Verizon Confirms 200 Percent Wireless Data Usage Increase at Indianapolis 500

Verizon Wireless, a technology leader with the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network, confirmed today that data usage by fans at the 2015 Indianapolis 500 saw a 200 percent increase on Race Day. Between social media, calls and texts, Verizon engineers confirmed that from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, more than 3 terabytes of data moved exclusively over Verizon’s 4G LTE distributed-antenna-system (DAS) inside the venue. This is a 200 percent increase compared to the same window of time during the 2014 race.  Engineers confirmed that over the entire weekend from Friday, May 22, to Sunday, May 24, a total of 9 terabytes of data moved over the Verizon 4G LTE DAS.

Verizon also released today an online behind-the-scenes video of the network innovations put in place for the 2015 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), including nearly a dozen small cells around the exterior of the track to handle growing data traffic. Verizon engineers spent more than a year designing and creating a custom wireless network facility built at the track to handle the voice and data capacity for upwards of 400,000 fans sharing photos and videos on social at a series of events. As the world’s largest sporting venue, IMS serves as the largest network footprint in the country for a single event. 

For the 2015 racing season, Verizon network engineers enhanced the following areas:

  • Added nearly a dozen small cells around the exterior of the track to enhance the network for large crowds and data traffic
  • Built a custom wireless network facility at the track to handle voice and data capacity and house infrastructure directly at the speedway, including:
  1. Three custom COPs (cells-on-platforms) with a new innovative approach that includes capacity equivalent to that of seven COWs (cells-on-wheels)
  2. Generator redundancies
  3. 30 days of battery backup on-site
  4. Redundant cooling systems
  5. Redundant fiber for backup
  6. 24/7 monitoring on-site while events underway
  • A team of Verizon engineers walked the track with modified packs to test wireless capability during the race.
  • Enhanced XLTE capacity in more than 38 key sectors around the track including:
  1. Hospitality lot
  2. Beer Garden
  3. Verizon Fan Village
  4. Driver Garages
  5. Turn 1
  • Added 20 new antennas to the distributed antenna system (DAS), bringing the total number of antennas inside the venue to more than 200
  • Supported Advanced Calling 1.0 for compatible devices  in the entire venue, allowing users to use HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice and Data (since last fall, more than 1 billion calls have been placed used Advanced Calling)
  • Provided an additional COW for tailgaters and gate traffic near 30th Street and Georgetown Road

The Verizon network handled the following number of social media connections during the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

  • Twitter: 6,251 data connections
  • Facebook: 17,357 data connections
  • Instagram: 145,025 data connections

“Our customers expect a strong network experience and our network engineers worked to make sure the hundreds of thousands of racing fans could do what mattered most to them: share the moment with their family and friends by calling, texting and sharing on social media,” said Region President Lauren Love-Wright. “The busiest moment was the start of the race, where we also saw the most traffic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s clear a number of fans enjoyed sharing emails, texts, pictures and videos during the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”

On Race Day 2014, 4G LTE traffic on the Verizon Wireless network increased 300 percent at the Indianapolis 500 over usage on Race Day 2013, and Verizon customers consumed 1.4 terabytes of data just at the Indianapolis 500. For comparison, 1 terabyte can include 472 hours of broadcast quality video, 150 hours of high-definition recording and enough words that it would take every adult in America speaking at the same time five minutes to say them all. (Source: