Customers also are posting about the game in real time on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as sending texts and hailing rides.
Verizon Wireless, which is an official sponsor of the game, said in a news release it has spent $97 million to upgrade its network throughout the city in the run up to the Super Bowl. Some of that spending includes temporary deployments of cell on wheels or COWs, which function like mobile cell towers. The spending also includes new permanent infrastructure.
AT&T officials said the company spent $43 million to added temporary and permanent capacity for the big game. The upgrades will improve not only the customer experience, but also the reliability of first responders’ communications.
AT&T is also a sponsor of the stadium and helped build its data infrastructure. The company said it expanded its 4G LTE capacity by 300 percent compared to the start of the football season. AT&T also is deploying COWs and five Cell on Light Trucks or COLTs to buttress the existing network.
“There is a lot going on behind the scenes,” said Venessa Harrison, state president of AT&T Georgia.
Comcast, meanwhile, launched free wi-fi at various times Super Bowl week at eight MARTA stations and several top Atlanta destinations, including State Farm Arena, SunTrust Park and at points near Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Companies also are using the visibility of the NFL title game to show off next generation technology. Both Sprint and Verizon held demonstrations of 5G equipment.
A 5G network, which is capable of accommodating driver-less cars and other next-generation technologies, would boost the speed and reliability of wireless service. Speeds, said to be about 10 times faster than the current 4G or fourth-generation networks, will also allow consumers to download movies in seconds.