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AT&T's ballpark ambition: A 4G coverage home run

There's no crying in baseball, especially if you can give data-hungry San Francisco Giants fans 4G speeds.

AT&T Park
Before the game begins, AT&T Park is ready to download and upload hundreds of thousands of photos and status updates. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The home of the Giants baseball team looms large at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. Yet for data-hungry baseball fans, this is no ordinary ballpark. The country's second-largest wireless carrier has the naming rights, which means that detailed attention to great wireless data connections comes with the turf.

Each day, thousands of fans connect to the ballpark's free Wi-Fi network, and to 3G and 4G carrier networks. Hidden in the architecture are Wi-Fi access points and 3G/4G transceivers that work with the thick bundles of wiring organized in the stadium's balmy interior.

A lot goes on behind the scenes, and I was lucky enough to join the ballpark's chief information officer and some of AT&T's crew on a tour of the network-coverage underbelly of my neighborhood ballpark. The slideshow below tells the tale.