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Volume 26 No. 45
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BNP Paribas Open Goes High-Tech With New Mobile App, Wi-Fi System, Charging Stations

A new mobile app is "one of various technological improvements" at this year's BNP Paribas Open, along with "public Wi-Fi, charging stations and an expanded hawk-eye system for all matches," according to Xochitl Pena of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. The tournament is "expected to attract about 420,000 people" to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden this year. The app, with "more than 42,000 downloads" thus far, "also made it necessary to have a public Wi-Fi system that could handle its usage." Palm Desert-based West Coast Networking "installed" the system. The stadium "now has the capacity to accommodate 25,000 concurrent users, but so far is averaging between 6,000 and 9,000 Wi-Fi log ins daily." Tournament Dir Steve Simon "reports no complaints over the new system so far," and said that the staff has "only experienced one glitch when their 'UPS power supply' went out once, but only for about 5 to 10 minutes." Each of the new charging stations "has 24 nooks for people to hook in" their devices. The tournament also "brought a vendor on site -- PlusBlue Solutions -- to provide battery packs for purchase and rent." Specators can rent the battery packs for "$10 to $15 a day" or purchase them "for anywhere from $50 to $100." PlusBlue Founder & Managing Partner Mike Bagby on Monday said that they "had about 2,000 transactions which includes rentals and purchases" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 3/14).