Verizon Delivers Seamless Connectivity at 2023 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix

By Greg Tavarez May 09, 2023

Ah, F1 racing, where drivers blast around a racetrack in a cat-and-mouse-like game as they try to outmaneuver each other and gain an advantage on the track. In 2022, those F1 racers sped their way down to south Florida to race in the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, where fans got to cheer on their favorite racers, who reached breakneck speeds, at Hard Rock Stadium.

Shifting gears to a more technological side when it comes to the fans, Verizon (News - Alert) customers who attended the event in 2022 used 19 TB of data as they took advantage of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband-powered experiences. Verizon fans benefitted from peak download speeds of 2.8 Gbps and average download speeds of more than 1 Gbps, and a network team of at least 30 engineers staffed Verizon’s network Command Center to ensure a reliable network experience for fans, first responders and public safety teams.

Just as with event organizers constantly looking for ways to improve the overall experience for attendees, Verizon enhanced the network across the stadium to deliver a more seamless private wireless experience for 2023 race.

To do that, the company deployed a private managed wireless solution at the track that enabled venue management solutions including ticket scanning, digital sign management, multiple point of sale terminals for various merchants and immediate uploads for photographers looking to cover the action as it unfolds.

Private networks provide enhanced location flexibility at large-scale events eliminating the need to run fiber cabling inside and around venues to support network connectivity. This wireless venue platform allows stadium operators and the infrastructure providers they work with to reduce infrastructure costs and increase efficiency.

Verizon also had portable private wireless network at the race to showcase various real-time communications applications that can be used in racing, whether it’s race team communications or venue operations.

“With private networks, venue operators are improving existing operations, allowing fans to quickly get into the venue, purchase merchandise, and get to their seats,” said Kyle Malady, CEO of Verizon Business (News - Alert). “In a sport like racing, no one wants to miss a second of the action, and 5G Ultra Wideband network blanketed the Hard Rock Stadium area so attendees can stream, tweet and share their experiences quickly and reliably.”

Verizon engineers also took the necessary steps to prepare the vicinity for enhanced cellular services. The Bowl, back of the house, parking area and the Miami International Autodrome were outfitted with additional 4G and 5G capabilities utilizing a diverse range of frequencies.

For the 5G services, Verizon utilized a combination of C-band, its mid-band frequency with extensive coverage, and mmWave, its premium, high-band spectrum that provides tremendous capacity. The fiber that feeds the area was upgraded to increase bandwidth.

Verizon also added 864 count fiber strands to the northeast, southwest and northwest corners of the Distributed Antenna System at Hard Rock Stadium and in the west lot. Fiber was also extended throughout the outdoor areas to boost the capacity of the Outdoor Distributed Antenna System.

In the parking area, Verizon implemented a performance enhancement technology that segregates crowds into sectors or "slices of pie." Each sector was individually adjusted to handle wireless traffic, providing Verizon engineers with greater flexibility to adjust performance based on customer movement and data usage within the stadium.

The result of these enhancements? According to Verizon, Verizon customers used 42.9 TB of data over the three-day event, up 26% from last year, and the equivalent of streaming a feature length movie almost 12,000 times.

“Our 5G Ultra Wideband network is there when our customers need it and built for these types of crowded events, providing reliability and massive capacity so fans can always capture and share all of the racing action,” said Joe Russo, EVP and president of global networks and technology at Verizon. “Our engineers and technicians worked to upgrade the network and ensure our customers had the best possible experience while at the race.”

Edited by Alex Passett
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