July 19, 2016 — From gavel to gavel, DAS will play a role in connecting thousands of attendees at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as they select their respective candidates for the President of the United States.
SOLiD’s DAS equipment is installed at Cleveland’s Quicken Loan Arena and the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, both key locations for this week’s political festivities of the RNC and next week’s DNC convention, respectively.
“Even though these political conventions will be media-crazed times ten, in-building wireless performance is such a huge requirement because every attendee is their own media production company, sending out text information, pictures and video from the convention floor,” said Scott Gregory, SOLiD spokesman.
The demand on the wireless networks at “The Q,” the main convention facility, will be intense with during the activities of nearly 20,000 delegates, alternates and media. In preparation for the convention, additional coverage sectors were added for the floor of the arena. There are now 12 sectors and 76 SOLiD Alliance multi-carrier DAS units installed throughout the arena.
“The original DAS was configured for basketball games where there was no need for communications on the floor,” Gregory told AGL eDigest. “The power of the system was also increased from 1 Watt to 5 Watt because the RF noise around the arena has increased over time.”
Verizon, which operates the DAS, said the network capacity of the neutral host DAS was doubled. The carrier’s existing small cells covering the surrounding areas – including the arena parking lots – were also upgraded to double the network capacity.
SOLiD’s deployment partners included CSI, Henkels & McCoy and Verizon. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile also operate on the DAS.
AT&T is the official communications, video and technology provider of the RNC convention. For the convention, it boosted the network performance by deploying eight indoor DAS at downtown venues and deploying LTE-capable small cells to improve in-building coverage in important venues and certain hotels.
New indoor wireless DAS systems were also installed at the Cleveland Convention Center, the downtown Hilton Hotel, the Ritz Carlton, Tower City Center and JACK Casino facilities. Network optimization and new small cell sites enhanced Verizon’s network peak speeds and capacity in certain convention areas, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Philadelphia Story
Next week, the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) will see more than 50,000 Democrats attending caucus and council meetings during the day. To support thousands of mobile devices in 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space, ballrooms and meeting rooms, 58 SOLiD Alliance 20-watt multi-carrier DAS units were installed and allocated into six sectors.
InSite Wireless and SOLiD began the installation of the DAS at Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2015.
T-Mobile covers the full facility; AT&T covers only the lower level of PCC and the lower level of Reading Terminal Market. The system covers 700 MHz and 850 MHz cellular bands, 1900 MHz PCS band, and 1700/2100 MHz AWS band. The head end facility has 40 tons of HVAC equipment backed up by a natural gas generator and FM200 fire protection.
The City of Philadelphia also expects an influx of 50,000 people. AT&T is ready to handle those crowds with an outdoor DAS.
“We invested $23 million in mostly permanent network upgrades prior to the Pope’s visit last year, which will support the convention in Philadelphia,” wrote Caitlyn Wooldridge, AT&T News Team.
Verizon’s Philadelphia network upgrades for the DNC consist of: increasing wireless capacity in the Wells Fargo Center by six times; around the center; new small cells and added network capacity at nearby Lincoln Financial Field; and new fiber to the Wells Fargo Center, doubling the capacity for broadcast media and other connectivity needs.