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A major sporting event or concert may grab all the attention but for stadium owners and users wireless is often essential to help deliver the headline act. However, its function is constantly changing.

Over the past ten years, stadium and venue mobile coverage needs in particular have given way to capacity requirements. Smartphone-equipped users are the norm. Hardware and software need to be assessed as new options – small cells, DAS, hybrid networks – become available. Meanwhile 3G has become 4G and will eventually become 5G. Emergency services will soon move from TETRA to 4G. The safe operation of events and the delivery of broadcasting services all need wireless technology – PMR radios, radio mics, wireless cameras and in-ear monitors all have to deliver services to a variety of operational users. All of this has to be ready for major events and monitored and managed while they take place

But what end users experience – or should experience – is seamless connectivity throughout a concert, football match or rally. They should be able to access or send uploads and downloads, receive information and marketing messages from the organizer, use navigation systems for the venue and, of course, make voice calls. All of this should be as easy to see or access as if the users were at home.

All around them, meanwhile, although they will only be vaguely aware of it, safety stewards, repair staff, road crew and, if necessary, emergency services, will be using other forms of connectivity to ensure the smooth running of both the venue and the event. All the communications systems used will comfortably cope with spikes or longer periods of heavy use. Marketing messages or useful information will be offered to attendees via their phones at appropriate times. When the event is over, parts of the system will be switched off or dismantled.

Ensuring reliable wireless coverage for Wembley Stadium was one of our very first projects and we continue to help deliver reliable communications for venue and stadium owners as choices and technology evolve. By working closely with the operations team at the stadium since it opened in 2007, we have developed a unique insight and understanding of the drivers and requirements for wireless systems in stadium for both operational and visitor use.

New stadia can benefit greatly from early engagement with Real Wireless – capturing the requirements for all wireless needs, preparing high level designs and detailed specifications for inclusion in the tender documents. We carry on working with the client through the stadium build to ensure the systems that are eventually deployed meet the requirements set out at the beginning of the project.

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Wireless World Research Forum

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