AT&T Network Ready for “Big Game” Selfie Surge in the City by the Bay
The attention of the sporting world turns to the San Francisco Bay Area this week for football’s “Big Game.” Fans are hitting the area to enjoy all things football: events, concerts and, of course, the game. We’ve been prepping our network for well over a year to give fans a top-notch mobile experience as they share once-in-a-lifetime moments with friends and family.
Our customers will stay connected from the moment they arrive, thanks to a series of permanent and temporary upgrades throughout the Bay Area. They can share moments during the week-long pre-game festivities, back at their hotels and during the “Big Game” in Santa Clara. In total, we made a long-term investment of more than $100 million to boost our network capacity last year. That includes $25 million specific to the “Big Game.” We want fans to be able to post and share experiences on social media faster and easier than ever, despite heavy network traffic.
How much traffic exactly?
At the stadium in Santa Clara, we’ve upgraded our Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to provide 150% more LTE capacity than the start of the 2015 pro football season. This will help support the surge in data use. Regular season data use climbed 55% from 2014 to 2015 at pro football stadiums across the country. And usage grew 37% from just the 2015 regular season to the playoffs on AT&T’s venue-specific mobile networks.
We’ve also upgraded or installed new DAS at 26 locations throughout the Bay Area for the event. Fans can enjoy better coverage in hotels, arenas, airports, convention centers, among other venues. In addition to the stadium in Santa Clara, we’ve upgraded or installed new DAS at the airports in San Francisco and Oakland and the convention centers in Santa Clara and San Francisco. We also have an existing DAS serving the practice facility in Palo Alto.
So, what does all of this mean?
A DAS installation consists of multiple strategically-placed antennas that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout the stadium. These antennas manage the wireless capacity in heavily trafficked areas, like football stadiums. This brings better, more consistent wireless coverage indoors and outdoors.
We’ve deployed 9 Cell on Wheels (COWs) to handle expected increased wireless network demands. They’ll improve reliability and data speeds during the week leading up to and during the “Big Game.” Key deployment locations include multiple COWs outside the stadium in Santa Clara to support tailgate party activities, 2 SuperCOWs to cover the football experience celebration at Justin Herman Plaza, 1 COW at Treasure Island for the Friday night party and several more.
We expect crowds of more than a 100,000 people, but we’re ready with 39 new or enhanced nearby cell sites. These investments will let fans and locals alike celebrate the “Big Game” over our network, at home, at work and on the go.