Events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are filled with moments that people want to share via texts, pictures, status updates and phone calls. In years past, AT&T customers used more than 9.4 terabytes of mobile data during the rally – the equivalent of streaming Netflix for more than 3,000 hours. The City of Sturgis estimated attendance might reach over 500,000 this year.
“With the sheer volume of people descending upon Sturgis this summer, we focused on prioritizing both the public safety and personal experience of rally-goers,” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains. “With these upgrades, we were glad to contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”
FirstNet is AT&T’s exclusive network for first responders, and the SAT COLT is just one of FirstNet’s deployable assets that when called upon in emergencies, can help first responders stay connected and operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. The SatCOLT was located in Sturgis in case the local emergency operations team would need it.
AT&T also added the First Responder exclusive LTE Band 14 to the area network which provides first responders their own LTE “highway” that they can use apart from commercial users. It is a lower frequency spectrum that works well in urban and rural areas and allows for better penetration into buildings.
In addition to supporting first responders, AT&T deployed temporary Wi-Fi at 31 locations in downtown Sturgis, increasing our mobile network capacity by boosting the power of our existing permanent cell sites in Sturgis, and brought two cells on wheels (COWs) to support the increase in wireless activity. COWs were stationed near the Full Throttle Saloon, and at the Kickstand Campground. The COWs alone boosted network capacity in the area by 53%.