The Orange and T-Mobile owner has put its money where its mouth is.
There has been plenty of speculation over the stability of the UKs mobile infrastructure to handle the added infrastructure load as a result of the London Olympic games, with theCabinet Office already warning business and the public that the Olympics ‘could crash the internet’.
It has advised more companies to get more employees working from home, and look at alternative internet usage arrangements to take the load of Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile networks, and broadband. It has already told the major fixed line providers that they may "introduce data caps during peak times to try to spread the loading and give a more equal service to their entire customer base."
Mobile is expected to bear a large part of this burden.
"We’ve been preparing for London 2012 since before Orange and T-Mobile merged to become Everything Everywhere, investing millions of pounds to ensure a good experience for both British and international visitors to the Olympics – who will benefit from our integrated networks which provide the UK’s largest 2 and 3G coverage," said James Hattam, Director of Service Management at Everything Everywhere.
The pressure has been felt in recent months following the Natwest banking outage, and the O2 network’s outage last week.
According to Ofcom, the time spent using the internet on mobile devices is up by 25% year on year, with the overall volume of mobile data consumed doubling in the 18 months to January 2012.
The Olympics is expected to make this pressure worse. The Government has already predicted that around 800,000 spectators and 55,000 athletes, officials, organisers and press will be travelling between the various venues for every day of the games, putting significant strain on every aspect of London’s infrastructure.
BT has announced that its Wi-Fi in the Olympic Park will have the highest density of Wi-Fi coverage in the world, and is designed to take the load off the already overburdened mobile operators.
"Our network specialists have looked to previous global and national events, and analysed sites around the UK where we expect additional demand over the course of the Summer – including tourist attractions, transport hubs and sporting venues, and upgraded hundreds of key sites to cope with additional demand," said Hattam.
Everything Everywhere claims it has increased measures to ensure service stability during the games, including additional field maintenance resources in areas that are most likely to be affected. This also includes ‘dedicated incident managers’ which it claims will ensure a rapid response time to ‘any incidents’.
Hattam says the Joint Operators Olympic Group (JOOG) is providing as much capacity as possible using external mobile base stations in the Olympic Park to support the number of visitors expected each day.
"The operators have built 30 sites across the Olympic Park including 14 in-building solution. At off park venues a further 17 temporary sites are being provided to add additional capacity."