Azerbaijan's Olympic Stadium Gets Wireless Internet Boost From TE Connectivity
Stadiums are discovering a lot of value in having wireless Internet connectivity. Giving patrons the ability to watch different camera angles of the game currently in progress, as well as the ability to order snacks and drinks from seats, are making things more efficient and providing a better experience overall. The Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, is taking a cue from this and calling in TE Connectivity (News - Alert) to further bolster its own connectivity options.
More specifically, TE Connectivity brought out its FlexWave Prism distributed antenna system (DAS), a system which had already had a note of battle-testing recently when it was handling traffic for the European Games held back in June. Meanwhile, the system integrator—Mikrolink Azerbaijan—took over from there, putting the system into place.
With the FlexWave Prism, the system can support 32 separate sectors of 900, 1800, and 2100 MHz service across not just 4G, but even 3G and 2G service for three separate mobile operators. This combination of services helped ensure that the huge crowds at the European Games—reportedly capacity crowds besides—managed to get strong, useful signals regardless of location and the crowd around such users.
The system also boasts 42 remote units to provide the best in coverage and capacity, not just for the main bowl area of the stadium, but also for the parking areas and the back-of-house sections. Reports suggest that, at peak usage, the system provided 40 gigabytes of download traffic, as well as 15 gigabytes of upload and a whopping 4,000 users just on one carrier's 3G access.
TE Wireless' vice president and general manager, Peter Wraight (News - Alert), offered up some comment around the stadium's new arrival, saying “FlexWave Prism distributed antenna system has rapidly become the DAS solution of choice for major stadiums all over the world, and Olympic Stadium is the latest in a long list of venues we have covered. The FlexWave Prism DAS digital transport and high-capacity, high-power remote units provide a robust, multi-operator wireless solution that's a cost-effective investment for large public venues.”
Providing such connectivity in a major venue like a stadium is both a great idea and one that's very difficult to execute. The sheer number of advantages that connectivity brings make for a much better overall customer experience, and in a time when tickets to professional sports events are climbing at dizzying speeds, offering a better customer experience is really about the only reasonable way to respond. It's harder to justify spending that money, but if the experience is better, it gets a little easier to pull out the wallet in response. Consider the value inherent in letting sports fans liveblog a game, or allowing fans to adjust fantasy football stats right from the game itself. That kind of value means more fans in more seats, and more revenue to stadiums.
While it may not be enough to turn around completely the negative perception some have with sporting events, adding a connected experience might well change a few minds. It might also keep some who were on the fence in the park, and those two points together may be enough to keep pro sports viable into the future.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino