Polish football club Legia Warszawa has become the first team in Europe to sign a small cell as a service contract with Ericsson.
The six-year contract will provide fans with carrier-grade Wi-Fi and services that can be accessed through a mobile app. Ericsson will design and maintain the Wi-Fi network, as well as provide and run Wi-Fi access points, IP routers and Ethernet switches.
The app will allow spectators to watch live video and read newsfeeds, as well as order food and purchase merchandise.
This is not the first time vendors have targeted football teams, with Huawei providing stadium Wi-Fi for Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers, and Cisco building high density Wi-Fi for England’s Manchester City.
Jean-Claude Geha, Vice President and Head of Managed Services at Ericsson, said: “Thousands of people turn up to watch Legia Warszawa play football and the club naturally wants to keep it that way. By supplementing the network capacity provided by local operators with carrier-grade Wi-Fi, we can ensure that large crowds of visiting fans can continue to share photos, tweets and e-mails – while also introducing value-added services that football fans can access via a customized mobile app.
“Small Cell as a Service is a business model that ensures we can do all of this in the most cost-effective way, while working closely with our customer as a partner to provide a superior experience for end users.”
Legia Warszawa celebrates its centenary next year, after being founded by soldiers of the Olish Legion. It is the country’s most successful club, winning the league 11 times and Polish Cup 16 times. It is currently at the top of the Ekstraklasa, leading Jagiellonia Bialystok by one point.