America’s major wireless carriers as well as cable operators are beefing up their respective networks, especially in cities such as Cleveland in Ohio and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, which happen to be the hosts of this summer’s Republican and Democratic conventions. Why, you ask? To make sure that the tens of thousands of political supporters and spectators who follow the conventions enjoy reliable access to Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram using their mobile devices.
Take the city of Cleveland, for instance — major US wireless carrier AT&T has boosted its 4G LTE coverage three fold, while another member of the Big Four, T-Mobile, has realigned some radio airwaves in order to improve network capacity in and around the Quicken Loans Arena, the venue for the Republican National Convention. Of course, mobile operators are also joining in on the fun, building out their networks for their own subscribers and customers.
Meanwhile, in the city of Philadelphia, mobile operators are reaping the benefits of major investments they made in 2015, in light of the papal visit a year ago. The investments resulted in enhancements on existing fiber connections as well as several cellular sites.
It is no secret that the telecommunications industry in the United States is a cut throat business. Often, a major investment in a key area in network infrastructure and in operations can spell the difference between a mobile user leaving one wireless carrier in favor of another. This is especially true today when all wireless carriers are trying to one up each other in terms of plans, promos, and special offers — stuff which can sometimes blind customers. But in terms of coverage, the one with the edge often gets more customers.
Issues in coverage can become more obvious especially in times of major events, which often attract a very large number of people, all of which carry all sorts of mobile devices. The key for major carriers is how to handle that load of traffic and volume of users. But it is not like mobile operators do not have experience in such matters. Back in February early this year, they had to contend with over a million people converging in the San Francisco Bay Area to watch the Super Bowl. And remember that regular season games in the cities of Cleveland and Philadelphia typically draw between 65,000 to 70,000 attendees, which easily surpasses the 50,000 people possibly attending each convention this year.