AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon boost Minnesota network speeds in Super Bowl preparation

The Super Bowl is only a couple of weeks away – and AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have beefed up their cellular capacities in Minneapolis, where the showpiece game will take place, in preparation.

T-Mobile said it was doubling the amount of LTE spectrum in Minneapolis and Saint Paul – the twin cities – and deploying more than 120 small cells throughout the city, the US Bank Stadium, and surrounding venues. A further addition inside the stadium is through the deployment of Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) technology, potentially increasing speeds by up to 40% in high traffic situations.

Verizon promised a ‘blizzard of snaps, streams and shares’, with network enhancements in Minneapolis including 24 new permanent cell sites, more than 230 permanent small cell sites, and 48% more antennas on the carrier’s distributed antenna system (DAS) inside the stadium.

In total, AT&T said it was investing more than $40 million into its Minneapolis wireless network. This includes an upgraded distributed antenna system (DAS), which AT&T claims will offer almost 220% more LTE capacity than at the start of the season. Inside the stadium, more than 800 antennas throughout the venue will help manage wireless traffic, while new DAS have also been installed at 16 locations in Minneapolis, from hotels, to airports and convention centres.

AT&T will also be utilising 10 temporary towers, called ‘cells on wheels’ (COWs), deployed in various areas of the city – including the north and south sides of the stadium – to give additional help.

You can read the full list of enhancements made by AT&T here, T-Mobile here, and Verizon here.

Postscript: Looking at each company’s announcements, one may wonder why T-Mobile and Verizon use the term Super Bowl, but AT&T insist on calling it ‘pro football’s Big Game’. The answer is simple: sponsorship. As this 2017 article from Yahoo Finance explains, it’s about money – “what the NFL can make by licensing its trademarks, and what it can lose by letting other businesses use them for free.”

Either way, those who are making the pilgrimage to Minnesota on February 4 for a game of pro football that may or may not be allowed to be identified by certain organisations should expect lightning fast data speeds.

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