At one time or another, all of us with a mobile phone have been in a big crowd and had trouble getting a signal. It’s a little ironic that one of the most useful applications a mobile could have – finding people in a crowd – is also its achilles heel.
Sporting events and concerts are a classic. Thousands of people crammed into a small area, redialing and being faced with an irritating ‘network busy’ message. The problem is that both radio spectrum and network management capacity are finite.
How finite, however, depends on what your prepared for.
Literally millions of Hajji, or pilgrims, move through an area of just 15 square km over the course of a few days. Many will be visiting Mecca for the first time and want to keep in close contact with friends and relatives they have traveled with or who are back at home.
Nokia Siemens Networks implements a huge operation to ensure continued operation of the main Saudi operators’ networks. It’s a great test of network efficiency and scalability as capacity is ramped up by over 900% to cope with demand. Read more about how we cope, here: When all roads lead to Mecca