Long-promised Mobilitie DAS goes live at San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium

Just before game time at Avaya Stadium for the 2016 MLS All Star game. Credit all photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR

The San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium, which opened more than two years ago, finally has a working DAS, according to a press release from DAS provider Mobilitie.

Mobilitie, which won the deal back in 2015, said its neutral-host deployment has more than 150 antennas. The release did not say which carriers have agreed to deals or are live on the system; we are awaiting a response to an email to Mobilitie and Avaya folks, so stay tuned.

Since its opening, Avaya Stadium has had Wi-Fi provided by the namesake sponsor, a network that got considerably better ahead of last summer’s MLS All-Star Game. Any Quakes fans who can take some cell-service speedtests, send them our way.

AT&T sees 13.6 TB of cell data used for Kentucky Derby weekend; Verizon hits 7.17 TB on Derby Day

Race winner Always Dreaming. Credit: Coady Photography /Churchill Downs

Once again, fans at the Kentucky Derby used more wireless data than they did the previous year, with AT&T seeing a total of 13.6 terabytes of cellular data over the racing weekend at famed Churchill Downs.

For the muddy Derby race day itself, AT&T said its customers used a total of 8.1 TB of data on the in-venue DAS, the temporary COWs (cell trucks on wheels) and the AT&T macro network in the area. That number surpassed the 6.7 TB AT&T saw on Derby Day last year.

With an additional 5.5 TB of traffic seen on the “Kentucky Oaks” race day Friday, AT&T saw a total of 13.6 TB for the race weekend, a 19 percent increase from last year’s AT&T total of 11.4 TB for the weekend.

UPDATE: Verizon Wireless said it saw 7.17 TB of traffic on Kentucky Derby Day, up from 5.5 TB the year before. For the full three days of racing (including Thursday’s “Thurby” events), Verizon said it saw a total of 14.27 TB of traffic, meaning that this year’s events handily surpassed last year’s combined-carrier mark of 20.15 TB. In the venue, wireless carriers run on a DAS deployed by Mobilitie.

Mobilitie brings DAS, Wi-Fi to Tacoma Dome

Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash. Credit: Tacoma Dome Instagram page.

Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash. Credit: Tacoma Dome Instagram page.

One of the more iconic venues in the Pacific Northwest, the Tacoma Dome, now has high-speed wireless connectivity inside thanks to a new DAS and Wi-Fi network install from Mobilitie.

According to the Tacoma Dome, Mobilitie installed more than 130 DAS antennas and 190 Wi-Fi APs in both the 23,000-seat Dome as well as in the adjacent Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, which are located just south of Seattle. With its all-wood white domed ceiling, the Tacoma Dome is well known by fans who have been to events inside as well as to area drivers who can see the structure from the I-5 highway nearby.

Though the Dome doesn’t currently have a pro sports team tenant, it does seem to be able to capture its share of big-ticket events, including motocross as well as big stadium concert acts. The I Love the 90s tour is hitting Tacoma on Aug. 26 and Drake on Sept. 16, followed by Def Leppard (with REO Speedwagon and Tesla opening!) on Oct. 1.

According to Mobilitie, it owns the network at the Dome and the convention center, a business model like the one Mobilitie uses in Columbus. Right now Verizon Wireless is on the DAS at the Dome, with AT&T and T-Mobile to follow soon, according to Mobilitie. And if anyone goes there soon, send us a speed test! Interested to see how the big wood dome treats Wi-Fi.

Cellular use tops 12 TB for Kentucky Derby day — 20 TB+ for Derby weekend

Race winner Nyquist. Photo: KentuckDerby.com

Race winner Nyquist. Photo: KentuckDerby.com

Wireless data use at Saturday’s Kentucky Derby broke records all around, as major wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless both reported new event-usage top totals, with AT&T seeing 6.7 terabytes of data use while Verizon recorded 5.5 TB, for a total of 12.2 TB used during the Run for the Roses day. Last year, AT&T saw 5.1 TB of traffic on the Churchill Downs DAS and some extra infrastructure, while Verizon saw its total increase from 3.8 TB in 2015. Both AT&T and Verizon are on the main Churchill Downs DAS, which is run by neutral-host provider Mobilitie. This number will likely get even bigger if and when we get DAS stats from T-Mobile, which is also on the Churchill Downs DAS.

For the entire “Derby weekend” — a two-day stretch that also includes the Kentucky Oaks race on Friday — the carriers saw a combined 20.15 TB of data, with AT&T hitting 11.4 TB for the weekend and Verizon 8.75. Those totals are pretty stunning, when you realize that just two years ago AT&T only saw 2 TB of traffic on its DAS and associated infrastructure (which includes temporary cell towers on trucks and nearby macro towers), and Verizon customers used just 1.37 TB of data.

