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Sprint Super Bowl Coverage/DAS

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Any S4GRU members going to the Super Bowl or planning to be near the stadium? Could you let us know how Sprint's coverage is?

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About the DAS: http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150129/network-infrastructure/digging-das-superbowl-tag4
 

TE Connectivity has upgraded the stadium DAS to a 2 layer standard power system. Layer 1 includes the 850/1900 MHz, 700/700 MHz, and 2100/2100 MHz spectrum bands. Layer 2 includes the 1900/2100 MHz, 800/1900 MHz, and 2100/2100 MHz bands.
...
Verizon has three LTE bands connected inside the stadium via host-to-host and two connected outside the stadium, also host-to-host. The carrier has technologies for all 48 sectors. AT&T has three LTE bands connected via host-to-host and has technologies for 44 of the 48 available sectors. It has tripled its network’s LTE capacity in the stadium area in preparation for the Super Bowl. T-Mobile has two LTE bands and 30 sectors, and Sprint has two LTE bands and 15 sectors.

{{Doesn't appear that 2500 MHz was part of this deployment...}}

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More about the DAS: http://www.aglmediagroup.com/super-bowl-brings-the-best-teams-together-and-thats-just-the-das-deployments/

At the University of Phoenix stadium, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, TE deployed FlexWave Spectrum DAS to mobile coverage and capacity.
The Cardinals’ stadium is sort of a home field for TE. It deployed 33-sector DAS at the venue two years ago. The new system ups that number to 48 sectors and includes 96 main hubs, 49 expansion hubs and 225 remote antenna units to cover the stadium bowl, luxury boxes and service areas. The system supports various 700, 800, 850, 1900 and 2100 MHz LTE, CDMA, EVDO and UMTS services.
....
The original design of the DAS at the Cardinal’s stadium featured 850 MHz and 1900 MHz SISO and 700 MHz MIMO and AWS MIMO, and it served three operators. Along with additional sectors, the system will make room for an additional carrier, Sprint and its 800 MHz frequencies. It will also increase the use of MIMO and will use a double-starred design with a host goes out to multiple expansion groups, which then go out multiple remotes.
“We added roughly a third more sectors and went from SISO to MIMO at 1900 MHz, which is all about driving more capacity into the stadium,” Spindler said.
For the stadium alone there are three different headends. Two carriers are sharing one headend and the two other carriers each have their own headend.
....
A base station hotel, two kilometers away from University of Phoenix stadium, feeds the stadium, Gila River Arena and the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, using a TE digital fiber link. In downtown Phoenix, TE’s FlexWave Prism DAS has been deployed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the headquarters for NFL executives, and at CityScape, an outdoor visitor center.

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More about the DAS antennas: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-university-of-phoenix-stadium-cardinal-is-ready-for-super-bowl-xlix-with-full-featured-das-system-enabled-by-galtronics-antennas-300026184.html

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You beat me to posting that article.

 

Too bad the DAS doesn't seem to support B41.

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You beat me to posting that article.

Too bad the DAS doesn't seem to support B41.

Agreed. Too bad it doesn't, because unless I'm mistaken, this would have been a perfect opportunity for a huge and effective 2.5GHz deployment. Sprint would have left the other carriers in the dust and learned a lot in the process. Perhaps the next DAS build will support Band 41 at the next Super Bowl....

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I wonder what would have caused them to leave it out.

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Maybe Sprint will have COW's deployed with 8T8R equipment on them? Unless that's not a thing...

 

-Anthony

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Here is an article from last year http://www.fiercewireless.com/special-reports/super-bowl-xlviii-how-did-tier-1-wireless-carriers-networks-hold

 

Looks like sprint had 5 COWs at last years superbowl. I would be worried about the volume of backhaul if the COWs supported 8t8r maxed out with carriers. Each one would need it's own fiber/microwave link directly to fiber.

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Here is an article from last year http://www.fiercewireless.com/special-reports/super-bowl-xlviii-how-did-tier-1-wireless-carriers-networks-hold

 

Looks like sprint had 5 COWs at last years superbowl. I would be worried about the volume of backhaul if the COWs supported 8t8r maxed out with carriers. Each one would need it's own fiber/microwave link directly to fiber.

Great article. It'll be interesting to see FW's write up for this year's.

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Sounds like Sprint will have the least coverage/capacity in the stadium based on the number of sectors they are using *barring other factors such as number of users and coverage from nearby towers.

