AT&T customers and FirstNet subscribers who are in the Atlanta area this week can expect enhanced cellular coverage and capacity, the carrier announced in a company release.
The carrier has boosted its network through a number of permanent and temporary upgrades throughout Atlanta because the city is hosting this year’s Super Bowl. The enhancements are geared to ensure fans can share their experiences on social media during pre-game activities, in their hotels and at Mercedes Benz Stadium during the big game faster and easier than ever before.
“While fans in Atlanta cheer on their favorite team, we want to deliver a great network experience—whether customers are sharing their favorite moments on social media, making a call or checking email,” Scott Mair, president, AT&T Operations said in a statement. “Many of the network enhancements deployed for the Big Game are permanent and will continue to benefit customers and first responders long after the game ends. It’s just one of the ways we’re continuing to invest in our Atlanta network.”
AT&T’s FirstNet team and the First Responder Network Authority have worked with several public safety agencies to prepare for the increased number of people in Atlanta. The prep work will ensure first responders have the coverage, capacity, and capabilities necessary to remain connected during all the festivities to keep fans safe.
For better in-stadium coverage, AT&T upgraded part of its Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to offer 300% more LTE capacity than what was available at the beginning of the season in September. The in-stadium DAS comprises about 1,500 antennas and 1,550 remote amplifiers to help evenly distribute coverage for a better fan experience. The carrier is using the most LTE capacity that’s currently available on any AT&T DAS in Georgia. The capacity boost will ease heavy wireless traffic and provide fans and first responders alike with strong wireless coverage all through game day.
As for outside of the stadium, AT&T has made more than 3,000 new network improvements within the Atlanta metro area to accommodate the expected crowds of more than one million people. The carrier upgraded or installed a new DAS at 30 extra locations throughout Atlanta. AT&T launched hundreds of new small cell locations on existing structures like streetlights, poles, building and traffic signals throughout the city. It also deployed 5 Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs) to handle the increased wireless network demands and improve data speeds.
In terms of public safety, AT&T has deployed public safety’s Band 14 spectrum throughout the area to provide first responders with optimal coverage and capacity. DAS has been installed at several local and federal public safety agency centers and a FirstNet SatCOLT will be placed outside of the stadium for extra redundancy and offer additional coverage to first responders if necessary. Additionally, FirstNet team members will staff the Command Post for GEMA Homeland Security all week leading up to and through game day to ensure public safety’s communication needs are met.