Connecting a Pro Basketball Arena

Ryan Wunsch, Matthew Norton, Ron Max – Modus

NextEdge is passionate about connecting communities.  What better way to bring a community together than to create seamless connectivity for one of its largest basketball and e-sports arenas?  Ryan Wunsch, Matthew Norton, and Ron Max from Modus, a NextEdge Company, talked to me about their experience working on the largest pro basketball arena in Sacramento – it was a pretty cool story.

A few years ago, the team realized that they needed to upgrade their stadium to 5G to provide improved wireless coverage for their fans.  In addition to a major basketball franchise, they were hosting an e-sports team within the arena, who needed not just excellent wireless coverage, but low latency for lightning-fast game play.  And, they wanted to create an outdoor public space, with great cell coverage and multiple entertainment and restaurant options, for fans to congregate before and after games, called Sacramento Downtown Commons, or DoCo.

Working with our telco customer, Ryan, Matthew, and Ron led the project to architect this connectivity, across the stadium, the e-sports arena, and the revitalized downtown core.  People outside the industry are probably not aware of the amount of planning and engineering that is done prior to hanging a single wireless antenna.  Modus took on the majority of this “pre-construction” work, creating a design that delivered a seamless level of connectivity, identifying and successfully gaining leasing rights to hang antennas in the right places, working with the city on permitting, and then managing the actual construction to their design specifications.

“The amount of testing & QA you have to do on a project that has this much visibility is pretty intense,” said Ryan, “We wanted to make sure to get everything right.  We had to think about broad coverage for big crowds in the arena, high speed coverage for the VIP Lounges, hard core, low-latency coverage in the e-sports arena, and coverage that took buildings and other obstacles into account for the downtown core.  There were very different requirements for each area.  And we feel like we nailed all of it – we did an unofficial test at one of the sites and were able to achieve 1.4 Gbps download speeds.  That’s pretty good!”

As basketball fans themselves, the Modus team were pretty jazzed about being able to help the team out.  Turning the cities of the future into concrete and steel reality is what we do, but it’s not easy.  Glad we’ve got great folks like Ryan, Ron, and Matthew, who know how to make it happen.

Erica Moon
Erica Moon
Erica Moon is the Chief Marketing Officer of NextEdge Networks. She has an extensive career in technology and telecom marketing, and is a longtime fan of the live music scene in her hometown, Austin.