CommScope equips Sacramento Kings' stadium with multimode wideband fiber, anticipates high data usage

A rendering of the upcoming Sacramento Kings stadium. Image: Sacramento Kings

CommScope is equipping the Sacramento Kings soon to be built Golden 1 Center with wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) technology, enabling it to keep pace with the NBA basketball team's data bandwidth needs.

What drove the Sacramento Kings to adopt WBMMF technology was that they wanted to create an environment that allows patrons to interact via mobile phones to conduct various tasks like ordering food, buying tickets online and posting thoughts about the game on social media.

Attendees’ data usage patterns often stress sports stadiums’ internal networks, something that the Sacramento Kings wanted to avoid.  

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“We have seen a trend in stadiums where they are trying to increase the amount of technology to improve the fan experience,” said John Schmidt, leader of CommScope’s global data center solutions group, in an interview with FierceInstaller.

While traditional fiber network systems have long used single mode fiber, the advent of wideband multimode fiber promises to save costs on network installation because the technology can enable more bandwidth on less fiber pairs.

When used with WDM, WBMMF can reduce the number of fibers needed and an increase in total channel capacity. WBMMF supports the use of multiple wavelengths, reducing parallel fiber counts by at least a factor of four.

“We’re able to increase the information carrying capacity by four times because we actually create a scenario where it can accommodate four different wavelengths,” said Schmidt. “Wavelength division multiplexing is common in the single mode world, but wideband multimode fiber accommodates a wide range of wavelengths.”

Schmidt added that the stadium could carry more bandwidth with less fiber.

“You could put 10 Gbps on four different wavelengths and do in a single pair of fiber what previously took eight fibers,” Schmidt said. “You’re reducing the amount of cabling infrastructure and the cost.”  

WBMMF fiber is hardly a science experiment. The technology was recently standardized by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) under the TIA-492AAAE specification, and is also approved for use in cabling by the emerging revision of the North American structured cabling standard known as ANSI/TIA-568.3-D.

The technology supports two-fiber Ethernet at three key speeds: 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps and future 200 Gbps implementations. 

“In a data center when you’re going from a server to a switch, beyond 10 Gbps is where the sweet spot for wideband multimode fiber resides,” Schmidt said. “Everyone now is looking at 25 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps and others are even looking at 400 Gbps so people are looking at how we migrate to something beyond 10 Gbps.”

Additionally, CommScope recently received third-party certification of its measurement bench used to determine bandwidth compliance of LazrSPEED 550 WideBand fiber over the full target wavelength spectrum.

Besides being the only supplier of WBMMF for the Golden 1 Center, CommScope also supplied three other key elements supporting the new deployment: Over 900 miles of TeraSPEED ZWP single-mode fiber and SYSTIMAX GigaSPEED X10D copper cabling, supporting more than 3000 outlets and iPatch panels for future imVision automated infrastructure management deployment.

The WBMMF technology will be implemented in the Golden 1 Center’s 6,000 square foot data center. In addition to WBMMF, the stadium put in a large amount of single mode fiber.

Schmidt said that CommScope is seeing more sports arenas become interested in equipping their facilities with fiber-based systems.

“It’s pretty significant and I think it’s a trend that will continue to see as people try to build out these smart stadiums for the future,” Schmidt said.

For more:
- see the release

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