Orange Spain said it plans to significantly boost its mobile network capacity in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ahead of the forthcoming carnival celebrations in the Canary Island capital, from 10 February to 5 March. The plan includes deployment of a portable base station (“Cell on Wheels”), with all the equipment needed to create an additional network access point housed in a small truck.
The aim is to guarantee the best possible experience for customers and avoid congestion in view of the demand for mobile data service, said Orange, which has already rolled out 5G coverage across almost 90% of Gran Canaria’s capital.
The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of the oldest and most famous Carnival celebrations in Spain, and is of great economic and cultural importance to the island of Gran Canaria. Every year, the three-week long party attracts hundreds of thousands of people, on top of the city’s year-round population of just under 400,000 residents. Thus, while Orange already has 5G coverage across 90% of the island’s capital city, during Carnival the number of people using mobile data can more than double, which puts intense strain on existing mobile network infrastructure.
Orange Spain’s “Cell on Wheels” presents an interesting solution to the challenge of increased local network congestion during specific event when population density (and network congestion) is expected to be unusually high for a brief period of time. When, as in this case, the increased network congestion is due to a predictable event rather than a permanent population increase, deploying additional network access points that are both portable and temporary is a far more cost-effective move than upgrading the network of the entire locale.
An additional benefit of Orange Spain’s “Cell on Wheels” is that, while these vehicles are being used to boost the network at events that are both high profile and crowded, the vehicle itself serves as a billboard for the company – advertising the lengths to which the carrier will go to ensure good service for its customers.