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OKC Council approves agreements for upgraded Wi-Fi at Chesapeake Energy Arena

The Oklahoma City Council approves agreements Tuesday for upgraded Wi-Fi at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
by William Crum Modified: November 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm •  Published: November 6, 2013
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Thunder fans, u r good 2 go.

The smartphone traffic jam at Chesapeake Energy Arena is a thing of the past.

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved deals with U.S. Cellular and Verizon for use of an upgraded Wi-Fi antenna system at the arena. AT&T signed a deal earlier this year.

Installed late last spring, the $2.6 million system is designed to swiftly process the thousands of text messages and smartphone photos fans share during Thunder games.

If friends and family get those messages without anyone giving it a second thought, the designers will know they have a winner.

“It's one of those things hopefully you never notice,” said Tom Anderson, special projects manager in the city manager's office.

Fees to connect to the system and annual license fees for the three wireless companies will bring in about $1 million the first year, Anderson said.

“This makes it a lot easier for the data to get out of your smartphone and the arena to whatever your destination is,” he said.