The NFL’s use of managed Wi-Fi has changed football for the better, but SLICE Wi-Fi would change it for the best.
The NFL Meets Managed Wi-Fi
In a nation comprised of 50 diverse states, it is important that citizens have shared experiences like watching the Super Bowl. Whether people tune in for the game, the ads, or the halftime show, this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks is the kind of event everyone will be talking about on social media as it unfolds as well as at school or the office the next day. Indeed, the NFL is hoping this year’s Super Bowl will be the most socially connected sporting event to date.
Verizon and AT&T recognize that in addition to the viewers at home, the expected 81,000 football fans in MetLife Stadium on February 2nd will be sharing the excitement of Super Bowl XLVIII on their devices and have spent more than a year upgrading the East Rutherford, New Jersey arena for the big game. The two competitors have their own networks inside MetLife. While Verizon claims to have quadrupled its 4G capacity, AT&T considers its network a “neutral-host,” allowing other wireless carriers such as T-Mobile and Sprint to access its system.
The concept of managed Wi-Fi at the Super Bowl is a relatively new one. In preparation for last year’s Super Bowl, AT&T built a carrier-neutral distributed antenna system in New Orleans, Louisiana’s Superdome. The WIFI worked well even during the game’s infamous 35-minute power outage.
The connectivity at MetLife Stadium will be approximately four times stronger. Network monitoring tools will divide the stadium into small sectors to easily identify and resolve technical problems that prevent attendees from using the WiFi.
Those in the stands aren’t the Wi-Fi system’s only beneficiaries. During the game, the NFL will be tracking fans’ internet activity to gain insight into its audience. Information on which devices and apps end users favor and which websites they frequent will be processed by an analytics engine to help the NFL find ways to enhance spectators’ online experience through the development of new content as well as influence the league’s advertising budgets and future marketing campaigns. The NFL expects to have similar systems in place in all football stadiums by 2015.
How SLICE Can Help the NFL
One of the reasons the NFL and SLICE would make a great power couple is that SLICE recognizes the value of insight into the devices, apps, and websites end users employ. That is why SLICE designed its internet gateway controller to grant operators full transparency into networks being run through the SLICE gateway.
SLICE would also help the NFL achieve its goals of social connectedness. The internet gateway controller would enable the NFL to interact with fans through push advertisements. The league could push announcements like news of player injuries and score updates to end user devices in real time. Like a high tech game of telephone, SLICE’s social media API-equipped persistent overlays would allow fans to spread the word and share their opinions on such matters from their device browser without having to visit social media websites, like Twitter.
In addition to all of the above, joining forces with SLICE would save the NFL a lot of money. The NFL would not have to purchase much bandwidth because SLICE limits each user’s bandwidth so that no user receives more than they need. Furthermore, security featuresprevent hackers and other infected devices from accessing the WiFi network before any potentially expensive damage is done.
Like chicken wings to a Super Bowl party, SLICE Wi-Fi perfectly complements the NFL. Happy Super Bowl Sunday, everyone!