In preparation for Super Bowl 52, multinational telecommunications giant AT&T has gone to extreme lengths for the big game. Like other corporate entities in the industry, AT&T has been boosting the cellular capacity throughout the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and U.S. Bank Stadium (where the game will be played). Fans attending should expect an all-around better mobile experience, which will make it easier for them to document and share the event. With more than one million people expected to flood the city this coming Sunday, AT&T is prepared with 122 additional, new, or enhanced cell sites.
AT&T has spent the past year boosting the Minneapolis network to prepare for next Sunday’s big game. The company has installed a series of permanent and temporary upgrades throughout the city, so fans will have instant connectivity upon arriving. In addition, fans will be able to share their experiences via social media during the pre-game festivities that will occur throughout the week leading up to the big game more easily and faster than ever before.
At U.S. Bank Stadium, AT&T applied upgrades to the distributed antenna system (DAS), which will offer nearly 220 percent more LTE capacity than the start of this year’s NFL season. More than 800 antennas will be hidden throughout the stadium to manage heavy wireless traffic, giving fans strong coverage from the start of tailgating to the trophy presentation. The strategically placed antennas used by DAS distribute wireless network coverage throughout the venue, and manage the wireless capacity in heavily trafficked areas (like football stadiums) by bringing more consistent wireless coverage to customers in and outdoors.
As a result, fans can better enjoy coverage in hotels, arenas, airports, convention centers, and other establishments throughout the Minneapolis area. AT&T also installed new DAS at NOMADIC LIVE to further enhance coverage for any fans headed to the concert venue each night, including DirecTV NOW’s Super Saturday Night.
“When fans head to Minneapolis to cheer on their favorite team, we want them to have a great network experience—whether they’re making a call, checking email, or sharing their favorite moments on social media,” said President of AT&T Operations Scott Mair. “But the network enhancements in Minneapolis won’t go away after the big game. They’re permanent and will continue to befit customers. It’s just one way we’re continuing to invest in our Minneapolis wireless network.”
Aside from the various stationary fixtures installed, AT&T is also deploying 10 cell on wheels (COWs) to further manage the anticipated increase in wireless network demands. COWs are temporary towers AT&T will use to improve reliability and data speeds for the week leading up to and during the game. AT&T will have these towers located in strategic locations like Summit, 35E, and Nicollet Avenues, a Super COW in the stadium commons area, near Mystic Lake, the mall in Bloomington, along with the north and south sides of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Getting onboard with the latest in network connectivity, AT&T also recently launched 5G evolution in parts of Minneapolis, meaning they’ve upgraded cell towers with high-speed LTE Advanced features like 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation. These features are providing improved speeds and experiences for customers with compatible devices that include (but aren’t limited to) LG V30, Moto Z² Force Edition, Netgear Nighthawk Hotspot routers, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and S8 Active.
In total, AT&T has invested over $40 million in their Minneapolis wireless network, meaning the city’s residents can enjoy Super Bowl 52 over the AT&T network at home, work, and on the go. Even before the upcoming festivities, AT&T had invested over $200 million on wireless and wireline networks in the Minneapolis and Bloomington areas between 2014 and 2016, which has made this region one of the most connected in the country.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)