LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILITY LIVE, ATLANTA: The Mercedes Benz stadium, “epic in proportion”, will have 4,000 miles of fibre to accommodate simultaneous live streaming by 75,000 fans, hailed Jared Miller, CTO of AMB Sports & Entertainment, and that is just one of the ways he hopes the venue will be “future flexible” rather than “future proof”.
AMB has also started installing a distributed antenna system, that it owns and operates itself, and will invite all major US cellular operators to be a part of it.
A data centre build out is underway; it is working with IBM on its technology infrastructure and several other partners will be announced shortly, with the stadium expected to host events in the summer of 2017 (after its official opening).
There will also be a mobile app that seamlessly integrates with home team apps (Atlanta Falcons, NFL and Atlanta United, soccer) to deliver a customised user and content experience based on individual fan preferences.
The hope is that the stadium will not only be ready to allow fans to consume and send data from day one, but also that it will be able to keep pace with ever growing demands of the future, known and unknown.
Miller said that at the 2015 Super Bowl, over 10 TB of data was consumed over WiFi, up from 3 TB just a couple of years earlier, and this will continue to grow, a reflection on the kind of strain on bandwidth a fully connected stadium like the one they are working on can expect.
To enhance events in the stadium, they will offer utility services as well as unique content. The first will provide information to make the experience seamless – such as traffic updates for fans driving in – as well as info on how to navigate the huge arena.
As for virtual reality (VR), Miller said: “We have used it in the sales process, but we don’t anticipate using this as a tool to experience the game. We want people to come in to the stadium and have the live experience.”
“However, we are exploring new and innovative ways we can use VR in our overall Mercedes-Benz Stadium experience,” he added.
Commenting on 5G, he said it will bring improved capacity.
“The trend is that our fans will continue to find ways to use as much bandwidth as possible so we are building our stadium to accommodate. If you build it they will come!”