SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 13, 2015)-- Whether it's Tweeting, texting or making a simple phone call, this year race fans may notice better cell phone coverage at the Indianapolis 500.
Verizon Wireless just added new technology to essentially cover three times what they covered at Lucas Oil Stadium during the Final Four.
FOX59 got an inside look at a custom wireless network facility built to handle all the cell phone traffic expected on race day. The company wanted to help fans use social media, get updates on the race, and communicate with each other in case someone became separated.
"You want to be safe. You want to feel safe. We make sure that anyone who is... inside the track can make a phone call anytime they want to find them," said Verizon's Senior Design Engineer Daniel Huffman. "You might not be able to hear them on the phone call with the cars going around, but you could still make it for sure."
IMS President Doug Boles said families should still talk about a safety plan and choose a location to meet if someone gets lost. However, the help from Verizon was just another way to keep folks safe at the track.
"I think it's one of those things that'll just continue to get better," said Boles. "I think ultimately though it's gonna be several years before we get to a point where it's the way everybody expects it; where you can just pick up your phone and text or surf online."
Verizon is offering other carriers to plug into their system and offer the extra coverage for their customers.