The Minnesota State Fair, known as the Great Minnesota Get Together, is one of the largest in the country, based on daily attendance. In Iowa, the recently concluded state fair set a new unofficial attendance record of 1.1 million people, as the largest attended event in the state.
Each year, an increasing number of fairgoers are sharing their experience and staying connected via their smartphones. So, it’s no surprise that Verizon customers used 88% more data on our 4G LTE network during the Iowa State Fair, as compared to the 2014 fair. From August 13-23, our customers accessed the Internet, utilized social media and other applications using more than 11.4 TB of data (for reference, there are 1,000 gigabytes in a terabyte of data). To prepare for the fun-seeking fairgoers, Verizon adds additional network capacity.
For the Iowa State Fair, we deployed three temporary cell sites (known as COWs and COLTs), as well as added nine small cells to the state fairgrounds. At the Minnesota fairgrounds, we added nine small cells and two Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs) within or near the fairgrounds. In addition, we added a new permanent cell site in the area east of the fairgrounds. Those sites are in addition to the state fair’s permanent cell site on the Ag building.
Over the first weekend of the Minnesota State Fair August 27-31, 5.7 TB of data was used on the Verizon network, and the expectation is that usage will increase as the fair continues through Labor Day weekend. To make sure everything goes smoothly, network technicians will attend the fair and closely monitor the customer experience.