Ericsson has become the connectivity partner for the Ricoh Arena stadium in Coventry, UK, home to Aviva Premiership rugby team Wasps and Wasps Netball.
Ericsson will provide enhanced connectivity to the stadium via a Wi-Fi network, using the Small Cell as a Service business model. As a result, visitors to the stadium will enjoy carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity and value-added services accessible via a mobile app. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Ericsson will provide Wasps and the Ricoh Arena with a complete, managed solution, including planning, design, implementation, integration, optimization and maintenance services.
The Ricoh Arena includes a 32,609-seater sports stadium, 20,000 square meters of events space – including a 6,000 square meter exhibition hall – and a 121-bedroom hotel. Most of the more than 1.2 million people who visit the Ricoh Arena each year use smartphones to share photos and videos via social media, often stretching network capacity to the limit. To ensure these visitors can enjoy a seamless digital experience, Ericsson will design, plan, build and optimize a carrier-grade Wi-Fi access network, and then manage it on behalf of the stadium owner – Wasps Holdings Ltd. The Ericsson Networked Event platform will also be used to facilitate the creation of an app that provides location-specific news, information and value-added services.
As part of the agreement, the Ricoh Arena’s exhibition venue – which regularly hosts sports fan villages, concerts for up to 12,000 people, sports events and tradeshows – will be re-branded as the Ericsson Exhibition Hall.