large convention venues and also seen the wifi network fail. After being told it’s more than capable of handling the 600+ delegates all connecting simultaneously, it seems the calculations did not factor in that each delegate would more than likely have more than one device to connect – in reality it’s their smart phone, laptop and tablet.
In this digital age, are our communication providers and venues keeping up with the demand of users?