Faster Internet speeds for Verizon Wireless users in Phoenix and Las Vegas are now available thanks to a series of key network upgrades made by the carrier to handle ever-growing crowds of visitors and residents.
In Phoenix, where Super Bowl XLIX was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 1 and where the 2015 Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament was held that same weekend in nearby Scottsdale, Verizon saw demand for wireless data services double since the same period a year prior, according to the company.
And in Las Vegas, with 500 flights a day bringing in more than five million convention goers and millions of additional visitors each year, more capacity was needed to meet continually growing needs, the company said.
In response, in the Phoenix area in the first half of 2015 Verizon has quadrupled its 4G LTE wireless data capacity throughout the area, while also building a network of small cells to add capacity and improve in-building coverage to stay ahead of high call volume and high data usage around the area, according to the company. Indoor antenna systems have also been added inside the Phoenix Convention Center and Symphony Hall, Cityscape, the Hyatt Regency and the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, as well as in other locations around the metro area.
The idea has been to improve the network for everyday residents and to handle special large-scale events when demand increases so that users can get the services they expect, the company said. To dramatize the future needs of its data network in the area, Verizon said that demand for wireless data services is expected to grow by 650 percent between 2013 and 2018, according to figures from networking vendor Cisco.
The Las Vegas network improvements in the first half of the year mirror the needs and expectations of Phoenix, according to the company. Because of the growing crowds of visitors for work and play, Verizon has added a new small cell network to meet the growing demand for data service and has expanded the antenna system inside the Las Vegas Convention Center to handle more calls and data.
The company also has added permanent cell sites for travelers to Boulder City, as well as for visitors to the city's McCarran Airport rental car center and a nearby outlet mall, according to the company. Also this year, the company has provided additional network capacity as needed through the use of mobile cell sites for major events including CES, Rock in Rio USA, and the Electric Daisy Carnival.
All four major carriers—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint—continue to work on their services regularly to try to stay ahead of each other and attract new customers.
In July, T-Mobile added calling, texting and 4G LTE data to and from Canada and Mexico for all customers who have Simple Choice mobile calling plans with the carrier under its new "Mobile without Borders" service. This service came some six months after AT&T announced in January that it was acquiring the assets of Nextel Mexico for $1.88 billion. The AT&T deal was described by that company as a step in the creation of what it called "the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States," according to an earlier eWEEK report.
In December 2014, Sprint deemed its 4G LTE network essential complete for its customers, according to an earlier eWEEK update.