 

I do have a question about das systems such as what's being used here: the bands that are bring used by the cellular providers - how wide are the channels? (5x5 or 10x10, etc). Is this limited by the spectrum the carriers have in a particular market, or is it limited by the das provider? If its limited by the spectrum owned by the cellular provider I feel Sprint will always be at a disadvantage because their primary G band is only 5x5, while the other carriers have 10x10 and wider channels. That is unless band 41 becomes compatible with these das systems.

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University of Phoenix Stadium has a massive enterprise grade Wi-Fi network.  This is now an NFL mandate for all teams -- and no stadium is going to host a Super Bowl without exceeding that mandate.

 

So, anybody with a smartphone who has a bad cellular network experience at the Super Bowl only has his/her own ignorance to blame.  Cellular DAS is nice, but in many ways, it is a solution late to the game.  Stadium Wi-Fi is taking over the heavy lifting at NFL venues.

 

AJ

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University of Phoenix Stadium has a massive enterprise grade Wi-Fi network.  This is now an NFL mandate for all teams -- and no stadium is going to host a Super Bowl without exceeding that mandate.

 

So, anybody with a smartphone who has a bad cellular network experience at the Super Bowl only has his/her own ignorance to blame.  Cellular DAS is nice, but in many ways, it is a solution late to the game.  Stadium Wi-Fi is taking over the heavy lifting at NFL venues.

 

AJ

True. But how did Sprint get so screwed over on this DAS?: Fewest number of sectors and no Band 41 to boot.

 

People don't always use WiFI. Besides, Sprint hasn't yet launched WiFi calling for iOS so having a DAS with sufficient capacity and sector coverage is important.

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True. But how did Sprint get so screwed over on this DAS?: Fewest number of sectors and no Band 41 to boot.

 

People don't always use WiFI. Besides, Sprint hasn't yet launched WiFi calling for iOS so having a DAS with sufficient capacity and sector coverage is important.

This equipment was probably FCC Certified around a year ago when there was barely anything for Sprint LTE compatible DAS systems. I expect that Sprint Band 41 LTE will be deployed on DAS systems later this year. DAS equipment has been on a slower cycle than macro-cell and small-cell equipment. Sprint should have some band 41 around the stadium as long as the towers by there are upgraded with the proper equipment and integrated.

 

 

Sent from Josh's iPhone 6+ using Tapatalk 3.1.1

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This equipment was probably FCC Certified around a year ago when there was barely anything for Sprint LTE compatible DAS systems. I expect that Sprint Band 41 LTE will be deployed on DAS systems later this year. DAS equipment has been on a slower cycle than macro-cell and small-cell equipment. Sprint should have some band 41 around the stadium as long as the towers by there are upgraded with the proper equipment and integrated.

Sent from Josh's iPhone 6+ using Tapatalk 3.1.1

Good point. There's always next year! I hope Sprint uses some leverage and capital to make this happen.

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True. But how did Sprint get so screwed over on this DAS?: Fewest number of sectors and no Band 41 to boot.

 

People don't always use WiFI. Besides, Sprint hasn't yet launched WiFi calling for iOS so having a DAS with sufficient capacity and sector coverage is important.

Relying on wifi is a cop out. If the technology is there to have great service (it is) , it should be utilized. I'm hoping that Crown just didn't have many sectors for Sprint vice Sprint not coughing up the money. Then again, Crown might not put many sectors because Sprint wasn't begging for it. I firmly believe that Sprint can be, should be, and should start acting like they are better than Verizon and the rest of the gang. They won't organically get there at this pace. Also, why was development on B41 DAS run in sequentially with their macro roll out? It should be run in parallel with a separate team dedicated to it.

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No one knows right now if the DAS as deployed for Sprint at the Glendale Stadium is insufficient. It's just less CAPACITY. There are plenty of nodes for complete coverage. And Sprint has less customers than Verizon and AT&T. Also, the demographic of people who can afford to go to Super Bowls skews toward the Duopoly.

 

I don't know if the Sprint deployment is enough. But I do know that ATT and VZW needs to be way more than Sprint. In a normal market set up, ATT and VZW have double the customers of Sprint. In this demographic, they may have triple. Given that, maybe Sprint's network may even outperform.

 

Nothing to freak out about really.

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No one knows right now if the DAS as deployed for Sprint at the Glendale Stadium is insufficient. It's just less CAPACITY. There are plenty of nodes for complete coverage. And Sprint has less customers than Verizon and AT&T. Also, the demographic of people who can afford to go to Super Bowls skews toward the Duopoly.

