Certainly it was not unexpected. Put millions into a confined area-like the Mall in Washington, DC and it will stress the mobile bandwidth that we have all become reliant upon. While the network certainly did bend, I don’t think it broke.
While I was not out on the plaza, I am making that assessment based on watching Twitter, CBS Eye Mobile, Facebook and other sites-where users were posting their updates from the crowd on the mall.
But there were still some great moments captured and shared:
The reliance we have on this mobile backbone though has never been more apparent. A good friend was in the crowd, and was trying to send an MMS of his view of history (which was from about a mile away and shaky). It didn’t arrive to me and others on his personal distribution list until well after 1pm (ET).
His carrier (I don’t know which one) queued up the message and then sent it out.
Here in NYC, there was evidence of this stress too. As we sent out news alerts to our customers, the experience as a content provider was interesting. The devices and carriers that are usually the first to get the alerts got them late. The carriers who tend to queue up the alerts had them flow right through. In talking to our MMS aggregator, the issues all came after the gateway, which is where the message reaches the carrier.
In an interesting Tweet from the Mall, here is what @dceiver had to say about his experience trying to update via his BlackBerry:
To review cell providers: Verizon, T-Mobile, great. Cingular, failed miserably. Guess what network my BlackBerry is on
But that did not stop the content from coming in-this is the age of the citizen journalist after all.
So keep those videos coming, wherever your share them, this is our collective digital archive after all.