Cell Networks To Inauguration Attendees: Please Don't Use Your Phone Too Much

If you were planning on livebloging the shiz out of BHO's ascension to the throne tomorrow via your smartphone with photos, tweets and txts, you may have a tough time of it.

Having cell troubles at large public events is something we've all experienced, but the inauguration crowd, which could top out at around two million iGeneration texters and tweeters, will likely bring every DC-area network to its knees. That's why all of the major carriers are spending millions for this one day, bringing in extra COWs and COLTs (cell on wheels, cell on light truck) to beef up bandwidth. The NYTimes talked to most major carriers, and it's interesting to hear all that goes on behind the scenes for a big event like this. Sprint claims they've been planning for the inauguration since April.

Despite the networks' best efforts, Grandpa Gene Kimmelman of the Conusmer's Union (publishers of Consumer Reports) says it's not enough:

“It’s like paying for an all-you-can-eat buffet and discovering there are only scraps left,” Mr. Kimmelman said. He suggested another way the carriers might spend their millions of dollars: “Maybe they should offer a rebate if they cut usage on Inauguration Day.”

Funnily enough, the NYTimes, is one of many news outlets is one of many with open calls for citizen reports filed via smartphone from the field. Oh the paradox of media in our connected age! [NYTimes]