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Sports Facilities Technology

Football Season Again: Verizon Wireless Upgrades 3G Networks at Miami

February 02, 2010

Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless has completed installation of a permanent in-building “super system” at Sun Life Stadium, for the football’s big game starting February 7 at Miami Gardens.

The company is also involved in network upgrades to ensure championship 3G wireless services throughout South Florida during the game and throughout the year, said Verizon officials.

Important upgrades of the new system include two ground-level base stations and numerous antenna arrays around the stadium, including those installed on the 400-foot-high light towers.

The permanent system will handle twice the capacity of the most powerful mobile cell sites typically deployed at large special events, company officials added.

To optimize the network performance during the Feb. 7 game, Verizon Wireless also has teamed with Qualcomm (News - Alert) on a brand new technology, which addresses the special technical challenges of a wireless network serving a large numbers of users in a small geographic area.

“South Florida hosts many professional and college championships, big games and other major gatherings,” said Pam Tope, president of the Verizon Wireless Florida region, in a statement.  “We made this investment to ensure that we always have a strong wireless network for visiting fans, journalists and local wireless users whenever there is a big event.”

Verizon says hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to visit South Florida to experience professional football's super spectacle and will be using advanced wireless devices to make calls, send text and multi media messages, download apps, surf the Web and more.

To serve them better, Verizon Wireless has also installed in-building systems to boost service in a variety of hotels and other destinations hosting events related to football's championship game.  

Additionally, the company has activated and upgraded numerous cell sites around South Florida in past months to reliably handle increased network demand, company officials added.

The network upgrade at Florida is part of the company’s overall continuing effort to enhance nation's largest and most reliable 3G broadband network, company officials said. In Florida, the company invested $240 million in network improvements during 2009 and more than $2 billion in the state since 2000.

In mid 2008, the company had announced plans to launch its 4G Long Term Evolution or “LTE (News - Alert)” wireless network in 25 to 30 markets nationally.  These markets have not been identified, but all recent network enhancements in Florida have been made to better prepare the network for the eventual rollout of 4G LTE technology, the company said.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire