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All posts tagged Wi-Fi and DAS

Fans of Football League clubs in England will have the opportunity to enjoy new club-branded official mobile applications following the signing of a ground-breaking seven-year agreement between The Football League and intechnologyWiFi.

The new apps will provide fans of participating clubs with a free digital hub featuring real-time content on their club, including the latest news, social media content, commentary, highlights and statistics, as well as betting – delivered in association with the League’s title sponsor, Sky Bet.

Fans will be able to access and use the new mobile apps seamlessly, 365 days a year – even inside busy stadiums on matchdays, thanks to the state-of-the-art, high-capacity stadium WiFi networks that intechnologyWiFi will deliver as part of the deal. Rather than facilitating open access to the internet, the combination of the stadium WiFi network and mobile application is designed to deliver the complete digital matchday experience to supporters.

Both the development and delivery of the new mobile apps and the installation and management of the stadium WiFi networks will be delivered by intechnologyWiFi at no cost to The Football League, its clubs or their fans.  Instead, intechnologyWiFi will facilitate a host of new revenue generation opportunities to clubs.

The club mobile applications are being developed for iOS and Android users, and will be free to download from the respective app stores.

Shaun Harvey, the Chief Executive of The Football League, said:

I am absolutely delighted to welcome intechnologyWiFi to working with The Football League and its clubs.

Once again, The Football League is leading the way with regard to delivering digital solutions to its member clubs, so that they can enhance the supporter experience at their matches. The fact that intechnologyWiFi is able to deliver this solution at no cost, while also facilitating new revenue streams for our clubs, made this a compelling proposition.

Peter Wilkinson, CEO, Intechnology plc, said:
This deal is a much-needed game-changer for the football fan wanting to enjoy their sport to the fullest and get closer to their club than ever before.

Anyone who has tried to log-on in a stadium during a busy football match will know the sheer frustration of poor connectivity caused by bad WiFi or overburdened cellular networks (i.e. 3G or 4G), which can also be hugely expensive (in terms of data) for users. Our solution will revolutionise the digital match-day experience for fans, harnessing the power of great WiFi connectivity and the smartphone in the palm of their hand to deliver a market-defining digital content offering.

Q&A with Colin Abrey, Chief Marketing Officer, Zinwave

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To follow is a Q&A with Colin Abrey, Chief Marketing Officer at Zinwave; an exhibitor at next week’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event in Singapore.

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Q: As an exhibitor at our upcoming Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event in Singapore, can you give us an overview of the products and solutions you offer the sports venue market?

A: Zinwave is a global provider of wideband active Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) for in-building wireless coverage. The intuitive design of our wideband active DAS enables easy connection to any wireless service, wherever you may be in a building. Our in-building coverage solution is based on patented technology and is the only true wideband Active DAS on the market. It supports all frequencies and services between 150MHz and 2700 MHZ over a single hardware layer. This flexibility ensures cost-effective and optimised coverage for all current and future wireless services. Our unique solution is quick to deploy, scalable and provides the flexibility to add new services and frequency bands as and when needed, without having to invest in supplementary hardware or infrastructure. Our approach offers a truly future proof investment which means no expensive upgrades and no disruption to the building in the future when adding new frequencies or services.

Zinwave is a global provider of wideband active DAS for in-building wireless coverage. The intuitive design of Inwave's wideband Active DAS enables easy connection to any wireless service, wherever you may be in a building. The company's in-building coverage solution is based on patented technology and is the only true wideband Active DAS on the market. It supports all frequencies and services between 150MHz and 2700 MHZ over a single hardware layer.

Zinwave is a global provider of wideband active DAS for in-building wireless coverage. The intuitive design of Zinwave’s wideband Active DAS enables easy connection to any wireless service. The company’s in-building coverage solution is based on patented technology and is the only true wideband Active DAS on the market. It supports all frequencies and services between 150MHz and 2700 MHZ over a single hardware layer.

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Q: It could be argued that sports venues initially lagged behind some other sectors in recognising the need to incorporate in-building wireless coverage, would you say that in your experience of speaking to sports venue managers and operators that this is now changing?

