If championship game preparations are a major league undertaking, they have a parallel in event communications for the NFL, media and fans. Here's Sprint's network game plan for game day communications and beyond.
Sprint has been at work long before the coin toss and kick-off to ensure the estimated 100,000 fans converging on Detroit and the expected 90 million TV viewers get all the game action and reaction they need. The national telecommunications leader has fortified existing wireless and wired networks to accommodate the expected increase in voice and data traffic. The improvements are permanent and will enhance communications capabilities for the greater Detroit community.
According to Dave Port, vice president of information technology for the NFL, "Sprint has been instrumental through a number of communications solutions in ensuring our connectivity and therefore the success of Super Bowl XL in Detroit." Sprint is providing wired and wireless connectivity at major event venues such as the media centers, parks, hotels and theatres. This includes The Detroit Renaissance Center which will be the command center for NFL officials, team owners and news media, Ford Field, Brewery Park and event hotels including team headquarters. Three wireless networks and one fiber optic network provide a range of subscriber connections in event-related areas and more.
* Nextel Walkie-Talkie service capacity in the area is increased almost 300 percent thanks to 500 additional base radio transmitters;
* There is a 100 percent increase in the Nationwide Sprint PCS coverage and capacity at Ford Field and elsewhere;
* The Sprint Power Vision(SM)mobile broadband high speed network, based on EV DO technology, is operational at Super Bowl venues and throughout Detroit;
* An extensive fiber optic data distribution system supports Ford Field, Cobo Hall, the Joe Louis area and Downtown Detroit among other areas, including event ticketing.
"We've brought our 'A' game and sponsorship experience to Detroit," said John Harrison, Sprint regional vice president for network engineering. "However you experience the game - in person, on handsets or gathered around the television, Sprint is bringing the fan closer to the sport. Our enhanced network stays in place long after the fans have left to provide exceptional capacity for Detroit citizens and guests. They're wired for the game and for the future versus some temporary capability that will soon disappear."
NFL and game officials are relying on Sprint integrated wired and wireless networks to manage activities for the game and players. Sprint Power Vision(SM) mobile broadband connections will let them exchange data on-the-go and access various data bases. Journalists will have broadband access in the Media Center located in the Detroit Renaissance Center as well as mobile connectivity between event locations, including Ford Field, to bring news audiences the latest information wherever it happens.
Sprint's fiber capacity is helping check the validity of Super Bowl tickets. Fans will have tickets wirelessly scanned and the data sent over fiber optic lines to a ticket central data base for on-the-spot verification. Sprint has also partnered with the Super Bowl safety community (fire, rescue and police) to ensure connectivity needs are met. Teams of engineers will monitor network activity round-the-clock and redirect communications traffic in the event of an outage, aided by redundant network service and back-up power contingencies.