Getting That Text Out Derby Day May Be Easier Following Verizon Upgrades At Louisville’s Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Verizon Wireless has beefed up its network at Churchill Downs with new “small cell” technology and other upgrades to handle the burgeoning traffic generated by the hundreds of thousands of Derby week guests who want to share messages, photos and videos via their wireless devices. On Derby day 2014, 4G LTE traffic on the Verizon Wireless network increased 224 percent over Derby day 2013, and Verizon customers consumed 1.37 terabytes of data. All trends point to continued massive growth in wireless data traffic.

Verizon, a technology leader with the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network, is one of the first carriers to use small cells, which support Verizon’s 4G LTE signal, consist of a radio, antenna, power and a fiber connection and have a range of up to 1,000 feet.

“Small cells are part of Verizon’s strategy to stay ahead of the growing demand for mobile data by boosting capacity,” said Lauren Love-Wright, Verizon Wireless region president for Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan. “This technology and distributed antenna systems add capacity in important high traffic areas so that our customers have an even stronger experience and so that we’re prepared for future growth.”

Verizon has installed nearly a dozen small cells around Churchill Downs to expand the capacity of existing Verizon cells sites near the grounds. Verizon also will deploy mobile assets in 2015 including a COW or “cell on wheels,” and a COLT or “cell on light truck.” In addition, Verizon added XLTE capacity – which utilizes Verizon’s AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum to deliver faster peak speeds and at least double the bandwidth to 4G LTE customers.

In 2014, Verizon partnered with Mobilitie to deploy a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at Churchill Downs. This year the DAS will receive additional upgrades, including 21 new antennas to improve coverage and balance traffic.

“With the Kentucky Derby coming up, the additional capacity we are deploying will ensure that Derby fans can count on their Verizon mobile devices to share emails, texts, pictures and videos of this quintessential Kentucky experience,” said Love-Wright.

Every year, Verizon network test drive team members drive roughly 1 million miles across the country, including in Louisville, in specially equipped vehicles to conduct more than 3 million voice call attempts and more than 12 million data tests to compare the performance of the Verizon network with competitors’ networks.