Club Brugge debuts first connected stadium and free Wi-Fi in Belgian First Division

Club Brugge FC is the first football club in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League to offer supporters free Wi-Fi internet access throughout its stadium. Club Brugge FC has teamed up with Proximus and Cisco to create a connected stadium. The club now has a new fibre network to which it has connected Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi with 400 wireless access points, cashless payment terminals and the stadium’s surveillance cameras.

The Wi-Fi antennas in the Jan Breydel Stadium have been set up to ensure optimal access throughout the stadium, including in the business seats, cloak rooms, restaurant and press room. The technology has been developed and deployed in such a way that many thousands of supporters can have simultaneous mobile access to the Internet.

According to Cisco research, more than three quarters of fans carry smartphones with them in the stadium and Proximus indicates mobile data traffic has increased thirteen fold over the last three years. Mobile internet in Belgium is amongst the ten fastest worldwide, according to the Cisco annual Global Cloud Index.

These data points clearly indicate that fan demand for reliable connectivity and engagement through technology is expected. This led to Club Brugge launching the Club app last December, with which supporters can follow scores in other matches, watch video clips, read news about the team and check the balance on their fan card.

Proximus installed a fibre network with approximately 30 additional Cisco switches in the stadium. It provides the required high bandwidth for Club Brugge’s solution with 400 access points, but also for the cashless payment system and IP security cameras.

Other top European clubs that are Cisco Connected Stadiums are Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, Bayer Leverkusen’s BayArena, Glasgow’s Celtic Park and several stadiums in Scandinavia, which have been converted in to digital, connected, football venues.

Cisco has also announced that global sports pay-TV provider beIN SPORTS has selected its Videoscape TV services delivery platform to deliver advanced sports video experiences across 20+ countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

beIN SPORTS, which launched January 2014, is jointly owned and operated by Qatari Sports Investments. The platform uses Cisco’s VideoGuard conditional access system (CAS), Cisco MediaHighway middleware, Cisco digital video recorder (DVR) and user interface (UI) technologies.

Yousef Mohammed Al-Obaidly, Deputy CEO beIN SPORTS said, “the consumer’s appetite for new video experiences and a connected lifestyle is developing so rapidly in the MENA region. It is opportune that we have teamed with Cisco to help us remain competitive by delivering new and exciting services faster than ever before.

“With premium content security top of our agenda, Cisco Videoscape can provide an open, flexible and fully secure platform that will reduce barriers to innovation and time to market. The first boxes launched in March and we will continue to roll out many more high-end boxes throughout this next year,” he said.

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