Super Bowl is going on right now and so is the adrenaline of the fans. Tens of thousands of people have gathered at the New Orleans Superdome to watch the game as it unfolds. And to cater to such a huge audience, the Superdome Wi-Fi network has geared up with huge plans.
To begin with, packing nearly 73,000 fans into a single facility and then trying to cater to their Wi-Fi usage demands is a huge undertaking. Yet, Superdome management has brought together a lot of resources and strategies to be able to do so.
For a start, the Wi-Fi network is making use of a frequency that wouldn’t interfere with carrier signals. The frequency is still supported by most of the mobile devices currently prevalent, both smartphones and tablets. Moreover, to keep people from creating Wi-Fi networks within the facility, the Superdome has made use of a spectral analysis equipment. This is done so that the creation of ad-hoc wireless networks by individuals could be avoided as they would essentially interfere with the Superdome Wi-Fi.
The director of IT and production for Superdome management firm SMG, Dave Stewart, says in this regard, “Every device that enters the building has to go through a frequency scan and be authorized to enter. At the perimeter the devices are identified and tagged. If they present a potential for interference, they are remediated at that moment. Either the channel is changed or it is denied access. It’s all stopped at the perimeter for this event.”
He further reveals, “We’re always monitoring the network. So we have a plan in place if there is an interfering signal to identify that and remediate that problem.”
The Wi-Fi network is sturdy enough to handle a whopping 30,000 users at the same time, something which is expected from the crowd packing in the huge space. Within the Superdome, 700 wireless access points will be installed, with another 250 access points available outside the stadium.
Last year, 225GB of data was downloaded during the event while another 145GB of data was uploaded. Things are going to be bigger this year and Stewart assures that the Superdome Wi-Fi can handle a lot larger bulk of data transfer this year. Whereas he has hopes that the Wi-Fi accessibility and usage would go smooth through the game, he does state that should the load become too much, the worst the users would suffer would be slight congestion and slower speeds.