Why Mobile Connectivity is now a critical service in stadiums

As stadiums across the world begin to welcome back crowds, clubs are looking to improve the overall experience for fans in a post COVID-19 world.

Mobile connectivity continues to be an increasingly important utility in stadiums, with fans now somewhat expecting the service at the football grounds they visit.

UK company Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) own and operate the nation’s largest selection of indoor mobile networks, serving over 1.25 billion visitors each year.

Working with all UK mobile network operators, WIG have direct experience in designing, installing and operating mobile infrastructure and lead the market in network deployment and management in stadiums and sports venues.

2020 saw the biggest ever growth in the UK for mobile devise usage, with users trying to stay connected whilst offices, businesses and venues were closed due to the pandemic.

These figures are expected to increase again in 2021, with mobile device usage now exceeding time spent watching live TV.

Vijay Sodiwala, Commercial Director at WIG, believes that these increases during the COVID period will impact supporters’ expectations of the matchday experience in stadiums.

“It is inevitable that fan behaviour will have changed significantly in terms of how much they interact with their mobile devices and the quality of connectivity and service they expect as part of their overall stadium experience,” he told fcbusiness.

“Fans will expect dedicated coverage and a high-speed data capability allowing them to access the internet, stream videos, interact on social media, text and make calls to friends and family before, during and after matches.

“They will be less tolerant of a poorer mobile experience, especially in venues that are charging them to attend events.”

Sodiwala explains the best possible way to address poor mobile connectivity in stadiums.

“Outdoor networks (such as masts, towers and rooftop installations) are just not designed to deliver the capacity that is needed when you have stadiums operating at full capacity and it is no longer appropriate to look to the mobile network operators to solve these problems for us,” he said.

“The most efficient solution for enabling properly dimensioned mobile services within a stadium is a distributed digital network approach.

“This is a single network deployed around the stadium that can support all of the mobile network operators and all of their technologies (2G, 3G, 4G and 5G) at the same time. It can also support private network capabilities that stadiums operators and clubs have started to use as a secure, high capacity, flexible and lower-cost alternative to WiFi and traditional wired networks.”

Leading stadium owners and clubs across the UK, including Premier League clubs, have teamed up with WIG to create their own dedicated infrastructure solution.

“Stadium owners and clubs have started to look at investing in their own network infrastructure and partnering with Wireless Infrastructure Group to design, deploy, operate and maintain their stadium networks and provide the interface to the mobile network operators to enable service.”

Sodiwala outlined that because of the rapidly changing behavioural habits of fans, it is an appropriate time for clubs to invest in technology to improve their digital strategic footprint.

“The pandemic has resulted in a seismic shift in consumer behaviour with an increased reliance on mobile devices and adoption of digital technologies,” he said.

“Think of how much our daily interaction has gone digital – from attending meetings to ordering groceries – and stadiums are not exempt. Fans will understandably be relived to return to live events, but their expectations on stadium experience will be markedly different.

“Some of our stadium partners (clubs) have seen the restrictions imposed on us by the pandemic as an opportunity to address this.

“Firstly, to use digital as a more effective way of engaging and connecting with fans through a more immersive and content rich experience. Secondly, clubs are looking at capturing operational efficiencies which have the potential to improve the bottom line – mobile ticketing, in- seat ordering, and mobile payments are the sort of things that come to mind here.

“Underpinning all of this of course is the realisation that high quality mobile service is key to a successful digital strategy.

“A desire to drive fan engagement, improve stadium experience and reduce operational costs certainly feels like a strong response from clubs in a post-pandemic environment. Investing in the right infrastructure approach with the right partner is the first step on that journey.”

More information on the Wireless Infrastructure Group can be found here: https://www.wirelessinfrastructure.co.uk/

Staff Writer
Soccerscene is committed to promoting, enhancing and growing the soccer industry in Australia. We believe soccer news has captured the attention of grassroots soccer clubs, apparel and equipment suppliers – which extends to governing bodies, club administrators and industry decision makers. Many of the auxiliary products and services support the growth of the soccer industry in Australia and Asia, a passion we also share and want to express through our work.

Air-Eze providing cleaning solutions to remove mud from boots

Air-Eze are a British organisation in whom through the basic formula of air compression, have enabled for participants across different codes of sports to find longevity within their much beloved sports essentials.

Market leaders within the field of compressed air operated cleaning stations, Air-Eze have established over 1,300 sites within their 25 year tenure of operations.

Providing avid sports participants and construction workers with a self-serve cleaning service.

Through air-compression, pop-up devices are placed across a plethora of varying places, all designated in cleaning debris off of a person’s shoes.

Footballers are pedantic when it comes to their beloved football boots, no matter the skill level or demographic.

Participants place a hefty amount of time and consideration towards which pair of boots best symbolises their playing style.

Through the modernisation of football, boots are no longer just essentials. With the immense popularity surrounding features such as specific variations, colours and patterns.

Footballers associate boots as a visual representation of who they are as a person, almost an extension of their personality.

Pitches across the globe are prone to exhibit large masses of mud, especially throughout the wet seasons.

Therefore, players across all skill-levels of the sport are not immune to experiencing a large build-up of mud, upon their expensive football boots they recently purchased.

