EDMONTON – Wednesday night’s breakdown of cellphone service as an estimated 65,000 U2 fans at Commonwealth Stadium overloaded communications antennas with calls, texts and tweets underlines a potentially serious problem as demand outstrips network capacity.
Fiona Pynn said she and her husband, Darin, had service on their Telus phones when they first got into the stadium. However, they moved about two sections over and both their phones stopped working.
“Then we heard some people a couple rows behind us saying their phones weren’t working either, but yet the person sitting next to us who was also on Telus, her phone was working fine,” Pynn said.
“After we were coming out of Commonwealth, I fell off a curb and really scraped up my knee so we were contemplating calling a taxi but, obviously, we wouldn’t have been able to.”
The couple’s cell service reappeared as they walked to catch a bus.
“I wasn’t impressed,” she said.
and finally a sane voice near the end:
Rick Lee, 30, said he was pleased at the lack of service while he was on the floor during the show. It eliminated distractions, Lee said.
“I just thought it was awesome,” Lee said. “We could all focus on the show. I didn’t mind it at all.”
Though the above Ms Pynn had a real purpose to use the phone re the scraped knee, her complaint about access loss makes me wonder if she overplayed the injury as well. And why exactly (like I really have to ask) did they need their phones at a concert that they bothered to attend in person and presumably wanted to pay attention to?
You would think that instead of generating hotspots, major live events should create areas of low usage. One suspects that the U2 experience for many will be reported as not an awesome concert but as a service outage. Thanks to Rick Lee I feel just slightly less the outlier regarding these devices.
Heard this item discussed on a news with the spin that it was such a good thing that Canada was third in the world for gigs consumed per month (just after South Korea and France) because we had felt we were somehow lagging in this department.
As this page notes, it might translate into an advantage in accessing cat videos.
I am all for data access but all this news item meant for me was that we were one of the world leaders in wasting time.