Light Reading
Learning some wireless coverage and capacity lessons from the World Cup.

Unfinished Business: Stadium Wireless in Brazil

Rupert Baines
7/8/2014
50%
50%

In the run-up to the World Cup, mobile union SindiTeleBrasil announced that the promised WiFi offload infrastructure, designed to help alleviate the strain on mobile networks caused by 12.6 terabytes of data being generated in a single match, would not be ready in time.

The impact of this is already apparent, and a great case study for the importance of proper wireless infrastructure in a venue in 2014.

Only six stadiums were ready in time for the public WiFi offload infrastructure to be installed before the competition. Published figures indicate that attendees at these venues have been able to send and receive double the amount of data traffic than fans at the other stadia.

In a country with notoriously poor mobile coverage and capacity -- famously, three network providers were banned from selling new subscriptions until their network performance was improved -- this is of course a great sign that things are moving in the right direction.

However, serious questions remain over the effectiveness of the chosen solution. I've said on many occasions in the past that WiFi offload is a great tool for reducing network load, but it is not the quick fix some have heralded it to be.

Therefore it was not a huge surprise that fans present at the "improved" stadiums reported that all was not rosy, with widespread complaints of patchy coverage, dropped voice calls, and sluggish data connections.

Similarly -- whilst the original plan was for 3,724 cellphone antennas to be installed across the 12 venues to provide 2G, 3G, and LTE connections -- Agence France-Press attendees reported that any cellphone communications that could not be offloaded on to WiFi were almost impossible. Clearly, the same attention had not been paid to the 3G networks as it was for the WiFi.

I recently attended the Stadium Business Conference in London and what was clear was that wireless is finally being seen as something more than just letting people get onto Facebook. There were plenty of discussions there on the different applications and business benefits, something missed by the stadiums in Brazil.

The Superbowl was a great case study in what can be achieved with a properly planned wireless solution, contrasting sharply with the example of Brazil. The MetLife stadium plan brought together not just WiFi and cellular, but also the specialist needs of the teams, broadcasters, security and emergency services.

The result? A network that coped with the strain placed upon it by 3TB of cellular data, including 1.8 million photo-based social media posts.

Despite the best efforts of the organizers, the World Cup sadly stands to demonstrate that even if an owner believes that they have a working wireless solution in place, there are many nuances that they need to get right if they are to meet visitor demand. With visitors quick to point out when things don't work properly, it's something that stadium owners cannot afford to ignore.

-- Rupert Baines, Chief Marketing Officer, Real Wireless

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/9/2014 | 2:38:17 AM
Re: Another blow to this WC
Agreed. They are failing on all sides.I hope this WC taches a lesson for Brazilian's officials. I expect anti WC riots again, especially in the demanding city of SAO Paulo.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/8/2014 | 4:50:59 PM
Re: Another blow to this WC
I'm guessing with the home team's complete thrashing today, not many people care about the WiFi stuff anymore.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/8/2014 | 9:43:51 AM
Another blow to this WC
Yet another negative point to add to Brazil's worldcup organisers. It seems the official's have admitted that the coverage was poor in some stadiums. Focusing too much on WIFI connections while disregarding voice created a poor overall experience.
More Blogs from Column
SDN can play a significant role in helping operators offload data traffic via WiFi.
CSPs armed with real-time operational intelligence are uniquely positioned to realize the true monetary value of the new data economy.
Share your views on the next five years and find out what your peers think too.
The complexity of cloud service sourcing will boost demand for infrastructure-as-a-service.
Automation saves you from repeating the same things over and over again.
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.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive