Whoah, now this is cool! WiFi in the ballpark! Why is it that Silicon Valley has to be on the West Coast and they get all the cool stuff, including beta trials, WiFi deployments, etc.? Years ago, Rich Tehrani and myself discussed how one day sports arenas would have highspeed wireless access allowing you to surf the web, check other scores, or even watch streaming video of a replay of the play you just saw live! Maybe they'd charge you $1 for per replay or something. Using a PocketPC or other large screen device you can certainly stream live video, replays, or even have a videoconference. Heck with SIP and free SIP-to-SIP calling, Skype for PocketPCs, and other softclients, you can even make free VoIP calls using the stadium's WiFi connection.
We knew this would happen one day. That day has come! (unfortunately, in a West Coast Stadium).
Check it out:
As Barry Bonds cracked his 700th homer last week, Nortel Networks headed to home plate on its first major league baseball park wi-fi deployment. Teaming with Nortel Networks, the San Francisco Giants have implemented a state-of-the-art wireless local area network at SBC Park. One of the largest hotspots in the world, SBC Park's wireless network enables fans throughout the stadium to log onto the internet free of charge, using any wi-fi enabled device.
The game winning hit for die-hard Giants fans, is the Giants Digital Dugout, a wireless program available to fans. Exclusively available in the park, fans can log onto the Giants Digital Dugout which was designed to enhance the "fan experience" with unique content including instant replays, access to real-time MLB stats and interactive games. At every game hundreds of fans log on to the Giants Digital Dugout to check out the customized information.
The wireless network is powered by Nortel Networks WLAN 2200 Series which enables secure mobile networking and voice connectivity, while providing flexible seamless mobility across the ballpark.
San Francisco Giants Hit Home Run with WLAN Solution from Nortel Networks; Cost-Effective, Reliable, Easy to Manage Solution Brings Advanced Mobility Features to SBC Park
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 21, 2004--Teaming with Nortel Networks (NYSE:NT)(TSX:NT), the San Francisco Giants baseball team has implemented a state-of-the-art wireless local area network (LAN) at SBC Park, making the Giants home park not only one of the first professional sports facilities in the world to provide universal public wireless access, but also among the largest public hotspots in the world.
More importantly, this deployment has enabled the Giants to provide a wireless program to fans via the Giants Digital Dugout, which provides instant replays, instant access to statistics, team information and other services to enrich the game for spectators.
"When we opened SBC Park in 2000, our goal was to be one of the most technologically-advanced sports facilities in the world," said Larry Baer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the San Francisco Giants. "Through the use of wireless, digital and online technology, we have greatly enhanced the fan experience."
"Working with Nortel Networks, we have been able to bring the game closer to the fans in a way that no other ballpark is able to do today," Baer said. "We are now looking to expand the wireless services to allow our fans to order food online, keep track of the game and watch instant video replays."
At every game hundreds of fans log on to the Giants Digital Dugout, a Web site only available at the park, to check out relevant, customized content. The Giants have equipped all ballpark suites with computers, flat-panel displays and wireless accessories that provide Internet access along with more exclusive content from the Giants Digital Dugout, including archived video footage.
At the start of the 2004 season, Nortel Networks and the San Francisco Giants launched SBC FreedomLink Wi-Fi service at SBC Park. A 1 million square foot facility located on 13 acres, SBC Park is a spectacular downtown ballpark that services 42,000 fans at 81 regular-season baseball games per season, and has hosted numerous other events including concerts, football games, supercross and even a World Series.
Powered by a Nortel Networks wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that provides connectivity throughout the ballpark, fans can access the Internet free of charge using their wireless-enabled laptops, tablet PCs and PDAs. From the gates of Willie Mays Plaza to the waters of McCovey Cove, users are able to access the most sophisticated multimedia content available, thanks to the industry-leading throughput capabilities of Nortel Networks WLAN solution.
Media and photographers are the biggest proponents of the service, according to the Giants, as well as early adopter fans who continually rave about it.
"SBC Park is one of the best in baseball and we are thrilled to provide a wireless solution that enables the Giants to connect more closely with their fans," said Atul Bhatnagar, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Data Networks, Nortel Networks. "In teaming with the Giants, we are able to provide a customized service that truly provides a richer, more meaningful experience for fans and provides a whole new dimension to the spectator experience."
From the start, the Nortel Networks data infrastructure was deployed to handle the applications dreamed up by the Giants. Nortel Networks WLAN 2200 Series provides secure mobile networking and voice connectivity, featuring flexible seamless mobility across the ballpark. The WLAN solution has comprehensive security features to protect the network, as well as integrated management for control of the wireless environment. In the network core, the Giants have deployed Nortel Networks Ethernet switching solutions designed to ensure constant network availability as well as increased bandwidth to accommodate more users.
To learn more about the Giants Digital Dugout services, please check the San Francisco Giants Digital Dugout link: http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sf/ballpark/wifi.jsp.