Next-generation wireless applications tested at University of Notre Dame stadium
Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana hosts more than 80,000 fans for Fighting Irish football games six or seven weekends each fall. With consistently high attendance and people frequently experiencing poor coverage issues, Nokia and Notre Dame’s Wireless Institute set out to test Wi-Fi.
People attending sports and music events increasingly expect reliable mobile connectivity in order to access related content like player performance stats, view replays and multiple camera angles, and connect to social media. But in venues such as stadiums, high demand for content is often limited by inconsistent or overloaded Wi-Fi and cellular coverage leading to, at times, unreliable service availability.
According to a Nokia press release, the company, in collaboration with the Wireless Institute in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has successfully tested applications based on Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC). This software platform delivers flexibility, scalability and efficiency to networks with multiple base stations in order to improve the speed of access to data services in congested areas. The live tests were carried out at Compton Ice Arena with a vision of scaling the solution for the university’s iconic football stadium. The goal was to see how the technology can dramatically enhance the user experience of students and sports fans attending games and other events.
The two MEC-based applications used to test Wi-Fi were the Edge Video Orchestration (EVO), wich provides options to view four video streams from different angles in real-time, with a less than 500-millisecond delay, and Augmented Reality (AR) – an AR-based gaming experience where information can be overlaid on devices over streamed video
Both applications used Nokia’s low-latency MEC platform and its AirFrame server.