T-Mobile beefs up Bay Area network capacity ahead of Super Bowl


Super Bowl 50 is happening on February 7, and the game is going to bring a ton of people to the Bay Area. To prepare for the huge influx of visitors, T-Mobile has beefed up its network capacity.

T-Mobile says that it’s added capacity on 150 cell sites that serve up coverage to 32 venues that are hosting events for the Super Bowl, as well as sites near the three major airports in the area and nearby hotels. T-Mo has also rolled out temporary cell sites — both Cell On Wheels (COWs) and rooftop sites — to add capacity and speed to areas near the Justin Herman Plaza, Moscone Center, and Levi’s Stadium, where the big game itself will be played.

Focusing on Levi’s Stadium, T-Mobile has upgraded its Distributed Antenna System there to increase capacity and reliability in high traffic areas. Also improved are the antenna arrays surrounding the stadium and other “key venues.”

T-Mobile will be bringing its #BallBusterChallenge to Santa Clara next week as well, which will give visiting Verizon customers the chance to pit their network against T-Mobile’s in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is a major event, with some one million fans expected to attend Super Bowl events in San Francisco and around 75,000 at the game itself. So while T-Mobile says that it’s got a speedy network in the Bay Area — with speeds up to 123Mbps in parts of Santa Clara — that network is probably going to see a lot more traffic than normal over the next couple of weeks. The good news for T-Mo customers headed to the Bay Area for the game — and residents that’ll be using the network, too — is that capacity has been boosted to handle that extra traffic.

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  • Trevnerdio

    Now if only they could make it to Panama City Beach for the 2-3 months of spring break hell… :)

  • ArchangelRenzoku

    Now if only we could get that attention to places where Xfinity Wifi can’t reach. Wherever we don’t have network coverage, we have wifi usually. But I guess there are some places in the boonies where I can’t get either. I guess I don’t really have to worry about roaming that much tho. I never have.

  • steadymobb

    Except the super bowl is an hour and a half outside of San Fran lol

    • Bob Dole

      40-45 minutes

      • steadymobb

        In sf traffic? An hour. Either way, that is still far.

    • Willie D

      It’s actually about 35-40 minutes. And with traffic upwards of 45-60 minutes depending on just how bad the traffic is and whether you take 101 south to 237 to Great America Parkeay or 101 south to Great America Parkeay directly and drive up that a bit. I’m a born and raised resident of 36 years, pretty damn sure I know what’s up.

      • steadymobb

        I literally just drove there 2 days ago. It was NOT 35 minutes, it was close to an hour. Santa Clara 49er fans :D

      • steadymobb

        I’m just trying to say no way does it take 35 min. No way.

  • Barbosa

    Did the bay area get band 12 yet? My phone doesn’t get band 12 so I wouldn’t know.

    • marque2

      Only San Diego County and Imperial county do not have band 12 covering at least part of the county, California. San Diego has a spectrum squatter which is negotiating a high rate to sell the spectrum to T-Mobile. The only other West coast area without, is Phoenix.

      Of course they are rolling out in areas of greatest need first. Band 4 seems to do well in most office environments.

      • Tim O. Towers

        Nope, San Diego B12 spectrum was recently acquired by T-Mobile.

        • marque2

          It is still in the process of being transferred. There is no band 12 in San Diego or Imperial County yet. And yes itnwas owned by a company that sqats on spectrum.

  • JunniJatt

    Bay Area does not have band 12 yet. Mike Sievert tweeted “we are rapidly building band 12 there” just a few hours ago. As someone was complaining about shitty reception in Bay Area. So hopefully soon.

    • Glen Baerett

      Well, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    • Willie D

      Actually they do have Band 12 in the areas that really needed it, in the northern counties, of Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Lake counties that have been live for 9 months. There are a few in Santa Clara, Alameda and San Mateo counties that either have gone live in the last few weeks, or have been spotted installed and are almost ready to be turned on. As for “shitty reception in Bay Area” perhaps that person is complaining because they find one dead spot (like I do at work) and is complaining that this one dead spot equates to “shitty reception”, because from my experience, and everyone else I know who uses T-Mo in the SFBA, it works perfectly.

  • Hurlamania

    can they do that by my house

    • Glen Baerett

      No. T-Mobile doesn’t execute on providing coverage. It executes on marketing.

      • TMOTECH

        Dude. I am guessing you are independently wealthy so you have lots of time on your hands. Why don’t you use it to go start a business or something instead of harboring so much hatred for something that has no bearing on you. You obviously like Verizon and that’s fine. Now take your overpriced service and go away.

    • marque2

      Actually they can. Two ways. One, newer phones have call over Wifi – so you can just set that on, on your phone. If you would prefer to have your own personal cell tower for the home, T-Mobile provides, for free. It is celled LTE Cellspot

    • marque2

      Here is a link for an LTE Cellspot article.


  • Glen Baerett

    T-Mobil customers can’t afford $5,000 tickets. Only Apple people can afford that type of price for a seat.

