The conference champion Carolina Panthers continue to invest in communications to give fans the best football experience on and off the field by naming CommScope an Official Network Solutions Sponsor for Bank of America Stadium.
In a new survey by CommScope, Millennials and Baby Boomers both agreed that having reliable internet connectivity wherever they are was important to them (89 percent and 81 percent, respectively). This is why sports and entertainment venue owners, like the Panthers, are willing to invest in dedicated and integrated communications infrastructure to meet and even exceed this expectation.
CommScope, a leading network infrastructure vendor, is supplying the equipment and providing on-site technical engineering support to modernize the wireless and wired communications for visitors to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“The entire Panthers organization is committed to excellence, whether it’s in scoring touchdowns or making sure fans absolutely love coming to see this team play,” said James Hammond, director of information technology, Carolina Panthers. “With the help of CommScope, the Panthers are utilizing next-generation network technology to deliver an exceptional experience for visitors.”
About the technology
To upgrade the wireless network at Bank of America Stadium, the Panthers hired Beam Wireless, Inc., a DAS and small cell consultant, to provide technical services and equipment selection guidance. The Panthers and Beam Wireless selected CommScope’s ION-U® distributed antenna system (DAS) to enable fans to upload photos and videos, text and make calls, and enjoy other mobile applications despite the high concentration of wireless users during football games and other events. The Panthers were able to deploy the DAS in less than 90 days from start to finish, and three wireless operators are now on-air throughout the stadium.
The ION-U greatly reduces DAS complexity while maximizing performance and making owning and operating the system simpler and more economical. For example, the ION-U enables network engineers to adjust power levels all the way down to individual frequency bands, allowing for more targeted network optimization. To take up less valuable real estate, the ION-U incorporates an Intelligent Point of Interface (i-POI®) that decreases the amount of space needed at the headend. An ultra-versatile DAS, the ION-U supports multiple operators, frequency bands and air interface technologies in one unified, low and high power system.
With the CommScope DAS installed for the 2015 season, Bank of America Stadium soared to a top slot among all NFL stadiums for wireless network performance, especially in data reliability.
In addition to the wireless network elements, CommScope is supplying high performance copper and fiber network infrastructure to help the Panthers deliver an integrated, engaging experience to fans, while supporting stadium operations. CommScope is supplying an Optical LAN (Local Area Network) Solution for a passive optical network in the stadium suites and high performance structured cable/connectivity elsewhere. This integrated infrastructure enables applications such as high-bandwidth data, voice, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and WiFi services; high-definition TV and hospitality services for the suites; and broadband video. CommScope’s high-performing enterprise connectivity components help make deployment quick and easy. Qypsys, a nationwide system integrator specializing in DAS and passive optical LAN, led the installation of the Optical LAN.
“The Panthers’ took a leading role in designing and driving these major network upgrades at Bank of America Stadium, highlighting a trend we are seeing at stadiums throughout the U.S. and Europe,” said Ben Cardwell, senior vice president, CommScope Mobility Solutions. “Ensuring a premiere fan experience, speeding the deployment process and making upgrades and optimization easier are some of the benefits of venues taking greater control of their networks.”