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In November, AT&T shared its plans to launch its "5G Evolution" network -- which isn't true 5G -- in select areas of Minneapolis as part of its overall plan to boost cellular coverage in the city during Super Bowl LII. This week, three of the major United States cellular carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile -- each outlined their own plans to ensure that customers retain quality coverage in the Twin Cities on the weekend of February 4.

us-bank-stadium.jpg
U.S. Bank Stadium via Darb02 / Wikimedia Commons


AT&T said its users can expect "a better mobile experience" in the city, with technology it's been working on for over a year that combines both permanent and temporary upgrades to the carrier's cellular connectivity. The company's $40 million investment in its Minneapolis wireless network boost includes coverage within the U.S. Bank Stadium (where the game will take place), as well as outside the stadium in hotels, airports, and other venues that will see increased traffic in a few weeks.

AT&T's upgrades:[*]Upgraded in-stadium Distributed Antenna System (DAS) offering "nearly 220% more LTE capacity."
[*]More than 800 hidden antennas in the stadium to help manage wireless traffic.
[*]DAS installed at 16 total locations in Minneapolis.
[*]10 Cell on Wheels (COWs, or temporary towers) deployed to further support reliability of AT&T's network.
[*]5G Evolution with 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and 3-way carrier aggregation in select areas on supported smartphones.
Verizon predicted a "blizzard" of data usage for the Super Bowl this year, and said it's been working for two years on preparing the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area for the event. Verizon focused on its more permanent updates, which include boosted performance in the U.S. Bank Stadium and other venues throughout the Twin Cities area.

Verizon's upgrades:[*]24 new permanent cell sites and more than 230 permanent small cell sites.
[*]Introduction of LTE Advanced features to 4G LTE network "for greater capacity and faster peak data speeds."
[*]Addition of 48 percent more antennas to DAS inside stadium.
[*]New neural host DAS in Mall of America to boost network capacity by 900 percent.
[*]Similar system added to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to boost network capacity by more than 1,000 percent.
T-Mobile laid out similar upgrades it's been working on for the last two years, which it said make its LTE network "the fastest in the Twin Cities." Those on T-Mobile's network can expect boosted network capacity in the U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minneapolis Convention Center, Xcel Energy Center, and locations like the Armory, Nicollet Mall, downtown St. Paul, Mall of America, and the International Airport.

T-Mobile's upgrades:[*]Boosting network capacity 30x in U.S. Bank Stadium, 35x in the convention center, and 16x in Xcel Energy Center.
[*]Doubling the amount of LTE spectrum in the Twin Cities, along with carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4x4 MIMO.
[*]Deploying more than 120 small cells across Minneapolis and surrounding areas.
[*]Increasing upload speeds up to 40 percent inside the stadium with Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) technology.
Sprint's news on boosted Super Bowl network coverage came in a press release last month. Sprint users will get much of the same bonuses as the other carriers, with the company installing a DAS with 800 antennas inside the stadium, as well as small cells installed on lamp posts and street lights throughout Minneapolis. There will also be the "Sprint Magic Box," which Sprint described as the "world's first all-wireless small cell" to be placed in hundreds of locations across the Twin Cities to boost indoor data speeds by an average of 200 percent.

Although it won't launch in time for Super Bowl LII, T-Mobile has also provided more details on its own plans for a true 5G network, while commenting on AT&T's "#Fake5G" debut in 2017. T-Mobile said its schedule for 5G hasn't changed, and is still on track to debut nationwide by 2020. The company said it's been "encouraged" by confirmed chipset and OEM plans to launch wider support for 5G smartphones in 2019, which will initiate broad support for a "real 5G" network.

Article Link: AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Tout Boosted Cellular Capacity Across Twin Cities in Anticipation of Super Bowl LII
 

jsalda

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2008
207
326
AT&T $ucks. Sure, they're boasting coverage for the SB, but how about regular sporting events and concerts? Go to an OU football game (+85,000 people) and can't get a text or call out within about a 1 mile radius from the stadium. I laughed when they had a poll on the big screen during the game promoted by AT&T and you couldn't text your answer!

