CommScope_AnfieldStadium_WirelessInfrastructureGroup(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to CommScope Blogs by Bob Slorach, CTO of the Wireless Infrastructure Group. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)

The 2018 World Cup is upon us and I can only imagine the spikes in data usage as fans take selfies, share Facebook Live game highlights and WhatsApp their friends with minute by minute game updates.

CLICK TO TWEET: Go behind the scenes on how the Wireless Infrastructure Group is delivering connectivity to football fans at Anfield Stadium.

Fortunately, fans who recently attended the highly-anticipated international friendly at Anfield Stadium, Brazil versus Croatia, in early June were able to benefit from improved connectivity at Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool Football Club.  These football enthusiasts could keep up to date with the latest news, get sporting results and share images of their time at Anfield whilst attending the game.

Busy venues like football stadiums need dedicated wireless infrastructure. Liverpool Football Club’s focus on improving connectivity for its fans has been key to the success of the activation of 4G mobile services across Anfield Stadium

A behind the scenes look at designing and deploying a stadium-wide network

Stadiums are a complex radio environment and present unique challenges in providing reliable wireless connectivity.  During a concert or sporting event, tens of thousands of mobile users create a massive surge of demand on the wireless network. Without dedicated connectivity solutions correctly scaled to support the venue capacity, the available data rate per user can be reduced to such an extent that mobile services are unsatisfactory or even unusable.  

Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) delivers high capacity neutral-host infrastructure in busy and often challenging locations and this is only possible through trusted relationships with the UK’s mobile operators and with venues such as Anfield.

When Liverpool Football Club wanted to improve the matchday experience for its fans, WIG engaged with CommScope to transform Anfield Stadium’s existing network infrastructure into an innovative flexible, world-class solution.

WIG turned to CommScope’s fibre-connected distributed antenna system (DAS) as the ideal solution to meet mobile data capacity needs.  This involves the installation of a specialized antenna network connected to remote units throughout the venue.  The remote units, which distribute coverage and capacity throughout the stadium are connected by fibre to a master unit which receives signals from dedicated base stations. 

Together, we found the ION-M DAS solution could provide the required support for multiple operators delivering multiple frequency bands and technologies via one unified fibre connected platform. The ION-M DAS solution is fully integrated into WIG’s remote monitoring platform to ensure highest levels of service availability to the end users.  

The network was successfully tested during the last few games of the season, enhancing the match day experience for fans, visitors and staff.  The DAS solution has been dimensioned to handle multiple terabytes of data over the course of a game. The DAS solution was implemented in just 22 weeks from the start of planning to go-live, including 19 weeks for installation.  CommScope installed 215 specialized antennas and deployed over 28 kilometers of copper and fibre optic cables.

Related links:

About the Author

Bob Slorach

Bob Slorach is CTO of the Wireless Infrastructure Group, an independent infrastructure company. It builds and operates communication towers and other wireless infrastructure to enable the connection between networks and the communities that rely on their services. Bob has spent nearly 25 years in the telecoms industry working in the wireless and fibre sectors and is technical lead at WIG. Bob previously held the position of global director of metro cell solutions at CommScope. Before that, he was head of engineering development for the NTL Broadcast and Arqiva wireless divisions.

See all posts by this author

Comments

3 comments for "Behind the scenes: connecting fans at Anfield Stadium"
Harry Davis Wednesday, July 04, 2018 10:51 PM

Can you provide a drawing of the system? It would help very much with the total understanding.

Thanks,

Harry

Joe Depa Thursday, July 05, 2018 1:19 PM

Hi Harry, thank you for your comment. I included a link to our ION system for you to review. This might provide you more information into this technology. Please let us know if you have any further questions. https://www.commscope.com/Solutions/Large-venue-wireless/

Shyam Mahato Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9:15 AM

Hi Bob, have you considered the dynamic sector allocation deployment? Or have you have considered the CAPEX/OPEX and Spectrum reuse when the site is at the low or no traffic situation? Because often, the system is in idle stage most of the time in a week in Stadium type site.

Add Your Comment

Please submit your comment using the form below

 
(required)