I don't know if the Sprint deployment is enough. But I do know that ATT and VZW needs to be way more than Sprint. In a normal market set up, ATT and VZW have double the customers of Sprint. In this demographic, they may have triple. Given that, maybe Sprint's network may even outperform.

Nothing to freak out about really.

True. On paper though, it's disappointing that Sprint won't be able to leverage Band 41 on the DAS in such a saturated environment, which would have been perfect for demonstating its potential. T-Mobile has a similar sized user base, but has twice the number of sectors on the DAS.

 

As far as the Macro network goes, I wish Sprint had been able to make more progress in the network rebuild around the stadium and in Glendale.

 

It's true that COWS are being brought in, but I don't think those COWS support 2.5GHz... do they? We'll see what happens, but considering Sprint is putting forward $4.5 million for an ad spot in the third quarter, the network has got to perform and back that up.

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True. On paper though, it's disappointing that Sprint won't be able to leverage Band 41 on the DAS in such a saturated environment, which would have been perfect for demonstating its potential. T-Mobile has a similar sized user base, but has twice the number of sectors on the DAS.

 

As far as the Macro network goes, I wish Sprint had been able to make more progress in the network rebuild around the stadium and in Glendale.

 

It's true that COWS are being brought in, but I don't think those COWS support 2.5GHz... do they? We'll see what happens, but considering Sprint is putting forward $4.5 million for an ad spot in the third quarter, the network has got to perform and back that up.

Tmo may have overbuilt. We can't tell yet until it is saturated. And the reason it doesn't support B41 might be because it couldn't, yet. We haven't seen any B41 DAS yet anywhere.

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Tmo may have overbuilt. We can't tell yet until it is saturated. And the reason it doesn't support B41 might be because it couldn't, yet. We haven't seen any B41 DAS yet anywhere.

The DAS was supposedly a "neutral" build. Not sure what Sprint kicked in, but it's clear that Verizon (On all 48 sectors) spent big and/or had influence...

 

Perhaps. We'll see what happens here.

 

Also, as far as the DAS and Band 41 support for next year's Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. That's an outdoor Stadium and from what I can tell, Sprint has been making progess on the towers in the South Bay/Silicon Valley area. Of course, that stadium has a very robust WiFi setup as well.

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Relying on wifi is a cop out.

 

No, Wi-Fi is not a "cop out."  That is a foolish assertion to make.  Wi-Fi is a necessity.

 

For background, the University of Phoenix Stadium is the first DAS that I have ever heard of employ so many sectors.  Most DAS designs that I have encountered in the past have used just a traditional one, two, or three sector approach.  That is true of many arenas/stadiums around the country.  The 48 sectors are a step in the right direction, but they are still too few.

 

NFL mandated, enterprise grade Wi-Fi, on the other hand, uses hundreds of sectors, each of which typically has deployed two or more 20 MHz channels:  one 2.4 GHz and at least one 5 GHz.  Cellular cannot and should not compete with that sector density and bandwidth.  Wi-Fi will do the heavy lifting.

 

AJ

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No, Wi-Fi is not a "cop out." That is a foolish assertion to make. Wi-Fi is a necessity.

 

For background, the University of Phoenix Stadium is the first DAS that I have ever heard of employ so many sectors. Most DAS designs that I have encountered in the past have used just a traditional one, two, or three sector approach. That is true of many arenas/stadiums around the country. The 48 sectors are a step in the right direction, but they are still too few.

 

NFL mandated, enterprise grade Wi-Fi, on the other hand, uses hundreds of sectors, each of which typically has deployed two or more 20 MHz channels: one 2.4 GHz and at least one 5 GHz. Cellular cannot and should not compete with that sector density and bandwidth. Wi-Fi will do the heavy lifting.

 

AJ

WiFi works, but only if people bother to log onto it. Again, consumer education is key here. Giant "use our WiFi" signs with simple instructions at the stadium entrances would help.

 

According to Mobile Sports Report, the peak number for simultaneous Wi-Fi connections at the outdoor Levi's Stadium for the first 49ers preseason game there in August 2014 was 24,775 (roughly 38% of attendance) concurrent connections and the average was 16,862 (roughly 25% of attendance) concurrent connections. (Source: http://www.mobilesportsreport.com/2014/08/holy-terabyte-first-football-crowd-at-levis-stadium-uses-2-13-tb-of-wi-fi-traffic-with-nearly-25k-fans-on-wi-fi-at-once/)

 

This is in Santa Clara, CA in the heart of Silicon Valley with a tech savvy demographic, and the adoption rate on WiFi could be higher. A robust DAS needs to carry the balance for people who can't, won't or don't know how to get on WiFi.

