By David Holland
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group
According to Nielsen’s May survey of mobile consumers in the U.S., 38 percent now own smartphones. And 55 percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.
It projects an interesting scenario for the sports and entertainment industry and service providers. With the proliferation of Smartphone and other mobile devices on 3G/4G networks, tens of thousands of fans attending these events expect the same ubiquitous and consistent data service coverage they are used to receiving elsewhere.
Many venues and service providers have turned to Wi-Fi access to provide cost-effective 3G/4G offload and focus their cellular resources on voice and text services. However, standard Wi-Fi deployments do not sufficiently address these challenges. Careful placement of the access points, use of specific antennas, and unique radio frequency tuning are required.
Today, we are announcing Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi to help stadiums, entertainment venues and service providers significantly increase wireless performance in high-density areas. This solution also helps monetize the delivery of personalized mobile services, demonstrating the fundamental role of the network to enable business transformation.
Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solves the challenges of insufficient wireless connectivity inside crowded venues by providing a single, converged solution that extends real time, reliable access to applications and services simultaneously on mobile devices to the thousands of fans congregating in these venues. In addition to the fans, this solution can be used by all persons in attendance at the event, including employees, back office and press operations.
Through the use of Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, teams, leagues, venue owners and operators now have expanded options for creating more engaging and monetizeable venue and event-based mobile applications. These may include video replays from more varied angles, gaming, loyalty programs, way-finding, food and beverage purchase, and more. Additionally, sponsors and advertisers can enhance their targeting capabilities and extend their advertising reach beyond the big screen and the concourse TVs to Smartphone users.
The newly unveiled LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, home of Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer, recently deployed Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi. The 18,467 soccer fans and 25,000 guests for concerts and other types of events are able to use the solution to deliver rich and interactive experiences pervasively to guests anytime and anywhere in the stadium.
For more technical details on the solution, please visit the Cisco Wireless blog.