ExteNet Enhances Fan Experience at Marlins Park with Mobile Connectivity
In early 2012, ExteNet installed a neutral-host Distributed Network at the state-of-the-art Miami Marlins baseball park in Florida. The network has improved the mobile experience of Marlins fans and visitors, who now are able to connect to a high-performance wireless network supporting all four major U.S. carriers – AT&T Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. ExteNet's innovative distributed antenna systems (DAS) network has made it possible for sports facilities like Marlins Park to keep pace with surging mobile data usage, which in other circumstances has strained the telecom infrastructure near stadiums and resulted in unreliable service.
Marlins Park at a Glance
Marlins Park is a formidable venue. It has:
- A capacity of 37,000, including 3,000 premium club seats.
- Nearly 2 million square feet of real estate.
- An innovative retractable roof that protects against heat and rain, and which has earned a LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
To provide a top notch wireless experience to fans, ExteNet installed wireless infrastructure that supports the full range of wireless networking technologies, including 2G, 3G and 4G LTE service with an aim of seamless network coverage and enhanced capacity with a goal of providing an enhanced fan and patron experience throughout the facility.
DAS is the right solution for evolving mobile data usage patterns
Traditionally, in-stadium wireless has relied on nearby macro cellular infrastructure. However, the distance of these towers from the stadium, coupled with proliferation of mobile data usage by fans, has necessitated a new approach. DAS networks utilize small nodes and antennas installed directly within the stadium for better coverage and capacity, improving the wireless experience of fans, guests and employees.
In the Q2 2014 Stadium Tech Report published by AGL, David Enriquez, Senior Director of Information Technology at Marlins Park emphasized, “When it came to DAS, we were ahead of the game. We planned for a DAS even before they were in vogue.” At Marlins Park today, on an average night ExteNet’s DAS system handles over 60% of the wireless traffic.
Elaborating on the relationship established with ExteNet, Enriquez elaborated, “We wanted to deal with one vendor – I didn’t want to be the middleman between the carriers and the Marlins.” Referring to ExteNet, he stressed, ”They deal with all the carrier issues that I have no desire to deal with.”