Wings to upgrade cell service starting Saturday

Better cell phone service is coming to Joe Louis Arena — starting Saturday when the New York Islanders visit for a battle of two top Eastern Conference powers.

Olympia Entertainment and the Red Wings announced today the launch of free high-speed public Wi-FI at The Joe that they say will improve reliability when sending and receiving phone calls and text messages, as well as provide faster uploads to social media.

"Reliable connectivity is a must as we look to provide an unmatched live game experience for Red Wings fans and guests at other sporting and entertainment events at The Joe," Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, said in a news release.

To access the Wi-Fi inside The Joe, guests must select "#JLAwifi" in their smart phones. An opt-in page will then appear, requiring the user to accept terms and conditions, input their names, an active email address and ZIP code. Users will then be connected to the Wi-Fi and simultaneously directed to a portal page.

The new technology is the result of a partnership with SignalShare, a leading provider of mobile engagement services for mass audiences based in Morrisville, North Carolina, and Extreme Networks, Inc., a leader in high-performance networking, headquartered in San Jose, California.

"Since our testing period began in December, we’ve had more than 25,000 Red Wings fans log on to the new Wi-Fi network and response has been overwhelmingly positive," Tod Caflisch, the Wings’ director of Information Technology, said in the release.