If you were at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis this weekend, or if you’ve ever been at a live sporting event, you know how difficult it can be to maintain a sufficient Internet connection in such a large crowd. At last year’s game, Extreme Networks reported that 35,430 fans used the stadium Wi-Fi network throughout the game and transferred a record-breaking 11.8 TB of data—1.68 TB more than the previous record for Wi-Fi network data transferred during a sporting event.
Today’s networks aren’t prepared to keep up with that much demand from so many devices. Your average 802.11ac home Wi-Fi router can function well enough with five to eight connected devices per access point. However, its performance declines when additional devices are added. That’s a problem, especially since demand for Wi-Fi has never been higher—Sunday’s game was the most-streamed Super Bowl ever, with a whopping 3.1 million concurrent streams and an average audience of 2.02 million viewers each minute—and is only set to rise.
As Norman Rice, Chief Marketing, Development & Product Operations Officer for Extreme, aptly puts it, “Wi-Fi affects everyone at the Super Bowl, from the parking lot, down to the field.” Fans depend on it to share their game experiences—often through live streaming—and stadium vendors and security services rely on it to sell and keep track of inventory and to keep the sporting event running safely and securely. On game day, and every day, it’s important that our Wi-Fi networks work as hard as the athletes down on the turf.
That’s where the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax—also known as Max WiFi—comes in. It’s built for capacity, with Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Targeted Wake Time (TWT), and improved scheduling technologies to help make the most efficient use of available spectrum. Max WiFi reduces the strain on the venue’s wireless networks so you and your whole crew can look up player stats, snap a picture with the venue’s filter, and post to your favorite social media platforms without slow download speeds or lag time.
Stuck out at the tailgate or up in the nosebleed section? Max WiFi offers four times more range, so you’ll still be able to live stream the play as it happens. You’ll also be able to enjoy the game without worrying about your smartphone running out of battery—Max WiFi’s efficiency helps delivery a battery life lasting up to seven times longer.
No matter which team you cheered for or what you thought of Justin Timberlake’s halftime show performance, we can all agree that Max WiFi is the Wi-Fi you want on your team—and in your connected devices. To learn more about Max WiFi, visit maxwifi.org.