My first day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this year was a good one. The weather was great, I got to meet some really smart Verizon Wireless techies and I even took a lap around the track with a professional driver in a pace car.
Yes, just like last year, I was lucky enough to be included this year in a back-stage tour of Verizon’s network infrastructure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I can’t disclose the location of the building I toured that contained the bulk of the network infrastucture or I may not be around next week to blog again. Just kidding, I’ll still be around but Verizon did ask me to only disclose that the building is “near the race track”.
Three times the total capacity of the 2012 Super Bowl
To give you an idea what Verizon has to be prepared for, check out these stats from last year. On Race Day 2014, 4G LTE traffic on the Verizon Wireless at the Indianapolis 500 network increased 300 percent over usage on Race Day 2014, and Verizon customers consumed 1.4 terabytes of data just at the Indianapolis 500. For comparison, one terabyte can include 472 hours of broadcast quality video, 150 hours of high-definition recording and enough words that it would take very adult in America speaking at the same time five minutes to say them all.
This year, Verizon has added 20 new antennas to their Distributed Antenna System (DAS) bringing to the total number of antennas inside the venue to more than 200. The also added COPs. No, not the kind that arrest you (although there will be plenty of those there as well). These COPs are cell-on-platforms that are each equivalent to seven of the cell-on-wheels (COWs) mobile platforms used during the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. All said and done, Verizon will have three times the total capacity of the network design of the Super Bowl.
Translation: You should have no problem using your mobile phone to talk, tweet, update Facebook or post Instagram photos during the race or any of the days leading up to the race.
My personal highlight – a lap around the track
In addition to getting a network tour, Verizon treated me to a lap around the track with a professional driver in a pace car. I wasn’t sure at first if it was going to be a leisurely ride or something more but it definitely leaned towards the something more side. During one straightaway I asked the driver how fast we were going and he told me 120 MPH. He hinted that he could go faster but the tires wouldn’t be able to handle the turns.
I used a GoPro Hero 4 from Verizon to film the entire ride. And when I say entire ride, it’s less than 90 seconds when you’re moving at 120 MPH! Here’s the video I shot. Check out how close to the wall we get!
If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Hot lap in the pace car at 120 MPH with a GoPro Hero 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
For those who are interested in the techie side of Verizon’s network infrastructure, here’s a few shots I snagged on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge I’ve been testing.