Tottenham Hotspur Stadium's "world class" connectivity
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Tottenham Hotspur’s recently opened new stadium has been designed to be the best connected in the UK, with “world class” mobile voice and data services for customers of every UK operator – Vodafone, O2, EE and Three – as well as wireless emergency and support services, Wi-Fi and technologies for broadcast and event use.

Real Wireless was engaged by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in 2013 to help develop the strategy for the new stadium’s wireless communications and ensure that the stadium’s design made provisions for all the necessary services – not just cellular (including 5G when it’s up and running), but also PMR for support services, TETRA for emergency services and Wi-Fi (technically architected, supplied and deployed by HPE – Hewlett Packard Enterprise). In addition, technologies such as satellite that may be required for broadcast and event use also needed to be supported. After many meetings with the UK’s four mobile network operators (MNOs) and neutral host companies, it was decided that one of the latter would be required and the Club selected Shared Access Limited to carry out the detailed design and system integration, and create a commercial platform that would allow all four MNOs to deploy all their current technologies and 5G when available. The stadium offers 100 per cent wireless coverage and mobile connectivity with all four operators.

HPE, the Club’s official enterprise networking partner, also installed Bluetooth beacons, allowing the Club to engage with its fans through the new Spurs Official app that enables wayfinding and proximity marketing.

The system comprises:

  • A hybrid active/passive distributed antenna system (DAS)
  • Joint Operator Specifications (JOTS)-compliant 2G, 3G and 4G, allowing connections for all MNOs
  • MIMO on 800/1800/2100/2600MHz
  • 164 strategically located internal antennas including 48 pitch and bowl stadium antennas, six macro antenna locations providing external coverage and 19 low level external antennas providing podium coverage
  • More than 45,000m coaxial cable
  • More than 25,000m of individual fibres
  • 2348 passive components
  • 9 master unit racks (POI)
  • 172 Low power remote radio units
  • 18 High power remote radio units (macro)
  • A dedicated equipment room, 100 sqm, with 80 operator racks and 9 POI racks

Further reading:

A whole new ballgame
Lights, camera, action: the use of communications in the entertainment industry

High data rates are available in the bowl, concourse, podiums, media areas, hospitality areas, conferencing suites and offices, as well as key operational areas such as event control and back of house. A medium data rate service covers the basement and parking areas, while a low data rate service is available for the stairwells and plant rooms.

Sanjeev Katwa, head of technology, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Creating an enhanced mobile infrastructure is a major part of our aim to create a truly world-class venue, allowing our fans to be connected at all times. This system is revolutionary, transforming the way we connect with our fans and staff.”

Mark Keenan, CEO at Real Wireless, said: “We were delighted to be asked to apply our skills as the world’s leading independent wireless advisory firm to making this ground-breaking new system a reality. We applaud the vision of Tottenham Hotspur to address this at an early stage in the stadium design process and the Club’s ambition to bring stadium communications into a new and exciting era.”

Chris Jackman, CEO at Shared Access, said: “Our brief was to design and build the system to enable mobile voice and data capabilities across the new stadium and, as a neutral host company, to carry out the detailed design and system integration. The result is a connected experience for everyone that sets the bar at its highest-ever level for stadium-based communications systems.”

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