Airwave Solutions, which operates the UK’s TETRA emergency services communication network, had revealed that New Year’s Eve continues to record the most concentrated use of the Airwave Network – a 32% increase in calls on the same day the previous year.
During the 24-hour period from 12:00 on 31 December 2014 until 12:00 on 1 January 2015 there were over 2.15 million calls made on the Airwave Network in London. Over 615,000 of these were in the central event area where the New Year’s Eve celebrations took place.
“New Year’s Eve is the second largest annual special event that we support during a calendar year, after the Notting Hill Carnival in August. Airwave prepares for the additional demand to the Airwave Network whilst also actively monitoring and managing capacity on the Network in real-time to ensure our customers can communicate,” said Martin Benké, director network operations, Airwave.
In the busiest hour during this period, some 139,000 calls were made in London of which over 50,000 were in the event area. This compares to the previous New Year's Eve when 105,000 calls were made in London on the Airwave Network during the busiest hour.
“It is also worth noting that last Thursday – a normal day – in the event area, the total number of calls was only 29,305, just over half of the 50,000 calls made on New Year’s Eve,” added Benké.
New Year’s Eve in London started with a bang with the explosion of some 12,000 fireworks, which filled the sky above London's South Bank lasting 11 minutes. The emergency services prepared themselves for a busy night and Jason Killens, operations director at London Ambulance Service tweeted that they were expecting up to 600 calls an hour.
“Over 100 emergency calls in the first 15 minutes since midnight – it’s getting busy this London NYE.”
Unlike last year when about 500,000 people crammed into part of the city to view the display, just 100,000 paying ticket holders were permitted to watch the city’s annual celebration from a fenced-off area at a cost of £10 per ticket.