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updated: 8/2/2012 2:54 PM

Tellabs ensures Tweets, calls go through during Olympics

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  • Greg Gerard, Tellabs senior manager of technical support based in London, is leading a team to make sure the wireless network works seamlessly during the Olympics.

      Greg Gerard, Tellabs senior manager of technical support based in London, is leading a team to make sure the wireless network works seamlessly during the Olympics.
    Courtesy of Tellabs Inc.


Whenever gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps sent a tweet or track-and-field star Usain Bolt called his family in Jamaica during the Summer Olympics in London, their voice or data was sent over equipment from Naperville-based Tellabs Inc.

Greg Gerard, Tellabs senior manager of technical support based in London, has blogged on the experience of stepping up Tellabs assistance to ensure all those phone calls, texts and other data run smoothly over their equipment for the local wireless providers.

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"So far there is above average traffic, but our customers were prepared having rolled out extra Tellabs equipment to cope with the demand. Thus far things are going perfectly," said Gerard via email.

Tellabs provides the backbone of nearly all of the mobile data traffic that moves in London, said company spokeswoman Meredith Hilt.

The telecommunications equipment maker planned extensively in advance of the Olympics to prepare for the crowds and the demand on the networks. This included having about 20 engineers just dedicated to the Olympics.

They also took a lot of precautions to ensure the system runs 24/7. They added more equipment and replacement parts in case of outages or breakdowns. They also assigned workers to help on-site at customers' offices, Hilt said.

Besides the Olympics, which runs through Sunday, Tellabs also will be on hand for the Paralympics on Aug. 29 through Sept. 9 in London, just to ensure participants and fans alike can use their smartphones and other devices seamlessly, said Hilt.

After all, the whole world is watching and Tellabs said they want to make sure those calls and texts go through.

Surfing: For the past three days, 10 musically-inclined U.S. Cellular workers are singing on Twitter, responding directly via Twitter to complaints about the wireless industry. They include Risha Nunnally, vendor management, and Carmel Nunnally, a software test engineer, from Bensenville. Risha and Carmel are married and have been singing as long as they can remember. Betty Burke, a manager for business analysis, from Bensenville, is a member of her church choir. Tracye Smith, business account executive, from Itasca, performs in a band around Chicago and is releasing a CD in August and Lauren Gaines, customer service rep, from Bolingbrook, who started singing at the age 3, are other vocalists. Instead of offering canned text responses, they're singing and recording videos for non-U.S. Cellular customers to the tune of "Call Someone Who Cares."

• Next time you're eating at Wendy's, you'll be able to access Boingo Wireless for your Wi-Fi.

Take Care Health Systems, a subsidiary of Deerfield-based Walgreen Co., launched a pilot program offering patients fast and convenient mobile and online appointment scheduling through consumer health care app iTriage. The scheduling function is available in the Chicago area and Denver, Colo.

•Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at

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