Small cells to be given extreme test during high Pope visit traffic

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle International’s devout Catholics might be praying to St. Vincent Ferrer, patron saint of builders, that their small cell network will support the data tsunami expected on Sept. 26-27, 2015 along the historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, stretching from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Logan Square, during Pope Francis’s inaugural visit where more than one million people are expected to be in attendance.

Crown Castle, AT&T and Verizon invited the media to a tour last week of the new small cell nodes along the Ben Franklin Parkway that will enable crowds to stay connected during the Pope’s visit as well as future events including the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia Marathon and other concerts and festivals.

The tour provided a behind the scenes look at how Crown Castle has been working together with the City and major wireless carriers to make Pope’s Francis’s visit the most connected event in Philadelphia and possibly American history, rivaling Super Bowl halftime shows and midnight on Times Square.

Crown Castle’s targeted surgical solutions through 37 small cell nodes on light poles are designed to grab smartphone signals within 100 to 200 feet.

AT&T has added a cell tower at 17 and Race Streets in addition to adding temporary cell sites on two rooftop locations.

Comcast has also added capacity to WiFi hot spots along the route.

“Throughout the installation process, the City of Philadelphia was committed to working closely with Crown Castle to reach a solution that met the historic and aesthetic standards of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway while enabling the wireless services that attendees will rely on for this and all future events in this part of the city,” Crown Castle said in a statement.