American punk rock band Green Day rocked out the newly renamed and revamped Spark Arena on Saturday and Sunday night. And for the first time, many of the fans in the audience could capture their concert experience while using the new free high-powered Spark Arena WiFi.
Thousands of Green Day fans logged on and made use of the new WiFi before, during and after the shows. Over the course of the weekend, the WiFi network uploaded and downloaded over 400GB of data, meaning that fans were easily able to check in online and share photos with their social networks.
This is the first major outing for Spark’s new WiFi solution, which has been brought in as part of the rebranding of Vector Arena to Spark Arena. Spark partnered with Huawei to develop the high density WiFi solution, which is considered the gold standard in stadium WiFi technology and is used in 20 of the top arenas and stadiums right around the world, including Borussia Dortmund stadium in Germany and the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands.
Brendan Hines, General Manager at Spark Arena says, “It was amazing to see the Arena WiFi in action for the first time over the weekend. Here at the Arena, we’re all about creating amazing live experiences and lasting memories for fans. We could see over the weekend that fans embraced the new technology for things like event information and of course capturing and sharing the buzz of the live gig through social media.”
Neal Richardson, Portfolio Director for WiFi, explains why it was a no brainer for Spark to bring a world-class WiFi solution to the renamed arena. “Just as Spark bring music into our technology through our partnership with Spotify, we saw an opportunity to bring our tech to music by providing free WiFi to Spark Arena. With Spark Arena WiFi, visitors will be able to jump online easily as part of enjoying the awesome time they’re having at Spark Arena. So many opportunities to create FOMO!”
Spark Arena WiFi is available and free to use for all visitors to the venue. The network extends right around the building – and the stadium-sized specifications of the solution installed means that a huge number of gig and event attendees can use the WiFi simultaneously.
Richardson gives an overview of the solution: “It’s without a doubt the best WiFi technology currently available at a large venue in New Zealand. The Spark Arena network supports over ten times the capacity of the WiFi at other large scale New Zealand sporting and entertainment venues. When we compare this to international benchmarks such as the WiFi provided at the O2 in London, we think the experience stacks up really well.
“We designed the solution to ensure a significant proportion of a packed Arena audience can connect to WiFi and use it to enhance their experience of visiting the arena. Up to 80% of a full capacity audience should be able to connect to WiFi simultaneously. The solution has been designed so that thousands of users can concurrently use their devices to send messages to friends or check social feeds. The arena has 300 antennas available right around the venue (way more than for equivalent venues of a similar size) to ensure visitors can jump online wherever in the building they are located.”
Jeremy Hope, Huawei’s GM of Cloud and IT Solutions said, “Huawei jumped at the opportunity to be part of improving the fan experience at Spark Arena. Having delivered similar projects overseas, we worked closely with Spark to give concert goers the best possible experience while at the arena.”
The new partnership between Spark and the arena means that Spark is the ongoing technology partner for Spark Arena. Introducing WiFi to the venue is just the first initiative under this new partnership – and Spark and the arena plan to look at a variety of ways of using technology to enhance visitors’ experiences further in future.