Tech Trends: Sneak peek inside Super Bowl 50 Verizon command center


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — With the extra 1 million people expected in the Bay Area this week, wireless carriers have been working for two years to beef up the networks in the Bay Area to handle the extra use.

And as Tech Reporter Gabe Slate discovered, the Bay Area hosting the Super Bowl is a major win for anyone with a smartphone. All the work they do to improve the network for the big game stays behind improving the signal strength for us.

Gabe got a rare inside look at Verizon’s Bay Area command center. Gabe could not reveal its exact location or show any video outside because the location needs to remain a secret.

If someone wanted to take out a network, they could do it there, so the command center is considered a terrorist target.

Verizon is going all out to be prepared for the crush of data being used during Super Bowl week. And this is ground zero. All the phone calls, the pictures, and videos you post and send, they all come through there.

In fact, all the data coming from phones and tablets in the Bay Area comes through there.

On gameday, the command center will be staffed by a 100 specialists ready to deal with any problem that could arise.

“A big, giant earthquake would be a scenario that would put a lot of stress onto a network, as you can imagine, everyone wants to be in contact with their family,” command center spokesman Phillip French said.

A mass shooter situation is another thing the crews are preparing for.  French said he expects over five-to-six times the amount of data during the big game than a normal Sunday football game.

Gabe talked to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and they have all, like Verizon, invested millions of dollars building up their networks here in the Bay Area.

For example, they have put in new towers and new data centers, which means stronger signals all over the Bay Area.


Verizon’s network enhancements include:
• Tripling 4G LTE data capacity throughout key areas in the Bay Area to ensure customers and first responders can connect when and where they need to
• Boosting capacity and coverage at more than 10 key areas in San Francisco and Santa Clara by adding 16 new area cell sites, 75 small cells and 17 indoor distributed antenna systems (iDAS)
• Creating a foundation of enhancements that will benefit Bay Area residents for years to come

A better network doesn’t happen by accident – hundreds of Verizon employees have worked for nearly two years to prep for Super Bowl 50, boosting network performance at more than 10 major area venues from San Francisco to Santa Clara, along with the three major area airports and several player and NFL hotels. Here’s just a bit of what they’ve accomplished so far:
• Built 16 new area cell sites;
• Installed 75 small cells;
• Deployed for the first time a patented antenna system to reach the lower stadium seats
• Increased peak downlink speeds;
• Boosted capacity by adding 37 XLTE to existing sites; and
• Completed preparations to deploy 14 mobile cell sites in high traffic locations.

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