Ericsson has launched a stadium-optimized Wi-Fi solution aimed overcoming the problem of providing a seamless experience for thousands of users in a stadium environment all trying to access a network at the same time.
The solution consists of two products: the AP 5114 stadium-optimized Wi-Fi access point and the WIC 8000 Wi-Fi controller. Together, they create a Wi-Fi network that is integrated with the mobile network – in keeping with Ericsson’s unique approach to heterogeneous networks.
In its Traffic and Market Data report, Ericsson forecasts that mobile data traffic will increase 10-fold between 2011 and 2016, mainly driven by video. This predicted growth, combined with the popularity and ubiquity of Wi-Fi on mobile devices, has created a trend toward operators deploying their own Wi-Fi networks.
Given that social networking and video apps are used particularly heavily during major events, mobile traffic in stadiums is especially high. The result is that, from the operators’ perspective, stadiums are like very dense metropolitan ‘villages’ that require a wide range of wireless solutions – such as small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and Wi-Fi as a complement to the existing macro network – to address all of the coverage and capacity requirements.
Dave Park, Head of Wi-Fi Product Line, Ericsson, said: ‘This Wi-Fi solution, which represents our first Wi-Fi product launch since our acquisition of BelAir Networks in April this year – enables stadium owners and managers to provide fans with the same options that they have when watching events at home, including instant replays and multi-view content feeds. Our solution meets all of the requirements that operators have for comprehensive, coordinated and integrated wireless coverage in stadiums.’
Ericsson said that delivering additional radio network capacity and coverage through the deployment of small cells as part of a heterogeneous network is central to most mobile operators’ mobile broadband strategies, and Wi-Fi is a key element.
With Wi-Fi fully integrated into mobile access and core networks, users will enjoy seamless access to high-performance mobile broadband, whether they are connected over 3GPP or Wi-Fi, and operators will be able to choose connectivity to optimize the user experience.