Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
O’Grady’s latest column for ZDNet (“All circuits are busy — please try again later“) takes another look at the some of the cool new mobile phones that debuted at Comdex Fall 2000 and the woeful state of coverage in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS — They can build a roller coaster on top of a skyscraper, a replica of the Eiffel Tower, or even the Empire State Building, but they cannot seem to build enough cellular phone towers to keep up with the demands of the Week of Geek that descends upon Las Vegas.
All week, attendees and regular vacationers alike attempting to make cellular phone calls were greeted with the familiar refrain “All circuits are busy now, please try your call again later.” In fact, it often takes five to 10 attempts to complete a call, and don’t hold your breath if you are waiting for a call – I think that my phone only rang three times while in town despite having received dozens of voice mail messages. Apparently, 225,000 techno geeks in one town are enough to bring any major city’s cellular phone system to its knees.