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Houston, There's Not A Problem

Posted by Melissa Huntley on Jan 31, 2017 8:37:34 AM
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Pictures, Videos, Live Streaming and Snapchatting will be imminent among football fans for Super Bowl Sunday. At the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, more than one million fans are predicted to participate in festivities surrounding Super Bowl weekend. During the first weekend of February, football attendees will want to take pictures and share their experiences with friends and the rest of the world. With limited cell towers and area coverage, how will the city of Houston be able to withstand so much data? And how will mobile internet access be available and stream data quick enough? Wireless carriers have started planning for this endeavor years ago. Here's what they're planning:

AT&T Has Your Selfie Fix Covered
AT&T has been planning to help fans stay connected for more than a year. They announced that they have spent more than $40 million so fans can have a greater mobile connectivity experience. AT&T also noted that they upgraded their Distributed Antenna System (DAS). Installing or upgrading DAS at 13 locations throughout the city, fans can enjoy coverage at: airports, restaurants, museums, etc. So what is a DAS? AT&T stated that "A DAS installation consists of multiple strategically-placed antennas that distribute the 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 to customers indoors and out. "

COWS Will Be Present
In addition to the DAS locations being upgraded, COWS (Cell Sites on Wheels) are being installed by both Sprint and AT&T to boost capacity, coverage, and data speeds. According to Sprint, a COW is a "mobile cell site comprised of antenna and radio transceiver equipment located on a truck or trailer." The COW cell sites will be placed by the stadium and sprinkled around Houston landmarks. Sprint stated that their small cells and COWS "use carrier aggregation, an LTE-Advanced technology that bonds together bands of spectrum to create a wider lane, allowing more data traffic to travel at higher rates on capable devices. This tremendous technology doubles capacity with just a simple software upgrade at the cell site. "

We're Likely to See The Highest Amount of Data in Super Bowl History
CNN reported that last year fans in Levi's Stadium uploaded 696 GB of data on AT&T's network alone, which equivalates to 1.9 million photos posted on social media. Since 2017 is predicted to be the highest year of live video streaming to date, wireless carriers have swiftly and strategically planned for the big game.

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