Beijing Games off to Smooth Start

It was all-systems-go for China on Friday evening as the 2008 Olympics got underway with the games' opening ceremonies.

Despite China Mobile's planned suspension of its wireless LAN (Local Area Network) during the ceremony due to capacity concerns, Internet around the city performed well with no immediate reports of slowness or outages. Spectators inside the stadium said that China Mobile's GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) was fully operational.

Similarly, there were no reports of system issues from the major Olympic partners, including integrator Atos Origin and hardware provider Lenovo.

China's top video sites kept broadcast material from China Central Television -- the nation's main broadcaster and only television rights holder -- off the air. After the opening ceremonies finished at midnight Saturday local time, online video provider Youku.com began featuring user videos of the final seconds ticking off the Olympic countdown clock in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, and footage of crowds watching the ceremony on large public screens. Rival Tudou.com stuck with more official fare, such as the music video for the official song "Beijing Welcomes You."

Football (soccer) matches began Aug. 6. Primary competition begins Saturday and continues through Aug. 24.

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