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Verizon hooks up to Chesapeake Energy Arena antenna

Verizon joined U.S. Cellular in leasing access to an antenna at Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City that boosts wireless service for their customer during Thunder games and other events.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Staff Writer mkimball@opubco.com Modified: January 17, 2012 at 9:02 am •  Published: January 17, 2012
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A spokesman for U.S. Cellular also said the antenna has helped improve service for its customers at the arena.

“I would characterize it as exceeding their expectations,” said Tom Anderson, Oklahoma City's special projects manager.

AT&T coming soon?

A spokesman for AT&T, whose customers get poor service inside the arena during crowded events like Thunder games, said the company is working to install and set up equipment that will allow AT&T to use the antenna as well.

AT&T has had a contract to use the antenna in place since the fall, but has yet to pay for access to it. The company spokesman said he couldn't provide a timetable for when AT&T will finish the process.

Anderson said a fourth wireless company is exploring the possible use of the antenna, but he said he couldn't divulge which one. He praised Verizon for working quickly to secure access to the antenna, saying it was only about two weeks from the company's first site visit to when its signal went live.

A spokesman for Sprint, an official NBA sponsor, said the company has no immediate plans to lease access to the antenna and that it hasn't received complaints about poor service at the arena.

A spokesman for T-Mobile said the company also has no immediate plans to use the antenna because of what it considers to be strong coverage in and around the arena.