Wireless Inauguration

Posted by Sam Churchill on

More than 800,000 people are expected to be on the National Mall and lining the parade route when President Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term today. For the first time ever, the Presidential Inauguration Committee has an app that will help people nationwide—and at the event itself—connect via Facebook and Twitter.

This time around nearly a million people will be sending photos, videos and text messages on smartphones, with demand for data five or six times greater than the demand during the last inauguration say telecommunications companies.

Four years ago wireless service was spotty when few people had smartphones. This year the strain on the network will be much worse, with a crowd much larger than any Superbowl.

Verizon said it enhanced coverage by adding new cellphone towers, upgrading old towers, and bringing in temporary mobile units known as “COWs,” or cells on wheels.

AT&T has spent more than $815 million upgrading its networks in the Washington area since the 2009 inauguration and has doubled mobile broadband capacity on the Mall. The company also will deploy nine COWs.

Sprint has invested more than $300 million in local upgrades to its wireless network since then. Data capacity is up 37 percent, and voice capacity is up 25 percent. The company is deploying three COWs.

Here’s just a partial list of where to tune in:

  • The 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee will be hosting a live stream of the swearing-in ceremony starting at 11:30 a.m. ET, as well as live video of the inaugural parade and the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball.
  • The Wall Street Journal will be presenting the inauguration live at 11 a.m ET. It will be anchored by Washington bureau chief Gerald F. Seib, Wendy Bounds and Simon Constable from its New York studios. You can watch it on multiple platforms including WSJ Live, YouTube, Hulu, and Ustream.
  • CBS News will be offering live coverage on TV and the Web starting at 10 a.m. ET. The site will also feature live coverage of related events, interactive slide shows, and analysis of Obama’s first term and what’s ahead in his next term.
  • NBCNews.com and the NBC Politics app, which is available on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, will carry live streams of NBC News’ coverage starting at 10 a.m. ET.
  • C-SPAN’s online live coverage of the inauguration starts at 7 a.m. ET and will include the swearing in, followed by the president’s address, the inaugural luncheon, and the inaugural parade.
  • Fox News will offer a live stream of the inaugural address as well as coverage of related events around Washington. Fox’s coverage will also be available on Hulu.
  • ABC News and Yahoo News have teamed up to produce three feeds of online video coverage across ABCNews.com, Yahoo News, GoodMorningAmerica.com, ABC News’ iPad and iPhone apps and ABC News affiliate websites, as well as on the ABC News YouTube channel.

See Dailywireless: Carriers Prep for 2009 Inaugural, 2012 Superbowl Goes 4G

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, January 21st, 2013 at 9:06 am .

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