Whenever a relatively ordinary person experiences exotic hardware up close like a combat jet, F1 car, or MotoGP motorcycle, the conclusion astute ones come to is that the really remarkable part is the people who routinely use those machines. Indeed the machines are jaw dropping, but the people who can take them to their limits are even more noteworthy.One of the very best things I get to experience in my line of work is seeing incredible people operate things like nuclear power plants, combat jets, and very successful businesses. I marvel at their mental dexterity, creativity, and occasionally incredibly brilliant ways of seeing a problem- and then working so well to resolve a complex issue with seeming ease. When you see this, you want to observe as carefully as you can and look for things to pick up and apply in your own scenarios. Next week I’m off to New York City to propose a plan for WiFi coverage at one of the world’s largest financial firms. They want a completely wireless national operation. On that same east coast swing, the next stop is at an Ivy League college to explain state of the art design principles for a campus wide WLAN deployment in their dormitories. Later that same day, I have the neat opportunity to explain RF coverage and capacity options for one of the largest convention centers on the east coast. I marvel at the people who run these operations. Arriving at major deployment sites never fails to take my breath away even after all these years. It’s only when you’ve spent a week at a stadium that you finally begin to feel comfortable with the sheer scale of the facility. When you return a month or two later, the feeling of being completely dwarfed by the facility returns with the same impact as when you first saw it. To my colleagues in our amazing business- I salute you. You make the impossible a reality every day.
One of the more interesting trends I’ve seen over the last five years is the dramatic increase in the number of stadiums and arenas that are installing pervasive wireless systems. While these magnificent edifices (the more correct terminology from my perspective is “party palace”) have had some WLAN almost since their original commissioning, the standard now is not just pervasive WLAN’s, but some of the highest performance WLAN’s in the industry.
The owners, managers, and operators of a modern stadium completely understand they are competing for disposable income more fiercely than perhaps ever before. Sports fans have an incredible array of entertainment options at the ready including motorhome rentals, various sporting events at a number of major venues, cruise ships, sport boating, motorcycling, gambling, and so forth. Well worth understanding also is the point that stadiums and arenas are, in my view, under significant pressure from attractively priced home entertainment systems. The Dallas Cowboys have been very open about the megalithic Cowboy Stadium replicating the home entertainment experience. It’s the primary reason for the worlds largest Jumbotron- it approximates the ratio of the TV screen you see at home while sitting on the couch. Critically, fans expect the same type of connectivity experience at the stadium as they enjoy at home- and that’s not a trivial achievement for stadium owners and WLAN providers.
For these reasons and more, there is more demand than ever for pervasive, high performance WLAN systems. Whereas I used to receive an invite to participate on a team proposing a stadium wide WLAN design once every eighteen months, it seems now as though I receive a call essentially every week.
We have learned an incredible amount about stadium deliveries since the first one I supported in 2003 in preparation for the 2004 Superbowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The speed at which we can now prepare and deliver a design is approximately ten times greater in 2013 than it was a decade ago. One of the differences experience gives you is that you can determine quickly the difference between what is important and what is not.
So give us a call. And let me know what you think.