The Network Demands of Pope Francis’ US Visit

By    October 14, 2015

With Pope Francis having made his first sojourn to the U.S., Americans came from near and far for a chance to catch a glimpse of the leader and embodiment of the Catholic faith. Likewise, the residents of Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia had been bracing for the deluge of people flooding into their cities – along with the gridlock traffic one would expect from such a critical mass.

But city streets and highways weren’t the only avenues experiencing papal bottlenecks: Our information networks were impacted as well. AT&T and Verizon both told FORTUNE about the millions they were investing to bolster their networks so that onlookers had mobile coverage during the visits. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, networks now need to be ready for the influx of calls, texts, pictures and videos that will be traveling through them.  In a sign of the times, the NYPD even banned selfie sticks from the proceedings.

Mission Critical Connectivity for the Big Game

Cambium Networks know a thing or two about providing connectivity for “pop up” events where a huge amount of capacity is required for millions of devices that need to talk to each other. At the “big football game” that occurs on a Sunday in January or February, The Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) outside New York City needed a reliable connection to the medical trailer parked at MetLife Stadium. This link enabled the transfer patient records, x-ray and test results to assist with treating the injured, in addition to video conferencing between the trailer and HUMC. Thanks to our PTP link, this mobile medical unit was able to offer patients the same care and medical expertise that they would receive at a hospital.

Helping a Pop Star Shine Onstage

Stadium concerts also present a major connectivity challenge, especially when they take place in a relatively isolated part of the world. So when Rihanna – pop’s reigning queen – took her world tour to the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, her team relied on five of Cambium Networks’ PTP links to connect to a backbone network. They used our reliable, secure broadband links to coordinate lighting, sound, choreography and logistics for the event, ensuring that her Puerto Rican fans didn’t miss a beat of “Please Don’t Stop the Music.”

In connecting the unconnected, we support far more than athletes, chart toppers and their fans. In our own backyard of Grant Park, Chicago, our wireless broadband solutions backhauled video surveillance feeds from hundreds of cameras in Soldier Field where President Obama celebrated his inauguration in 2008. This technology gave security managers a real-time view of the half a million in attendance to keep them – along with the new Commander in Chief – safe.

We also supported the networked video surveillance systems at other momentous events, including the 2006 World Cup, the 2007 G8 world leader summit – both in Germany – and every Boston Marathon since 2005.

Cambium Networks is dedicated to connecting people, places, and things, from the most remote, far-flung locations to mega- events in urban centers like concerts, political rallies and sporting events. Take a look at our new case studies page to learn more about how we’re connecting the unconnected, no matter the location or the size of the crowd.