- AT&T says it has invested more than $85 million to improve wireless and cell coverage in Miami as the city prepares to host Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2. The investment includes additional support for the FirstNet network used by first responders and public safety officials.
- In anticipation of a surge in demand as fans and staff flood to the city, AT&T says it has upgraded or installed new Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) at 29 locations throughout Miami and inside Miami Gardens' Hard Rock Stadium. The company is also offering 5G connection in parts of the surrounding region, and will deploy six Cell on Wheel (COW) units to boost connectivity during the game.
- Through FirstNet, AT&T will deploy Band 14 spectrum for first responders, which can be cleared and locked to public use. First responders will also be given FirstNet-ready devices to use during Super Bowl week.
Mega-events like the Super Bowl present challenges to telecoms, which need to step up to meet the needs of thousands of visiting fans, media and staff.
In a press release, AT&T says it has been working for a year to prepare for Super Bowl LIV. Inside the stadium, the improvements will include additional 5G and Band 14 spectrum and DAS systems, which will offer more than 300% more LTE capacity compared to the beginning of football season.
Other carriers are also expected to make announcements of enhanced coverage, especially since this will be the first mega-event since carriers have started piloting their 5G networks.
"When fans head to Miami to cheer on their team, we want to keep them connected to share and engage with their favorite experiences," Chris Sambar, AT&T executive vice president of technology operations said in a statement. "The investment we’ve made in our network will help them connect faster and easier than before."
Some of the improved connectivity will be permanent; AT&T did not respond to request for comment about what enhancements Miami residents will see after the game.
The events around the Super Bowl will be a showcase for FirstNet, the public safety partnership between AT&T and the federal government. The network offers dedicated spectrum for emergency responders, which can be made exclusive to ensure connectivity, as well as additional technology like location-based services and indoor mapping. The crush of people using data at the Super Bowl can clog up networks, making FirstNet even more valuable in case of an emergency.