Verizon Center, Can You Hear Me Now?

Ok, I realize I’m using a tagline from one company for another, but AT&T Wireless customers are about to get more bars in more places. The company announced today that they just completed a new distributed antenna system inside the arena that should improve wireless service. From the press release:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced wireless devices and services, AT&T* today announced that it has expanded its mobile broadband coverage in the heart of Washington D.C.’s sports, entertainment and night life mecca by completing the installation of a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to serve customers throughout a well-known sports and events arena in Chinatown.

A DAS installation consists of several strategically-placed antennas that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout the arena, providing for more efficient management of wireless capacity in heavily-trafficked areas. DAS has the ability to provide enhanced wireless coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations – terrain, building construction, etc. – or crowd density might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience. The additional capacity is expected to help improve call reliability and enable more consistent network access to help customers make the most of their AT&T devices.

“We want our customers to have a great network experience whatever they’re doing – whether that’s making a call, sending a photo, checking e-mail, downloading apps, surfing the Internet or just cheering on the team this hockey season,” said Rob Forsyth, vice president and general manager for AT&T in the greater Washington/Baltimore area. “We’re committed to our investment in the local wireless network, and providing enhanced wireless coverage at major sports and entertainment venues is just one way that we’re investing in Washington, DC.”

Did anyone notice any difference last night? If not, perhaps you will on Saturday.

Thanks to OFB reader Audrey for the heads up.

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9 Responses to Verizon Center, Can You Hear Me Now?

  1. Bill Harlow says:

    I’ve never been able to reliably use cellular data on my AT&T iPhone at the Verizon center, even with a full signal. Last night I was able to check my fantasy stats and check in on other games with the NHL GameCenter app. It went smoothly.

  2. Eddie says:

    I’ve already noticed a difference. Last year, it was really hit-or-miss when sending text messages, while my Android browser took forever to load. This year, service has been much faster, with Twitter refreshing times cut to seconds instead of minutes and browser searches coming in at record speeds. Last night, I looked up information on the “T-shirt Time” song and got search results back almost instantly. Thanks to Verizon Center for making this easier!

  3. Mike says:

    I absolutely love how the press release never mentions the name “Verizon Center” at all. “well-known sports and events arena in Chinatown.” Priceless!

  4. B says:

    Might also have to do with using a 4S instead of your old 3GS. I’ll be curious to see how a 4 does in there now.

  5. Nate Hewitt says:

    I also utilized my iPhone 4 last night, I thought I was being smooth and checking at all the right times. A welcome change, for sure.

  6. Sam W. says:

    I still find it ironic that my Verizon phone gets spotty service inside the arena carrying its namesake. I know that naming rights don’t mean squat in relation to a sports venue’s services (you can’t drop a box off to be shipped from FedEx Field, and you can’t cash a check at Wells Fargo Center) but it still leaves me scratching my head.

  7. Reginald says:

    Here’s an idea: how about if everyone just keeps their phones in their pockets and watches the game?

  8. Bill Harlow says:

    We do, when the puck is in play. During commercial breaks and intermissions it’s fair game.

    I’m much more annoyed by the musical chairs that gets played on Tuesday night games when regulars sell/give away their tickets.

  9. Greg says:

    Remember when the guy with the cell phone out would get put up on the screen and everyone would boo?

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