South Africa’s Golden Lions Rugby Union in partnership with internet provider WirelessG (G-Connect) announced today that in preparation for this weekend’s rugby test between the South African Springboks and New Zealand, Ellis Park Stadium has become the first public Wi-Fi enabled stadium hotspot in South Africa.
As part of its launch, G-Connect will sponsor free Wi-Fi connectivity to all main-stand spectators for this coming Saturday’s rugby Test.
The G-Connect Wi-Fi Hotspot at Ellis Park Stadium will be proclaimed as the first ‘Sport Stadium Wi-Fi Hotspot’ of its kind available to the public in South Africa. Carel van der Merwe, Wi-Fi entrepreneur and CEO of WirelessG comments, “This new G-Connect Wi-Fi innovation will not only provide connectivity relief in high congestion sport stadiums that have become unbearable for South African mobile and broadband users, but will change the way real time sport entertainment is offered in this country.”
“Spectators will soon be able to watch replays, listen to referee decisions and expert comments. All the excitement and energy inherent in a live entertainment environment such as this weekend’s Springbok Test will be disseminated via social media instantly from thousands of different angles.”
CEO of the Golden Lions Rugby Union, Manie Booysen, is thrilled at the opportunity to offer Wi-Fi to supporters and staff at the stadium in future. “I think it is an absolute privilege to be involved in this exciting launch ahead of the Test this weekend “We thank WirelessG for their efforts and for setting up this partnership with us. We sincerely hope the spectators, media and staff will enjoy this unique service.”
WirelessG and Ruckus Wireless have teamed up to combine their speciality offerings and deploy the G-Connect Wi-Fi hotspot at Ellis Park with the possibility of expanding this new initiative to various stadiums throughout South Africa. The Wi-Fi network design is a first for South Africa in terms of density, size and capacity. Its design facilitates a 10 Gigabits per second network capacity, which will be required for content rich onsite broadcasting to mobile devices in the nearby future.
What makes this deployment unique is the highly scientific in which various technologies throughout the network are combined to commercialize and facilitate the capacity requirements of this high density site. G-Connect hotspot in Ellis Park is also capable of facilitating “Wi-Fi Offloading” to mobile operators to relieve 3G and GSM in-stadium congestion during high density events. In this regard, WirelessG will engage with Mobile operators in the near future. Spectators wanting to use the service on Saturday will need to enable Wi-Fi on their devices, connect to the Wi-Fi network named “G-Connect” and open their internet browsers. A landing page interface will then be introduced from which the free G-Connect Wi-Fi service can be accessed.
“Taking into consideration that WirelessG launched G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi less than 17 months ago, the deployment of the Wi-Fi hotspot at Ellis Park Stadium can be regarded as WirelessG`s second first for South Africa. This clearly distinguishes WirelessG as the leading Wi-Fi specialist in South Africa,” says van der Merwe.
“We laud this innovation from our partner G-Connect. In celebration of Saturday’s record setting Wi-Fi connectivity at Ellis Park’s main pavilion, Mango and G-Connect have also discounted in-flight Wi-Fi usage to R5 on any Mango domestic flight during October. As recently as five years ago, it would have been impossible to predict the immense impact that social media and mobility would have in our world,” says Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.