The 10 year deal is with telecommunications company Ericsson, and will see the indoor 6,000 sqm exhibition hall renamed as the Ericsson Exhibition Hall as part of the agreement.
The 6,000 sqm venue regularly hosts concerts for up to 12,000 people, sports events, tradeshows and exhibitions as well as being the home to Wasps Netball.
Ericsson will improve the performance of both the indoor and stadium wi-fi coverage, as well as the stadium’s operations. The company’s LTE broadcast solutions will break down the barriers of mobile data so that thousands of visitors can receive specific, popular content at the same time – known as Small Cell as a Service.
This latest partnership comes off the back of a record 777 events taking place at the Ricoh Arena last year including concerts by Bruce Springsteen and Rihanna and the two-day MTV Crashes event.
Wasps Group CEO, David Armstrong, said: “It has long been our ambition to ensure that the Ricoh Arena is a venue that ensures high-performing technology, connectivity and interaction are at the forefront of our customers’ experience.
“In the age of digital and mobile consumption users expect an experience enhanced by their mobile device allowing them to always be on top of what’s going on, to stay in touch, and to share the experience.
“Announcing this trailblazing relationship with a globally recognised partner such as Ericsson is very exciting and will ensure that we realise our ambition to compete with the best and lead in our respective industry sectors."
Wasps Group commercial director, Luke Organ, added: “This relationship has taken well over a year to conclude however this is a hugely important partnership for our respective organisations to strike. “It will ensure that our sports fans and venue customers experience some of the best connectivity found in any venue in the UK.
“We will introduce innovative cost-efficiencies, new offerings and functionalities and enhanced end-user experience. There are huge opportunities to exploit and we look forward to developing and announcing these in the near future”.
Valter D'Avino, head of Region Western & Central Europe at Ericsson, says: “We believe Small Cell as a Service is the most efficient, cost-effective means of enhancing connectivity in stadiums.
“We’re pleased that Wasps has become the first rugby club to take advantage of Small Cell as a Service, and we have some very exciting ideas about how to evolve our new partnership in the years to come by introducing other innovative solutions from our portfolio. Together we will make the Ricoh Arena one of the most technologically advanced venues in the United Kingdom.”
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