Gillette Stadium Adds Full Wi-Fi Access to Fan Experience Beginning Sunday
Fans will now be able to fully access Wi-Fi inside Gillette Stadium beginning with Sunday's home opener against the Arizona Cardinals.
Editor's note: The following is courtesy of Patriots.com.
Enterasys Networks, a Siemens Enterprise Communications Company, announced this week that it has been selected by The Kraft Sports Group to provide high-density Wi-Fi at Gillette Stadium, ensuring high-speed wireless connectivity for fans at New England Patriots games and other events.
When the Patriots kick off their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 16, fans throughout the stadium will have accessible Wi-Fi provided by Enterasys, which has overcome previous issues around wireless density and support for mobile devices at NFL-sized venues.
The Wi-Fi network complemented with Gillette Stadium and Patriots apps for iPhone, iPad and Android will provide guests with an unparalleled in-stadium experience, bringing them closer to the action on the field through exclusive access to the NFL Red Zone and real-time stats. Stadium-wide Wi-Fi will also allow fans to access social networks to share their game experience with friends and interact with the Patriots. With the Wi-Fi foundation in place, The Kraft Sports Group is positioned to take advantage of any new content offerings made available by the NFL in the future, which could include exclusive audio and video transmissions from the game.
“In-stadium, high-density Wi-Fi providing any guest with a rich internet experience is the next frontier for the NFL and it is something we have been researching for years,” said Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group and the Patriots and co-chair of the NFL Digital Media Committee. “We believe that well-constructed mobile applications – accessible through the Enterasys Wi-Fi network – will ultimately deliver content available nowhere else, truly differentiating the in-stadium experience from any other. After reviewing all of the available technologies, it became clear to us that Enterasys was the only viable technical solution for providing this service today.”
To roll out its new network, The Kraft Sports Group looked at several vendors to identify a solution that delivered all services required today, along with the ability to scale in the future as Wi-Fi technologies continue to evolve. They partnered with Enterasys to provide an integrated wired and wireless solution for Gillette Stadium, which includes Enterasys S-Series switches at the core, Enterasys Wi-Fi (both indoor and outdoor), Enterasys Mobile IAM (Identity & Access Management) for BYOD authentication services, as well as Enterasys OneFabric Control Center to centrally manage its network. The entire installation took just over a month.
“Because of our unique need to provide access for tens of thousands of users, we needed a very stable, scalable network that could be easily and centrally managed by our existing IT staff, particularly on game day,” said Fred Kirsch, Patriots VP of interactive media. “The Enterasys solution gives us an end-to-end network solution including all the hardware, software, and wiring needed to provide ubiquitous and reliable Wi-Fi access. Enterasys management capabilities provide us with complete visibility and control, as well as a world-class support organization with professional services to help implement and manage the solution going forward.”
The network will become increasingly important as the NFL rolls out future applications to provide fans at live events with exclusive content through smart phone and tablet apps.
“Enterasys Wi-Fi innovation is centered on delivering a best in class user experience for multi-media applications. We achieve this through our innovative wired and wireless architectures to help customers simplify application delivery and management of their networks,” said Chris Crowell, president and CEO, Enterasys Networks. “For the Patriots, we were able to solve their unique business and technical issues in a way no other vendor could. This resulted in a purpose-built network to provide the density and throughput to support thousands of fans and bandwidth for hungry multimedia applications. We are excited to be the official networking provider for the Patriots and look forward to helping them treat their fans to an in-game experience they will never forget.”