Can Cell Phone Networks Handle Inaugural Traffic?

WASHINGTON -- The wireless industry is boosting capacity for the inauguration crowds, the Associated Press reported last week, but it already seems like that's not going to be enough.

Sunday night, my cell phone mysteriously lit up at about 11 p.m. with a voicemail message that'd been left two hours earlier. Just before midnight, several text messages sent throughout the evening appeared all at once. Then another text message took a half hour to receive.

I didn't think much of it at the time, as I live in a cave (English basement) along the U Street Corridor and often lose service (AT&T) unless I'm at the very front or back of the apartment. But then today I saw this We Love DC post from Wayan.

According to Wayan, AT&T's network for iPhone was down and text messages were delayed up to hours. All his cell phone attempts have failed Monday

The association that represents the wireless industry suggested sending text messages rather than phone calls and holding off sending any photos, but it seems that may not even solve the problem.

Those expecting to rendezvous on the Mall Tuesday via wireless technology may want to come up with a backup plan.

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