The captiol

image of the US Capitol inaugural platform via

Sprint is beefing up things on the National Mall to prepare for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. When you inject an extra million or so people into an already congested city like Washington, DC, cell service tends to suffer. Cram seven or eight hundred thousand of those people onto the National Mall and it just won't work without massive planning and equipment.

That (the planning and equipment) is exactly was Sprint is in the process of doing right now on the Mall. They are deploying COWs (Cell sites On Wheels) in places like the Air and Space Museum (fitting, I think) and Installing in-building repeaters at the Capital Hilton, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, and The Mayflower Renaissance to help carry the voice and data load. 

They've been at work since April of last year, and have boosted voice capacity by 25-percent and data capacity by 37-percent for the National Mall area already. This should go a long way towards making sure DC public safety officials can do their job, as well as making sure everyone can post pictures of the event online.

Things get a little crazy here in DC for the Presidential Inauguration. It' great to see Sprint has a bit of foresight and is doing what they can to make it as pleasant as possible. Hit the break to see their full press release.

Sprint Prepares its Network for 2013 Presidential Inauguration

Preparations include boosting wireless coverage and capacity for the National Mall, and providing devices and data services to public safety officials

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people expected to attend the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, Sprint (NYSE:S) is well prepared to help ensure customers and public safety officials in Washington, D.C. can seamlessly use their smartphones, tablets and hotspot devices to talk, text, email, and post memorable moments to their favorite social media channels.

Sprint has been aggressively preparing for the inauguration since April 2012 – boosting wireless voice capacity by 25 percent and increasing data capacity by 37 percent for numerous cell sites around the National Mall and downtown Washington, D.C.

Other Sprint preparations include:

  • Deploying three Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) at key locations near and around the National Mall – including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – to further enhance the wireless experience of inauguration attendees.
  • Installing in-building repeaters at the Capital Hilton hotel, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel, and The Mayflower Renaissance Washington DC Hotel to boost wireless coverage throughout these locations for hotel guests and the venues’ numerous inauguration events.

Between the last inauguration in 2009 and the end of 2011, Sprint has invested approximately $300 million to further improve the wireless voice and data experience for customers in the Washington, D.C. market. In 2012, Sprint began investing significantly in the deployment of Network Vision – Sprint’s program to deploy an all-new 3G and 4G LTE network. That investment will ramp up even more in Washington, D.C. in 2013, as Network Vision is scheduled to launch in the area in the coming months. Some cell sites in the Washington, D.C. metro area have already been upgraded with Sprint’s new 3G and 4G LTE capabilities, and Sprint will continue to fill in the market’s overall Network Vision footprint during the coming months.

“Sprint has a great history of providing reliable and resilient wireless communications for large-scale events, including the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, which dramatically broke past attendance records,” said Joe Meyer, vice president-Network Service Management, Sprint. “And with the increased use of smartphones, tablets and social media sites since that time, Sprint has taken even greater measures to ensure Inauguration Day is an enjoyable wireless experience for all Sprint customers who have traveled from near and far to attend the commemorative events, and who depend on Sprint’s network for a truly unlimited data experience.”

Sprint ERT supports public safety officials on Inauguration Day

The Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) is also coordinating closely with various government and enterprise organizations that are supporting the inaugural events by providing connectivity tools and access to critical communications networks, including:

  • Deploying a Satellite Cell Site on Light Truck (SatCOLT) to provide augmented and dedicated wireless network coverage, as well as interoperability among private radio networks completely independent of the local power, telephone, and terrestrial IP infrastructure.
  • Fully charged Sprint Direct Connect and Nextel Direct Connect® devices and services to first responders, public safety and emergency management officials for redundant, interoperable communications between the various agencies.
  • Remote, high-bandwidth Satellite IP Data services to law enforcement for access to critical situational awareness tools and systems.
  • GPS tracking systems for ambulances and para-transit vehicles.
  • Sprint ERT Go-Kits™ which provide first responders immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully charged cell phones and Sprint Mobile Broadband devices.
  • Activation of the government-run Wireless Priority Service (WPS) for approved agencies. This service is available upon request to first responders and emergency management personnel for a nominal fee.

