Wifi and Football, a Perfect Combination?

March 21, 2013 at 12:02 am Leave a comment

Wifi is one of the greatest emerging technologies that have come out in the past decade. You see wifi practically everywhere, from your houses, apartments, schools, coffee houses, airports, and now football stadiums? Wait, what? You read me right, wifi in a football stadium, and it is looking impressive.

49'ers Stadium Model

Defending NFC champions the San Francisco 49’ers are going to be bringing in the 2014 season strong with a new stadium that is supposed to have one of the most advanced wifi networks around, being able to support every single user, simultaneously, and not have to limit their bandwidth. With the current designs, that is 68,500 users. Statistics are that current stadium wifi networks can hardly even handle one fourth of stadium capacity, where this new plan is going to blow that out of the water. The network is being designed by IT Director Dan Williams and CTO Kunal Malik, who both previously worked at Facebook, so they understand the need for a huge architecture.

Why would you want to have wifi at a football stadium, you ask? There is a football game going on, why not pay attention to that instead of your phones? One of the driving reasons behind putting wifi in the stadiums is to reduce the stress on the surrounding cellular network towers. If you end up having too many devices in one area trying to connect to the internet on a cellular tower to Tweet about the game or upload photos and videos, the network will end up getting too clogged and users will have a degraded time. Adding a wifi network with virtually unlimited bandwidth to its users will help to free up the cellular network traffic so that they will have a better experience and can better Tweet and Facebook about the game. The tech team also plans on having mobile applications created so that the users can watch video streams or order food, directly on their phones from within the network.

I think it is really interesting that now sports stadiums are being brought into the age of the internet. The world is starting to more and more become one with IT, but who knows how far we will go! Food for thought! ISU students, be sure to take the quiz on ReggieNet so you can get your extra credit!

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