Sports fans, concertgoers or any audience from events or gatherings want access to stable, secure and fast wireless connectivity around stadiums or other large venues.
From Wi-Fi to cellular data up to smart cameras and point-of-sale systems, expectations for wireless carrier connectivity and Wi-Fi have changed dramatically over the past several years.
The public demands seamless coverage to keep them connected while they watch an event or gameplay. In fact, fan experience tools enabled by wireless connectivity are now crucial to enticing fans away from their home and into the stadium.
As an example, while 2021 saw a dip in the trend due to restrictions of COVID-19, internet usage over Wi-Fi by fans at sporting events is growing. The two biggest uses of wireless connectivity are social media and personal interaction via messaging.
Plenty is also accessing their various sports apps for real-time updates or to check in on their sports betting wagers.
Smart stadiums connecting everything from tickets to concessions bring higher demand for high-performing wireless coverage in sports and event facilities.
Many arenas across the country have already made the investment into improved wireless connectivity, with the large infrastructure of stadiums requiring unique solutions to place antennas and access points (APs) in beneficial locations.
Connected stadiums integrating high-speed wireless connectivity give fans the best game-day and concert experiences. According to an enterprise networking analyst, the Chase Center in San Francisco utilizes Aruba Wi-Fi 6E APs in the arena — the first implementation of its kind at a live entertainment venue in North America.
WiFi 6E utilizes the capabilities of 6 GHz to enable high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput such as high-definition video streaming and lower latency for online gaming applications.
More than 250 under-seat APs are deployed in the bowl seating section of the Chase Center arena, proving to have a smartly over-engineered capacity that will provide plenty of headroom for future fan activations.
On the other hand, the Allegiant Stadium at Las Vegas turned to Cisco for connectivity. Providing an overhead solution for the venue, attendees leverage Cisco’s Catalyst 9104 AP that delivers Wi-Fi 6 for faster throughput, lower latency and support for a greater number of devices. Cisco also integrates high-gain antennas to simplify deployment and facilitate both beam switching and steering.
Q2 Stadium is also a big winner with respect to its partnership with T-Mobile in deploying one of the first 5G Standalone venue networks in the United States. Here, T-Mobile's Ultra Capacity 5G deployment is advantageous as it offers the best balance of coverage and performance. T-Mobile claims that the average download speeds are 16 times faster than LTE during a crowded game.
Comcast is leaning into CBRS for its private cellular networking deployment at the Wells Fargo Center, aligned with its plans to support both LTE and 5G using Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud last year.