Jumping Over the (Eclipsed) Moon with Strong Wireless Coverage

August 14, 2017
By Scott Mair

Pack up the car – it’s time for a road trip. Let’s get a glimpse of the total solar eclipse!

For the first time in almost 100 years, all of North America will experience a total solar eclipse. On Aug. 21, anyone within the path of totality from Oregon to North Carolina will experience over 2 minutes of complete darkness. In the middle of the day.

There’s no question technology has evolved since the last solar eclipse of this scope. We now have social media at our fingertips. And with social media, comes lots of mobile data demand. Everyone will look to snap, stream and share photos of this once in a lifetime event.

Here’s how.

As hundreds of thousands of people prepare for one of the most anticipated events of the summer, we are busy boosting our network from coast to coast. To support customers nationwide in the path of totality, AT&T will deploy 9 Cell on Wheels (COWs) and 1 Cell on a Light Truck (COLT).   

Be on the lookout for our COWs at popular festival and viewing locations in:

  • Madras, Oregon
  • Mitchell, Oregon
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Glendo Reservoir, Wyoming
  • Carbondale, Illinois
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Owensville, Missouri
  • Washington, Missouri
  • Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • Beatrice, Nebraska

We expect that these deployments will boost capacity by an average of 160%. And for customers heading to the farm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky – where you’ll experience the longest eclipse duration, just less than 3 minutes – our COW is expected to boost network capacity 300%!

Get those cameras ready.

While our COWs may not jump over the moon, they will keep you connected. We know sharing this experience with friends and family through texts, snaps, and selfies is important. And these deployments will make sure you can. Speaking of selfies, be sure your phone is ready to capture this once-in-a-lifetime event. Here are a few tips:

  • If available, purchase a solar filter. These small filters limit the amount of light that goes through the lens, protecting the camera from the bright light!
  • Make sure you properly focus the image. You can lock focus by manually tapping the screen and holding your finger on the moon.
  • Center the focus spot on the edge of the moon. This makes it easier for the camera to auto-focus on the sharp edge.

Unable to make it to one of the viewing locations in the path of totality? Catch NASA’s live-stream from several locations on NASA TV, Channel 352 on DIRECTV.

Whether you’re an astronomy buff or looking for a fun family summer activity, AT&T has you covered and connected for Total Eclipse 2017.

Scott Mair - Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Engineering


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