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Adding the Digital Experience to Live Sporting Events

The challenge with delivering the digital experience is the capacity strain it places on wireless and wifi systems.

One of the most prominent places we are seeing an integration of the live and the digital experience is at major sporting events. This may be surprising, as many believe the experience of attending a professional sporting event, like an NFL football game, is rich and engaging on its own. However, some of the largest investments professional and collegiate teams are making (outside of players and personnel) are in technology and the creation of the digital stadium. Teams are working to leverage mobile and analytics capabilities for their fans that enhance the live game, digital experience.

IBM recently unveiled the types of mobile “in-game” capabilities we can expect from their technology in the not-too-distant future:

  • When you arrive at the stadium, a mobile app guides you to the closest available parking.
  • During action on the field, you have access to instant replays, alternate views, and close-up videos (on your phone)
  • Via your mobile device, you can order food and beverages and have them delivered to your seat.
  • Your smartphone tells you where the closest rest room with the shortest line is located.
  • As you prepare to depart the stadium, the app provides traffic information and suggests the fastest route home.

The challenge with delivering this type of digital experience — to so many fans densely packed into a single location — is the capacity strain it places on wireless and wifi systems. Tens of thousands of users texting, streaming video, and uploading pictures places a huge burden on the network. Creating this type of digital experience requires the investment in physical infrastructure capable of scaling to meet the massive game-day traffic demands.

This video about AT&T Stadium speaks to some of the investment in physical infrastructure required to support the Cowboy’s digital experience goals.

Although commercial facilities do not mirror stadiums in the extreme density of users, they still face the same issues of capacity. Employees, staff, and customers all actively using wireless devices (for both personal and professional use) that place a strain on the network that can only be alleviated with properly designed physical infrastructure. As the density of devices (and how they are used) in your facility rises, careful information and communications technology planning will help ensure your network can scale to meet the growing demands of your users.

Are you facing a similar challenge with your network? If you are share your experiences with us.

If you are looking for direction on how to expand your network, Contact Us.