Claiming the importance of proximity in Wi-Fi network performance, AmpThink said that it placed a large majority of the access points for Bank of America Stadium's new revamped Wi-Fi network under the seats.
"Proximity is a key to great network performance," said AmpThink President Bill Anderson in a statement. "At Bank of America Stadium we are placing 65 percent of the access points under-seat as this was the best way to get Wi-Fi access closest to the fans in this particular venue."
In order to install under seat access points, AmpThink said it had to build more than 900 custom access points enclosures that were used for both the under-seat and concourse installations. The enclosures were designed to allow for maximum signal propagation while still being water tight and able to blend into stadium aesthetics.
The deployment technique used by AmpThink at Bank of America Stadium -- home of the Carolina Panthers -- seems to reaffirm the trend of network operators and installers placing access points under seats in stadium environments. Verizon recently used under-seat installations for its DAS upgrades at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California before Super Bowl 50. The carrier said it plans to do more of the same with the upgrades scheduled for its DAS at Houston, Texas' NRG Stadium, site of next year's Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers organization is finishing up its new Wi-Fi deployment -- in time for an upcoming European soccer tournament that will serve as a soft launch -- after it last year completed a new installation to take over management of a neutral-host DAS supporting three wireless operators.
James Hammond, director of information technology for the Carolina Panthers, said the stadium previously had a third-party managed system. With the new Wi-Fi network, the Panthers will relaunch its spectator application and fill it out with new features including location services.
"We need all these systems to work hand-in-hand in a way that our fans can get maximum coverage from the wireless/cellular side, the Wi-Fi side and down to the Bluetooth beaconing side," said Hammond. "All these technologies will hopefully work together to provide more of what we consider to be a fan-centric experience."
AmpThink used Aruba hardware in the access points in order to allow for Bluetooth Low Energy beacons that enable location-based services in and around the stadium.
In all, AmpThink used 268,000 feet of CAT 6 copper cable, 1,217 wireless access points, and 44 intermediate distribution frames over a six-month installation process.
- see this press release
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