Verizon, T-Mobile Tout Network Moves For Democratic And Republican Conventions

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016

The current political campaign season is set for a milestone in the coming weeks as both the Democratic and Republican national parties prepare to stage their conventions. Those events, set for Philadelphia and Cleveland, respectively, are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of attendees, with an expected uptick in traffic set to travel over cellular networks.

In looking to meet demand, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US touted some of the steps they have taken in order to bolster their networks to meet the surge in overall cellular traffic.

Verizon Wireless, for its part, said in Philadelphia it is tapping upgrades already installed to support the visit to the city by Pope Francis in 2015, which included new fiber optic cables, cells sites and small cell deployments in the downtown area. Additional capacity is being installed at the Wells Fargo Center, including a cell site on wheels placed outside to add capacity in the parking lots; small cells have been added to the nearby Lincoln Financial Field; and the carrier said it has installed new fiber optic cables at various locations to backhaul broadcast media traffic.

In Cleveland, Verizon Wireless said it is in the process of doubling network capacity for its neutral host distributed antenna system at the Quicken Loans Arena, while also upgrading its small cell deployment in support of capacity in surrounding areas. The carrier said it has installed a new indoor DAS at the Cleveland Convention Center and other downtown locations expected to host convention traffic; as well as worked on network optimization and installed new small cell sites at other convention areas, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

T-Mobile US said it has been working on reallocating more spectrum to support its LTE network, “improving” fiber connections to its cell sites, upgrading its DAS and “installing optimized equipment in dozens of locations.”

T-Mobile US said for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the carrier is refarming midband spectrum in the downtown area from its HSPA-based 3G network to support LTE services; upgrading its DAS with “optimized LTE antennas,” improved backhaul and newer equipment at several locations; installing a cell on wheels site at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center, which are set to host events; and is adding a new cell site at the Cleveland Public Auditorium.

In Philadelphia, T-Mobile US said it is upgrading a pair of DAS deployments at the Wells Fargo Center and the convention center with “better electronics,” and increasing fiber backhaul at “some high traffic spots at both of these locations.”

Sprint last month noted it was working on bolstering service in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center, including the addition of LTE support in the 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum bands, as well as adding two-channel carrier aggregation in the 2.5 GHz band in the venue. In Cleveland, Sprint said it was turning on indoor wireless systems at the Quicken Loans Arena, deploying new downtown outdoor wireless systems and bringing in COWs for temporary capacity support.


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