July 24, 2013
AT&T Small Cell Technology To Boost Signal In Disney Parks
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Families visiting Disney theme parks are sometimes very concerned about cell phone service as a way to stay connected when they split up and explore rides. To be sure those families can stay connected, AT&T and Disney Parks said on Tuesday that they would partner to improve reception using small cell technology. That is, if you're an AT&T user.As part of the deal, AT&T will install small cell technology at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The small cell towers will switch from AT&T's existing licensed wireless spectrum to the installed towers, which reuse the spectrum in smaller increments. The small cell tower coverage will provide better coverage in the resorts and allow Disney to redistribute signals to provide more coverage in high-volume areas, CNET reported. In addition to cell coverage, AT&T will provide free Wi-Fi hotspots for AT&T customers. The added Wi-Fi coverage will help distribute some of the traffic, so data can be routed via Wi-Fi for customers who set up their phones when they get to the park.
"Specifically, AT&T will add more than 25 distributed antenna systems in an effort to add capacity. It will also add more than 350 small cells, which extend the availability of the network. AT&T is adding 10 new cell sites across the Walt Disney World resort to boost coverage and capacity. And it will add nearly 50 repeaters to help improve coverage of the network," the CNET article said.
"This is a great combination," said Andy Geisse, CEO at AT&T Business Solutions, in a corporate statement. "Bringing AT&T's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network and mobile connectivity to one of the most creative companies on earth is something we're excited about. I'm confident Disney's guests and Cast Members will be thrilled with the experience we deliver."
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will benefit from the enhanced service its visitors will receive.
"We are excited about the opportunity to work with AT&T," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations for the United States and France, in a corporate statement. "This alliance joins two companies that share a commitment to providing quality experiences, and we look forward to the collaboration as we continue to leverage technology to enhance the experience for our guests."
The added small cell towers will allow park visitors to stay in touch with each other, and also to navigate the parks. Families that split up can be sure that they will be able to call or message each other to arrange a meet up location. In addition, Disney Parks can provide apps such as maps so that visitors can navigate the parks to find rides and other attractions. Those maps could be used to highlight events taking place, if Disney provides that data.
Disney and AT&T are also using the partnership to team up on a public service initiative. The two companies will work to educate staff and guests about the "It Can Wait" campaign against texting while driving, PC Magazine reported.