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Putting wireless to the test

Putting wireless to the test

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Madison Square Garden
New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Feb. 9, New York City

















Observations:
MSG is one-third of the way through a three-year renovation plan, and improved connectivity for fans has been included in the ongoing work. Once a more troublesome venue to make calls and access data, data flow was generally strong and clear with the exception of loading video, which was essentially a non-starter. Among MSG’s various mobile initiatives is a Blueshirts United mobile application for the Rangers, which features live game tracking, social media integration, in-game photos, video and other material. Game tracking within Blueshirts United trailed actual on-ice action by about 10 to 20 seconds on average. In addition to regular cellular networks, subscribers of MSG sister company Cablevision have unlimited access to an Optimum Wi-Fi network in the arena. That Wi-Fi network generally features faster speeds.
— Eric Fisher, staff writer, SportsBusiness Journal



Prudential Center
New Jersey Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs
Feb. 11, Newark, N.J.


















Observations: Attendance for this particular game was 15,272, above the Nets’ season average but still far short of a sellout. And with smaller attendance comes lessened demand on mobile and Wi-Fi networks. So, not surprisingly, connectivity was strong and clean throughout the game. The New Jersey Devils, the arena’s original tenant since it opened in 2007, operate an aggressive social media hub called Mission Control, and in part through that, have made mobile access in and around the building a priority.
— Eric Fisher, staff writer, SportsBusiness Journal



Pepsi Center
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
Jan. 24, Denver













Observations: I was able to: scan a QR code, which immediately took me to the appropriate website; send and receive text messages immediately (with pictures), no delay; download a YouTube video and watch it (with normal download time); make a call from the third-level concourse, which sounded fine on my end and my caller said I sounded good on his end. Overall, my experience was very positive. I don’t know whether it was because of Verizon, the new phone or the reception at Pepsi Center, but everything worked flawlessly, quickly and the way I would have expected it.
— Dennis Huspeni, staff writer, Denver Business Journal




Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte Bobcats vs. New York Knicks
Jan. 24, Charlotte
















Observations: My second-generation iPhone struggles in general regardless of my surroundings, so I knew before walking into the arena of operational issues that could arise during the test. Phone calls and texts worked fine early on before the arena started to fill up. The Echofon Twitter app was slow to pop up. At one point during the game, my phone display showed five bars and a Wi-Fi signal but I continued to experience delays with several apps. It was spotty coverage at best.
— Don Muret, staff writer, SportsBusiness Journal



Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte Bobcats vs. Chicago Bulls
Feb. 10, Charlotte



Observations: I bought the iPhone 4S a week before the Bulls-Bobcats game, in part for a second chance to improve my mobile experience over the previous game. In the media dining room at event level, texting did not work but there were no problems using mobile apps. In the tunnel leading to the floor, with Derrick Rose missing from the Bulls’ pregame huddle, I was able to send a tweet noting that it appeared the Bulls’ star guard would not play in the game. Early in the first quarter, I sat by a friend two rows behind the basket and had no problems texting, taking photos and posting them on Twitter. But after moving 20 rows up to auxiliary press seating behind the same basket, I might as well have kept my old 3G smartphone. The Bobcats’ Wi-Fi network was down that night, a team spokesman said, making the team’s app useless. The same thing held true for other apps.
—Don Muret, staff writer, SportsBusiness Journal



Verizon Center
Washington Wizards vs. Denver Nuggets
Jan. 20, Washington, D.C.














Observations:
My experience was better than I was expecting but still way too frustrating dealing with slow speeds and poor coverage.
— John Ourand, staff writer, SportsBusiness Journal



Pepsi Center
Colorado Mammoth vs. Minnesota Swarm
Jan. 14, Denver















Observations: I used my iPhone to track the Broncos/Patriots game via the NFL Network and it updated quickly. I also recorded video of the Brian Langtry jersey retirement and sent it to a friend, along with photos of the game. I also used texting to send game updates to a friend. All went smoothly.
— Boots Gifford, associate editor, special sections, Denver Business Journal

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