AT&T ploughs $40m into Houston network for Superbowl

20 January 2017 | James Pearce


AT&T has invested $40 million in its network in Houston to increase capacity ahead of this year’s NFL Superbowl.

The investment has taken place over the last year and includes upgrades to AT&T’s Distributed Antenna System at the NRG Stadium, which will host the “big game” 5 February 2017.

The operator has doubled LTE capacity within the stadium itself, across 770 antennas and more than 12 miles of cable.

It has also boosted sites at 13 locations around the NRG Stadium, and will deploy six of its Super Cell on Wheels solutions (COWs), which are the equivalent of 13 traditional cell sites.

Four of the COWs will carry a Luneberg Lens Antenna – also known as the Giant Eyeball antenna due to its shape – which offers up to 10x the capacity of a traditional cell site. These solutions are also set to be deployed at the inauguration of Donald Trump, which will be held later today (20 January).

Altogether, AT&T has built or upgraded 549 cell sites across the city of Houston to cope with the hundreds of thousands of attendees expected for one of the biggest events of the US sporting calendar.

“When our customers head out in Houston to cheer on their favourite team, we want them to have a great network experience—whether they’re making a call, checking email or sharing their favourite moments on social media,” said Jorge Vazquez, vice president and general manager, of AT&T South Texas. 

“But many of the network enhancements in Houston don’t stop after the Big Game. They’re permanent and will continue to benefit customers after. It’s just one way we’re continuing to invest in our Houston wireless network.”