Verizon Wireless Network Handles Digital Landslide At RNC

TAMPA, FL — Visitors and local customers at the Republican National Convention (RNC) this week in Tampa Bay gave a vote of confidence to the Verizon Wireless digital network, as they completed millions of calls, texts, downloads and other data connections inside and nearby the Tampa Times Forum, Tampa Bay Convention Center and other RNC venues.

The greatest spike in network usage occurred during the final events of the convention on Thursday night.  Overall during the three-day convention, the Verizon Wireless network in downtown Tampa handled nearly 48 million connections, seven times the amount of data connections in a normal three-day span.

More than 50 percent of that wireless data was carried on Verizon’s advanced 4G LTE wireless network – the nation’s fastest 4G wireless network – which launched in the Tampa Bay area in December 2010, and currently is available in more than 370 markets nationally. 

Even with millions of texts, downloads, uploads, and more, Verizon engineers and customers including local public safety agencies reported excellent network performance.

“This was called a convention without walls because of the heavy use of instant social media and wireless communication,” said Frank Wise, network executive director for the Verizon Wireless Florida region.  “As a technology company, we’re proud that our network technologies helped make the event such a success after months of preparation and network enhancements.”

Verizon Wireless RNC network preparations included:

  • 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.  The 4G LTE technology allowed advanced applications at RNC, such as news outlets using smartphones to broadcast live high-definition video to their viewers.
  • 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 repositioned antennas, increasing permanent capacity and ensuring all permanent Tampa Bay towers ran at optimum levels.  Teams of technicians in special vehicles and on foot traveled the region to thoroughly test the network and ensure coverage was solid throughout.
  • Verizon also deployed Cells on Wheels (COWS), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on trailers (GOaTS) to high-usage areas. 
  • Verizon’s Tampa Bay “super-switch” processing center, which works as the hub of all wireless traffic in the region, was fine-tuned for the RNC.  One of five similar facilities in Florida, the center is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.  Tens of millions of wireless calls and data connections run through it on a regular day, and it handled vast spikes during RNC.

For more information on the Verizon Wireless network and services, visit

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