You’re in the stadium watching your favorite team and you try to call a friend about the amazing play that just happened in front of you and…nothing.
How many times have you been denied cell phone service in a stadium because there are just too many people and not enough service capacity?
The University of Arizona has decided to follow the technology trend by signing a contract with Boingo Wireless to improve cellular voice and data connectivity within Arizona Stadium. The current cellular coverage in the stadium was made to only handle either calls or SMS texts for 56,000 people. Arizona Stadium has recently been renovated, including an expansion to 57,800.
“We are excited for what the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) will do to enhance the game day experience for our fans. It’s important to us that we evolve and improve, and the DAS helps us to keep pace with the technology needs of our customers,” Greg Byrne, University of Arizona Vice President for Athletics, said in a Boingo press release.
The new partnering will not just make Wildcat fans happy but will also be great marketing for the school. Fans will be able post updates and pictures quicker without having to wait to leave the stadium ultimately helping the school with branding.
“Technology is such a critical component now to higher education and to student life,” Michele Norin, UA chief information officer told UA@Work. “To not stay ahead of that or to not stay current is a risk we do not want to take here at the UA.”
The antennas will be placed in phases starting with Arizona Stadium and will eventually cover all of campus, aiding in increasing the security network. This project is just one of many in the University’s 10-year Network Master Plan.
Other schools that have installed similar antennas include the University of Alabama and the University of Michigan, both of which are partnered with AT&T and Verizon.