We don't often think of stadiums right away when we think of next generation communications, though we probably should. Such systems are powering a lot of exciting new options, and recently, Nokia (News - Alert) got together with the University of Notre Dame to test out new wireless communications systems that should help augment the game day experience.
The new testing between Nokia and the University of Notre Dame's Wireless Institute—part of its College of Engineering—has primarily focused on Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC). With MEC, users get access to a software platform that can improve the flexibility of network access, particularly in congested areas like sports stadiums. Add to that the growing number of uses for such connectivity at the stadium and there's every reason to pursue something like this.
Additionally, the duo tested Edge Video Orchestration (EVO) systems to provide up to four different video streams at once with delays under 500 milliseconds, as well as augmented reality (AR) systems that can display overlays of data for players and other points when a camera is pointed at these points, commonly using an app. The system turned not only to Nokia's MEC platform—which offers some excellent latency levels—but also the Nokia AirFrame server.
Wireless Institute co-director J. Nicholas Laneman commented, “With the advent of disruptive mobile technologies, we are delighted to see both Notre Dame and South Bend as a destination for these types of demonstrations. Officials from the City of South Bend were also onsite to check out the benefits first-hand. We were pleased to work with Nokia and excited to see their technology in a proof of concept that provides flexibility and power to enhanced and innovative applications.”
Not only are there ancillary reasons to have such connectivity—ordering concessions in advance via mobile devices, paying for these concessions, and checking on player stats during games—but there are also more distraction-based reasons involved. Whether connecting to social media or the like during time-outs or other slowdowns in play, people want to be able to connect, and that means a lot of connectivity capability required to address the demand.
Football is a very big deal at Notre Dame—just ask anyone who's ever tried to find a hotel room in the area mid-September—so it's not out of line to see an expansion like this brought out. With reports of poor connectivity emerging from this consistently well-attended event, augmenting connectivity would have had to be high on the list just to keep the user base from revolting and staying away from games. With these projects in place, though, it's a safe bet that old Notre Dame will keep fans coming back and cheering for some time to come.
Edited by Alicia Young