Mobilitie announced it has installed a distributed antenna system (DAS) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays.
The new DAS installation includes 516 antennas located throughout the stadium to improve wireless coverage, capacity and data speeds during peak event times. Sprint and Verizon Wireless are already operational on the network, said Mobilitie, and additional carrier participation on the network is expected before the end of the 2012 season.
The company operates multiple DAS networks at professional sports stadiums across the country. "Our neutral-host DAS networks can be utilized by all major wireless carriers to provide their customers with increased wireless connectivity during games, concerts and other highly attended events," said Christos Karmis, Mobilitie's president.
Companies such as Mobilitie face direct competition from other neutral-host DAS providers, such as Boingo Wireless, as well as mobile operators. Among carriers, AT&T (NYSE:T), in particular, has gotten quite aggressive in building its DAS business. One of its most high-profile sports-related DAS deployments occurred in September 2009, when the operator announced it had expanded mobile coverage at the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium via a DAS installation.
AT&T is also aggressive on the Wi-Fi front. Earlier this month, AT&T deployed 460 Wi-Fi access points in the Carolina Panthers' football stadium. The operator says it has more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots in the United States and access to nearly 220,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements.
Many NFL stadiums include DAS networks for enhanced mobile voice and data communications, but public Wi-Fi tends to be lacking. Back in July, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced an initiative to ensure Wi-Fi networks are installed in every NFL stadium for the 2013-2014 football season.
- see this Mobilitie release
- see this Mobile Sports Report article
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