Marian Days improves cell signal

Marian Days improves cell signal
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The event that brings a town of 14,500 people all the way up to 70,000 people understandably clogs cell phone service to Marian Days festival-goers.

Thousands of Vietnamese-American Roman Catholics make their way to Carthage’s Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix in what is the largest religious pilgrimage in North America. This year is the 39th annual Marian Days event and improvements are made each year to increase security and patron experience.

New this year is the addition of an AT&T mobile tower to speed up user experience.

“It’s known in our business as a COW, it stands for Cellular On Wheels because it comes in on a flatbed. And then we have to hook it up to fiber optics and we do a lit of testing and we turn it up live, then it can start taking and receiving calls and pictures just like any other tower,” Mike Haynes, AT&T regional director of external affairs for southwest Missouri said.

Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director said the tower is located near the food tents to help vendors process information like payments. Douglas joked that it can also help people do a Facebook Live stream and play Pokemon Go.

“It’s really great that we have sponsors like Verizon and AT&T and others that come together and actually help us build a new city for our guests,” Douglas said.

Verizon has had a tower for several years at Marian Days but this is the first year for AT&T.

“We only do a few of these around the nation and around the state each year and it’s usually for very large events and this is one of them that made the list this year. So it’s real exciting for southwest Missouri, exciting for Marian Days and I’m glad that we’re a part of it,” Haynes said.