02.02.2018Inside Verizon

The architect behind Verizon’s Super Bowl extensive network preparations.

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Brian Mecum, who leads the Verizon Network team in the West, has led network preparations for five Super Bowls, including the big game this Sunday. 

Image of Brian Mecum standing on the field at US Bank stadium.

Brian Mecum, who leads the Verizon Network team in the West, has led network preparations for five Super Bowls, including the big game this Sunday. His team of engineers — which is about the size of three NFL team rosters — will be in our command center monitoring the network 24 x 7, ready to make real-time adjustments as needed. An estimated one million football fans are visiting Minneapolis/St. Paul, and our network is prepared for record data usage. Here is a look at Brian’s first few days in Minnesota, meeting with his team and inspecting the network preparations. He and his team have helped make US Bank Stadium one of the most technologically advanced sports venues in the country.

Brian holding frame

January 28

 Brian arrives from L.A. at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International airport.

Verizon boosted network capacity at MSP airport by 1,000% with a new distributed antenna system (DAS) adding LTE coverage in tunnels and even on the tarmac (for when customers go out of airplane mode!)

Brian with David Vozka and Melinda Vang

January 29

Brian with David Vozka and Melinda Vang in the back-up generator room at Verizon’s Extreme Network Switch.

In case of a power interruption, Verizon has backup batteries and generators to maintain operations. This location has reinforced roofing, thicker than typical insulation and fiber buried to a much deeper level to withstand hypercold winter weather.

Brian and Network ED Diana Scudder

January 29 

Brian and Network ED Diana Scudder led behind-the-scenes tours with three-time All-Pro wide receiver/NFL personality Steve Smith Sr. at our network Command Center.

We track the network 24/7 with a team of engineers to keep Super Bowl fans, teams and the greater Twin Cities area connected.

Network "backpack" tester Jim Wales and Brian

January 30

Jim Wales and network “backpack” tester Brian Mecum walk the stands at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Verizon built the state-of-the-art DAS system with the most antennas (1,200+) and exclusive handrail, under-the-seat and drink rail antennas for our customers. Brian and his team walk test streetscapes and venues every day -- in fact, Brian walked 62.43 miles in the week leading up to Super Bowl 50!

Jim Wales, Brian and Jacques Vallier checking out the Verizon UP stage

January 31

Jim Wales, Brian and Jacque Vallier checking out the Verizon UP stage (with a small cell nearby!)

Verizon added 230+ small cells in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, a big part of increasing network capacity by 500 percent in the Twin Cities, including doubling capacity on Nicollet Mall where Super Bowl LIVE, presented by Verizon runs for 10 days.

Nicollet Mall, site of Super Bowl LIVE

February 1

On Nicollet Mall, site of Super Bowl LIVE, presented by Verizon.

Brian mimics the iconic hat toss with actress Mary Tyler Moore’s statue, commemorating her TV series opening. He knows our customers will likely snap, stream and share content into a Super Bowl record for data use.

Brian visiting Verizon UP area with Diana Scudder and Cliff Casey

February 1.

Brian visiting Verizon UP area with Diana Scudder and Cliff Casey.

A big thanks to the entire network team for their hard work and dedication in preparing for the big week.