by Al Sacco

Wireless Coverage in Stadiums Then and Now

May 24, 20122 mins
CarriersMobileSmall and Medium Business

Just as cellular networks and mobile devices have drastically changed during the last ten years, so to have the systems and hardware wireless carriers use to bolster their cellular networks in high-traffic areas and event spaces. Here's a look at an AT&T Distributed Antenna System (DAS) from 2003 and a brand new, LTE-capable DAS in Boston's TD Garden.

Earlier this week, AT&T gave me a great tour of its brand new LTE-capable Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in Boston’s TD Garden, home of the Bruins and Celtics and the site of countless concerts and other events every year. (Read my story on the new AT&T DASfor more details.)


One of my favorite parts of the tour was seeing the old DAS that used to boost AT&T coverage in the Garden. (See image above.) The old DAS is a single, dusty box. The new DAS can’t even fit in one room; it consists of a pile of boxes, wires, antennas and other electronics that I won’t even pretend to be able to identify. Check out the video below for a look at the new DAS.

AT&T’s New LTE-Capable DAS at Boston’s TD Garden

From AT&T rep Seth Bloom:

“This older DAS was built around 2003 and it provided similar coverage, but with much lower capacity (and, of course, without LTE)…At its initial launch, voice calls were able to be accommodated, but more recently the DAS was no longer able to support the customer demand for data, which led to the investments you saw earlier this week.”

The times, they sure are a-changin’.

And AT&T isn’t the only carrier building these DAS systems in stadiums. According to MetLife Stadium CTO Peter Brickman, Cowboys Stadium, where the NFL’s Cowboys play, has an even larger DAS that all major U.S. carriers are already connected to.