Downtown DC has braced for the arrival of up to 800,000 people, who will observe the 57th U.S. Presidential inauguration today. The event will be tweeted, shared and recorded on video by the assembled crowds, some of whom will be using 4G services and applications on their smartphones.
Besides the additional data traffic surge, Tekelec expects this event to generate increased Diameter signaling traffic, thanks to an increased density of LTE device users attending the ceremonies. In fact, the 57th Inauguration is sure to be very different from the 56th in terms of technology: four years ago, smartphones only had approximately an 11 percent market penetration – and BlackBerrys outnumbered iPhones two to one.
Additionally, LTE was not yet in service anywhere in the world.
Now, more than 55 percent of Americans own a phone that is capable of video streaming or Internet connectivity – a total of more than 100 million Smartphones. Add to the mix a new, dedicated free Inauguration app with live streaming (Inauguration 2013), and it’s easy to see how mobile data and subsequent Diameter signaling traffic will surge.
The density of LTE-enabled devices means that 4G coverage will be seriously tested during periods of peak usage, thus forcing subscribers onto 3G and Wi-Fi networks. Also, attendees’ mobility in and out of coverage areas may cause subscribers to switch from LTE to 3G networks, and back again. The result on the core network will be periodic spikes in Diameter signaling traffic.
It will be interesting to see how operators fare once users start comparing what they expect from their devices and mobile network providers, and what actually ends up taking place to either enhance or mitigate the Inauguration experience.
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