Bruges, Belgium, January 21, 2015 – Club Brugge is the first football club in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League to offer its supporters free Wi-Fi internet access throughout its stadium. Club Brugge FC has teamed up with industry leaders Proximus and Cisco to create the very first Connected Stadium in Belgium’s first division. The club now has a new fibre network to which they have connected Cisco® Connected Stadium Wi-Fi with 400 wireless access points, the cashless payment terminals and the stadium’s surveillance cameras.
The Wi-Fi antennas in the Jan Breydel Stadium have been expertly 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.
New fibre network provides high bandwidth connectivity
Proximus installed a fibre network with approximately thirty additional Cisco switches in the stadium. It provides the required high bandwidth for Club Brugge’s Cisco® Connected Stadium Wi-Fi 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.
- Carl Lenaerts, business development manager Club Brugge
“Our supporters are used to having Internet access wherever they go, but it’s not easy to guarantee a strong signal for so many fans in the stadium at the same time. Thanks to our new high density network from Cisco and the expert services from Proximus, we’re offering our fans stable Internet access so they can share their stadium experiences on social media, for example. We hope this will further strengthen our supporters’ engagement with the club.”
- Pol Vanbiervliet, managing director Cisco Belgium & Luxembourg
“We are very proud that Belgian football clubs rely on Cisco for stadium connectivity. This is an important first for Club Brugge and the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. We are confident that other professional football clubs will follow its example by implementing Cisco® Connected Stadium and Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi to enhance the fan experience. Whenever supporters come to a match in the Jan Breydel Stadium, they will be connected, immersed and engaged with their favourite club through their mobile devices.”
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