Olympic organisers urge text and Twitter restraint as mobile networks feel the strain
Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 31st Jul 2012
by Dan Worth V3.co.uk
30 Jul 2012
Spectators at the Olympic Games have been urged not to send text messages or post on Twitter from venues unless necessary as the volume of data is disrupting event information being delivered to the media.
Viewers complained on Saturday during the men's road race at the dearth of information being provided by race commentators on timings and riders' positions.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suggested this was due to the huge use of mobile phone networks, with a spokesperson confirming to V3 the issue had affected some of its coverage.
"During Saturday's road race there was an issue with the network provider's signal. As a result the delivery of some of the data could not be sent to the broadcasters," it said.
"This did not affect the time keeping of the race and the results in any way. The issue was dealt with and the system worked for the Women's road race."
V3 contacted LOCOG for comment on the issue but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Telecoms analyst Stephen Hartley from Ovum said it would be surprising if no preparations had been put in place to ensure guaranteed coverage for the IOC for the event.
"Obviously everyone knows there'll be a huge demand for information and with so many people owning smartphones they're going to use them for live text updates and to send messages, so it would be odd if the IOC were just relying on public 3G networks," he told V3.
"In the Olympics Park and other venues you know where everyone will be so you can pre-empt demand but with something off-site like the road race it's harder to predict."
The Games began on Friday night with a huge opening ceremony in London that included a tribute to the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.