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Verizon Launches AWS Network For Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kentucky Derby may be the greatest two minutes in sports, but throughout the entire week preceding the first Saturday in May in the greater Louisville area, horse racing fans will be engaged in nonstop photo snapping, video sharing, social media posting, texting, emailing and calling on their wireless devices. As the crowds build to an expected 160,000 fans converging on the track on Derby Day, some may wonder what it takes to make sure fans can do all that posting and sharing without delays or losing their connections entirely.

For Verizon Wireless, COWs and COLTs are among the technology animals that will boost the capacity of its wireless network around the famous track during Derby week. But for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, in addition to deploying a Cell on Wheels (COW) and a Cell on Light Truck (COLT), Verizon announced today that it has also:

  • Fortified its 4G LTE network by launching a second band of spectrum called AWS, which means faster speeds and more connections in the greater Louisville area ( Louisville is one of approximately 50 markets in which Verizon will launch AWS by mid-year);
  • Installed a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to strengthen its 4G LTE network signal in tough coverage areas such as interior rooms and areas shielded by marble and stone walls and floor construction. The DAS system at Churchill Downs includes a primary external antenna along with repeaters and additional smaller antennas placed strategically throughout the complex.

"When it comes to their wireless network, smartphone and tablet users want to get on it, stay on it and be able to do what they want on it, whether it's sharing a photograph or streaming live video, and they don't care if they're in a crowd of 20, 20,000, or 200,000 people," said John Granby. "Third party network rating companies, our own network test men and women, and most importantly, our growing number of customers, all tell us that the investment we make to constantly stay ahead of our customers' needs means the difference between staying connected and getting frustrated."  

Verizon has invested more than $80 billion in its network since 2000, and was the first wireless carrier to launch 4G LTE in Kentucky. "We flipped the switch in time for Thunder Over Louisville in 2011, and have since covered nearly our entire 3G footprint in Kentucky with 4G LTE," Granby said. Today, the company's high-speed network covers 303 million Americans and 500 markets.

"Now it's on to deepening our nationwide network and expanding capacity where needed with tools such as AWS and DAS, while continuing to make sure that fans at huge crowd-drawing events such as the Kentucky Derby can get on the network whenever they want," Granby said.

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