Day One Thursday 26 January - Jed Laundry (Alcatel-Lucent)

 - Wobbly Wireless Wisdom - what a UMTS network saw during the Christchurch earthquake.

During the earthquakes, Network Operations (both Alcatel-Lucent and Telecom NZ) were tasked with keeping the Telecom Mobile networks stable and prioritising emergency calls. This involved micro-management at every part of the network, from the individual cell-sites to the major voice, data and signalling interconnects. This involved dealing with node failures in all parts of the network, managing batteries and portable generators, optimising RF around the downed cell sites, optimising network signalling and timouts, etc. As most people have their phones at arms length, they produce a lot of data which can be very helpful in inferring things about them and the people around them. In addition to the real-time micro-management of the network, we also used data from the network to identify patterns; in particular people who had gone silent after the earthquake hit, and traffic and physical movement patterns.

Our talk aims to provide an overview of what happened from an operations standpoint, as well as a sober look at what could have happened; how well did the network perform? Would a similar event in another major city have had a greater impact? How quickly were people able to leave the CBD area, and what potential bottlenecks were there?

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