AT&T tweaks mobile network for increased traffic around Super Bowl XLVIII

The AT&T Global Operations Center is the state of the art facility in New Jersey that handles company operations worldwide. (1/23/14)

BEDMINSTER - AT&T is working to make sure all communications go smoothly on Super Bowl weekend, by reinforcing its grid.

The AT&T Global Operations Center is the state of the art facility in New Jersey that handles company operations worldwide. But this coming week, the company's focus is in its own backyard, with Super Bowl XLVII at MetLife Stadium.

"There's six miles of cabling and fiber that's in place, 500 antennas, all serving a specific area," says Mike Maus, with AT&T Network Engineering.

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The company is trying to prepare MetLife stadium for the increased network traffic.

The 500 new antennas are all hidden, and can serve an area the size of Trenton.

Mobile cell sites in trucks will also be used in the stadium parking lots and near MetLife's rail station, an area Maus says is likely to see increased traffic as fans arrive at the game.

There will be a team at the operations center monitoring all the activity on Super Bowl Sunday, and there will also be teams out across New Jersey to make sure things go smoothly.

"We'll be able to see any anomalies during the game, after the game, or before the game," says Director of Network Operations Chuck Kerschner.

The operations center will also see traffic spike to other areas, like Denver and Seattle, but even though there will be huge volume here, overall some traffic could be down.

"In the network from a global point of view, we're going to see a lot of drops overall," says Mark Moser, with AT&T marketing, "because even though there will be a lot of activity at the stadium, everyone else at home will be watching and they won't be using the network in a normal way."

And even if the power goes out, the company has tried to make sure its sites stay on with backup power.

AT&T expects numbers at the Super Bowl to be similar to this past New Year's, which saw 8 hours with 150,000 text messages and 130,000 minutes of telephone talk from Times Square, and enough data to make 1,600 hours of video.

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