Saturday 17 November 2018

Will my mobile work? Crowds set to put significant strain on network

Some teens use their phone to take a selfie with Pope Francis. Photo from 2013
Some teens use their phone to take a selfie with Pope Francis. Photo from 2013
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

HUGE crowds expected during the papal visit are set to put a significant strain on the mobile networks.

The major mobile operators have said they have taken steps to combat possible interference but admit some customers may still face problems.

Three Ireland, Vodafone and Eir have all deployed temporary additional resources to mitigate against any potential call and text disruption around the Phoenix Park, the popemobile route and in Knock.

These measures will boost coverage and capacity but the expected crowds - around 500,000 people are due to attend the papal Mass in the Phoenix Park - may lead to lapses in service.

Three Ireland said it "installed a number of temporary sites in the Phoenix Park and made some modifications" to avoid problems but warned "full service could not be guaranteed".

It is understood Vodafone customers may experience some potential disruption due to the large volume of people.

However, Eir has said it does not expect any issues for customers on its network.

Popular taxi app MyTaxi has warned customers that they may need to leave the area around the Phoenix Park to hail a taxi due to potential phone network issues.

The company has said it will still be running as normal, taking traffic restrictions into account.

Dublin Bus services will be running - with around 400,000 extra journeys on Sunday - but there will be no interactive real-time information around the city or available on the app on Saturday or Sunday due to "major traffic diversions".

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