If you attended the New Orleans Saints pre-season opener against the Houston Texans, you have noticed a lot of improvements to the Superdome as well as the newly-opened Champion Square on what was the New Orleans Centre.
If you’re an AT&T subscriber, you might have noticed that service has improved substantially. However, the network still experience overload as I encountered problems accessing the web during the Saints victory over the Texans during parts of the first and second quarters.
The phone I used on the AT&T network (Google Nexus One) was able to access the Internet during the game, something that was not unthinkable last year. I asked Sue Sperry, spokesperson for AT&T for the gulf coast region, if service was improved inside or around the Superdome and the response was indubitably but not yet.
“We are close to launching [a new antenna system] in the Dome,” Sperry responded via e-mail. The new antenna system is called a Distributed Antenna System and, according to a press release, it “consists of several strategically placed antennas that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout the stadium, providing for more efficient management of wireless capacity in heavily trafficked areas. The additional capacity will help to improve call reliability, increase download speeds and enable more consistent network access to help customers make the most of their AT&T devices.”
Even though the DAS wasn’t activated in the Superdome, there are two thoughts that come to mind. One reason could be that it was a pre-season game and there wasn’t as any fans that attended the pre-season opener (72,000) than those that come to a regular-season game (78,000 – 79,000).
Or that people are fed up with AT&T and switched to another provider like Verizon, Sprint or T-mobile.