Verizon Wireless COW Goes the Distance at Pittsburgh Marathon

The sun shone and temperature stayed pleasant during the festivities at the 2015 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. The weekend kicked off with a health and fitness expo in downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, May 1 and culminated with the main event on Sunday that drew thousands of runners to the city for the marathon and ½ marathon races.

Each year, the Pittsburgh Marathon continues to grow and attract more participants. In fact, there has been 153% growth in participation over the last seven years. More than 30,000 participants ran in this year’s race and participated in the other events scheduled throughout the weekend. Additionally, runners came to Pittsburgh from all 50 states and from 20 countries.

To help prepare for the influx of people in the downtown Pittsburgh area, Verizon installed a temporary cell site—called a COW, or Cell On Wheels—to provide additional 4G LTE network coverage and calling capacity during the marathon. The COW is a fully functional, generator-powered cell site, which has the same call capacity as a freestanding cell site.

Participants and spectators in the area for the race were able to use their 4G LTE wireless devices to access the Internet faster, listen to music or watch video on their phones, send and post photos and stay in touch with family and friends.

Overall, the COW helped enhance the network to meet the ongoing additional demand for data usage during the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. In fact, when compared to a typical weekend day in the area, there was a 32GB increase of data usage during the marathon on Sunday.

Staying connected was especially important for spectators who came to cheer on family and friends who were running.

Blogger and copywriter Jess Brown said, "As a spectator of the Pittsburgh Marathon, my cell phone was incredibly important. I used it to track my friend's progress, find my way around road closures for the race, keep myself busy during downtime and snap my friend's picture as she approached the finish line!"

Congratulations to all of this year’s runners!

Did you run the Pittsburgh Marathon or cheer on someone who did? Send me a tweet and let me know how staying connected helped to enhance your experience – @MerrittLBliss.

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