As Super Bowl 51 approaches, the major US carriers are working in Houston, TX to get their network ready for the big game, and to be able to handle all of the extra people there. T-Mobile announced what they have done in Houston ahead of the big game, today. Which includes boosting the capacity of their network in Houston by 2o-times. And unlike other networks who bring in temporary small cells and COWs, this boost is permanent. So residents of Houston will be able to experience some blazing fast speeds, even after the Super Bowl leaves town.
T-Mobile detailed how they were able to increase the capacity of their network in the Houston area, which includes using more LTE spectrum. That includes Extended Range LTE (a marketing term for their band 12 spectrum). Since Extended Range LTE is low-band spectrum, it means that it can cover a larger area, and works better in buildings. T-Mobile also used three carrier aggregation, which gives them a total of 35+35 MHz of LTE. They rolled out tons of small cells in the area, and placed them in buildings and other locations where towers don't usually reach. They are also using Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) to accomplish this. Finally, the carrier is using 4×4 MIMO and 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) which makes their LTE network even faster. As T-Mobile's CTO, Neville Ray put it in his blog post today, this is some advanced technology that has not been seen in the US just yet.
The nation's third largest carrier is going big when it comes to Super Bowl 51, and what's even better is the fact that it won't be going away after the game is over, next weekend. Many of the other carriers will roll their DAS', COWs and small cells away once the Super Bowl is over, but T-Mobile isn't. Many might wonder why carriers are working so hard to increase capacity at events like the Inauguration earlier this month and now the Super Bowl. Well, these days everyone is using their phone. Whether this is to send a Tweet, record a snippet of the game for Snapchat or Instagram, or simply order an Uber to get back to their hotel, people need their phone to work. And having loads of extra people in an area like this means that there isn't as much bandwidth to go around normally. So it's important for carriers to increase bandwidth, which they have all done.