DC Cell Phone Calls: Maybe We Can

Inauguration throngs threaten to overwhelm networks
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2009 3:40 AM CST
President-elect Obama talking on a cell phone. Cell phone use is expected to overwhelm capacity in Washington during the inauguration.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Throngs of people at the inauguration threaten to overwhelm the cell phone system with a massive number of calls, texts, tweets and emails, reports the New York Times. Major cell phone companies are scrambling to upgrade and add capacity, but no one knows how the system will respond to the enormous volume of calls. 

"If some of these estimates come true, people should expect delays sending text messages or making phone calls or getting onto the internet," said a spokesman for the Cellular Communications and Internet Association. "We can only bend the laws of physics so much."