Feature Article

January 23, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday - How DAS is Helping Fans, Businesses Stay Connected

When it comes to massive events like the Super Bowl, there’s a whole lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be done to make them successful. One of the key considerations again this year was how to ensure people within the stadium and other key venues are able to enjoy the online capabilities of their wireless devices during and around the event. TE Connectivity is playing a key position in making that happen at the Super Bowl again this year.

TE Connectivity provides distributed antenna systems, which connect to cellular networks like those of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, to provide wireless coverage within large venues such as sports arenas, transportation hubs, and malls. TE Connectivity’s FlexWave Spectrum solution will help deliver wireless connectivity to the Super Bowl XLIX crowds at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Its FlexWave Prism, FlexWave Spectrum, and other products will be used at venues that are hosting game-related activities and guests.

The existing DAS infrastructure at the University of Phoenix Stadium has been expanded from 33 sectors to 48 to deliver greater capacity, and acts as a neutral host provider to the nation’s four largest mobile operators (the fourth just came online), John Spindler, director of product management at TE Connectivity, told MobilityTechzone during an interview yesterday. TE Connectivity also worked with its partners to add 800mHz of frequency, and to upgrade the system’s 1900mHz frequency from single input single output to multiple input multiple output technology, for more capacity. The system now includes 96 main hubs, 49 expansion hubs, and 225 remote antenna units covering the stadium, its luxury boxes, and concourse and concession stand areas.

The system supports various 700, 800, 850, 1900 and 2100mHz LTE, CDMA, EVDO and UMTS services. In the Glendale area where the stadium is located, TE equipment also is being used to link a base station hotel with DAS in the Renaissance Hotel and the Gila River Arena, making use of existing operator infrastructure to manage capacity spikes.

In downtown Phoenix, TE’s FlexWave Prism DAS is being used at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (headquarters for NFL executives in the month leading up to the game) and at the open air restaurant and shopping area called CityScape.

TE Connectivity recently introduced a CPRI interface, and that technology is being leveraged at US Airways Arena, the site of the Super Bowl media center.

Meanwhile, TE’s host-to-host technology will link a base station hotel in downtown Phoenix with US Airways Arena, the Hyatt Regency, Chase Field, and the Phoenix Convention Center. The host-to-host technology transports base station signals for miles over a digital fiber link between the base station hotel and the venues.

Following last year’s Super Bowl, Verizon reported people at the event generated 1.9 terabits of data, Spindler said, noting that wireless traffic just continues to ramp up with each event.

“I would expect more of the same this year,” he said.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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