At the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, the thousands of tech savvy attendees were not immune to network congestion as reported by many. Despite carriers’ efforts to provide better coverage and allocate more bandwidth to the show floor, many suffered from a degraded experience, including:
(1) Lack of signaling available which happens when too many users request access to the network through the same cell site, and the device simply cannot connect to the network;
(2) Lack of bandwidth which results in a less than optimal experience where application content is delivered a lot more slowly than expected.
Here are a couple of comments from the show which gives some real examples of what network congestion means to end users:
“CNET’s Brian Bennett was standing at a T-Mobile press event, T-Mobile phone in hand, unsuccessfully trying to tweet about meeting the carrier’s TV mouthpiece, actress/model Carly Foulkes. He couldn’t get enough signal in the event room within the Venetian hotel” (CNET: CES data storm sweeps up wireless carriers)
“I was able to play with a demo unit using Mercedes-Benz’s COMMAND control system. Due to the congestion of the 3G network in the Las Vegas Convention Center, accessing internet-based apps such as Yelp! and Facebook were a bit slow, but they did indeed work.” (CES 2012: We Test Mercedes-Benz’s “Cloud-Connected” mbrace2 Infotainment System)
“Trying to connect my tablet to a MiFi was difficult because there were so many WiFi signals on the floor. But it didn’t matter because once connect there was no throughput.”