 

A strong macro network build from Sprint needs to supplement this, especially if Band 41 isn't supported on the DAS. Band 41 is perfect for these types of environments and Sprint's overhauled towers broadcasting 2.5GHz (in addition to 800MHz/1900MHz) to a saturated area are what's needed.

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WiFi works, but only if people bother to log onto it. Again, consumer education is key here. Giant "use our WiFi" signs with simple instructions at the stadium entrances would help

help.

True. You'd be surprised at the number of people still don't know how WiFi works and what everything means.

 

If you want to push something, you need to educate. Simple as that.

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Not much can be done about DAS makers not yet supporting B41 TDD-LTE. Sprint will work to rectify that.

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True. You'd be surprised at the number of people still don't know how WiFi works and what everything means.

If you want to push something, you need to educate. Simple as that.

Yup. Exactly right.

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I was in Cincinnati in December for the Bronco's Bengals football game. I tried to use the Stadium WIFI but it was horrible, Sprints LTE was overloaded but was still better than the WIFI. I'm sure different stadiums will have different results

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No, Wi-Fi is not a "cop out."  That is a foolish assertion to make.  Wi-Fi is a necessity.

 

 

Public wifi networks are a security nightmare, and I would not recommend the average person use them.

Not without a VPN, anyway, and that's a little advanced for most people, so it's easier to tell friends and family to stay away from them.

 

I may be paranoid, but:

1. It's fairly trivial to eavesdrop on everyone's traffic on an open wifi network.

2. There is no way to know if the access point you're connecting to is legitimate. For under 100 bucks you can buy an off-the-shelf wireless router that automatically spoofs nearby wifi networks for man-in-the-middle attacks.

3. Even "legitimate" wifi networks often behave badly, like by inserting ads to the web pages you visit, adding their own tracking cookies, and selling your info to advertisers.

 

I'd like to see someone like Sprint/Google/Apple bake in a free VPN service on their smartphones as a way to protect their users on open networks. It'd also be a way to stand out from the competition, especially with folks like Verizon and their "super cookie" in the news.

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      Week 2 – The True test
      The unit is getting worked really hard this week with temperatures outside up near 100 degrees. The GPS is useless with this kind of sun load as the unit will overheat if left in direct sunlight (as the instructions state) in about 20 minutes. The good news is that this is about twice as long as my original Hotspot will last. How anyone can make a unit that requires a clear view of the sky for GPS but can’t handle sunlight is beyond comprehension. A quick check of the Tri-Band’s temperature specs shows that the unit is only rated for 95 degrees. The prior Hotspot was rated well above the century mark but couldn’t even handle 90 degrees for any length of time. The crappiest laptop on the market will handle 105 degrees plus all day long. The true test will be my afternoon calls when the temperatures are high. Battery life has been about 8 to 9 hours which is far better than the prior Hotspots.
      The unit started overheating one afternoon. I can’t say I’m a bit surprised at that, but what is surprising is that it will run steadily as long as the air temp is below 98 degrees. This is a first for Hotspots as they always overheated well before the rated temperature spec. The bad news is the crappy overheat shutdown doesn’t turn off the unit before damage starts to occur, nor does it turn the unit off completely.
      Removing the battery cover seems to help air circulation and overheating some. The button lights are flickering after one overheating but the unit seems to be working fine other than this. It will be interesting to see what happens when it really gets hot here.
      According to the specs 4G LTE takes the least amount of wattage to run so it may not overheat as fast when using 4G LTE. I had the chance to try the modem in the old school 3G EVDO mode as one of my locations is 40 feet underground and that is all that is available at this location. I shut the unit down after 30 minutes as the unit was so hot you could barely handle it even though the temperature underground is around 70 degrees. I would not recommend trying to use this for any length of time if you want the Tri-Band to not overheat!!
       
      My Opinion
      Although Sierra Wireless has made some major improvement in the 3rd generation Hotspot, this is still a unit for the casual user. It is not designed to handle heavy use or outdoor summer temperatures for any length of time. It will be going in my climate controlled cabinet to protect it from the heat next week. I will let you know how it works when the temperature stays below 85 degrees. The improvements in connectivity, reception and stability are worth the investment. As long as you know and adjust your usage for the limitations of the unit.
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