About 80,000 people are expected to crush into Central Park this afternoon for the visiting Pope's procession, and while that's no presidential inauguration crowd, the area's still going to be crawling with humans. Many of these individuals will be carrying cell phones, which raises some concern about loss of service—providers like Verizon and AT&T have reportedly spent millions to ensure you're covered, so you're sure to 'gram that #moneyshot sliver of Pope you spot through all the tall people.
Representatives with Verizon, T Mobile and Sprint tell us they've deployed cells on wheels (COWs) in affected areas, with service-boosting trucks roaming Midtown and near Central Park all day—an official with the city confirmed they've been working with both Verizon, AT&T and the Secret Service to provide this service. Verizon says they've also added voice and data capacity along the parade route in Central Park and around Madison Square Garden, so they expect, at the very least, that "calls and texts will go through when our customers press send."
Still, service interruptions are possible: "We've added capacity in New York to support this event, but some customers could experience a disruption in service due to the extremely high volume of users within certain concentrated locations," Adrienne Norton, a spokesperson with Sprint, told us in an email.
So, in short, your cell service might be fine, which is probably not news to you if you're reading this on your device while on line in Central Park right now. And if you do find that service is spotty, be sure to tweet at- oh, wait, never mind.