Cleveland: The Q adds new network to support smartphones

7:08 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- It's a common problem for Cleveland fans. You pull out your phone at the big game to share with social media and......nothing.

No service.

A spokeperson for Verizon Wireless says it's like 100 people trying to get through a revolving door at the same time.

"Often times I'll just turn my phone off because it's such a hassle," said Tyler Grano, a Cavs fan.

Quicken Loans Arena is the first in Cleveland to find a fix, making connecting easier than ever. IT experts built a two-part network to help you talk, text and tweet.

First, every inch of the 750,000-square-foot arena is covered with QWiFi. And second, using a technology called DAS, or a distributed antenna system, they've built a strong Verizon Wireless signal for each section, every nook and cranny.

Now your phone has the strength of more than 460 antennas and 20 miles of cable bundled into the building. And you aren't likely to notice the new additions anywhere but in your signal.

The big question in Cleveland -- who's next?

On Opening Day, Indians fans, urged to use hashtags and other social media connects, were shut out -- hot spots provided for suites and the press box were even compromised by the sold-out crowd.

Curtis Danburg with the Indians told Channel 3 News, "We recognize that is an issue in sold out environments and we're working with Major League Baseball to address connectivity issues around all ballparks as it's an industry-wide problem."

"We're working towards that end result but not there yet. It's a pretty big mountain to climb financially and from an infrastructure standpoint," said Danburg.

It's taken almost a year and cost the Cavs about $5 million, but officials say it's a smart business move to keep fans happy and connected.

Fixing connectivity issues is also something new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has also discussed among changes needed at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

It's important to note that right now the Cavs' DAS system only supports Verzion customers, a partner of the Q.

But it was built as a neutral host with the hope that other carriers will sign on. The QWifi will work on any enabled device.


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