Cell companies prepare for Inauguration Day crowds

WASHINGTON – Extra cell towers are in place around the National Mall in anticipation of the weekend’s extra data demands.

When cell sites get overloaded by big crowds, cell service can drop out. To help prevent loss of service, AT&T tells the Washington Business Journal that the company has nine cells on wheels downtown, plus temporary cell antennas on rooftops.

Verizon and Sprint are implementing similar plans for Inauguration Day.

Even though not even half as many people as 2009 are expected to attend this year’s inauguration, there will be a greater demand on the cellular networks since the number of 3G and 4G smartphone users has increased.

However, if signals aren’t available, it might be worth planning a backup meeting spot with group members.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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