ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The U-M Athletic Department, in partnership with University of Michigan Information and Technology Services, is testing upgraded cellular coverage at Michigan Stadium for Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. The system will be used during the International Champions Cup soccer match between Manchester United and Real Madrid on Saturday (Aug. 2, 4 p.m.).
"We expect to have much improved cellular coverage and a dependable service for our fans," said Rob Rademacher, Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations. "The goal is for improved service to make calls, send texts, upload or download photos and connect to social media throughout the game day experience."
This summer, the university started a major upgrade to the distributed antenna system (DAS) at Michigan Stadium. It has been very difficult to build adequate capacity into the stadium due to its significant size as well as the open bowl, which has limited locations for antennas.
The current DAS project integrator is ExteNet Systems, which is constructing the systems for cellular providers Verizon and AT&T. The Verizon infrastructure improvement will be up and running during the soccer game, while there will be a temporary solution in place for AT&T customers. This temporary structure for AT&T is currently visible from both the east and west towers but will be removed once the permanent solution is completed during the football season.
"This is a great starting point for us in terms of testing the new system," added Jerry Wood, Associate Athletic Director for Information Technology. "We hope to learn some lessons from this Saturday's soccer match that will help us improve the service heading into football season."
The cellular improvements are being funded by the cellular carriers through their respective agreements with ExteNet.