    Everyone who could afford to switch services for iPhones likely moved to Verizon. But, let’s face it, Verizon already provides service inside Levi Stadium through a highly optimized DAS system that puts Alan Tantillo, a national director for development and siting policy at T-Mobil US, to shame.

    Point is- The game is inside. T-Mobil can effectively place the sites outside and leave the tailgaters in the parking lot.

    • YABD

      Yes sir that’s correct. The same thing happen with the international data, Tmobile customers don’t travel outside USA because they majority is low income and can’t afford extra expenses.

      • Willie D

        And you have information stating this how?

      • lomsha


      • Jon

        LOL. You keep thinking that. T-Mobile was quite nice to have when I took my $27,000 round-the-world trip through Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific last year in Business class. Why go back to the W for wifi, when I can just make itinerary updates from the Victoria Harbor cruise watching the Hong Kong light show? ;-)

        • frank

          Us tmobers can dream. I just took my 50k car out for a spin. Now I think I’ll go back to my mansion for a nap

        • Jon

          No worries, I took screenshots. http://imgur.com/a/alxX0/layout/grid

      • Phone Guy

        Rolling eyes. Give me a break, and speak for yourself. Stop looking in the mirror with that statement. :)

      • frank

        T-Mobile customers also have free health care and get food stamps

        • YABD

          I bet you only buy from the dollar menu.

        • Chris

          I do because I am on tmobile

    • Ascertion

      Broad statement. iPhones lead the sales on most carriers in the U.S. I’d link an article but Tmonews denies *most* posts with links.

    • bryck

      Speak for yourself and not for others. I have T-Mobile for the features and coverage that they offer, not because it’s a budget carrier. T-Mobile is just as expensive as most carriers, they just offer more for the buck.

      • marque2

        I find my service much cheaper than it would cost me from AT&T and Verizon. Only one cheaper is Sprint, but if I were to go with Sprint, I may as well not have a cell phone at all.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      I’m not sure what idea you have of a tmobile customer……. there are cheap people on Verizon too especially the grandfathered people who are struggling with dear life to keep their cheap plan because Veriozn rates have increased.

      • 9to5Slavery

        verizon too expensive makes people cheap

    • Adam

      You forgot about the crowd that buys last year’s flagship BMW to save money. These people use Android and T-Mobile.

    • John Harvard

      Dude seriously do you think that T-Mobile customers can’t afford the tickets?

      I have 10 members in my family plan and we would easily save $5,000 per year when compared with AT&T and Verizon.

      • 9to5Slavery

        good thinking about the future. i guess majority does do poorly in handling or being aware of their finances.

  • youenjoymyself

    What about Nashville for the nhl all-star weekend. Coverage is terrible in Nashville. I’ve been averaging under 2mbs on LTE near sylvan park. Nashville needs more towers and low spectrum here asap.

    • Ty Christensen

      Nah, no one cares about NHL so TMo won’t do anything about it. Comparing NHL all-star weekend to the Super Bowl is pretty ridiculous.

      • hitsquad27

        this was too funny

      • 9to5Slavery

        sad… but i slightly agree.

    • Phone Guy

      What about Dorthy Hammel figure skating week. Can they improve coverage for that? Also my daughter is having a girl scout cookie sale. Maybe for that too?

    • Kevin Stevenson

      yes we do. Nashville tmobile service is struggling

      • sweetbeans

        Works fine for me!

    • 9to5Slavery

      Nashville is so hilly and the highway so much swerves.

    • sweetbeans

      Nashville t mobile coverage works great for me and I’m a delivery driver so I’m I’m all parts of town

  • Mike Thaler

    There must be a couple of Band 12 sites operating. Probably more. In the last month my LTE Discovery app says it signed on to 3 or four Band 12 towers in the last month. In addition, Band 12, there definiely is lots of Band 4 improvement around downtown Oakland the last 4-6 weeks.

  • John

    They need to do this around all arenas, and especially Orlando, FL near the theme parks. It say 4G LTE but extremely slow. It sucks. I cant share pics with finally until i jump on wifi.

    • ummduh

      Yup, Disney Land is notorious for that. Strong signal the entire time but completely unable to be used. Won’t even load the “ride wait” apps. I had to force roam onto ATT networks to get anything to happen. I’ve been there more times than I’m willing to admit and it’s the same every time.

  • Here was I in the Texas Hill Country, with no antenna on sight:


    Yet, still able to enjoy LTE:


    Of course, in some parts of the property, I had to endure 2G. Unfortunately, unlike my old Nexus 5, which aggressively sought the fastest signal without staying on one for too long and causing unnecessary timeouts, my new phone searches for the strongest signal for just a while and then sticks to it almost indefinitely.

    This is perhaps the template for rural coverage by TMUS, with bands 2 and 12 together. However, it seems that HSPA is no more in rural areas, as forcing the phone to 3G put it in ATT’s band 5.

    The rationale that M2M devices are what forces TMUS to keep 2G on, though each active connection requires 0.2MHz of precious spectrum each way, comes at a great cost, possibly of HSPA, which is much more spectrum efficient than EDGE.