More evidence of wireless traffic growth can be found in the AT&T claim that it saw 815 GB of traffic on its network in a single hour last Saturday, easily the high number ever for AT&T at any kind of event. AT&T said that peak hour was from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time, when the big race was held and favorite Nyquist won. In 2014, that peak hour for AT&T saw 180 GB of traffic, a number that we thought was big then. Verizon, which like AT&T added capacity to its infrastructure at Churchill Downs prior to this year’s race, also said it saw a traffic spike around the time of the big event. By comparison, AT&T said that at this year’s Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium it saw 201 GB of traffic on its DAS network just after kickoff.

When it comes to DAS the Derby now falls just behind the Super Bowl for DAS totals with 12.2 TB to 15.9 TB, though the Derby number could get closer if and when we get numbers from T-Mobile and Sprint. And yes, granted it’s a much bigger crowd (the Derby had its second-highest attendance ever with 167,227 — just a few thousand less than the record of 170,513 set last year. We also don’t have any stats yet for usage of the new Churchill Downs app, but it does appear betting was up this year, maybe due to app integration?

Mobilitie, AT&T beef up DAS coverage at Churchill Downs ahead of Kentucky Derby

White DAS antennas visible on the overhangs at Churchill Downs. Photo: Mobilitie (click on any photo for a larger image).

White DAS antennas visible on the overhangs at Churchill Downs. Photo: Mobilitie (click on any photo for a larger image).

Since it’s legal in horse racing, how about a bet? Who thinks the final AT&T DAS traffic total from the Kentucky Derby weekend will pass 10 terabytes this year? After hitting 5.1 TB during last year’s two days of racing, what are the odds on wireless data used there doubling down again? Anyone want to bet against growth?

For sure, operators of the wireless infrastructure at the track aren’t going to left behind for lack of trying — according to neutral-host DAS provider Mobilitie and DAS design partner AT&T, there will be approximately a 50 percent increase in AT&T’s cellular capacity at Churchill Downs this year, with double coverage in the 1900 MHz band compared to last year, according to AT&T.

Mobilitie president Christos Karmis said in a phone interview this week that “every year, the amount of data used has doubled,” at least since Mobilitie put in the first part of the DAS at the track for the 2013 event. Since then, Karmis said the DAS antenna count has grown from 253 to 290, and the network now has 55 sectors, in and around the track and seating areas as well as in the parking lots. In addition to AT&T, the DAS also carries traffic for Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, neither of which have reported traffic totals from the event.

Biggest DAS in sports?

Where all the Kentucky Derby race-day social media posts go to find the Internet (aka the head end at the Churchill Downs DAS). Photo: Mobilitie

Where all the Kentucky Derby race-day social media posts go to find the Internet (aka the head end at the Churchill Downs DAS). Photo: Mobilitie

With race day drawing 170,513 fans last year, the Kentucky Derby may well be one of the most challenging events to provide wireless coverage to, with multiple spikes in traffic due to two full days of racing (there are 13 races scheduled for Friday May 6, the Kentucky Oaks Day, and 14 scheduled for Saturday May 7, the Kentucky Derby Day).

According to Karmis, the fans are mainly shooting video and taking pictures during the races, and then posting those images to social media networks during the breaks in between. And then there’s the betting, which can be done on premises via the twinspires app, which drives additional traffic. And then there’s the hats and fashion, which are worth lots of pictures themselves, especially if you see any celebrities during the red-carpet parade.

Though there is still a small amount of Wi-Fi in the main track buildings — at least there was a couple years ago when we did a profile on the new networks — the DAS is the workhorse at the venue, which spreads out far and wide and includes an infield area full of fans as well.

“It’s crazy to try to keep up” with the data demands, Karmis said.

With any luck on our side, we’ll be able to get Verizon and T-Mobile to send over their DAS stats after the event to see if the weekend of races can match the DAS total of 15.9 TB from Super Bowl 50. If the AT&T data alone has gone from 2 TB two years ago to 5.1 TB last year, what’s the total going to be for this year? Put your predictions in the comments below!

AT&T: Kentucky Derby DAS traffic doubled from last year, hits 5.1 terabytes

The iconic twin spires of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Credit all photos: Churchill Downs

The iconic twin spires of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Credit all photos: Churchill Downs

An upgrade to the Mobilitie-run DAS at Churchill Downs let AT&T record record wireless traffic at this year’s Kentucky Derby, as horse racing and hat fashion fans used 5.1 terabytes of cellular data over the racing weekend, according to AT&T.

The total wireless traffic (which is only AT&T customers on AT&T networks) for the events including the Friday Kentucky Oaks race as well as the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby or Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 2, was more than double last year’s total of 2 TB of overall traffic, according to AT&T. This year’s gathering also saw a new AT&T record for the most data used in a specific hour on an AT&T in-venue mobile network during any sporting event, when 474 GB of data crossed the AT&T networks between 5 and 6 p.m. Eastern time during Saturday’s races.

AT&T did not specify what it exactly did to upgrade the Churchill Downs DAS, but it did say that it also deployed a cell on wheels (COW) to help with the traffic crush from the 170,513 fans who watched the race. The hour-long record, which happened just before the race’s start, included data only on the in-venue DAS network, AT&T said.