Indianapolis Speedway adds Verizon DAS

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500. Credit all photos: IMS Photo.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500. Credit all photos: IMS Photo.

It’s still a work in progress, but Verizon Wireless customers who attend this year’s Indianapolis 500 race should see improved cellular communications, thanks to a DAS buildout currently underway.

According to Rhonda Winter, CIO for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Verizon was recently selected to build a neutral-host DAS which will add more than 200 internal and external antennas to the speedway’s main stands and buildings. While other carriers are slated to join the DAS in the future, only Verizon will be on the infrastructure this year. According to Verizon, it will also have two COLTs (cell on light trucks) mobile units at this year’s race, to improve coverage in far-flung areas like the fields of parking that are necessary to host the 250,000 fans who may show up to watch the May 25 event.

Verizon antennas atop Indianapolis Motor Speedway scoreboard.

Verizon antennas atop Indianapolis Motor Speedway scoreboard.

Winter, who responded to questions via email, said Verizon offered “the best solution” when it came to picking a DAS host. The spread-out nature of the huge, 2.5-mile track makes Indy a fairly unique situation when it comes to wireless coverage. Added to the spacing requirements, Winter also noted that the track’s network sees a huge and sudden surge when fans arrive for race day. Among some of the experiments Winter and her staff are trying are some selected uses of public Wi-Fi, this year at special pre-race concert events and also in the VIP areas.

“Coverage and capacity on our busy race days continues to be a challenge that we are working to improve,” Winter wrote.

With the added capacity, Verizon customers should have no problems accessing the Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR 14 mobile app, which for Verizon customers only offers live features that include driver and pit crew audio, race radio broadcast coverage, as well as a track map. Winter said there is also an Indianapolis Motor Speedway app called Brickyard Mobile, which is the digital version of the track’s guest guide.

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  1. […] than 9 terabytes of data on Verizon wireless networks during the race weekend, which include the track’s only DAS (distributed antenna system) and some temporary cell sites. For the 2016 race, Verizon said it has […]

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