A: Zinwave is witnessing increased activity within the sporting arena community and we have been successful in growing our business in this vertical. The advent of 4G around the world is only adding fuel to this increased activity. Mobile Network Operators (MNO) have significant challenges in their networks as they seek to satify this ever increasing demand for mobile data. Sports stadiums are at the extreme end of this challenge for a number of reasons, not least of which is the sheer density of cellular uses in a concentrated area, all of which have data usage patterns that are linked to the timing of the sporting event. This leads to significant spikes in demand for data at certain times. Actually, there are two main aspects to be considered in provisioning services within sports stadiums; these are coverage (delivering the wireless services throughout the stadium) and capacity (providing the necessary support to deliver the huge data demand from such a large number of people). The DAS provides the coverage, while capacity is provided by the MNOs via their base stations. However, there is a clear relationship between the two considerations. Given the huge demand within a sports stadium the DAS needs to be designed in such a way that the maximum demand is supported.  Many of us have been inside major sporting venues with maximum signal showing on our handsets only to find that we are unable to make a call or to access the Internet. Where this happens it is an example of the two issues not being considered as a single system; in other words, the coverage has been designed to provide good wireless performance, but capacity has been forgotten and the system struggles at peak times. As the demand for mobile data increases the requirement to design support for this capacity into the DAS becomes key. The result is that sporting venues require a large number of cellular sectors to be deployed, which ensures enough capacity is concentrated on smaller groups of users. In the past, high power DAS would have been the choice for stadia, but this new sectorisation requirement is moving the sports stadium vertical towards Zinwave’s architecture, because our medium power units are designed for concentrated coverage across the full service mix.

 

Q: What are the main benefits for a venue in using your DAS technology? Presumably they open up more ways for a venue to make more revenue and engage with the fans?

A: There are a number of benefits to the venue that can be seen from deploying a DAS. In common with most verticals, there is a drive to connect with customers and users, in this case the fans. This engagement leads to marketing opportunities, loyalty and increased quality of experience while the fans are in the venue. The DAS is the solution used to deliver these wireless services, but can also lead to other benefits particularly when using Zinwave’s wideband DAS. For example, Zinwave’s wideband capability provides an infrastructure that can, almost cost free, also simultaneously support security PMR and public safety Tetra in a way traditional DAS cannot. In addition, the Zinwave solution can simultaneously carry WiFi services or, via its integrated IP infrastructure, support IP services (such as cameras and WiFi APs) at the edge. This is a level of flexibility and cost efficiency that is only available with Zinwave’s wideband architecture.

 

Q: Is it just the system integrators you work with on these kind of projects or do you also work directly with venue managers and operators? And, in terms of new build projects, how important is it that you are involved at the start of project planning?

A: We do typically work with a system integrator so that a full turnkey solution can be provided. However, we are heavily involved and will often be responsible for the propagation modelling and commissioning of the system. With this level of involvement we will certainly have an open involvement with the venue owner/manager, their IT provider and the MNOs.  It is becoming increasingly common for wireless coverage to be a consideration at the early stages of a new building. This is because the issues surrounding wireless performance and the need to have coverage and capacity dedicated to a building are becoming more widely understood and accepted. There are a number of benefits to having this early view, which would include minimised disruption, lower cost installation, time for solid consideration of all issues, improved engagement with the MNOs, planning for cable containment, comms room space, power provisioning, revision of designs to reflect building changes, etc.

 

Q: Have you already supplied your technology to any sports projects and if so can you give us some examples?

A: Yes, Zinwave has been deployed in a number of large sporting venues, including Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex (NSC) in Kiev, the National Stadium in Warsaw, Pepsi Center in Denver, University of Montana Stadium and Montana State University Stadium. We have a number of very large stadiums awarded, but are unable to name them at this time.

 

Zinwave has been deployed in a number of large sporting venues, including Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex (NSC) in Kiev, the National Stadium in Warsaw, Pepsi Center in Denver, University of Montana Stadium and Montana State University Stadium.

