(Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
For as long as I can remember, fans have complained about the wireless service in Verizon Center, and in FedEx Field, and in Nationals Park.
Now, here’s AT&T with a promise to help — inside Verizon Center, at least. But the promise comes with a catch: You’re not allowed to mention Verizon Center. Here’s the blurb we received, promoting this development.
As you’re covering the sports scene in DC, thought you might be interested in this news that AT&T has upgraded wireless service using DAS in our favorite ‘Chinatown’ arena so that Caps, Wiz [and Georgetown] fans can connect with friends at the game or trash talk friends who aren’t there. The upgrade enhances service in the concourse, so now you can text, tweet or talk while getting a beer or hotdog at the breaks. In today’s connected world, it just makes the fan experience that much more enjoyable.
That would make the fan experience that much more enjoyable. Inside our favorite ‘Chinatown’ arena. Which is called Verizon Center.
The press release finds an even longer euphemism for the arena.
As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced wireless devices and services, AT&T has expanded its mobile Internet coverage at a well-known sports and events arena in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C. by completing the installation of a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to enhance the customer experience throughout the facility. Enhanced coverage in the concourse area will allow customers to talk, text and tweet before they arrive at their seats, as well as during the main event.
That’s awesome. Because people do actually love to text and tweet during events at a well-known sports and events arena in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C. Which is called Verizon Center.
Anyhow, if this plan works, let’s all give thanks to a well-known telecom company that uses three letters and a weird piece of punctuation in its name.
Update: Despite the promises of the AT&T press release, a spokesman for Monumental Sports & Entertainment said there is not currently an agreement between AT&T and Verizon Center. However, officials are actively working on a comprehensive upgrade inside the arena for all carriers.
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment currently is working on a comprehensive plan for all wireless carriers to upgrade the existing network into a master Distributed Antenna System, but there currently is no agreement between AT&T and Verizon Center to launch a new DAS specific to AT&T,” the spokesman wrote in an e-mail. “Sharing more information at this time would be premature, but we would welcome AT&T’s participation in our comprehensive Distributed Antenna System and planning.”
Update II: According to an AT&T spokeswoman, the company did install a new partial Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to enhance the customer experience throughout the facility. The new equipment was installed earlier this year, and the past several months were spent on testing and optimization.