Mobile Cell Towers To Aid Public Safety Communication At Boston Marathon

marathon public safety tech matsing ball cow cell phone

A COW--Cell tower On Wheels--at the Boston Marathon finish line. (Carl Stevens/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Former Boston Police Commissioner William Bratton has been working with Verizon to enhance public safety communication along the Boston Marathon route.

Bratton spoke with WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens inside a COW--that's short for Cell tower On Wheels--as security ramps up for Marathon Monday.

"The most essential element in public safety is the ability to communicate, to collaborate, to have seamless interoperability," Bratton said. "In an event like the marathon, going through 26 miles of communities, the ability for all those different police departments, state police, national guard, fire departments to all be able to communicate seamlessly is essential."

Verizon deployed a MatSing ball at the marathon finish line, which emits a 360-degree cell signal.

The tech has been used in the last two Super Bowls, but it's the first time it will be used for a marathon.

Bratton said it will help ensure that public safety can talk with each other without being overwhelmed by cell traffic from the public.

"If there's a surge of people using their cellphones ... law enforcement will have preemptive capabilities, we'll have core capabilities--the ability to effectively be in their own HOV lane in the event of an emergency, even as everybody's trying to use their own cell phones," he said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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