AT&T Prepares for Surge in Wireless Data Traffic in Advance of 2008 Republican National Convention
AT&T Increases Network Capacity to Prepare for Influx of RNC Attendees
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced plans to manage near unprecedented levels of data usage as thousands of delegates descend upon the Twin Cities for the 2008 Republican National Convention.
To prepare for the expected increase on AT&T’s wireless network, AT&T has added permanent as well as temporary network capacity in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul. This includes the deployment of several Cell sites on Wheels (COWs), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs) and in-building solutions, all of which will be used to augment wireless coverage in and around key venues including the Xcel Energy Center.
“For months, we have been preparing for what we expect will be some of the highest data usage levels we’ve seen on our network,” said Dave Fine, vice president and general manager for AT&T’s wireless operations in Minnesota. “We expect a very technologically savvy crowd attending the convention with a need to stream live video, send e-mails and text message, and we are significantly increasing network capacity to manage that need.”
AT&T has completed hardware and software upgrades to boost capacity and has backup microwave facilities and additional COWs ready to be utilized if needed. The company will also have its 24/7 Network Operations Center monitoring the network and technicians and engineers on standby.
“We are accustomed to planning and adding capacity for the increased network traffic that occurs at large-scale events across the country and here in Minnesota,” said Fine.
“We add additional capacity for the Minnesota State Fair every year, added capacity for the NCAA Basketball Tournament semifinals in Minneapolis in 2006, and we immediately added equipment to bolster capacity to meet the increased demand on the network following last year’s Minneapolis bridge collapse.”
AT&T offers extensive coverage throughout the state of Minnesota and has expanded its high speed 3G network from the Twin Cities and Rochester to St. Cloud this year. During the past two years, AT&T added more than 120 cell sites across Minnesota, with an additional 80 sites to be added this year.
In addition, a planned investment of $13 million was used to prepare for the expected increase on AT&T’s wireless network during the 2008 Republican National Convention. These enhancements will not only accommodate the convention, but many of the benefits will be retained afterward.
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