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Mobiles could cut out during Olympics, Boris warns

London's mobile infrastructure may be overloaded during the Olympic Games next year, mayor Boris Johnson has reportedly admitted.According to a piece in The Telegraph on Thursday, Johnson said a lot of work was being done to ensure coverage was maintained, but huge spikes in usage would inevitably test the networks to their limits.

London's mobile infrastructure may be overloaded during the Olympic Games next year, mayor Boris Johnson has reportedly admitted.

According to a piece in The Telegraph on Thursday, Johnson said a lot of work was being done to ensure coverage was maintained, but huge spikes in usage would inevitably test the networks to their limits.

"We have got to be realistic, in the men's 100m final people want to download huge quantities of data, which will put a massive strain on the networks," Johnson said. "We are looking to install enough masts and have enough physical infrastructure and coverage for the huge demands. I am confident we will crack it."

Meanwhile, the Mayor's Office announced on Thursday that BT would have 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in London by the time the Games arrive. Johnson urged small businesses to try the hotspots out, saying they "could provide them with a low or no-cost way of working remotely, staying in touch with customers, suppliers and staff and accessing real time travel information".

However, BT told ZDNet UK that it was not making much investment to expand its London footprint beyond 380,000 hotspots. It said expected most of the growth to be natural and largely down to BT customers turning on the hotspot capabilities of their Wi-Fi routers.

BT is making one notable investment, though: it is installing hotspots in 630 central London payphone boxes, adding to the 350 such hotspots that already exist.