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How are networks coping with mobile usage at the Olympics?

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Olympic Park WifiThe UK’s biggest telecoms companies have stated their networks will cope with the strain of the Olympics.

Despite hundreds of thousands of visitors, spectators and workers arriving into London and across the UK, the UKs major mobile networks have assured the public that they can take the extra usage.

Across the Olympic Park alone, event organisers have fitted 30 mobile phone masts, including 14 which have been fitted inside Olympic venues. BT have stated that they have created the UK’s biggest single wi-fi networks to cover the whole of the Olympic Park.
On any given day, the facilities are expected to accommodate at least 200,000 people. This includes spectators, media representatives, security personnel, general workers and athletes.

Stuart Newstead, chair of the body representing mobile operators at the Olympic Games told the BBC: “At peak time when one set of spectators leaves and another arrives you will have between 200,000 to 300,000 people on site”.

“It’s as well prepared as it can be. The key to the planning has been co-operation between the operators to maximise the laws of physics, allowing a far denser configuration of masts and antennas than normal to ensure as much capacity as possible.”

All current customers of BT Broadband, O2 Mobile and Tesco Mobile can gain free wifi access, with other visitors paying at least £5.99 – this provides 90 minutes of wifi usage.

All broadband usage is covered by the installation of 1,000 wi-fi hotspots. BT has said it expects this to be able to support 1.7 gigabits per second, the equivalent of around 13,200 webpage downloads every minute.