TPA rolls out 5G, enhanced 4G service, allowing travelers to download full-length movies in seconds

The number of people traveling by plane is still down, but at Tampa International Airport, internet speeds are on their way up. 5G and enhanced 4G service on the nation’s three major cellular carriers just launched property-wide.

From the moment you land and turn on your cellphone until you leave TPA property you will now have super-fast service.

Over the last two years, work has been going on behind the scenes to allow AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to strengthen and expand their 5G coverage and enhanced 4G networks.

"800 additional [antennae are] inside our terminal and around our facilities. We ran something like 50 miles of cabling, fiber optic cables, and copper cabling," said Tampa International Airport Senior Communications Manager Danny Valentine.

For travelers and employees, this means no more worrying about hit-or-miss connections and dead zones. In addition, the increased speed makes being productive or killing time a breeze.

"We now have some of the fastest and best internet available," Valentine said.

FOX 13 checked the speeds using a 4G cellphone in South Tampa and the download speed came back at 22.16 megabits per second.

We did the same test at the airport and got 249.82 megabits per second, which is more than eleven times greater. At this speed, you could download a movie like "The Irishman" that is 3.5 hours long in about 35 seconds.

And if you have a 5G-capable phone, it is even faster.

"You could download that entire movie in two seconds or less with those 5G speeds we’re seeing in the main terminal, really phenomenal," said Valentine.

Decide you want to download an entire season of your favorite show, no problem.

"If you’re ten minutes out from boarding you can download as much content as you could possibly watch on that flight," Valentine said.

And it’s not just TPA, the carriers have also rolled out 5G service in other parts of Tampa.  AT&T’s 5G+ service is available in the Channel District and at Raymond James Stadium. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network has expanded to include around the stadium and parts of the city, and T-Mobile’s 5G service covers most of Tampa.

All of the upgrades just in time for the Super Bowl.

"We’re really gonna start off on the right foot with these passengers and these fans and give them a great first impression of the region," said Valentine.