VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – At last year’s Sea Hear Now music festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the 35,000 people who attended the festival during its two-day run used 10.8 terabytes of data.
That’s equivalent to one person streaming more than 2 million songs for seven-and-a-half-years.
So imagine how much more data people will use at the upcoming Something in the Water festival later this month in Virginia Beach, where the city is expecting about 40,000 visitors to the Oceanfront over the course of the three-day event.
Verizon says that makes the installation of 14 pole-mounted small cell sites along the city’s Boardwalk all the more important – as it will not only allow for additional data use, but it expects them to help increase safety along the Oceanfront.
The new pole-mounted small cell sites will also allow the city’s police department to install cameras and public address horns on them in an effort to increase safety.
Verizon’s small cell sites is expected to provide what it says will be “reliable and robust” 4G and 5G ultra wideband cell service along the three-mile Boardwalk.
“Improved communication on the Boardwalk, coupled with the enhancements to public safety, will allow our residents and visitors to feel safe and stay connected while enjoying all we have to offer in this beautiful area,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer in a statement. “We couldn’t be more pleased with this collaboration.”
James Hoffman, who manages product strategy and global network and technology partnerships at Verizon, said it was “a fantastic realization of what can happen when we look holistically at the needs of a community and work together to meet those needs. We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration to bring communication and safety services to an area enjoyed by so many.”
Verizon said it has seen a 53% increase in data use on its network in 2022 versus 2021. It said its deployment of 5G ultra wideband service has been driven by “the exponential increase in data,” noting that service is set up specifically for high-volumes and fast speeds.
“Along the Boardwalk, we are deploying our most robust 5G service using our extreme capacity mmWave spectrum,” said Julie Slattery, VP of Engineering and Operations at Verizon. “By using this spectrum on the small cell design we and the city collaborated on, we will be able to offer massive capacity and an exceptionally good experience for residents who enjoy relaxed coastal living year-round, and for the millions who flock to the Boardwalk for summer sun and events throughout the busy season.”
Verizon and the city say all cell and public safety services are scheduled to be fully deployed and operational on the Boardwalk this year.
“The city is ready and eager to welcome the music festival back,” Dyer said, “and the collaboration with Verizon will help provide the cameras and other safety equipment needed to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time together at this and other events.”