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Ashton Gate Stadium technology first

Posted: Tue 26 Jul 2016
Author: Lewis Hancock
Ashton Gate

Ashton Gate

Image by: jmpuk.com

Technology develops on BS3.

Ashton Gate Stadium has partnered with Bristol University’s Zeetta Networks in a world-first stadia WiFi technology trial.

Zeetta Networks will be using Ashton Gate as a ‘live lab’ to test a cutting edge High Density WiFi solution using a Software Defined Networking-enabled (SDN) ‘bare metal’ technology approach.

Zeetta Networks is a spin-out company from the University of Bristol developing and marketing Open Networking solutions for heterogeneous networks based on Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) principles.

Zeetta chief executive Vassilis Seferidis said: “It is notoriously difficult to enable HD WiFi throughout a stadium due to the large concrete and metal structures as well as the huge numbers of users on a given matchday.

“We hope that this revolutionary approach will be the long-term solution to this problem. Obviously it is tremendously exciting that this is the first trial of its kind within a stadium anywhere in the world. To do it here on our doorstep has made us very proud.”

Martin Griffiths, Bristol Sport chairman, commented: “This is an exciting step for Ashton Gate. Bristol is a leading digital city and it’s only right that its largest venue should be experimenting with cutting edge technology.

“We are lucky to have such a forward-thinking organisation as Zeetta on our doorstep and look forward to working with them over the coming months on this project.

“WiFi has been a problem for venues across the globe, by pushing the boundaries with this trial we can open up a whole realm of possibilities to our supporters on matchdays and business partners on non-matchdays.”

The trial will initially focus on the South, West and Dolman concourses and if successful will then be extended throughout the stadium and into the seating areas.

Bristol Sport wants to work with fans to test this new technology and get their feedback, starting with Bristol City’s first home game of the season against Wigan Athletic on Saturday, August 6th (3pm).

“We need to really push this to the limits to discover whether this approach works so we’re appealing to as many fans as possible to connect to this network, on the first game of the season against Wigan," Griffiths added.

To connect to the network (free of charge) simply join ‘Ashton Gate EdgeZ’ and fill out the short form to get browsing.

Please send any feedback you have whilst testing the new WiFi deployment to hello@bristol-sport.co.uk or viaTwitter (@Bristol_Sport).