RootMetrics tests highlights the challenges of bringing connectivity to huge stadiums
EE offers the best mobile service at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, according to tests by RootMetrics, which says its findings demonstrate the challenges of providing coverage at sporting venues.
The research firm conducted its tests during the Arsenal v Liverpool fixture on 4 April, which was attended by 60,081 spectators. EE received an overall score of 86.8 out of 100, Vodafone 74.0, O2 62.8 and Three just 60.5.
EE was also named the most reliable with a score of 92.2, Vodafone 82.7, O2 64.2 and Three 61.4
But the UK’s largest 4G operator was streets ahead in terms of speed, offer a median download connection of 5.8Mbps and median upload transmissions of 9.9Mbps. O2 was the next best with 0.3Mbps median download speed and 3.1Mbps upload, ahead of Three with 0.5Mbps and 1.6Mbps and Vodafone with 0.4Mbps and 3.4Mbps.
RootMetrics noted that all four major operators fared worse than in wider London tests, but this was not surprising.
“Potential trouble spots include congestion, with high demands placed on a network within a relatively small space, as well as dense construction materials which make it harder for radio signals to penetrate,” said Bill Moore, CEO of RootMetrics. “Location and different mobile behaviour shouldn’t be overlooked either.”
Many fans are keen to use their mobiles to keep in touch with friends, access social media or read text commentary, but struggle to get a decent connection. Some venues have been keen to improve connectivity amid fears some fans might stay away if they cannot have a great ‘second screen’ experience while others hope free Wi-Fi will help them target fans with offers.
EE is the official sponsor of Wembley Stadium and has vowed to make it the world’s “most connected stadium” by Euro 2020. The operator plans to use the home of English football as a test bed for future technologies, such as 400Mbps 4G, contactless payments and mobile ticketing.
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