Verizon Wireless Makes Major Enhancements to Network in Charlotte in Preparation for the Democratic National Convention (DNC)

Apr 18, 2012 (04:04 PM EDT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With tens of thousands of visitors descending on the city at once, Verizon Wireless network engineers have been busy at work enhancing wireless networks in Charlotte to effectively manage the increased traffic and ensure an excellent experience for visitors from around the nation. Following the DNC, residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of in-building repeaters, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and capacity enhancements to the Verizon Wireless network throughout the city. The network enhancements will mean Charlotte residents will have better wireless network coverage and reliability in places including the Time Warner Arena, Bank of America Stadium, and NASCAR Hall of Fame, for years to come.

"Our network technicians have made tremendous preparations for the DNC including repositioning antennas, increasing permanent capacity and ensuring all permanent towers are operating at optimum levels," said Frank Cairon, network executive director of Verizon Wireless. "To reinforce connectivity and network coverage, we also installed several permanent DASs, which consist of smaller antennas networked together throughout a venue.  These systems run voice, 3G and 4G LTE data, allowing consumers to stream video, share files and surf the web on smartphones and tablets with increased reliability and speed."

In addition to permanent network enhancements, Verizon will strategically situate temporary mobile cell towers referred to as CoWs and CoLTS (Cells on Wheels and Cells on Light Trucks) throughout the downtown Charlotte area to assist with offloading wireless traffic and increasing capacity in key areas where heavy traffic is anticipated.  CoW and CoLT units have the ability to process thousands of calls and data transmissions at the same time to enhance Verizon Wireless' voice, 3G and 4G LTE coverage in Charlotte during the anticipated spikes in traffic.  The cell sites will extend boosted coverage for wireless calls; text, picture and video messages; downloading and accessing apps; Internet connections; and other wireless traffic.

Working in conjunction with the DNC committee, Verizon identified over 75 hotels in the Charlotte area that will host DNC delegates and guests.  System performance engineers equipped with special test equipment walked the hallways of the majority of these hotels to test in-building penetration (signal strength inside rooms).  As a result of the system performance engineer tests, the network team deployed distributed antenna systems using network repeaters to enhance coverage to numerous hotels.

Verizon Wireless prepares year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies so customers can rely on the company's network to keep them connected, even when the unexpected happens.  Verizon Wireless' ongoing intensive investments and preparations – from the construction of new cell sites with on-site back-up power to the implementation of comprehensive emergency response plans – proved critical after many storms and emergency situations over the years. Verizon Wireless' network remained strong while many other wireless communication networks struggled, enabling emergency response officials and residents to communicate with support services, businesses, family, friends and co-workers during and after recent hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods and other emergencies.

Verizon Wireless has made preparations for emergency services during the DNC as well.  A special command center operating throughout the DNC will house additional equipment, technicians and engineers, who will communicate directly with the city of Charlotte and DNC officials in the case of severe weather or emergency.             

Verizon Wireless invested over $290 million in 2011 to improve and expand access to its wireless broadband and voice service in North Carolina. Charlotte was one of the first markets in the world to gain 4G LTE, which Verizon launched in the city in December 2010. The company, which operates the largest 4G LTE network in the nation, expanded its 4G LTE network last year to Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, High Point, Lumberton, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

Verizon Wireless has also been making special network enhancements for the Republican National Convention held August 27-30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 108.7 million total wireless connections, including 92.2 million retail customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with nearly 82,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

SOURCE Verizon Wireless