AT&T to Boost Wireless Network at NCAA Final Four

During the NCAA® Final Four® weekend in Minneapolis, AT&T* is setting the stage for the future of connectivity and will brings fans more of the sports and entertainment they love, whether they’re at the game, at home or on the go. 

“When fans head to Minneapolis for the Final Four this weekend, they can expect an enhanced wireless experience as they take in buzzer-beaters at the stadium or enjoy other Final Four events around town like concerts and fan fests,” said Marachel Knight, SVP Wireless & Access Engineering, AT&T. “And with new FirstNet deployments in place, people can feel safe knowing first responders have the ability to communicate over a highly secure, dedicated network across the city.”

Better wireless coverage in the stadium

As a proud sponsor of the NCAA Final Four, we want our customers to have the best possible wireless experience this weekend.

In Minneapolis, we’ve upgraded our portion of the in-stadium Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to provide more LTE capacity than what was available at the start of the football season. The DAS is a system of strategically-placed antennas and amplifiers that distribute and actively manage wireless network coverage throughout the stadium for a better customer experience. We’ve also boosted capacity for the women’s NCAA Final Four in Tampa.

At the stadium in Minneapolis, we’re utilizing the most LTE capacity currently available on any AT&T DAS in the state of Minnesota. This capacity boost helps ease heavy wireless traffic and gives fans strong wireless coverage throughout game day – from early tailgating to the final trophy presentation.  

We’re also taking steps to install mobile 5G equipment at the stadium, which fans will be able to enjoy later this year.

FirstNet deployments

With fans traveling from across the country to cheer on their school, the FirstNet team at AT&T has also been hard at work making public safety-specific preparations. This helps ensure FirstNet subscribers have the coverage, capacity and capabilities – priority and preemption included – that they need to stay connected throughout the festivities, so they can keep fans safe.

Public safety’s high-quality Band 14 spectrum has been deployed both inside the stadium and across the area to provide optimal coverage and capacity for first responders. And a FirstNet SatCOLT will be staged outside of the stadium for extra redundancy and will provide additional coverage to first responders if needed.

We’ve GoT Just What Fans Want

“This tournament is a perfect example of how our sponsorship investments bring fans closer to the sports, entertainment and communities they love,” said Shiz Suzuki, assistant vice president of Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing for AT&T Communications. “While millions rely on our wireless service, as a modern media company we can also bring together our many other resources to create experiences like this for people in Minneapolis and beyond, to grow our relationships with current and new customers.”

Fans visiting the Final Four Fan Fest presented by CapitalOne in Minneapolis this Friday, April 5 through Monday can step up to the challenge of a Game of Thrones-themed shot contest inside the AT&T Fan Zone to conquer their rivals. It’s all tracked through an online leaderboard. Fans can pose for pictures on the famous throne and with other set pieces and costumes.

Inside the stadium, we’re using AR technology to bring game attendees into the Game of Thrones realm on the stadium’s video screen above center court. These are just a few ways AT&T is giving fans more #ForTheThrone as part of the company’s 360-degree marketing campaign supporting HBO’s 8th and final season of Game of Thronespremiering on April 14.

In addition to boosting our network and bringing Game of Thrones to life, AT&T is:

  • Giving music fans anywhere The Chainsmokers and Judah & the Lionperformances on Friday, April 5 via live stream across NCAA and AT&T social and digital channels including Twitter. GenerationNOW Entertainments local artist DJ Lenka Paris will delight her hometown crowd prior to the live stream. Similar AT&T live-streamed concerts this year with Foo Fighters reached nearly 9 million social media viewers and Janelle Monáe’s performance drew more than 10 million social media viewers. In 2018, AT&T brought premium live content experiences from our sponsorships to over 43 million social media viewers.
  • Continuing to lead the way in live 4K HDR sports broadcasting. We broadcasted select NCAA March Madness games throughout March. AT&T DIRECTV customers with DIRECTV 4K service could watch games for the first time in stunning 4K HDR, starting with the first four matches through the Elite 8. Since 2016, AT&T has been the first to bring fans live 4K sports broadcasting across basketball, football, golf and hockey. With lifelike picture quality, richer colors and four times the resolution of HD, fans watching from home were able to feel like they were sitting courtside.

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