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Super Bowl and Super Technology

by diane 2010-02-07 22:51

MIAMI —GPS tracking systems will be monitoring VIPs and more than 250 journalists will be devouring broadband at today’s Super Bowl.

The big game draws a big demand for technology to keep things running smoothly and securely — and companies are investing millions to make the experience flawless.

This will be the fourth Super Bowl for Oklahoma City-based US Fleet Tracking to track scores of VIP vehicles coming and going. Every driver of VIPs wears a small box on his or her belt that tracks their location and speed using GPS. Staff can pull up a map showing the location and speed of every driver and get instant alerts if they leave or enter a particular location.

The greatest demand comes from the tech-savvy fans. The last time the Super Bowl came to Miami, in 2007, organizers said it attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the area. The concentration is so great that cell phone companies need to bring in equipment to boost service just to keep up with the heavy demand for data and voice calls throughout South Florida.

Halftime is especially stressful for cell phone carriers. All at once, practically everyone in the stadium will be sending photos, video and text messages to their friends — and some will be calling friends so they can try to listen to the performers.

Mobile providers will give an extra boost to existing cell sites, and for something as huge as the big game, it will bring out extra cell sites on wheels, also called COWs, to the parking lot.

Sprint is adding four COWs near the stadium and one in Miami Beach. AT&T said it is adding three in the parking lot, and Verizon has installed what it calls a permanent "super system" at Sun Life Stadium.




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