Eclipse 2024

Eclipse and Mobile Networks: Ensuring Connectivity Amidst Spectacle

As darkness envelops millions during Monday’s total solar eclipse, spectators will raise their mobile phones skyward to capture the moment. But could the surge in mobile phone usage impact networks?

Both in city centers and rural towns, network providers and public officials are gearing up for a significant increase in traffic on mobile and Wi-Fi networks as the influx of eclipse tourists strains online network providers.

The path of the total eclipse‚ÄĒwhere the Moon completely covers the face of the Sun‚ÄĒwill draw thousands of tourists to states across the U.S., from Texas to Maine. Travelers will rely on the network infrastructure of these areas as they use social media, livestream, and make video calls to commemorate their experience.

The eclipse itself does not affect wireless networks. However, the influx of tourists to cities and towns creates an environment similar to that of a crowded football game or concert in a stadium: the larger the crowd, the more challenging it can be to get a cellular connection.

“Any place that is in the path of totality will experience a significant increase in mobile phone usage, especially during the period of totality and shortly thereafter,” says Caty Pilachowski, professor of astronomy at Indiana University in Bloomington, in an interview with CNN.

Bloomington, which last experienced a total eclipse in 1869, will be in the path of the total eclipse on Monday and could welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors.

“An eclipse is often seen as a shared activity,” Pilachowski said, noting that people will take photos and videos and share those images.

As the anticipation builds for this celestial event, ensuring seamless connectivity amidst the spectacle becomes paramount, underscoring the importance of robust network infrastructure and preparedness in handling surges in mobile usage.

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