Touchdown! AT&T Enhances Mobile Experience for Football Season


When our customers head to the big game to cheer on the home team, they want to share the best moments with family and friends – just like everyone else in the stadium. At times, thousands of people try to connect on their mobile devices all in one centralized location. With the strain such use can place on the network, AT&T has found a solution to provide great mobile coverage for fans. Where access points meet fiber, Wi-Fi and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are now the shining stars of multi-thousand seat stadium connectivity.

To provide excellent mobile coverage at stadiums and other large facilities, AT&T has deployed a network technology called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). A DAS works by splitting up a venue into “zones,” with each zone getting its own cell antenna in order to boost coverage within the DAS-enabled venue. While addressing the 4G/3G network needs, Wi-Fi has also adopted a new mapping strategy that deploys Wi-Fi access points in a race track fashion throughout the venue. By placing Wi-Fi equipment under seats and snaking fiber through railings, fans are guaranteed to be closer to a Wi-Fi connection than ever before. The two technologies work in tandem improve call reliability, boost data traffic capacity and enable more consistent network access to help customers make the most of their AT&T devices.

Better performance at the scrimmage line

For the 2013 football season, AT&T has been ramping up its DAS deployments at college and professional football stadiums across the country for fall’s favorite pastime. AT&T has already enhanced the mobile experience for fans at a handful of stadiums and continues to light up venue-specific network enhancements as the season progresses.

Now, Miami Dolphins fans at Sun Life Stadium are enjoying one of the largest and most robust AT&T Wi-Fi and DAS deployments at any professional sports stadium in the entire country. The DAS equipment at Sun Life Stadium is equivalent to 16 individual cell sites, enough to service a town the size of Miami Beach. To provide seamless coverage, there are more than 235 stealth antennas throughout the stadium. And fans are taking advantage of the improved service. During the first game at the stadium this year, Sun Life Stadium Wi-Fi users exchanged nearly 1 million MB of data and made more than 21,000 connections.

Benefits of the Wi-Fi and DAS deployment at Sun Life include:

  • More than 1,100 AT&T Wi-Fi access points throughout the stadium, making it one of the most robust venue Wi-Fi deployments in the country
  • A DAS solution equivalent to 16 individual cell sites, enough to service a town the size of Miami Beach
  • Good connectivity for fans to engage with Miami Dolphins via social media and the Dolphins app on mobile devices during games
  • Easy and automatic connection to the AT&T Wi-Fi network, without any setup or log-in required, for fans with a Wi-Fi enabled AT&T smartphone or tablet

Prior to the installation of AT&T Wi-Fi and DAS, fans at Sun Life Stadium could not access any Wi-Fi services while attending games or other events. Now, with coverage in the bowl and throughout the stadium, fans can engage with others during games and events, providing an enhanced mobile experience.

What are some things you like to do on your mobile device during sports games and other large events?


Chad Townes Antenna Solutions Group Vice President AT&T About Chad