Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Opera: Japan Earthquake Caused Mobile Broadband Use Increase - Gov and Biz Should Pay Attention

Live along the West Coast of continental United States means you play with fire.  Rather, you live along the RIM of Fire and, in southern California here, you've got lots of earthquake faults as well, ones we know about and ones we don't until there's an earthquake to shape things up.  So, it especially hits home for me watching the news reports about the northern Japan earthquake.  

And being mobile, it is of great interest to me that wireless broadband use in the days after the 9.0 quake.  And it's definitely something that government agencies, police, fire department, FEMA, etc, ought to pay attention to and factor wireless use into any kind of rescue, aid, and recovery program.

Opera, the mobile browser, reported increase traffic around 27% between February and March.  It is not saying a lot but it's a smart for us to start looking into things.  I'm sure other websites as well as operators have seen a great uptick in usage as well.  

You can imagine the chaos that ensued as people in the affected area try to find out information or those outside the area try to find out from news site what is going on.  And what if there was an early warning system about the tsunami that the government could have texted, tweeted, or e-mail people about, could a lot of the deaths have been avoided?  

Considering that areas up and down California is an earthquake zone, wireless providers as well as the local and state government should be prepared to step in and restore wireless services as soon as possible.  Or even before any natural disaster strike, the infrastructure should have already been beefed up.

More and more people are carrying around their mobile devices and use it as their main gateway to news, social connection, and use their phones as an outlet to disseminate information.

When I first heard about the Japanese earthquake, to find more about it, I went to my iPad, not the radio or TV.  And should the "Big One" hit, LA, the first thing I'll do is to check my cell signal and, if it's working, see if any updates are coming through.

More at RCR Wireless.

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