CHICAGO, IL — Verizon Wireless, the official wireless sponsor of the Bank of America 2008 Chicago Marathon, announced today that the company will provide its Field Force Manager product and PC cards to the race staff to guarantee crystal clear communication between staff members and to ensure emergency response communication can be organized and communicated clearly. The wireless company has also increased network capacity with the deployment of a temporary portable “cell on wheels” to prepare for the influx of simultaneous calls and text messages as thousands of fans and supporters descend upon the city.
High-Tech Marathon Team
Field Force Manager is a turnkey wireless solution that combines powerful Web-based applications with handsets to help increase efficiencies between a central base of operations and workers in field. Chicago Marathon race coordinators will use Field Force Manager to map GPS locations of crew workers along the race route in real-time; schedule and dispatch tasks; and receive fleet, job and employee reports in the event of an emergency situation. Field Force Manager will also allow volunteers from health services, race administration, timekeepers and others to stay in touch about real-time events occurring along the race route.
“Communication plays a big role in the coordination of a marathon that is safe, successful and fun for everyone involved,” says T.J Fox, Illinois/Wisconsin Region President-Verizon Wireless. “The Verizon Wireless Force Field Manager will allow the marathon staff to clearly communicate situations while the system pinpoints their ground crews’ whereabouts. This prevents any confusion about a crew’s exact location on the marathon route— between city blocks or in the middle of Grant Park, for example.”
Verizon Wireless is also providing marathon officials with 3G-capable wireless phones and PC cards, giving access to both voice and data services, including the Internet, via the company’s high-speed BroadbandAccess network. Marathon officials will use the PC cards in laptops and handheld computers to keep track of runners and share other information during the race.
“Beefing up” Cell Capacity
Verizon Wireless has also deployed a COW (Cell on Wheels) at the Chicago Marathon site to provide additional voice and high-speed data capacity for the tens of thousands of marathoners and fans expected to descend upon downtown Chicago to support their friends and family as they cross the finish line. The unit of part of a fleet of mobile cell sites the company maintains not only to enhance service surrounding large-scale events but also in time of natural disasters. The service enhancement means that more customers can use the Verizon Wireless network concurrently, whether making voice calls or using data applications to receive real time updates as runners cross the 10K, halfway (13.1 miles) and 30K checkpoints, as well as the finish line.
“We anticipate a 200 percent spike in wireless traffic in the area during marathon weekend,” says Fox. “The COW strengthens an already robust Verizon Wireless network in Chicago and is equivalent to the highest capacity stationary site presently in Illinois, with the ability to process thousands of calls every hour.”
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 70,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.