With thousands of soccer fans taking pictures, shooting videos and sharing them in social networks, what is the the best way to support the rapid growth in data demand during soccer games? The Estadio Maria Alberto Kempes, a soccer stadium in Argentina, has chosen to deploy a distributed antenna system (DAS) to enhance the experience of games and concerts. “In these locations, capacity is even more important than coverage because of all the users accessing their mobile devices at the same time,” John Spindler, director of product management for in-building DAS products at TE Connectivity, told RCR Wireless News.
To meet this demand for more capacity, Claro, which is part of the Mexican group América Móvil, tapped TE Connectivity to deploy the InterReach Unison system solution that serves 2G and 3G technologies in the 1.9 GHz frequency band. The company did not disclose how much it spent on the system.
Claro initiated the project at the end of June 2012, and the infrastructure was ready in time for the World Cup soccer qualifying match between Argentina and Paraguay held on September 7. It is a permanent solution that will be available for all future games and other events. Originally built in 1976, the stadium was recently expanded and remodeled in 2011 to its current capacity of 57,000 spectators.
According to TE Connectivity, Claro had used cell-on-wheels (COW) units in the past to boost cellular coverage and capacity at the stadium, but performance and capacity problems still plagued these deployments, leaving many customers unhappy with their service.
The solution chosen, InterReach systems, features active electronics with thin CATV cabling to connect intermediate hubs with remote amplifier units (RAUs), so there is no thick, heavy coaxial cabling to deploy.
Although TE Connectivity has experience with designing DAS deployments for sports stadiums, this is the first time the company has undertaken such a project at a Latin American stadium. Spindler expects more DAS deployments over the next few years, following the LTE roll out across the region.
In a recent interview, Marco Antonio Folegatti, general manager for South America at TE Connectivity’s telecom networks division, told South America is on TE Connectivity’s telecom radar. The company just launched a manufacturing plant for telecommunication networks located in the countryside of São Paulo state in Brazil with an equipment investment of U.S.$500,000. This will help the company’s local business achieve its goal of doubling revenue in the five-year period from 2011 to 2016.