Verizon Network preparations for this weekend’s big game

A message from Andrea Caldini, Vice President of Network Engineering

The big game is finally here and our Network team has been preparing Atlanta for this event for two years, boosting network performance and capacity at the stadium, hotels, shopping and dining areas, several areas throughout the city and a number of event locations.  We have invested $97 million in network enhancements, tripling capacity throughout Atlanta.

Throughout the Atlanta area, our network enhancements include:

  • Installing close to 30 new permanent cell sites.
  • Installing over 150 new small cells and 190 small cell capacity enhancements.
  • Adding capacity in 150 existing cell sites.
  • Installing close to 50 in-building solutions to enhance performance around the city such as popular hotels and shopping centers
  • Tripling capacity at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport through the Distributed Antenna System (DAS), and significantly enhancing coverage on the airport’s tarmac through small cell deployments.
  • Adding over 80 LAA nodes (this equipment leverages unlicensed spectrum and is an excellent capacity enhancer).
  • Deploying over 350 miles of fiber.
  • To support the new permanent small cells and capacity increases to existing ones, the Atlanta area is one of 2,000+ markets where Verizon has deployed LTE Advanced technology, and is also one of more than 1,500 markets that feature the combination of carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO (antenna technology) and 256 QAM technologies that significantly enhance network capacity and peak data speeds.

Temporary Network Enhancements include:

  • Deploying portable cell sites, referred to as a Cell on Wheels (COW) and Nodes on Wheels (NOW) in strategic event locations throughout Atlanta.
  • Adding two in-building capacity enhancement systems to support local law enforcement and first responders.

Inside the stadium for game day, enhancements include:

  • Adding of over 110 capacity-adding sectors since the stadium was built in 2017, including over 30 along the concessions and suites since the end of the football season.
  • Enabling Verizon customers to seamlessly access the Wi-Fi system for additional capacity.
  • Adding Matsing ball technology — which divides crowds into sectors like slices of a pie; each slice or sector can be adjusted individually to handle wireless traffic.
  • Deploying antenna technology under seats to boost capacity.

Real-time network monitoring

  • Verizon will field its own team for the big game, too. Before and during the sport’s biggest game, a special team of 100 network engineers will monitor and manage the network in real-time both from a command center and inside the stadium.
  • In addition, engineers equipped with special testing equipment will be walking the event throughout the week providing real-time data on network performance and coordinating optimization efforts with the command center team.

Our teams have worked relentlessly to ensure Atlanta residents, visitors, and attendees of this year’s festivities will have a great wireless experience.  We expect a great game Sunday.  Whichever team comes out on top this weekend, at least we know Atlanta is winning this year!