Pope Francis is arguably the first pontiff of the social media age, and telecoms on the Eastern seaboard are beefing up their networks to be sure the barrage of selfies, tweets, and Vine clips resulting from his U.S. visit can be uploaded as fast as a prayer.
AT&T has spent $23 million alone in Philadelphia to prepare for the pope’s main event, an outdoor mass that’s expected to attract nearly 2 million people. That’s a pretty heft budget, especially compared to the $6 million to $16 million AT&T typically spends for other major events, such as the Super Bowl, reported CNBC.
Verizon has also devoted major resources to the Pope’s visit: about $24 million and nearly 18 months of pre-planning.
The investments go toward boosting cell coverage via temporary portable cell sites, referred to as Cell on Wheels (or COWs), which will be set up along the Pope’s motorcade route.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org