Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Phone companies set up mobile signal boosters at Memorial Stadium to ease network strain during KU football games

November 17, 2010


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All those texts, photos and calls zipping into and out of Memorial Stadium on football game days are putting a strain on wireless phone signals.

At least two phone companies have installed mobile cellular signal boosters nearby to help ease the congestion.

AT&T; set up a so-called “cell on wheels” device in the south end zone last year to help with network congestion. Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director, said that came after athletics department staff had trouble making calls on their AT&T; phones during games.

“That has alleviated our issue as far as we know,” Marchiony said. “I know our staff isn’t complaining.”

On Twitter, several followers expressed complaints with cell phone service at the stadium, saying it was difficult to send texts, make calls and connect to wireless data networks. The complaints included AT&T;, Sprint and T-Mobile customers.

Brenda Hill, a spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, said the company installed a similar device to AT&T;’s at a nearby apartment complex in September. It’s a fully functioning cell site that’s portable, Hill said. The company installed it after monitoring its network and noticing the problem during game days.

The network strain isn’t typically an issue with a lot of calls going on at once, but rather with all the data being exchanged in the stadium, which has a capacity of 50,071.

“The trend is that people are texting and taking a whole lot more photos and posting and tweeting than a few years ago,” Hill said. “I think a lot of us are doing that.”

Hill said that with the added boost, customers should have noticed better service.

Attempts to reach representatives at T-Mobile and Sprint were unsuccessful.

Marchiony said the data strain doesn’t seem to be as noticeable in Allen Fieldhouse for KU basketball games, where the seating capacity is 16,300.

“You can’t hear anything in there anyway when you try to make a phone call,” Marchiony said. “You have to put your phone on vibrate if you even want to hear it ring.”


DillonBarnes 7 years, 6 months ago

Nothing better than easting the strain.

wmathews 7 years, 6 months ago

Even better than easting the strain is easing it. So I changed the headline. :)


Kelly Johnson 7 years, 6 months ago

How exactly does putting your phone on vibrate help you HEAR it? lol.

I know when KU went to the Final 4 and then won the championship, AT&T service was almost completely out the nights those games were won. My son and I got separated downtown and it took an hour before either one of us could get thru to the other and no texts were going through, either.

fully_baked 7 years, 6 months ago

The problem hasn't been nearly as bad in the second half, though.

ralphralph 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm thinking Coach Gill has effectively dealt with this problem. The load ought to be way down by next season.

BigAl 7 years, 6 months ago

Yes sir. Coach Gill dealt with the problem by stopping that 7 game skid Mangino had us on.
I might add that Mangino had us on that 7 game skid with much better players.

fu7il3 7 years, 6 months ago

Yes, both coaches suck. It doesn't make Gill any better than he is.

BruceWayne 7 years, 6 months ago

24 hours and 8 comments later, not one word about the cell towers on the Oread.

somedude20 7 years, 6 months ago

T-Mobile stinks! There are so many parts of Lawrence that I can not get a signal and their customer service sucks (and they are not all that cheap). I am thinking that I might just train a few birds to carry messages back and forth

frank regnier 7 years, 6 months ago

Easy solution, just ban cell phones during games. Violators will be tazed and no need for an additional tower.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 6 months ago

People were complaining on Twitter about not being able to use the nextwork? Ummm.... if they're on twitter, they're using it. Did they go home and tweet about it later?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

Boo Hoo, I find it hard to feel any sympathy for people who pay money to go to the ball game and then want to sit and blather on their plastic toy phones. But it must be great for the profits of the various networks and toy phone companies.

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