A recent article (December 28th) in the Financial Times titled “O2 apologises for snags in London network” is thought to describe a new problem mobile network companies will have to face in the near future, related with the new services provided through the smartphone/pda style phones.
The mobile companies around the globe have invested in new services which are mainly offered through the “smart” phones, enabling the users to access Internet services easily (e.g. Apple iPhone, Blackberry). It seems though that the same services that can help the mobile network companies to increase their profits, they can easily become a threat. This happened to O2, the largest mobile operator in UK, which has been facing network problems since summer, since its customers face difficulties in accessing the network and make phone calls. This problem is said to be experienced only in the area of London, while the problem will be solved by the company by installing 200 additional base stations in the area, increasing the capacity of the network. The article also mentions that O2 will work together with Apple and Research in Motion (Blackberry maker) to optimize the network by gaining knowledge on which applications could place heavy demands on the network.
Other mobile operators around the globe will face the same problem in the near future. The New York Times have recently mentioned that AT&T faced similar problems in providing services to iPhone users.
This incidents shows that the mobile operators have to include new aspects in their investments since the applications used by the customers have increased significantly since the old times that users were using only voice and text services.
Finally, it seems that the increase in the demand of the “new” services is quicker than the process companies follow to examine and then assess possible risks about the network.