Blog, Events & Press

24 Sep

Will LTE Service Support Millions Visiting Philadelphia to See the Pope?

Pope surrounded by crowd

In today’s internet-enabled everything, there isn’t much of an excuse for networks and providers to dole out less-than-stellar service. So how do networks prepare for the demand on the infrastructure when faced with massive amounts of consumers logging on to view feeds?

The biggest threat in successfully delivering an application or service, today, is the ability to scale that application or service to meet consumer demands. That’s why AT&T and Verizon Wireless have spent millions of dollars to amp up their services in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City in preparation for Pope Francis’ arrival this weekend.

Fortune reports that AT&T has spent $25 million in total across the three cities. The carrier spent $23 million to boost service in Philadelphia, alone, where an outdoor mass could attract 2 million visitors. Fortune cited that CNBC had previously reported that AT&T typically spends about $6 to $16 million for other large events like the Super Bowl.

Verizon, Fortune reports, has spent 18 months planning for the Pope’s visit and about $24 million to increase capacity.

“The investments go toward boosting cell coverage via temporary portable cell sites, referred to as Cell on Wheels (or COWs), which will be set up along the Pope’s motorcade route,” Fortune reporter Laura Lorenzetti writes.

Fox News additionally reported that Verizon added several small cell sites in downtown Philadelphia for added capacity and amped up an outdoor Distributed Antenna System on the Ben Franklin Parkway, where Pope Francis will be conducting mass.

Fox News also received an email from Verizon spokesman John O’Malley, who explained what steps the carrier took to prepare for the Pope’s historic visit.

“We’ve actually invested more than $24 million over the last 18 months to boost capacity on our downtown Philadelphia network to prepare for the Pope’s visit, effectively quadrupling our capacity in the city,” O’Malley said. “To plan for this in Philly, we looked at past events that brought large numbers of people together in relatively small areas, such as the presidential inaugurations on the Mall in D.C., the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, and the Super Bowl.”

An increase in network dependency and its underlying network must be closely monitored in order to avert service-impacting events. Monitoring performance metrics across each layer of the LTE and IMS architecture provides a complete and immediate view of infrastructure performance and user impact.

To learn more about monitoring LTE, read our Whitepaper “10 Metrics to Monitor in the LTE Network.”

10 Metrics to Monitor in the LTE Network

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