Light Reading

Dolphins De-Wire With BelAir

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

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
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Report: NFV/SDN Standards 'Myopic' on Service Management
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed