Telecom providers are trying to keep you connected during SXSW

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When there is more than 100,000 people in Downtown Austin during South by Southwest, getting a WiFi signal on your cellphone can be a little difficult (ok, very difficult). Internet providers know the struggle is real, which is why Time Warner Cable and AT&T are rolling out technology to help make sure you are connected at all times.

AT&T installed a Luneburg Lens Antenna  that has 12-unique beams that provide cellular coverage to customers offering up to 10x the capacity of a traditional, single-beam antenna. (Todd Bynum/KXAN)
AT&T installed a Luneburg Lens Antenna that has 12-unique beams that provide cellular coverage to customers offering up to 10x the capacity of a traditional, single-beam antenna. (Todd Bynum/KXAN)

For the first time in Texas, AT&T is rolling out the Luneburg Lens Antenna. The antenna is the shape of an eyeball and it’ll be placed at the Palmer Events Center. Tested at events in 2014, AT&T says the eyeball antenna was able to double the amount of data traffic that crossed its network.

Time Warner Cable will continue to offer WiFi hotspots, but this year, they’re offering everyone free access to more than 2,000 outdoor hotspots, regardless if you’re a TWC customer. You can find out where the hotspots are with this map.

Getting a better connection has been something wireless providers have been tackling for years. In 2012, a marketing firm made headlines after deploying “Homeless Hotspots,” where they outfitted 12 homeless people with equipment that turned them into walking 4G wireless hotspots.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s