Super Bowl 50 Sure to Crush Data Use Records at Levi's Stadium

By Mike Elgan  |  Posted 2016-02-03 Print this article Print
Super Bowl 50

Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile almost certainly collectively cleared a terabyte at the event. All this data was generated during a relatively low-profile, early season game.

The current record for WiFi usage at the park wasn't even a football game. Attendees of WrestleMania XXXI in April of last year used 4.5 terabytes of WiFi data.

But the Super Bowl is different in many respects. People are likely to take more pictures. The importance of the game will bring in people with better phones that take larger-size photos. The stadium has prepared for this enormous data consumption with a massive deployment of resources.

In fact, Levi's Stadium has an order of magnitude more bandwidth than the NFL mandates.

RootMetrics tested the quality and performance of network access inside the top 31 NFL stadiums, and ranked Levi's Stadium as no. 1. In fact, it's the first stadium ever to carry 40 Gbps of Internet capacity.

The stadium has a mind-blowing 400 miles of fiber and copper cable and 1,200 Aruba WiFi access points—a WiFi box for every 100 seats.

AT&T redeployed an all new DAS from JMA Wireless in preparation for the Super Bowl, both inside and outside the stadium, which the mobile carrier claims will provide 150 percent better LTE performance.

Verizon built 91 new cell sites and installed a patented antenna system so lower stadium seats get better coverage. Verizon alone says they've put together a special team of 100 technicians and engineers to manage the network in real time for the game. Other carriers will deploy similar teams.

A company called DAS Group Professionals will increase the number of "neutral host" antennas from 250 to 400 and remote units from 330 to 450. These are owned by the stadium but rented out to the carriers.

The stadium has 2,400 Sony TV monitors, 600 security cameras and 370 point-of-sale terminals.

The venue also has a dedicated app, which will be heavily used for the Super Bowl. Fans can use the app to order food and have it delivered to their seats. About 2,000 Bluetooth beacons will interact with the app to give contextual information and directions to users. Best of all, the app will enable fans to watch Super Bowl commercials and instant replays.

And if anyone is confused by the apps, or by the tech features of the stadium, more than 60 tech support people, called "Ninerds," will roam the stadium to answer questions.

I believe these factors make it a certainty that the Super Bowl will shatter the data-use record for any public event anywhere ever.

There's going to be a level of sharing, posting, streaming, gaming, video watching, app using, food ordering and video-chatting unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Plus, I hear there's even going to be a football game!

But if any of this technology fails and interrupts communications or the game broadcast, it's going to make almost as much news as the final score.



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