IMS makes improvements to better cell phone connections

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – At the Speedway on Saturday, race fans may find some improvement in their cell phone connections, but only a little, says track President Doug Boles.

“It’s a technology issue. It’s not something the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on its own, can fix,” Boles said.

The new Grand Prix race is not likely to present the challenges encountered by fans at the Indy 500.

“When you’ve got 300,000 people in one location,” such as at the 500 Boles said, “it just really taxes the cell towers that we’ve got around here. So communication does become a challenge at some point during the day.”

Boles told 24-Hour News 8 all cellular carriers have visited the track, working to upgrade their signals.

For the 500, “they bring in some of their cellular towers on wheels,” Boles said. “They bring in a lot of assets to help make race day a little bit better. I think this year will be better than last, and last year was better than the year before.”

Boles predicts fans will enjoy greater communication improvements beginning next year.

“The beauty of our new relationship with Verizon is now we’re partnered with a technology company that can help us begin to really look at this in a systematic way, that–in 2015 and 2016–all of our customers will begin to feel that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a better ability to communicate.”

Boles said, right now, the Speedway does “the best that we can to communicate through the devices we have–through our PA and through our video boards on-site.”

The upgrades he anticipates could give fans more than they can see from their seats alone.

“Maybe some video from around the track, some in-car cameras. We could deliver certain messages to them that they’d like to see. Maybe even listen to some in-car radio of some of the drivers,” Boles said.

As Boles sees it, every time they improve communications at the track, they improve the experience for the Indy 500 fans.

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