A part of the sport in which is appreciated by many, Football is for the brave-hearted, and it is associated with mud. Although synthetic surfaces have become a normality, the fabric that football was made upon still remains a common theme upon the sport.

The fabric of football consists of grit, determination and passion. With a playing surface not interfering with the competitive nature of its participants. Who throughout the course of history have tracked into the clubrooms, leaving a muddy trail behind them.

A 2-year warranty is issued upon the purchase of their self-proclaimed low maintenance machines.

The longevity of the system is maintained through frequent services, ensuring that the equipment is working at its optimal level.

Air-Eze unit

Upon optimal use of the Air-Eze Bootboy system, football clubs are able to exercise enhanced hygiene throughout fully-furbished indoor facilities.

The Air-Eze Bootboy system is effortless. Through the sheer power instilled within the system and alternating air-nozzles, players, club-staff and club officials are all able to clean their boots without any real difficulty.

Gone are the days of arriving home from a football related activity, whether it was training or match-day where participants would arrive home and smack their boots upon a hard-surface, in order to get rid of the mud all compounded within the boot studs.

Furthermore, the company is recognised its products low running costs and minimal maintenance. Although its design is robust, it somewhat operates better.

As a result, the machines are resistant to corrosion guaranteeing a durable, long-term, sustainable product effective within saving costs.

Renowned football clubs across the globe have been swift in utilising the services of Air-Eze.

European giants Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Celtic, Tottenham and Rangers are all upon an ever growing list of football clubs who have installed Air-Eze’s Bootboy system upon their clubrooms.

Featuring mostly within the player tunnels, the air-compression system does not require much space. It also acts as a nice feature upon the player ramp, allowing players to enter clubrooms still in their football attire, without the possibility of leaving a trail in their wake.

Air-Eze despite having built up quite the portfolio across the UK and various parts of Europe are still yet to feature down under.

It would be a nice touch for clubs across the local leagues to focus on the cleanliness of club rooms, by the prevention of players entering with muddy boots.

Dallmeier: Mitigating the risk involved in anti-social fan behaviour

Football fan behaviour can on occasion be detrimental in the progression of the sport across the globe.

Although a celebrated part of the game – when loyalty, passion and individual personalities are animated – the potential for something unsavoury to occur, becomes imminent.

Globally, a key element of the sport is its tribalistic nature. Football fans possess the tendencies of becoming relentless within their support for a club.

The comparison of two large contingents of football fans coming together, with their respective teams battling it out for supremacy, is reminiscent of a crusade.

In acknowledgement of fan behaviours, governing bodies must exercise adequate security throughout stadiums in order to prevent the slim although present opportunity for disorderly behaviour occurring.

Dallmeier

Dallmeier are a German based technology company in whom have become specialists in comprehensive security services.

Derived from the use of video technology the German entity have built quite the portfolio upon completion of football related security within the company’s tenure.

The company boast eight varying security solutions for stadiums. All crafted with the intention of making stadiums safer through the minimization of fan misconduct.

Since 1984, Dallmeier have been experts upon the field of video technology. Optimal within their services, the company provides security logistically and industrially.

Furthermore, their services extend to airports casinos cities, and finally stadiums.

Security Hardware Variety – Panomera Camera 

The use of Dallmeier’s most innovative and decorated product has primarily featured within football stadium security.

Panomera cameras are the combination of several megapixel cameras all forged into one efficient device.

Allowing users to capture larger areas and long distances of space. Providing what a series of cameras would reduce in one efficient device.

The Panomera Camera maintains the highest quality of imagery, allowing in the improved identification of potential perpetrators.

Stadium Security Measures – Dispatch Management 

Dispatch management and allows for the identification and background search of personnel who identify as a threat to the public, to be adequately dealt with by security or police officials.

Providing a real time understanding of the stadiums environment.

Capturing incident data in the form of videos, photos and witness statements all for those who commit an antisocial act at a football match.

Putting emphasis upon the punishment of perpetrators, with the video capturing evidence that can be guided into the hands of law enforcement.

Stadium Security Measures – Entrance Area 

The entrance area aspect of Dallmeiers stadium security allows for the identification of fans looking to cause issues prior to their entry into the stadium.

As a result of optimal security installation upon sport stadiums around the globe, the participation of football upon all aspects can flourish.

While the tribalism and passion all synonymous with football fans, it is an area of the sport that can have a ripple effect upon it causing disruptions to matches and detriment of fan involvement.

Additionally, anti-social fan misconduct can have a negative connotation upon a sport well-respected.

What impact it can have in Australia?

As a result, events can transpire culminating in what should be a celebrated aspect of the sport, becoming its kryptonite.

It was only 14 months ago where in our backyard, an unsavoury event transpired between rival crowds, leaving a stain upon football in Australia.

At the time, it had somewhat derailed a hype train football in Australia was experiencing. Given the Socceroo’s had successfully qualified for the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.

The aftermath of such a monumental achievement was tarnished due to fan misconduct.

Company’s in the same class as Dallmeier, allow for the sport to be participated while an emphasis can be put upon the players taking to the pitch.

It is imperative that fan safety is held at the highest responsibility. The raw element of fan behaviour should not be eradicated, but has all the potential to be mitigated, exposing the raw fan element in a positive light with the improved security and emphasis on safety.

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