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Cisco debuts stadium Wi-Fi system

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 2:47pm
Brian Santo

Cisco has introduced a stadium Wi-Fi system that incorporates a multicast capability. Cisco StadiumVision Mobile gives stadium operators the option of creating channels of additional content, such as a replay channel, a broadcast channel for out-of-town games and feeds from stadium cameras, all accessible through a mobile app.

Cisco contends the multicast Wi-Fi approach increases scalability, previously a problem in high-density environments, the company said, as the potential stress on the network is the same whether one mobile device or tens of thousands are viewing a particular video feed.

The in-venue app is the interface for the delivery of live video and data feeds. Video channels can provide alternate camera views and replays, while the data channel can be used for stats, trivia contests and multi-player games, for example.

Options exist for targeted advertising, sponsorship activations, promotions, branding and more, Cisco said. That includes taking over every user screen at the same moment, with what Cisco refers to as a "Moment of Exclusivity" – displaying a message simultaneously on every screen in the venue (big board, HD displays, and now mobile devices) to “deliver high-impact brand exposure for one specific sponsor.”

Stadiums are proving to be ideal sites for publicly available Wi-Fi installations. Comcast has installed a Wi-Fi network at Boston’s Fenway Park, fed by a Metro Ethernet network; AT&T has installed Wi-Fi at AT&T Park in San Francisco; and The New England Patriots hired Enterasys Networks to provide Wi-Fi at their stadium.

Cisco said that among the first customers for StadiumVision Mobile will be the Brooklyn Nets (Barclays Center), Real Madrid (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu) and Sporting Kansas City (Sporting Park).

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