Winning at the World Cup: The Benefits of Deploying Neutral Host Networks

By Christian Wagner, m3connect

People from around the world are traveling to Russia right now for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which has kicked off play. The largest venue and the heart of the 2018 World Cup tournament will take place in Luzhniki Stadium, located at the center of Moscow’s Olympic complex. Luzhniki Stadium has hosted over 3,000 soccer matches and has a capacity of 80,000 people. As just one of the 11 stadiums that will be in use for the 2018 World Cup, Luzhniki Stadium will be able to seat fans, but will each attendee be able to stay connected in such a crowded environment?

The one thing that everyone there will have in common – besides a love for soccer (or football or futbol depending on where you’re from) – is the need for connectivity in a device dense area such as these massive stadiums. There is no doubt that each person there will have their smartphone and will be trying to text, call, stream video and more during the matches. But what happens when each of these devices is battling it out for connectivity? Calls get dropped, texts go unsent and videos are left buffering. With a limited amount of licensed spectrum available to accommodate this growing number of data-demanding devices, private Enterprises such as sports arenas are left with spotty network coverage when large numbers of mobile-dependent devices (and people) gather in these dense environments.

Traditional options to provide coverage in stadiums include DAS and operator-specific small cells, but both approaches also have limitations. DAS is a great technology but expensive, and operator-specific small cells means that each operator must be able to make the business case for deploying their own small cells in a stadium that’s not in everyday use.

Deploying MulteFire technology as a neutral host network in stadiums opens up new business opportunities for the stadium owners, mobile operators, systems integrators, and more. For example, the stadium owner could deploy MulteFire small cells that support roaming from all mobile operators’ networks. As the network owner, the stadium owner can develop new revenue streams. The mobile operator wins as they don’t have to deploy DAS or as many small cells in individual stadiums, thereby reducing costs while meeting subscriber demand. And the end user wins as well, getting a seamless experience and being able to share that great goal they just captured on their smartphone. It presents a win-win-win advantage for all. Neutral host networks provide new business opportunities for enterprises, mobile operators, cable operators, ISPs, building owners, venue and stadium owners and more.

Too good to be true or just the future of connectivity? By installing MulteFire technology as a neutral host setting, the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup of the future can become neutral host hotspots, offering LTE connectivity for any of the tens of thousands of devices present at each match. It’s a great “goal”!

For more information on Neutral Host and Private LTE networks, download our white paper from Harbor Research. To see the business impact of MulteFire technology deployed in the Enterprise and Industrial IoT, download our latest white paper from Wireless 20/20.

I wish your team the best of luck!