Light Reading

Dolphins De-Wire With BelAir

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading

It's been a tough year for the NFL's Miami Dolphins, who are 4-6 on the season and must win at least five of their remaining six games to have a shot at the playoffs. The Dolphins, however, can console themselves with the thought that they play their home games in a stadium that is vying to be the most technologically advanced sports palace in the world.

Built in 1987, Dolphin Stadium will host this year's FedEx Orange Bowl as well as Super Bowl XLI, on Feb. 4, 2007. It will do so with a new state-of-the-art wireless network installed by Miami-based integrator A2000, using WiFi gear from BelAir Networks Inc. Built to provide coverage for Florida Marlins baseball games and non-sporting events such as concerts and tradeshows as well as the Dolphins' games, the network supports what stadium manager Tery Howard calls the largest point-of-sale network in the world.

The network will also provide coverage for fans' mobile phones and other devices, staff and security connections, WiFi in the pressbox, and, eventually, digital photo transmission by both spectators and shutterbugs working the games.

"This project started from an initiative that came through at the beginning of the year, asking how we could differentiate ourselves and become more competitive in our industry," explains Howard. "What are some of the innovative implementations we can do to position the stadium as a leader in the industry from a technological standpoint."

The Dolphin Stadium management thus joined what has become something of a networking arms race among big-city stadia. The Arizona Cardinals this year deployed a wireless network from Cellular Specialties Inc. and MobileAccess Networks that offers both cellular voice and WiFi coverage to all of the stadium's 63,400 seats plus the luxury suites, press areas, team offices, and tenant office space, as well as full coverage for public safety radios throughout the 1 million-square-foot facility. (See Wireless Win for NFL.)

The 75,000-seat Dolphin Stadium has 195 luxury suites and more than 10,200 club seats, and features the world's largest high definition light-emitting diode (LED) video display. The new network comprises a total of 29 BelAir nodes including five within the bowl of the field and the stands. In all, the network covers about 2 million square feet, including more than 700 point-of-sale devices plus 68 handheld units for stadium staff and security.

Dolphin Stadium management also considered WiFi equipment from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which had provided earlier networking gear for the facility, says Howard. In fact, the BelAir system was slightly more expensive than other options.

"We thought that the BelAir gear was the most ruggedized and the most stable, and also they had some really good history in terms of what they've done in their market," remarks Howard. "We just thought their solution most closely aligned with what we wanted to do."

Neither BelAir nor stadium officials divulged specific information about cost, but Howard notes that traditional equipment from other vendors would have required much higher node density.

"One of my colleagues in the league just finished building a brand new stadium, and they used 125 to 130 nodes," points out Howard. "We installed 29."

What's significant about the Dolphin Stadium deployment, says BelAir product manager Jim Freeze, is that "It's not just for surfing the Web or for reporters filing their stories but support for these real applications, like point-of-sale. It's also running VOIP services to keep the staff connected during events."

The new wireless network is part of a $250 million capital improvement effort that is designed to push Dolphin Stadium to the top of the outdoor events industry, a high-tech venue for a wide range of events. It's become clear that, for teams competing in today's multi-billion-dollar NFL, fancy artificial turf and plush luxury suites are no longer enough.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading's conference in November will attempt to answer all of the big questions around white box networks. No pressure...
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE in Budapest ITU 2015

10|13|15   |   03:26   |   (0) comments

ZTE Chief Architect David Huo discusses the company's progress on the 5G front.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Close-up on ConfD

10|12|15   |   10.21   |   (0) comments

Tail-f's Renée Robinson-Stromberg tells Steve Saunders about the powerful ConfD management interface.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Women in Comms: Highlights From Dallas

10|12|15   |   2:23   |   (1) comment

The best soundbites, quotes and words of wisdom from leading women from Intel, AT&T, Verizon and Genband at our recent WiC breakfast in Dallas.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
NetNumber Founder on Managing Signaling Control

10|12|15   |   6:36   |   (0) comments

NetNumber Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Doug Ranalli describes the essential complexity of real-world signaling-control and how NetNumber enables carriers to bring signaling-control "under-control". Learn why virtualization alone isn't the answer.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon Gets Proactive on App Performance

10|12|15   |   04:50   |   (0) comments

SDN is turning traditional service models around to allow Verizon to measure and deliver performance at the application layer. As Shawn Hakl, VP of enterprise networking and managed solutions for Verizon, explains, the carrier had to develop new skill sets and change some of its internal operations, but the payoff was happier enterprise customers.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (1) comment

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (1) comment

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
Dell Buys EMC for $67B in Biggest Tech Deal Ever
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/12/2015
Cord Cutting? 'Fraid so.
Brett Sappington, 10/7/2015
Cisco Makes 'Martian' Connection
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/9/2015
Dell Kicking EMC's Tires
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/8/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Think NFV is just about virtualization? Think again!

Network architects are learning that there's a lot more to the technology than first thought – more complexity, that is; but also, more potential benefits.

On May 29th 1 PM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM, HP Communications Solutions Business at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!