Permanent network enhancements will make winners of Minneapolis/Saint Paul residents, regardless of whether the Patriots or Eagles scores the most touchdowns in Sunday's Super Bowl.
Verizon, which is presenting Super Bowl Live on Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, has spent at least two years preparing for the big game. Led by Brian Mecum, vice president for Network-West at Verizon Wireless -- a veteran of five Super Bowls (who's already working on the game in Los Angeles in 2020) -- the service provider increased the infrastructure's capacity five-fold from the design it used 12 months ago.
In part, it's due to geography, Mecum told Broadband World News. Last year's game in Northern California meant people were scattered throughout downtown San Francisco and the stadium itself in Santa Clara, he said. This year's game, at US Bank Stadium, is in a different setting.
"In Minneapolis, it's all downtown. You have a million extra people showing up in a city," said Mecum. "They want to tweet, post and store in the cloud. We say the devices are the most expensive real estate on the planet. That device is not going to stop transmitting and receiving most of the time while they are there."
Terabytes of Touchdowns
Netscout predicts Super Bowl fans will generate 45 terabytes of data on Sunday.
All that sharing could add up to 45-terabyte spike in data usage during Super Bowl LII, tweeted Netscout this week. Last year's game generated 11.8 terabytes, according to the National Football League's Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the Super Bowl, Extreme Networks.
To ensure there are no outages -- such as the electrical failure that hit last year's game -- Verizon has redundant power and fiber infrastructure in place. This includes an unspecified amount of fiber; Verizon would not disclose any information about the type or scope of its fiber deployment, but Mecum pointed to the provider's 550-plus million miles of fiber and its partnership with multiple fiber contractors.
"We have our system running with batteries on it. There are generators, and then there are dual power feeds coming into the stadium itself. From a fiber perspective, rinse, repeat that same kind of diversity that we require. We absolutely have a tremendous amount of fiber and it's diverse so that the system will stay up if something happens on it," Mecum said. "When you're the 'nation's most reliable network' you can't have your network going down."
Brian Mecum, VP of Network-West at Verizon Wireless, takes the field at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The fiber supports a smorgasbord of wireless technologies including: 24 new permanent cell sites; more than 230 permanent small cell sites; doubled network capacity at Nicollet Mall, including a new small cell and design solution in the mall's new bus shelters; almost 50% more antennas for Verizon's Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at the stadium; a new neutral host DAS at Mall of America, boosting Verizon's network capacity 900%, plus another new neutral DAS at the airport that provides 4G LTE coverage in tunnels and increases capacity at the hub by more than 1,000%, according to Verizon.
Service provider field day
Verizon is hardly alone on the field.
AT&T, for example, invested more than $40 million on technologies such as 1,000 DAS antennas, increasing stadium LTE capacity 220% and cells on wheels (COWs) units. Sprint installed 800 new DAS antennas, 200 new small cell sites and implemented three-channel carrier aggregation via 400 cell sites. And for its part, T-Mobile deployed 120 small cell sites to increase capacity 35-fold and doubling LTE spectrum.
More than a half-million Irish residents expected to have fiber broadband by 2020. But Ireland's National Broadband Plan has not even begun — and government officials today postponed any agreement again.
In a new report and searchable database, Broadband Now discovered fiber is the is the least expensive technology powering subscribers' connections. But the poorest, most rural residents pay the most for connectivity, regardless of underlying infrastructure.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.