Light Reading
Stadium WiFi supports largest point-of-sale network in the world

Dolphins De-Wire With BelAir

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
11/21/2006
50%
50%

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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed