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Phone Carriers Brace for SXSW

Cell phone companies are getting ready for South by Southwest, when thousands of smartphone-toting attendees will be putting mobile bandwidth limits to the test.

“What we’re doing is we’re adding capacity to all of the existing sites that cover that area,” says Bill Brickle, Verizon’s director of system performance for Central Texas. “We’re also adding coverage by adding portable cell sites, or ‘cells on wheels’ as we call them.”

AT&T says it will also roll out portable cell sites and add Wi-Fi hot spots to divert bandwidth away from cell towers. And this year, SXSW attendees can take advantage of SX Lockers, where they can stow their phones as they charge. 

South by Southwest EDU began on Monday. The interactive portion of South by Southwest starts on Friday.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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