Verizon Wireless Finalizes Florida Network Preparations To Serve Tampa Bay During Republican National Convention

TAMPA, FL — With the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) soon to begin in Tampa Bay, Verizon Wireless is finalizing extensive network preparations to ensure strong, reliable wireless coverage and services for tens of thousands of visiting political newsmakers as well as for local residents and businesses.

Verizon Wireless expects record-setting traffic on its 4G LTE network as political representatives, journalists, bloggers and thousands more “wireless power users” upload and download a torrent of videos, photos, posts, tweets, texts, even live broadcasts and more.

Reliance on Verizon’s network could be even higher if Tropical Storm Isaac or another storm hits the area.

“While we’re experienced  in Florida with so many big global events coming our way from  big bowl games and other sporting events  to historic hurricanes,  the nature of the RNC will likely light up the airwaves more than any event we’ve seen,” said Frank Wise, network executive director for the Verizon Wireless Florida region.  “We’ve made a massive investment and effort to make sure our local customers and RNC visitors experience the best possible wireless coverage and services.”

Preparations include:

  • New cell sites and the rapid expansion of the company’s permanent and most advanced 4G LTE network throughout Tampa Bay. The 4G LTE technology is up to 10 times faster than the company’s industry-leading 3G network, with data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.
  • The installation of cellular base stations and/or in-building distributed antenna systems (DAS) at key RNC venues such as Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Convention Center and more.   
  • Network engineers have been repositioning antennas, increasing permanent capacity and ensuring all permanent Tampa Bay towers are running at optimum levels.  Teams of technicians in special vehicles and on foot have been traveling the region to thoroughly test the network and ensure coverage is solid throughout.
  • During the RNC, Verizon also will deploy Cells on Wheels (COWS), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on trailers (GOaTS) to high-usage areas that need extra 4G LTE and 3G network capacity. 
  • Verizon has fine-tuned its “super-switch” processing center in Tampa Bay, which works as the hub of all wireless traffic in the region.  One of five Verizon super-switches in Florida (also including Jacksonville, Orlando, Jupiter and Pembroke Pines), the facility is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and is one of  Verizon’s largest in the nation, in terms of the number of connected cell sites/towers.  Tens of millions of wireless calls and data connections run through it every day, with dramatic spikes expected during the RNC.

Verizon will report updates on RNC-related usage and/or network developments on Twitter @VZWChuck and on Facebook at VerizonWirelessFL. For general information on the Verizon Wireless network and services, visit

(Editor’s Note: To view special RNC network preparation, such as touring the Tampa Bay super-switch, accompanying a Verizon Wireless test man, or visiting another facility, contact Chuck Hamby at 813-615-4803).

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 94.2 million retail customers, including 88.8 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 78,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at