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Innovation

Royal wedding: Mobile operators upgrade their networks

Kate and Will's nuptials expected to boost mobile traffic
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor on

Kate and Will's nuptials expected to boost mobile traffic

Mobile networks are gearing up for the royal wedding by increasing network capacity in key hot spots”  title=

Mobile networks are gearing up for the royal wedding by increasing network capacity in key hot spotsPhoto: LisaThumann

Mobile operators are upgrading their networks to deal with the expected surge in traffic from calls, texts and photos from the crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the royal wedding.

O2 has upgraded network capacity throughout key areas of London such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the route of the royal procession.

To meet the additional demand for voice and data services, it is also also deploying high capacity cell sites in St James Park and Hyde Park.

It said 283 cells (a mixture of existing and temporary) will provide coverage to the event and these will be monitored throughout the day, with its team tweaking capacity, as and where necessary.

Vodafone CTO Jeni Mundy said the Royal Wedding is "set to be the mobile event of the year", and said Vodafone has been planning for the Royal Wedding for many months, as it is expecting to experience increased demand from not only existing customers, but also from foreign mobile users roaming on the Vodafone network.

Vodafone will not just be improving mobile signal in London, but will also be boosting services to Kate Middleton's hometown of Bucklebury where several thousands of visitors are expected to congregate.

A spokesperson from Everything Everywhere told silicon.com that the mobile network is expecting that an "exceptional number of calls will be made and text messages sent" and has arranged for additional engineers to be in London.

O2 has forecast that 65 million pictures will be shared via social networks on the big day, while Vodafone is aloo predicting a surge in data traffic as people upload photos to Facebook and other social networks.

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