Cell Networks Pass Test

Handled massive inauguration volume
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 3:29 AM CST
A technician for Sprint adds capacity to the cell phone system in preparation for the inauguration.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Washington DC networks of the major cellphone carriers held up under massive pressure yesterday, handling millions of additional texts and emails without crashing, reports USA Today. There were some delays but AT&T, Verizon and Sprint handled up to three times their normal volume as thousands of spectators at the inauguration shared the stirring moments with family and friends.

Experts had expressed concern that cellphone communication from the capital would stretch the systems to the breaking point. "There have been some delays in text deliveries and receipt, but otherwise, it's going very, very well," a Sprint spokesman said yesterday. All three carriers had been adding capacity—including cell towers and connecting equipment linking towers to the land-line network—in downtown Washington for months.