Premier League football club Manchester City FC is rolling out high-density WiFi at its Etihad stadium, allowing fans to use their mobile devices to surf the web and to share their live event experiences.
In the coming weeks, the 47,000-seat stadium will be wired up with Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution, which was also used to provide connectivity within the main stadium at the London Olympics.
The high-density WiFi network will be delivered by mobile operator O2, which will equip the Etihad Stadium with technology that significantly improves mobile phone connectivity, allowing fans to make calls and send text messages without interruption.
Fans will also be able to use the service to surf the web on their mobile phones and share their live event experiences or to interact with football fans around the world via social media platforms.
“As a Club that is passionate about innovation and prides itself on constantly looking for ways to enhance our supporters’ experience at the Etihad Stadium, we feel we have found the perfect solution with O2 and Cisco,” said Tom Glick, Chief Commercial & Operating Officer for Manchester City Football Club.
“Live games and concerts are highly enjoyable social events and we are delighted to be able to offer supporters a system that allows them to better utilise their own mobile devices when at the Stadium.”
In the near future, Manchester City plans to offer StadiumVision Mobile to all fans, which is capable of delivering live video and relevant event information to fans’ mobile devices with minimal delay. It can also provide multiple channels of unique content, such as a replay channel, an alternate angle view channel, and a dynamic data channel.
“We will soon be able to provide full talk and texting capabilities, while paving the way for exciting new mobile data applications and services – such as mobile video – that will ensure a visit to the Etihad Stadium continues to be one of the best sports experiences available anywhere in the world,” said Glick.
Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB at O2 added: “The underpinning ICT delivery is something we are really excited to be working on, and will result in the provision of high-speed connection anywhere in the stadium for fans.”
Earlier this year, Techworld reported that Liverpool FC is deploying wireless arrays from networking company Xirrus at Anfield Stadium. The first phase of the deployment covers the two-tier, 12,000-seat Centenary Stand and adjoining corporate facilities, enabling fans to access and share digital content during games.