<img class="lightbox image-large" right size-full wp-image-2003" title="picture-14" src="/articleimages/2009/01/picture-14.png" alt="" width="190" height="281" />Countless numbers of cellphone-wielding citizens are about to descend upon our nation's capital for Tuesday's Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. Wireless providers are bracing for the spike in traffic, like cell phone calls, text messages, emails, and multimedia messages.

Temporary antennas and portable wireless towers, like those pictured to the right, are being added in an attempt to handle the increased traffic, but they are expected to be easily overwhelmed on Tuesday. Wireless carriers are even pleading with the public to consider the increased traffic and limit phone calls and sending pictures.

Joe Farren, spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, an industry trade group, said the following:

"If some of these estimates [increased traffic] come true, people should anticipate delays with regards to sending text messages or making phone calls or getting onto the Internet."


If your text messages or data connections are slower than normal on your T-Mobile Android G1 this Tuesday, it's likely the Inauguration has something to do with it.


[nytimes.com, picture courtesy of Daniel Rosenbaum]