London frets on old communication technology | india | Hindustan Times
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London frets on old communication technology

Disruption caused by the collapse of the O2 mobile network has led to fresh fears that London’s mobile phone networks will “fall over” during the Games, leaving spectators and people living near Olympic venues unable to make calls, access the internet on their phones or use other mobile services.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2012 00:16 IST

Disruption caused by the collapse of the O2 mobile network has led to fresh fears that London’s mobile phone networks will “fall over” during the Games, leaving spectators and people living near Olympic venues unable to make calls, access the internet on their phones or use other mobile services.

Five million visitors are expected to attend the Games, and LOCOG, the organising committee, has charged BT with installing free Wi-Fi in 500,000 hotspots around London. But experts are still warning that the huge influx of people could not only affect mobile usage at the Olympic venues, but also in nearby residential areas.

Steven Hartley, an analyst at Ovum Telecoms Strategy, said there could be problems in areas surrounding the Olympic venues and other hotspots such as London Bridge station. “If people spill into a neighbouring site, they will be relying on Britain’s existing infrastructure, which is running on technology that has been surpassed regularly in the last few years — we don't even have a 4G network, for example,” he said. “The risk is that the minute you start relying on legacy infrastructure, you're in trouble. It's a worry.

“I've been asking the network operators how they have prepared for this and they’ve been unable to tell me — as an analyst, it's a huge concern. It looks to me as though they are crossing their fingers.”