Created in 2002, the Sprint Emergency Response Team is a group of seasoned personnel fully dedicated to providing wireless telecommunications and IP equipment, infrastructure and operations in support of communications continuity to military, government, tribal, and enterprise organizations during natural disasters, National Special Security Events, field training exercises, emergencies and agency/corporate specific events.

Since its creation, Sprint ERT has conducted more than 5,200 deployments, and provided emergency wireless support for more than 1,250 events. Anyone seeking information about services from the Sprint Emergency Response Team should call 1-888-639-0020 or email

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served nearly 56 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and


Reader comments

Sprint prepares 2013 Inaugural site for the estimated 700k attendees


When the hurricane hit the east coast att and t-mo had mobile sites available in areas out of trailer like stations, first time I ever saw mobile sites. Verizon wasn't affected much like att and t-mo, but put out mobile sites just for the PR after att and t-mo did.

So Sprint spends almost a year preparing for a ONE day event, yet they ignore the rest of the country and provide them with dial-up speeds and no 4g?

+1 on this! This is why I can't wait to leave Sprint in a couple months when my contract is up. Been with them for almost 20 years now and the last 6 months service have been absolutely TERRIBLE. From increased dropped calls to non-existant data speeds(less than 200kbps). Tried to give them a chance to get the network updated here in Orange County, CA - but can't continue to pay each month for TERRIBLE service!

I call BS. I was at the last Innauguration, about 30 rows back. I was on Sprint and had 0 coverage while Verizon and AT&T users were fine. Same goes for Soldier Field for every Bears game.

I expect much the same lack of performance from Sprint this time.

Perhaps they learned from that mistake then. Here's hoping at least. Sprints network has been over capacity for a long time. They might be doing this just to keep up with the other carriers as best they can.

I'd like to see someone from AndroidCentral follow up on this to see what the results are.

I can confirm this is happening. I work one block from this very spot this pic is taken and I can tell you that service is excellent right here and it also has 4G.

I doubt I will be around the day of because that is a holiday and after years of Mardi Gras in New Orleans I've grown tired of the crowds.

Here in Bristol Tennessee your Sprint phone is useless during a race. The series is sponsored by Sprint and it's only 160,000 people. I have heard that Sprint brings in things like this for races, but my experience is if they do its not working.

Sprint/Nextel has had COWs at the Daytona 500 for years. I have been there a week or 2 ahead of time and some COWs were already set up and more arrived later. I have seen a Verizon COW before but can't say I ever remember seeing one from a GSM carrier.

DC has 4G, like most places it has not been fully implemented but I hit 4G all the time here at work and there are quite a few free wifi hotspots all over DC.

I was in DC on new years eve to see white house Christmas tree. There were almost no people around and I saw one of these cell sites sitting there on the ground. I had full signal and I ran a speed test only to see the shittiest possible speed. (couple of speedtest didnt even finish).
I was standing right by one of these COWs and they were just mooing without any real difference in speed and performance of 3g.

Then I reminded myself that its coming "soon".

First of all screw Sprint. Secondly for the few people who claims DC has LTE show me where. Because I live/work in DC and haven't seen a lick of LTE. 4G Wimax yes but no LTE. I just don't understand how they can do all of this for the inauguration. Light these LTE towers. Big Red/AT&T own DC

I am also out in the next month or so, sorry Sprint but I'm going Straight Talk ASAP.

Also, wth is our broke country throwing an inauguration for? Uh, the dude is still the President, right? It's not like a new guy is taking over and he (or she, gotta be PC) needs sworn in. Come on USA, save a buck or two... That's why I'm going prepaid!

I did it, too. Best thing I ever did. You'll be really happy. If I were you, I'd pay my small remaining ETF and get the heck out now.

@Cubfan, I paid ETF on two phones, and went to AT&T. Best thing I ever did! Sprint sucks balls in San Diego California. Dropped calls, super slow 3G, NO LTE. TERRIBLE service! I was tired of complaining. So, AT&T gives me metered internet, at least it works and I have LTE with them!!!