SBD/September 11, 2012/Facilities

Patriots Hire Enterasys Networks To Install Wi-Fi At Gillette Stadium

Gillette's Wi-Fi network allows 40% of fans in the stadium to simultaneously send video
Enterasys Networks yesterday said that it has "been chosen by the Kraft Sports Group to provide high-density Wi-Fi at Gillette Stadium as a way to ensure high-speed wireless connectivity for all fans at New England Patriots games and other stadium events," according to Chris Reidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Patriots said that this season, "all fans at Gillette will have free Wi-Fi access." Last season, "only about 6,000 fans with tickets to the stadium’s exclusive Putnam Club level seats had such access." Gillette Stadium has a "capacity of about 68,000 for Patriots games." Enterasys said that to reduce the likelihood of congestion it has "deployed 'hundreds' of wireless access points throughout the stadium." A Kraft Sports Group spokesperson "described this effort as a 'multi-million dollar investment' but declined to be more specific about financial details" (BOSTON.com, 9/10). COMPUTERWORLD's Matt Hamblen noted the Gillette Wi-Fi network "is designed to allow 40% of the fans in the stadium to simultaneously send video wirelessly." Enterasys found "with other stadium deployments at soccer venues in Europe that about 12% of fans send video at the same time." The "biggest concern is video used by fans, which takes up far more bandwidth than other wireless uses, including access to real-time stats." Patriots VP/Content & Publisher Fred Kirsch said that he "expects some fans to even use FaceTime and other video chat functions as they realize how well it works in the stadium" (COMPUTERWORLD.com, 9/10). In Boston, Marie Szaniszlo noted the Patriots' Wi-Fi network will provide fans "exclusive access to the NFL Red Zone and real-time stats." The entire installation "took just over a month" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/10).

JOIN THE CLUB: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted Gillette Stadium "joins the ranks of the few stadiums that are Wi-Fi enabled, which include MetLife Stadium, the Georgia Dome, Lucas Oil Stadium, Raymond James Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Bank of America Stadium and Sun Life Stadium" (ESPN.com, 9/10).
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