AT&T to boost cell capacity at Memorial Stadium with new tower


Illinois’ dedicated student section, Block I, cheers on the team during the homecoming game against Minnesota at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. The Illini won 28-24.

By Daily Illini Staff Report

When the Illini score a touchdown and you want to send a Snapchat, the phone can lag with the hundreds of other attendees all accessing the same network.

To help counter this, AT&T will be brining a 50-foot-tall cell tower on wheels to each home game at Memorial Stadium to better handle the boost in data activity brought on by having so many people in one place.

AT&T spokesman Phil Hayes said major events at large venues, such as concerts and football games, often see a backlog because they were not set up to handle such increased data activity.

“It was much like a freeway where there aren’t enough lanes for traffic,” Hayes said. “What this cell tower does is it, in essence, adds more lanes for the data to pass through so there’s no problem, it increases the data capacity.”

Hayes said that other college football stadiums and even venues like Lollapalooza have used the mobile cell towers as well. Nowadays, more stadiums look to build with the digital antenna system in place but many older public areas without digital antenna systems can benefit from the towers.

The tower will aid AT&T users specifically and was used at Memorial Stadium for the first time last year. It will be located outside the stadium.

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