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Sharing experiences beyond the stadium

Seventy years’ ago, a fan’s football stadium experience was very different – often being standing room only, with restricted views of the game. Today, however, with much improved seating and big screens showing live action replays, the expectations of stadium visitors has greatly evolved. Whether we’re at the match, or watching the action on our TVs at home, we demand a full immersive experience that brings us closer to the action.

 

A young Chelsea fan is passed over the crowd to the front of the terrace for a better view ahead of a game against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, 1947.

As a football fan, I'm really looking forward to the new season and it's exciting to see the progress we are making at Ericsson in launching connected stadiums to enhance the digital experience for fans at major sporting events all over the world, including our official new connectivity partnership with Chelsea Football Club in London.

As we move towards an ever more connected and interactive environment, visitors to sporting events are demanding an enhanced experience before, during, and after a major event and one of the greatest challenges is the sheer volume of demand put on the network in a single session. In winning their fifth Premier League title in 2016/2017, for example, Chelsea FC attracted an average crowd of 41,508 people on match days at Stamford Bridge. Many of these fans used their smartphones to share photos and videos via social media, often stretching cellular networks to the limit.

With the introduction of Wi-Fi coverage via our Small Cell as a Service connected venue business model, the stadium and its fans can now enjoy high-quality connected experiences that enable them to interact digitally with each other, the club, friends and family. The network will enable fans to share pictures, stream videos at high quality, and engage with social media via their mobile, right from their seat.

We have deployed stadium experiences for the GAA, Paris Saint-Germain, Wasps' Ricoh Arena and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil so far and it's fantastic to make further progress in launching connected stadiums in Europe with our latest partnership with Chelsea FC. To offer the best experience for fans, the 2016 European Football Championships in France also saw us strengthen 4G mobile coverage. At the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden, we also hosted the world's first digital arena of data content with the launch of two apps, enabling fans to access real-time information about their favourite skiers, as well as a schedule of events and live results.

I'm delighted to be adding a major England Premier League club's HQ stadium to our Connected Stadium portfolio and I'm really looking forward to continuing to work with Chelsea FC to take the digital experience for fans coming to Stamford Bridge to the next level. As Chelsea prepares for the 2017/18 season, they will soon play Arsenal in a London derby at the Beijing Bird's Nest stadium on 22nd July. Later in July, Chelsea will play two further games in Asia, against Inter-Milan and Bayern Munich in Singapore. I can't wait to see the results! Follow the action online on Twitter: @Ericsson, Facebook: @Ericsson and LinkedIn.

Read more at Ericsson's Connected Stadium page.

Watch to find out what happened when we went behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge stadium for the launch of our new connectivity partnership with Chelsea Football Club

This guest post was written by Arun Bansal, Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America, Ericsson.

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