12 Feb

Wireless Infrastructure Powers the New Fan Experience

By: Thierry Chau, Global Practice Lead for Large Public Venues

In modern stadiums, the competition isn’t just on the field. In the battle for fan mindshare and dollars, venue operators are going up against the living room, 4K TVs, smartphones with live interactive stats, and all manner of personal digital devices and applications—all enhanced by social media.

There’s still no substitute for the live fan experience. But, as applications like Facebook Live, and augmented reality change the way we watch sports, forcing spectators to choose between live action and the digital experiences they love is a losing proposition.

Venue operators recognize this, and they know what they need to do: deliver lightning-fast, reliable Wi-Fi throughout the stadium, so that fans can bring the wide world of digital experiences along with them. Unfortunately, too many venues view this strictly on one side of the ledger: a necessary cost of doing business. In reality, the marriage of live in-stadium action with ubiquitous digital connectivity is a huge opportunity. By exploiting the full potential of outdoor access points and the stadium wireless infrastructure, venues can get fans more engaged, streamline facilities management and operations, enhance stadium security and tap into significant new revenue streams.

Get More from Stadium Wireless Infrastructure

The first step in capitalizing on stadium wireless infrastructure is to change the way you think about wireless connectivity. When venue operators link together devices, sensors, applications and people across the stadium over a common wireless infrastructure, the Wi-Fi network is no longer just a broadband amenity. It’s a platform for innovative Internet of Things (IoT) applications that can lower costs, increase efficiencies, generate revenues, and create a better fan experience.

For example, when you combine wireless technologies such as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons and/or ZigBee, coupled with local machine learning and cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI)—all connecting over high-performance outdoor access points—your IoT-enabled stadium’s wireless infrastructure becomes a strategic asset rather than just an expense. Your infrastructure can now be programmed to predict problems and take corrective action. Logical—and even physical—changes to the network can now be implemented automatically. Even more important, you can now collect and analyze huge amounts of data to better understand where people are going in the venue, what they’re doing, what they’re buying and when.

Take a basic IoT example: using data and traffic trends to reduce heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) costs. We’ve all seen connected thermostat ads championing their ability to lower your …read more    

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