Huawei makes inroads into sports events connectivity sector

Huawei boosted its credentials as a provider of high-speed connectivity services for sports events through separate deals with FanPlay, a cloud-based digital content provider, and Vodafone.

The Chinese vendor on Monday revealed it has teamed with FanPlay to launch what it dubs 'agile stadium solutions' offering high-speed wireless connectivity and value-added mobile services for sports arenas and football stadia in Europe.

Huawei said the collaboration will enable sports ground owners to adopt new business models by using smart devices to enhance the experience of fans watching events in stadiums. The companies have developed a mobile platform offering live video broadcasting and replay, in-game betting, interactive games, online shopping, purchasing fast food, ticketing, sponsor marketing and product sales.

The vendor said football clubs can use the data gleaned from the mobile platform to tailor their services for fans. It added that the platform is designed to be secure for the stadium owners and end users.

Ma Yun, marketing VP of Huawei's enterprise networking business, said the combination of FanPlay's "wide range of intelligent mobile applications" with Huawei's network architecture "will enable football clubs to deliver personalised services to their customers and generate new revenue streams."

Jerzy Wasowicz, vice president of sales at FanPlay, said stadia have, so far, been unable to provide "digital marketing and services that address demands from fans and spectators for more interaction and access to real-time statistics and replays of game highlights."

Huawei separately revealed it teamed with Vodafone to provide an enterprise-LTE (eLTE) mobile broadband network for the annual Kieler Woche sailing event in Germany in June.

The company said its LTE network--provided via two distributed base stations--bridged instability in off-shore Wi-Fi networks, enabling the event's organisers to capture footage of the races on smartphones and then transmit the images to the event's organisers over the eLTE network. The footage was then sent to the audience on a Vodafone Germany-backed enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) network.

David Xu, general manager of enterprise wireless domain at Huawei, said the Kieler Woche network was "the first application of eLTE in Germany," and highlighted the vendor's ability to integrate eLTE with "an operator's LTE solution."

The company revealed it had signed 61 eLTE contracts by the end of the second quarter of 2014--19 of which have been launched commercially.

For more:
- see Huawei's FanPlay announcement
- read Huawei's Vodafone press release

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