Verizon expanded a partnership with the US National Football League (NFL) with a five-year deal to provide a managed private wireless service for coach-to-coach communications across all 30 stadiums.
Lynn Cox, chief engineer for Verizon, told Mobile World Live the private wireless service will use 5G CBRS spectrum. It will enable coaches on the field to speak to colleagues in the stands.
“Obviously, the reliability is critical for the coaches that are on the field,” she said, adding the network will provide “security, and certain latency and speed requirements that are needed for coach-to-coach communication”.
Verizon also installed 1,400 4G and 5G antennas under the seats in the stadium where the title-deciding match of the current NFL season is scheduled to take place on 12 February.
The operator spent more than $100 million over the past two-and-a-half years on network upgrades to the stadium and surrounding areas.
It deployed mmWave and 30MHz of CBRS, 39GHz C-Band, 700MHz PCS and AWS spectrum.
“We’ve got all of our spectrum holdings, but it’s also in how you deploy the network, and how you optimise that network,” Cox noted.
Verizon installed antennas from specialist company MatSing which enable beamforming of narrow network slices to target RF to specific areas while also managing capacity.
With half-time show uploads and the increasing amount of simultaneous capacity needed for all of the devices, Cox noted “it really is a very complex, layered approach to the design”.
Cox stated the operator is already working on densifying networks at the locations of the next two Super Bowls and will do the same when the site of the 2026 event is announced.
She noted each Super Bowl network is different, based on the spectrum holdings, stadium infrastructure and vendor partners in those areas.
“We’re constantly using our learnings from every single Super Bowl to apply to the next one.”
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