Liverpool Football Club and Extreme Networks have announced a multi-year collaboration that will bring high-speed Wi-Fi to the club's Anfield home.
The partnership will see the stadium kitted out with Wi-Fi 6E access points, which should give around 50,000 match-going fans easy access to internet resources starting from the middle of next season.
An additional benefit touted by the pair is the opportunity for Liverpool to build new digital products and services for fans, from NFT and AR experiences to mobile ticketing and payments.
Stadium Wi-Fi troubles
Any football fan lucky enough to have been to a Premier League stadium on game day will know that connecting to the internet can be a painful experience, with speeds barely sufficient to check the scores at half time.
Although the improved bandwidth on offer with 5G will alleviate the problem to an extent, early indications suggest the new mobile networking technology will still need to be supplemented with Wi-Fi in order to handle the high density of devices attempting to connect.
“We’re delighted to be teaming up with Extreme to deliver outstanding in-stadium connectivity and analytics. This deal will provide supporters with the latest generation of wireless connectivity and enable them to take full advantage of our best-in-class digital offerings while visiting Anfield,” said Drew Crisp, SVP Digital at Liverpool FC.
“Our home stadium is renowned for its storied history and Extreme will enable us to improve the digital fan experience on the ground, while also providing the critical insights we need to keep innovating and improving digital journeys for our fans.”
Mercifully, Liverpool is far from the only Premier League club bringing high-speed Wi-Fi to its home ground. In January, Extreme Networks announced it is also working with Manchester United to bring Wi-Fi 6 access points to Old Trafford, with rollout scheduled for later in the year.
As the largest clubs in the country begin to modernize the in-stadium experience, and as readily available connectivity becomes the norm, a domino effect will surely see the rest of the league fall into line.
Although it will take some time before grounds are fully-equipped with the necessary infrastructure (optimization can be an arduous process, we’re told) and speeds are unlikely to match that of home broadband, these new initiatives are bound to yield a marked improvement.