Next month, the top two football teams in the United States will be competing against each other at the NRG Stadium in the city of Houston in Texas for this year’s Super Bowl. Such a massive sports event will be expected to draw crowds from across the country, with every fan sure to be talking about it through voice calls, text messaging, and data (via social media). Major US wireless carrier Sprint is ready to take on that amount of data, and has gamely made an effort to set up new network infrastructure as well as continuing to improve its network capacity.
By way of a blog post written by Mike Hennigan, Regional Vice President, Network at Sprint, the mobile operator announced that it had successfully installed more than a hundred small inside and within the immediate vicinity of the NRG Stadium. By doing this, Sprint is claiming that it was able to enhance its network capacity in and around the sports arena by a whopping 500 percent. Apart from the venue itself, much of the boosted capacity is also concentrated in areas such as the stadium’s parking lots, Discovery Green, Wortham Center, Rice University Stadium, Minute Maid Park, Marriott Marquis Hotel, and other key places.
Hennigan also took the opportunity to reveal that Sprint is making full use of cell sites on wheels (COWs) in improving network coverage at The Museum of Fine Arts, University of Houston Stadium, Westin Hotel, and at the ESPN Broadcast Desk. For those not familiar with COWs, they are truck or trailers that serve as mobile cellular sites, thanks to built in antennas and radio transceivers.
What should make Sprint’s small cells and COWs extra effective is the fact that the company takes full advantage of carrier aggregation. This type of LTE Advanced tech allows for the simultaneous merging of several bands of spectrum in order to set up a sort of wider network lane that basically lets a bigger volume of data traffic to be transmitted at faster and more efficient connection speeds, especially when people use mobile devices that are compatible with the tech.
In the blog post, Hennigan further pointed out how the amount of data increases during the Super Bowl event. On game day last year, subscribers of Sprint consumed 1.6 terabytes of data in and around Levi’s Stadium. Moreover, the total tonnage on the indoor system increased 150 percent last year, compared to the 2014 game held at the University of Phoenix.
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