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Super Bowl cell towers power up (pictures)

Cellular providers are boosting their signals in San Francisco to support increased Super Bowl traffic

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James Martin, Lynn La
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1 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Brace yourselves -- Super Bowl 50 is coming

This year's Super Bowl, which will take place at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, has taken over its neighboring big city, San Francisco, as well. As the game approaches this Sunday, February 7, tons of people are flowing into the city. To keep up with the influx, US carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are adding more cell towers to increase their network capacity.

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2 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Lining up on the Embarcadero

Carriers receive location approval from the city (in this case, San Francisco). Here, temporary cell sites are lined up along the Embarcadero, inside Super Bowl City.

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3 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Checking up on maintenance

Permanent fixtures are also scattered across the city, like in San Francisco's Financial District. Here, a cell site is installed to blend in with a street lamp.

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4 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Ready to work

Verizon estimates there will be tens of thousands or more people coming into San Francisco over the weekend. The carrier currently has more than 150 cell sites around the city.

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5 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Blending in with the scenery

This oblong fixture in the center of the photograph is Verizon cell-boosting equipment which has been disguised to look like the building to which it is attached. Though it resembles cement, it's actually made out of foam.

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6 of 7 James Martin/CNET

A bit more obvious

Attached to the same building are other providers' cell site equipment, which is not so well disguised.

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7 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Network coverage in unlikely places

Some of these San Francisco kiosks, which are often used as newsstands and public restrooms, have cell sites hidden inside their top half. Click here for more about the tech behind Super Bowl 50.

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