I am not what they call a cool kid. I listen to music, but it’s mostly the stuff I like, not what people tell me is cool. I don’t own any weird scarfs or tight pants, and I’ll never wear makeup, no matter what’s hip this week. That’s probably why I’ve never been toÂ SXSW, nor do I have any plans to in the future.
Here’s what I do know about the event. It’s designed around music, gadgets and movies, making it a mecca for the Nerdcore and music geeks alike, all in Austin, Texas. That’s it, really. Well, that and all my friends go every year, usually in some Econoline van that smells like Old Spice and butt as it goes down the road.
As you could probably guess, lots of people hit the event carrying shiny new iPhones, and last year, that was a problem. As we’ve written before, AT&T service in major metro areas suck, particularly when there are more iPhones in the area than non-iPhones. Hence why NYC and San Fran suck for iPhone service.But not this year, says AT&T via a report on Statesman.com, because they’re prepared.
Things should be different this year, AT&T says, when the film and interactive events kick off March 12.
“We have been doing a lot of work,” said Chris Penrose , vice president and general manager of AT&T South Texas.
The wireless carrier has made temporary and permanent improvements to the part of its network that serves downtown Austin, where many SXSW events are held.
It has installed a special cellular antenna system inside the Austin Convention Center, where many attendees will gather, and it has beefed up its cellular towers with more equipment and added some portable transmission sites, which are called COWs, or cellular on wheels.
It has built faster backhaul links, which are the lines that tie its cell towers to the rest of its high-speed communications network. And it has augmented its network of Wi-Fi hot spots around downtown. Many smart phones can get access to the Internet over a Wi-Fi network.
Well now that’s exciting. I’m glad to hear that the people attending the event will have great service while I get dropped calls on the regular. Good job, AT&T. Kudos.