AT&T Mobile towers pop up so Phones etc. will work well for the Inauguration and the Women’s March

by Prince Of Petworth January 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm 15 Comments

4th and Madison Drive NW, courtesy of AT&T.

Ed. Note: I confirmed the towers will remain in place for the Women’s March on the 21st as well.

From an email:

“Nearly 1 million are expected to crowd the National Mall on January 20, many documenting and sharing the experience in real time via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. That’s a massive amount of people using their smartphones and data-heavy apps in the same place at the same time, and a massive demand placed on wireless networks in the vicinity. How do wireless carriers keep things running smoothly? A few highlights:

AT&T is investing nearly $15,000,000 and more than quintupling network capacity throughout DC to boost the network for the Inauguration, including hundreds of permanent upgrades that will benefit the city for years to come.
The company is rolling out seven Cell on Wheels or “COWs” (per the photo above, these are essentially mobile cell towers that handle spikes in traffic from smartphone users) along the National Mall – AT&T’s largest temporary network deployment ever. Two of these COWs are equipped with their highest-capacity antenna providing 20x more network capacity than a traditional cell site.
Preparations have been underway for more than two years, including testing, planning and deploying network enhancements by a team of more than 50 network engineers who have worked closely with the city and nearby communities to complete this enormous logistic and technological endeavor.

AT&T has done this before of course, but not on this scale. Consider the 2013 Inauguration: In 2012, 35% of adults in the U.S. owned smartphones compared to more than 72% in 2016. That means there will be a lot more people using social media, streaming, tweeting, and snapping on January 20.”

  • Angry Parakeet

    That’s the smallest of five AT&T put up. One of the glamorous projects I worked on – “Angry Parakeet, SENIOR Electrical Engineer”

  • ATTSucks

    Maybe they could leave them up at 14&W afterwards so we can finally have decent AT&T coverage in that area.

    • Mt. PP

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one that’s notice the stupid dead zone at 14&W!

      • ATT User

        ATT is great over at 13th and Florida — actually hits parts of my house my very, very high-end wifi won’t.

        I think the towers are on the large building at 14th and Florida on the north side — or at least one can see a bunch of cell antennas on that building. You are probably stuck in a shadow of sorts from the other large buildings on 14th.

        • Angry Parakeet

          You are right. You should have seen the cellular scramble when the new Safeway on Georgia and Randolph went up. There is a rickety “tower” next to 14th and Florida but it cannot structurally support cell antennas.

        • Truxton Thomas

          Wow, I was just noticing this the other day. I thought it was because I was buried in the CVS somehow. I’ll be darned.

      • FridayGirl

        Really? For once I’m glad I have Verizon! No problem with them over here.

      • Khris

        Wow, this has been a problem area for years and I’m surprised they’ve never addressed it. I left AT&T for Verizon four years ago, and AT&T coverage was really bad in that area back then.

    • Michael


  • SaraEP

    Can they keep these year around, please?

  • That One Guy

    The tin hat conspiracy theory nut in me wants to say this is how the police state begins. Come January 23rd, AT&T will be providing a list of all individuals who were caught in their virtual net/present for the inauguration to be added to “Americans” list and all people who protested on the 21st for addition to the no fly list.

    • Jake Hill

      What makes this a conspiracy theory? Also, just curious, what is your definition of a police state? Would you agree that pros such as reducing crime and getting illegal firearms and contraband off of the streets would be a good thing?

    • ah

      If the government wanted to do that, it could do so without the special towers.

      Indeed, NSA likely is already tracking where your cell phone is right now.

  • Ghengiz Ken

    Gearing up for the season premiere of the Celebrity President…

  • anon

    On what planet are one million people expected to attend the inauguration?


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