Verizon brings portable connectivity to events with Network in a Box

Looking to address the connectivity needs of large sports and entertainment events, comms solutions provider Verizon has unveiled an “innovative”, first-of-its-kind, portable private network prototype for the domains.

The Network in a Box solution is designed to provide secure, reliable, private connectivity for the critical communications needed for operations, security, event production and the fan experience in stadiums or other venues when a permanent private network is not available.

The private network is said to be unencumbered with the data traffic being generated by fans, can power sideline tablets, connected broadcast cameras, live-streaming social media activities, on-field cameras, wearables and coach-to-coach communications. It can scale to support up to 50 cellular radios, and utilise shared or licensed spectrum and in-venue or on-premise fibre connections to generate private cellular connectivity for customers. 

Verizon also believes that the solution can deliver the critical level of security, reliability and capacity needed for front office operations, stage crews organising showtime during a concert, security personnel communicating operational imperatives at a parade, or a production crew broadcasting from a remote, temporary set.

When used in sports or entertainment events, Verizon said that its private networks can offer benefits such as greater security than Wi-Fi; provide high levels of uptime and reliability; give “exceptional” high-bandwidth performance and low latency; can be tailored to the specific needs and requirements of a business; and scale with the growth of an event.

Verizon already has a portable private network prototype, which was used at the recent UFL Championship game at the Dome at America’s Centre in Missouri, and has shipped similar portable private networks to Sao Paulo, London and Munich to provide reliable connectivity for the NFL game-play operations, enabling real-time, in-game support for on-field coach-to-coach communications at this autumn’s overseas games.

“The evolution of our network over the past several years has enabled us to create a more modular, portable private network that is ideal for use in situations where the security, scale, reliability, customisation and personalisation of a private network is needed, but a permanent private network is not a tenable solution,” said Andrea Caldini, vice-president of technology and product development at Verizon.

“This prototype solution has already successfully supported a number of live events with more on the horizon. The intrinsic value in this solution is that it can be deployed in any number of scenarios where the capabilities of a private network are needed, such as one-time parade routes, mobile production environments, mobile sporting events, outdoor concert venues and more.”

Scott Harniman, UFL senior vice-president of technology, added: “We were proud to partner with Verizon to utilise their innovative Network in a Box solution for the United Football League Championship Game. This network provides an unparalleled and consistent level of connectivity that is truly the path forward for on-field technology in sports.”