AT&T* customers and FirstNet subscribers are getting a big boost in cellular coverage and capacity throughout the Atlanta area to prep for football’s Biggest Game.
January 22, 2019
In addition to being the first and only company to make standards-based mobile 5G available to Atlanta businesses and consumers, we’ve been working for more than a year to boost the AT&T network through a series of permanent and temporary upgrades throughout the city. All this is to ensure fans can share special moments on social media during the week-long pre-game festivities, back at their hotels and at the stadium during the Big Game—faster and easier than 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,” said Scott Mair, president, AT&T Operations. “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.”
And as one of the year’s biggest sporting events, the FirstNet team at AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) have been working hand-in-hand with dozens of public safety agencies to prepare. This prep-work helps ensure first responders 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.
In total, we’ve invested more than $43 million, so fans and first responders can have an all-around better mobile experience.
Better coverage in the stadium
As a proud sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we want our customers to enjoy the best possible game day experience while helping first responders keep them safe.
We’ve upgraded our portion of the in-stadium Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to provide over 300% more LTE capacity than what was available at the start of the football season. The DAS – a system of strategically-placed antennas that distribute and actively manage wireless network coverage throughout the stadium – features approximately 1,500 antennas and 1,550 remote amplifiers to help evenly distribute coverage for a better experience.
At Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we’re utilizing the most LTE capacitycurrently available on any AT&T DAS in the state of Georgia. This capacity boost helps ease heavy wireless traffic and gives fans and first responders strong wireless coverage throughout game day – from early tailgating to the final trophy presentation.
And it doesn’t stop there. The stadium is also home to The AT&T Perch, a special interactive area dedicated to the fans.
Better coverage out of the stadium
We expect crowds of more than 1 million people, but we’re ready with more than 3,000 new network improvements within the metro area. In addition to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we’ve upgraded or installed a new DAS at 30 additional locations throughout the Atlanta area. Fans – and first responders on duty – will be able to better enjoy coverage in hotels, arenas, airports, convention centers, among other venues.
We have also launched hundreds of new small cell locations to existing structures like traffic signals, buildings, street lights and poles within the metro Atlanta area.
Furthermore, we’re deploying 5 Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs) to handle expected increased wireless network demands. They will improve reliability and data speeds during the week leading up to and during the Big Game.
The deployments will include a COLT at Atlantic Station to enhance coverage for all the fans headed to DIRECTV Super Saturday Night. Other locations include Peachtree Street to support high traffic venues, one supporting airport hotel traffic, one supporting hotel traffic in Downtown Atlanta, and one near the Galleria area to support pre-game parties.
These investments will allow Atlanta residents to celebrate the Big Game over the AT&T network at home, at work or on the go.
Keeping public safety connected
In addition to these network enhancements, we’ve been making public safety-specific preparations to ensure the FirstNet communications platform is ready for the Big Game:
- Public safety’s high-quality Band 14 spectrum has been deployed across the area to provide optimal coverage and capacity for first responders.
- DAS have been installed at numerous local and federal public safety agency centers.
- A FirstNet SatCOLT will be staged outside of the stadium for extra redundancy and will provide additional coverage to first responders if needed.
Plus, members of the FirstNet team will staff the Command Post for GEMA Homeland Security in the week leading up to and through the day of the Big Game. This will help ensure public safety’s communications needs are met.
FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. It’s being built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority. And it’s bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade to help them connect to the critical information they need – especially when at large events like the Big Game.
5G: How AT&T is leading the way
In the future, mobile 5G will play a major role in sports and entertainment allowing fans to take their stadium experiences to the next level.
Bringing mobile 5G to parts of Atlanta ahead of this year’s Big Game was a priority for us, and we’re proud to be the only carrier to do so. We are the only carrier that has a standards-based mobile 5G network live in parts of a dozen cities in the U.S., and that includes Atlanta. We’ll keep our 5G momentum going with plans to introduce mobile 5G in parts of 7 additional cities early this year.