University students will be in charge of managing the Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure year-round
In an initiative spearheaded by students, Extreme Networks will install its Wi-Fi 6 solution in West Texas A&M University’s (WTAMU) Buffalo Stadium. The enhanced Wi-Fi network will streamline game day operations and offer digital fan experiences, such as social sign-in, video streaming capabilities, mobile ticketing and access to real-time stats.
There are more than 10,000 students enrolled at WTAMU and more than 800 faculty and staff members; its new stadium, which opened this month, seats 8,500. Effectively connecting all of those people to a wireless network is no easy feat, and doing so will require powerful technology.
Fortunately, Wi-Fi 6 shines in any type of device-dense environment and a sports stadium certainly fits the bill. While the next-generation of Wi-Fi has a lot of exciting features, the three that truly make this technology a game changer are OFDMA, MU-MIMO and 160 MHz-channels.
OFDMA effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments; multi-user MIMO allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently; and 160 MHz channels increases available bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency.
Additionally, the university, which holds more than 1,000 events annually, is also planning to deploy Wi-Fi 6 access points provided by Extreme Networks at its other sports venues, including the WTAMU Fieldhouse, the First United Bank Center and the WTAMU Track and Field Complex.
“With Extreme’s Wi-Fi 6 technology, we now have the infrastructure to future-proof our sports stadiums across campus and support the future-looking, immersive experiences students have been craving. We are also able to provide our students with experiential learning opportunities, as they’re the ones who get to deploy and manage this new network technology on a day-to-day basis,” said James Webb, WTAMU’s chief information officer.
Ten to 15 students within the university’s Computer Information Systems program will be in charge of managing the Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure year-round in exchange for academic credit.
WTAMU joins Extreme’s list of more than 4,500 college campuses and 17,000 schools worldwide where its networking solutions are deployed. The company is also the official Wi-Fi provider for the NFL, and currently 25 (soon to be 28) NFL stadiums use the company’s Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi analytics solutions.
A number of successful commercial and industrial trials of the next generation of Wi-Fi have been performed by companies like Cisco, Boingo and the Wireless Broadband Alliance. The trials demonstrated that, even when used in challenging environments that demand a ton of connected devices, Wi-Fi 6 succeeded in providing faster speeds, improved security and more reliable connectivity.
And now, with the recent certification of Wi-Fi 6, adoption rates are expected to accelerate substantially, and the technology will be used in spaces previous generations of Wi-Fi have rarely been before, such as transportation hubs and enterprise and IoT spaces.
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