Go to a Thunder game or a concert at the OKC or Tulsa arena (18-20k people) and it's barely better, plain texts and calls go out, but no data coverage.
 
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jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
17,205
2,280
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
A SuperBowl is a big event and obviously carriers want their networks to shine. After all, almost every year, carriers put ads in the SuperBowl. Hence it makes sense to tout their networks during the big game.
 

Pbrutto

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2015
611
1,275
Eastern PA
Good to see thought was put into this. When I was in college and would go to games it was a nightmare. 65,000 seat D1 stadium, plus a lot full of tailgaters. Often it wasn’t even possible to send a message, let alone place a call. They went to the tower on wheels and it still wasn’t enough. Of course there wasn’t WiFi, which would have lessened the load too.
 

MDF314159265

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2010
323
805
Temecula, CA
Ever since early last year, AT&T’s service has sucked. Terribly.
Areas where I had great service - and should have great service (busy/city areas) - I get a bar at best, and that still doesn’t result in a good connection. Data or voice.
It’s not my device(s) either. Had the iP7+ then and have the iPX now. AT&T is in decline. Time to switch carriers?
 

JM

macrumors 68000
Nov 23, 2014
1,777
2,321
I can't tell if you didn't read past the title and that was sarcasm or that you truly are excited for the Sprint updates they put in place but already announced a month ago.
Sprint couldn't even manage a bold font in a Macrumors article. Fail!

Yes, I missed them cause they weren't bold like the other three. Now I'm just trolling for fun :D
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,937
12,418
Florida, USA
Now if they'd only fix the networks in Miami. All the cellular providers have been having issues down here since the hurricane, and they seem be very slow to fix them.
 

SRLMJ23

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2008
2,244
1,340
Central New York
AT&T $ucks. Sure, they're boasting coverage for the SB, but how about regular sporting events and concerts? Go to an OU football game (+85,000 people) and can't get a text or call out within about a 1 mile radius from the stadium. I laughed when they had a poll on the big screen during the game promoted by AT&T and you couldn't text your answer!

Go to a Thunder game or a concert at the OKC or Tulsa arena (18-20k people) and it's barely better, plain texts and calls go out, but no data coverage.

That must be something with OU's football stadium, because when I go to Ohio State football games at The Horseshoe which has a capacity of 104,944 my AT&T iPhones work absolutely fine. I can call, text, email, FaceTime with zero issues.

:apple:
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,392
3,282
Ever since early last year, AT&T’s service has sucked. Terribly.
Areas where I had great service - and should have great service (busy/city areas) - I get a bar at best, and that still doesn’t result in a good connection. Data or voice.
It’s not my device(s) either. Had the iP7+ then and have the iPX now. AT&T is in decline. Time to switch carriers?
Just my theory. With FirstNet coming online, towers needed to be reduced to a limited number of frequencies in order to turn off some of the antennas. Those should be replaced with antennas that will instead broadcast the FirstNet frequencies along with others owned in the area. Around here the signal was reduced too. Not to the point of non-use but less strength overall. I have seen though guys on the towers adding antenna hardware. All a guess on my part but I think the coverage reduction is a limited time issue.
 

TheShadowKnows!

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2014
858
1,727
National Capital Region
Does not matter. Much ado nothing.

Do not have a crystal bowl, but this super bowl seems scheduled to be a snooze fest, unless you are a Patriots fan, and love to see No. 12 demolish their inept opponent. (And I am no Patriots/No. 12 fan at all.)

[My prediction: It will be over by the first quarter, and the only (weak) enticement not to shut down is the commercials.]
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,392
3,282
Does not matter. Much ado nothing.

Do not have a crystal bowl, but this super bowl seems scheduled to be a snooze fest, unless you are a Patriots fan, and love to see No. 12 demolish their inept opponent. (And I am no Patriots/No. 12 fan at all.)

[My prediction: It will be over by the first quarter, and the only (weak) enticement not to shut down is the commercials.]
We have several crystal bowls but use none of them. All wedding gifts.
(I know what you meant, just messing with ya)
 
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