Light Reading
Arizona Cardinals Stadium features distributed-antenna system for voice, data

Wireless Win for NFL

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
9/22/2006
50%
50%

On Sunday the rejuvenated Arizona Cardinals (1-1 on the season) will host the St. Louis Rams in what could turn out to be a key divisional matchup in the NFL. On display will not only be the passing of Kurt Warner and the running of Edgerrin James, but Cardinals Stadium itself, the new $450 million facility that is widely considered the most technologically advanced sports palace in the world.

Along with a retractable roof and a sliding grass field that can be retracted for non-football events, Cardinals Stadium, located in Glendale, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, features the league's most sophisticated wireless network. Installed by Tempe-based systems integrator Insight North America, using distributed-antenna system (DAS) technology from Cellular Specialties Inc. (CSI), and equipment from MobileAccess, the system offers both cellular voice and WiFi coverage to all of the stadium's 63,400 seats as well as luxury suites, corridors and concession areas, press areas, team offices and locker rooms, and tenant office space within the building. The network also provides full coverage for public safety radios throughout the 1 million-square-foot facility.

"The design of the stadium is a technological marvel, not only from an architectural standpoint with the roof opening and closing, but sliding in and out of the field, everything," says Mark Feller, director of technology for the team. "So when the Cardinals were looking at the telecommunications capability, they made the decision that it made sense to make it the most technologically advanced stadium in the world as well."

The IP-based network from CSI collects both voice and data signals over the distributed antennas and transmits them via coaxial cable to 37 wiring closets or "remote hub units" that are aligned in vertical arrays on the different levels of the stadium. The signals are then filtered and sent to the appropriate destination over fiber-optic cables to carrier networks in the case of cellular traffic, and over Cisco switches and the stadium's VLAN out to the Internet in the case of data traffic. The WiFi access points are located at the remote hubs, not distributed across the facility as in a conventional 802.11 network -- making the system much more flexible and economical, according to Feller.

"Compared to the cost of just putting in a WiFi antenna system, this gives us a lot more flexibility," says Feller. "Since the antennas are connected with coax back to the wiring closets, the management and maintenance for us is much easier than if the access points were scattered throughout the ceiling and various locations around the stadium."

"There are four primary users of the network at the stadium," says Kelley Carr, vice president of service for CSI's Custom Solutions Group. "The fans, the workers for the stadium themselves, public safety personnel, and the news media. The distributed-antenna system gives them all the bandwidth and different types of service they need."

Not only are sports photographers be able to instantly upload their images to company networks from the field, but the plutocrats in the skyboxes can enjoy the benefits of the system as well. Each luxury suite is equipped with Cisco 7970 interactive IP phones, which feature with 5- by 4-inch digital touch screens so that guests can order food, play fantasy football, and buy merchandise instantly.

Even the fiber optic cabling is state-of-the-art: the stadium uses a technology called FutureFlex, from Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corp. , which allows fiber to be quickly blown through standing tubes using compressed air.

After looking at several networking companies Feller and Insight North America narrowed the choice of providers to three. He declines to name the other two but notes that one of the bidders submitted a price that was 20 percent higher than that of CSI and the other candidate. The selection ultimately came down to experience deploying similar systems in unconventional venues, he says.

Feller won't say how much the team has invested in the network at the new stadium, which will host the BCS National Championship next January and Super Bowl XLII in Feb. 2008. But he notes that the Cardinals are in the forefront of wireless technology not just for sports venues but for less glamorous enterprises.

"A lot of facilities are going to go to this kind of [distributed-antenna] system," Feller maintains, "even commercial buildings, where all the tenants need wireless coverage throughout the facility. I think you'll see this technology in use everywhere over the next few years."

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (6) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Hot Topics
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
Salary Survey Report 2014
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Facebook: 30% of Users Are Mobile-Only
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed