Public venues have been at the forefront of a growing phenomenon: digitization of physical spaces. Guests at venues today crave more rewarding experiences than the alternative: digital content and remote engagement with events. For in-person participation, audiences want exhilarating experiences and the ability to share them with peers. They also wish to have touchless service from parking, ticketing & concessions. Likewise, team owners want on-field coach communications, player performance tracking, and real-time interaction with their peers.
DAS and Wi-Fi networks are no longer adequate on their own to address these ever-growing requirements.
Venues today need a wider variety of networks, such as private 4G/5G networks, to relieve the congestion on Wi-Fi networks with increased use of applications like digital signage, predictive surveillance, and AI-based traffic management. In addition, digital services with more demanding low-latency performance requirements, such as mobile payment systems, point of sale, autonomous operations, and push-to-talk, need more than Wi-Fi to meet the needs of venues.
CBRS spectrum has the much sought-after mix of attributes of relatively high bandwidth and wide geographical reach that sit well with the needs of enterprise applications. As a result, private cellular networks built with the CBRS spectrum are able to provide deterministic quality of service.
CBRS networks solve connectivity challenges for venues
Venues require coverage of large areas, and management can become unwieldy as more access points must be installed and managed. Where mobile services are provided, such as loading and unloading of equipment carried by autonomous vehicles, the handovers of signals are more frequent and susceptible to deterioration in quality. The CBRS spectrum has a much wider coverage range than Wi-Fi and needs fewer access points or handovers, improving the quality of the signals they transmit.
Digital services make fluctuating demands on networks across seasons, time of day, and moments during events. CBRS affords the deployment of private networks that can be customized and controlled remotely from the cloud to meet the unique needs of each venue.
Security risks increase with burgeoning applications such as ticketing and payments. CBRS networks use (e )SIM card identification and authentication to preempt a breach.
CBRS adoption is rising at public venues
The growing role of CBRS in venues is indicated by the expanding number of deployments and the broad variety of use cases they address.
Sports stadiums, such as Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Minute Maid Park in Houston, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Q2 Stadium in Austin, and Petco Park in San Diego, have adopted the most advanced networking technologies and applications with CBRS.
The National Football League (NFL) is leveraging a CBRS-based private network for coach-to-coach critical, time-sensitive communications inside massive NFL football stadiums during games. The NFL used the in-stadium coach-coach communication system during the season and in the 2023 Super Bowl game and plans to expand its usage across all 30 stadiums.
Angel Stadium has a private LTE CBRS network built by Connectivity Wireless that is meant for critical communications such as retail tracking, point-of-sale systems, ticketing and access, high-definition camera, digital displays, and secure internal communications. In addition, Angel untethered traditionally wired IT operations, such as security cameras and digital signage, using CBRS-based private LTE.
Hospitality and Convention Centers
The hospitality and conventions industry is increasingly seeking indoor and outdoor coverage, high-quality networking services for applications, and automation of building operations
Caribe Royal, with 1,300 suites and 220,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, deployed a CBRS private cellular network for staff operations and installed IoT devices to automate in-building management and operations. Additionally, Caribe will have a neutral host solution for public networks to expand the capacity to process smartphone traffic without incurring capital costs, delays in rollouts, and the complexity of installations. Gale South Beach will provide a 5G CBRS network for indoor and outdoor coverage, faultless video conferencing, automated check-in and check-out procedures, interconnected systems for real-time communications, touchless room controls, and streaming services.
Entertainment and Retail
Large entertainment complexes need CBRS connectivity for traffic management, indoor and outdoor connectivity, and security services.
American Dream deployed a private LTE network using the 3.5 GHz Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum for the American Dream complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The deployment is focused on outdoor spaces for comprehensive traffic management, parking, and wayfinding information systems.
AccessParks and FreedomFi are partnering to use CBRS spectrum and open-source 5G network software to bring high-speed connectivity to hundreds of sites within the U.S. National Park system.
AccessParks, a specialized Internet Service Provider, in collaboration with the U.S. National Park Service, is bringing connectivity to remote locations. It will use FreedomFi’s turnkey private LTE/5G solution to provide day-to-day connectivity to park visitors and for more critical applications such as safety and security.
Venues embraced Wi-Fi networks for their ease of use and low costs of installation and operations. CBRS networks add convenience by enabling seamless indoor and outdoor movement and keeping costs down by tapping into the recently made available invaluable spectrum. CBRS networks expand the network services venues can have with increased scope for customization and control over operations. While Wi-Fi will continue to be essential in networking, CBRS private networks are gaining importance as they are used for business-critical communications and providing memorable guest experiences.