Zinwave has been deployed in a number of large sporting venues, including Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex (NSC) in Kiev, the National Stadium in Warsaw, Pepsi Center in Denver, University of Montana Stadium and Montana State University Stadium.

Nationalstadion Warschau Kiev 1

Q: As an exhibitor at our Stadia & Arena event in Singapore, have you identified Asia Pacific as a region offering significant growth and opportunities for the company?

A: Yes, Zinwave has already deployed a number of large projects in Asia and expect this region to show us significant growth over the coming years. One of the vertical markets we are keen to target global is the large sporting venues, as we have already seen major success and it is a vertical that suits our wideband architecture really well.

 

Q: In addition to fixed sports venues, are you also able to work with sports authorities or organising committees bidding for or organising major sporting events?

A: Yes, completely. Zinwave is a relatively new DAS entrant and have not had this opportunity in the past, but we are reapidly getting our message across and building market share. We have recently been acquired by McWane inc., which has given us the ability and resources required to expand quickly. During 2014, we have been recruiting staff agressively and we are seeing rapid penetration around the world in our key markets.

Colin Abrey is Chief Marketing Officer at Zinwave.

 

SAE Asia Pacific 2014 red box

Zinwave is one of the many industry-leading exhibitors taking part in next week’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific conference and exhibition being held at the new Singapore Sports Hub, September 24-26. Make sure to register today to guarantee your place at this must-attend event.

 

 

 

 

Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena partner with Boingo for next generation wireless networks

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Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the leading DAS and Wi-Fi provider that serves consumers, carriers and advertisers worldwide, and Philips Arena, one of the top concert and event venues in North America and home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, have announced an exclusive wireless network partnership.

 

Boingo will design, install and manage neutral host cellular Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and Wi-Fi networks at the Arena for fan use, leveraging the latest in wireless technology. The networks are slated to launch prior to the next NBA season.

 

The Boingo wireless networks will provide comprehensive coverage for fans throughout the Arena, which is home to the Hawks as well as the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, and hosts more than 160 additional sports and entertainment events each year. The cellular Distributed Antenna System network will provide enhanced data capacity for spectators in all areas of the arena, as well as coverage for Arena operations staff. Boingo’s approach to neutral host DAS networks enables maximum wireless carrier participation, ensuring that more fans can access the network.

 

Boingo will also launch a Wi-Fi network for fan use, providing fast connectivity throughout the Arena seating areas, concessions and concourse areas. Wi-Fi network access will be provided free to fans, supported by sponsors and advertisers. Boingo Media, Boingo’s advertising and sponsorship services group, will collaborate closely with Philips Arena on wireless sales.

 

Andrew Steinberg, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, says of the partnership:

We have continually stated our goal to reimagine Philips Arena and enhance our fan experience to create the best event atmosphere in the nation for our members and partners. Our partnership with Boingo will greatly aid us in both areas as we look to incorporate technology to an even greater degree and keep all of our guests connected. Boingo is a leader in major league and university stadium and arena wireless network management with strong wireless carrier relationships, and proven success in building networks that can meet the demands of today’s fans. We are looking forward to working with Boingo to deliver blazing fast connectivity for our spectators and staff.

 

Nick Hulse, President of Boingo Wireless, adds:

It’s an honour to partner with Philips Arena, one of the most celebrated event venues in North America. Our next generation wireless networks will deliver an exceptional connectivity experience, enhancing the Arena’s already stellar reputation and amenities. Our cellular DAS and Wi-Fi networks will be built to scale with the projected future increases in consumer connectivity, and to enable future location based services and technology applications in venue to keep it at the top of the ‘best venues’ lists for years to come.

 

Philips Arena was named one of the top five venues in the US by Pollstar Magazine, based on ticket sales of more than 500,000 in 2013. The Arena has received this honour for seven out of the last eight years, a record rivalled only by Madison Square Garden. The Arena has capacity for more than 20,000 fans, and hosts events including games, concerts and family entertainment more than 300 days a year.