Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium is set to become the latest leading football venue to offer enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity after the club agreed a partnership with technology company Cisco and telecommunications firm O2.
City said the initiative will transform its home ground into the Premier League’s most technologically fan-friendly stadium. The 47,000-seat stadium will see the installation of Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution in the coming weeks. The intelligent High-Density Wi-Fi network, which will be delivered by O2, will be available in and around the stadium footprint, and will allow fans to use their mobile devices to surf the web to share their live event experiences and to interact with football fans around the world via their favorite social media platforms. In addition, City will be offering StadiumVision Mobile to all fans in the near future. StadiumVision Mobile is capable of delivering live video and relevant event information to fans’ mobile devices and can offer multiple channels of unique content, which could include a replay channel, an alternate angle view channel, and a dynamic data channel for the likes of stats, trivia contests and multi-player games. As part of the relationship with O2, the Etihad Stadium will also be equipped with technology that significantly improves mobile phone connectivity, allowing fans to make calls and send or receive text messages, and virtually eliminating the frustration of not getting reception on match-days.
The initiative makes City the latest club to embrace such technology. Bayer 04 Leverkusen last month revealed details of a partnership with Deutsche Telekom and Cisco which it stated will transform its BayArena into a “stadium of the future”. Similar services are also deployed at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu and Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera, while Liverpool last month teamed up with wireless network company Xirrus to roll out Wi-Fi technology in one of Anfield’s stands. Commenting on the announcement, Tom Glick, chief commercial and operating officer for Manchester City, said: “As a club that is passionate about innovation and prides itself on constantly looking for ways to enhance our supporters’ experience at the Etihad Stadium, we feel we have found the perfect solution with O2 and Cisco. Live games and concerts are highly enjoyable social events and we are delighted to be able to offer supporters a system that allows them to better utilise their own mobile devices when at the Stadium.”
He added: “With the ground and its immediate vicinity offering ubiquitous connectivity, we will soon be able to provide full talk and texting capabilities, while paving the way for exciting new mobile data applications and services – such as mobile video – that will ensure a visit to the Etihad Stadium continues to be one of the best sports experiences available anywhere in the world.”