SBD/January 9, 2012/Facilities

AT&T Installs $10M Antenna System In Mercedes-Benz Superdome

AT&T is being charged $175,000 annual licensing fee to cover system's needed space

Cellphone users attending Saturday's Saints-Lions NFC Wild Card game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome should have had “an easier time sending photos and messages to friends, thanks to AT&T's completion of a $10 million ‘distributed antenna system’ in the Dome,” according to Mark Schleifstein of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. AT&T Senior PR Manager Sue Sperry said that the system actually “extends coverage serving older 3-G and new 4-G phones to Champions Square.” She added that a 70-mile network of cables is “connecting the new system's nerve center in a Superdome garage with 950 antennas.” The new antenna system “is the equivalent of 200 traditional cell towers.” Sperry said, "It's the largest system of its kind in the world, and has twice the capacity of the system that was recently installed in Cowboy Stadium." Verizon has “agreed to piggyback onto the system, but the company must install its own equipment to make that happen.” Sperry said that the system is “available for use by other cellphone companies, but none has agreed to do so yet.” AT&T is being charged a “$175,000 annual licensing fee to cover the space needed for the system in the Dome.” The other cell companies will “pay AT&T a fee for a share of the installation costs, and licensing fees to SMG,” the Dome's operator (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/7).

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