U.S. CELLULAR HELPS ST. LOUIS MARDI GRAS GOERS STAY CONNECTED
St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 8, 2010 – More than a half million people are expected to attend the 31st annual Soulard Mardi Gras Grand Parade on Feb. 13, and the majority will be relying on their cell phones to locate friends and stay connected during the festivities. To accommodate the spike in demand across the various wireless networks serving the Soulard area, U.S. Cellular will be bringing in a 75-foot portable cell tower at the center of the parade route. This will be the fifth year U.S. Cellular's Cell on Light Truck, or COLT, is being deployed to provide the added network capacity for enhanced wireless calls and data usage, such as text and picture messaging, for visitors attending the nation's second-largest Mardi Gras celebration.
"In a large crowd like the St. Louis Mardi Gras celebration, we understand how important it is to stay connected with the people who are with you," stated Michelle Groves, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. "We're here to make sure those calls and text messages go through."
U.S. Cellular's COLT is good news for the 500,000 Mardi Gras revelers who will gather in Soulard. Without it, the volume of people using their wireless phones along the parade route could cause the wireless networks to become too busy and not function properly.
"The COLT will provide improved wireless service not just for our customers, but also for cell phones from other wireless carriers that do not have coverage in the area," U.S. Cellular engineer Tim Renaud said. "As long as the carrier roams on our network, their customers can utilize our COLT for their connectivity."
U.S. Cellular's team of engineers will be installing the portable tower on Feb. 9 and increasing capacity at the surrounding cell towers to manage the expected additional traffic on the network. U.S. Cellular engineers will be onsite during the parade to monitor the network and the COLT, which will be located at the corner of Shenandoah and 10th streets, adjacent to Frontier Park where the parade will converge. U.S. Cellular is the official wireless sponsor of St. Louis Mardi Gras.
A COLT is not just for large events. It is typically deployed to establish instant communication for responders to natural disasters and emergency situations where landline communications are down.
About U.S. Cellular
The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people's lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Tour and Pearl Flip, and the touch-screen LG Tritan, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation's fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com.