Verizon Wireless showcased its network upgrades at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) with a behind-the-scenes media tour that highlighted network preparation for one of the top racing events in the world. With upwards of 400,000 fans expected to attend a series of events this May where fans are sharing photos and videos on their social media channels, Verizon engineers have been working for more than a year on an unprecedented approach — including the addition of small cell technology to handle growing data traffic.
As the world’s largest sporting venue, IMS serves as the largest network footprint in the country for a single event. Verizon engineers built a custom wireless network facility at the track to handle the voice and data traffic. The standalone, on-site facility utilizes advanced technology that provides three times the total capacity of the network design for Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Verizon’s network enhancements will ensure that fans can count on their mobile devices to share emails, texts, pictures and videos during the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said Region President Lauren Love-Wright. “Small cells are an integral part of Verizon’s commitment to the customer experience to stay ahead of the growing demand for mobile data by boosting capacity for popular venues and large crowds. This technology adds 4G LTE capacity in important high traffic areas so that our customers can share the best moments from the track, especially on social media.”
On Race Day 2014, 4G LTE traffic on the Verizon Wireless network at the Indianapolis 500 increased 300 percent over usage on Race Day 2013, and Verizon customers at the race consumed 1.4 terabytes of data. For illustration, 1 terabyte can include 472 hours of broadcast quality video, 150 hours of high-definition recording and enough words that it would take every adult in America, all speaking at the same time, five minutes to say them all.
For the 2015 racing season, Verizon network engineers have made the following enhancements:
- Introduced small cell technology to prepare the network for large crowds and data traffic by adding nearly a dozen small cells around the exterior of the track;
- Built a custom wireless network facility at the track to handle voice and data traffic and house infrastructure directly at the speedway, including:
- Three custom-designed COPs (cells-on-platforms), with a new innovative approach that includes the capacity equivalent to 7 COWs (cells-on-wheels);
- Generator redundancies
- 30 days of battery backup on-site
- Redundant cooling systems
- Redundant fiber for backup
- 24/7 monitoring on site while events are under way;
- Provided on-site network monitoring center and an off-site command center the day of the Indianapolis 500;
- Deployed Verizon engineers to walk the track with modified packs to test race-time wireless capability;
- Added additional XLTE capacity in more than 38 key sectors around the track including:
- Hospitality lot
- Beer garden
- Verizon Fan Village
- Driver garages
- Turn 1
- Added 20 new antennas to the Distributed Antenna System (DAS), bringing the total number of antennas inside the venue to more than 200;
- Added support for Advanced Calling Features on devices that allow users to use HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice and Data (since last fall, more than 1 billion calls have been placed used Advanced Calling);
- Provided an additional COW (cell-on-wheels) for tailgaters and gate traffic near 30th Street and Georgetown Road.