Sample Articles from Bob Wallace.

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Sports stadiums are aggressive implementors of networking technologies. Lessons learned in these transformations apply to corporate campuses and the enterprise.

Once made chiefly of concrete with steel benches, the original National Football League stadiums were nearly tech-free. Amenities included restrooms and some concession stands. You called and told your fan friends about the game and your experience after you got home hours later.

Fast forward to today’s tech-infused football venues. Stadium wireless lets attendees share photos and videos on social media during the game. Fiber backbones connect everything from wireless access points, ultra-high definition screens throughout, video camera networks and point-of-sale (POS) apps.

Many NFL teams have created team- and venue-specific apps to help fans do everything from find their seats to locating the bathroom with the shortest lines and buying merchandise from the pro shop. The smartphone apps provide gameday information, news updates, and video clips to better engage fans.

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Low-Power WANs offer an alternative to 5G for connecting a fast-growing array of basic devices and sensors that transmit small amounts of data.

While 5G networks will reshape wireless communications and support new applications, not all enterprises and municipalities feel the need for speed. These entities have wide-area applications that need only tens or 100s of kilobits to get the job done.

Enter Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN). They’re generally described as a type of wireless WAN designed to allow data transfer between far-flung devices with long-life batteries and a central site.

Entities that employ sensor-equipped devices, for example, to transmit small amounts of data from pipelines, utility locations, and meters across wide-areas have embraced LPWANs. That’s chiefly because these offerings are more affordable than higher-speed alternatives and allow for long-lifetime, no to low-maintenance networks.

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Content delivery networks now offer a variety of value-added services and features including event monitoring and management packages, enhanced security, and more.

Content delivery networks (CDN), have helped businesses get rich media content from origination to consumers since just before the turn of the century. These international networks of servers and edge devices loaded with feature-rich software have since improved streaming quality, raised download speeds, and supported ads. Challenges remain with climbing video use.

CDNs Then…

CDNs came to be because businesses began adding rich media content to their websites. That and increased traffic loads often crippled the sites or knocked them out altogether. Owners could neither predict nor plan for these costly instances. Frustration soared as angry customers couldn’t buy products from e-commerce sites, nor could they receive video content when they desired. Throwing servers at the problem was not a viable response.

Enter CDN services, which offered businesses an affordable and effective alternative to building and maintaining networks themselves. The CDN architecture focused on delivering rich media content cached in the network from edge servers closest to the customer, speeding the process and cutting latency, packet loss, and more. It also eliminated a single point of failure for customers.

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Fans Can Watch this Matchup Free on fuboTV

NFL fans continue to search for flexible and less expensive ways to watch their teams, with many cutting the cord in favor of live streaming from Internet TV services. But who has fan-friendly options?

Thankfully, sports-first streaming innovator fuboTV has an attractive alternative for you to watch your favorite teams. Better still, fuboTV is a monthly sports-loaded service without contract commitments. The streaming service also features scores of news and (non-football) entertainment channels.

The live streaming service has the game covered in Boston with a cloud DVR feature and a newly added Las Vegas betting information channel.

Click here to watch the Patriots-Texans live stream on a computer via the FuboTV website, or on a phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.

The Matchup – Patriots vs Texans

Date: Sunday, Sep. 9
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Massachusetts

The Patriots are coming off a painful Super Bowl loss and hope to become the first team in decades to win the big game after losing it the prior year.

The Patriots’ home opener vs. the defensive-minded Houston Texans will prove an early test for both post-season minded clubs. The home team is light on receivers and offensive linemen for QB Tom Brady, but loaded with running backs. The visiting Texans are loaded on defense from the line to the secondary and are looking to promising sophomore QB Deshaun Watson (out much of last season with an injury) to lead an offense with postseason aspirations.

The Texans have taken the Patriots to the wire in their last regular and post-season matchups.

The Patriots will be facing fast pass-rushing standouts J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus with a reworked offensive line minus Left Tackle Nate Solder (now with the Giants) and Right Tackle Marcus Cannon, who has battled injuries in training camp.

Tackling Tech: Inside Verizon's Super Bowl Wireless Plan

What could be better for a hardcore football fan than to help plan wireless coverage for the NFL's Super Bowls, which has come with the opportunity to attend the events?

Thanks to the intersection of technology and sports, Verizon's Brian Mecum, is living and working a dream that others can only hope for at bedtime. But if you think planning for new and upgraded distributed antenna systems (DAS) for NFL venues both new and older is a light-lifting, walk in the park, think again.

Soaring fan video demands have called for Mecum to build brainier and brawnier wireless systems.


"We have learned from usage and from habits," said Mecum, who serves as Verizon's Vice-President for Network-West. He's responsible for helping drive network planning for the service provider and has worked on the last several Super Bowl wireless projects.

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The recent Super Bowl fan data use numbers establish the trend.

  • Super Bowl 49: 4.1 terabytes of data used
  • Super Bowl 50: 7.2 terabytes of data used
  • Super Bowl 51: 11 terabytes of data used
  • Super Bowl 52: ???

Ok, so plan for a substantial rise in sharing video, photos, streaming and texting right?

Not so simple…Plan for the unpredictable too. For instance:

The Stefon Diggs catch and TD run one play known as the Minneapolis Miracle helped propel that NFC Divisional Round game past Super Bowl 49 in terms of total data used.

A Tall Task

And remember, a Super Bowl wireless project extends far beyond the actual stadium to key locations throughout the host city making the effort far more complex, resource-intensive and time-consuming. That's the type of project Verizon took on roughly two years ago.

These undertakings are also typically a live showcase of the latest wireless technologies and products as fans' user demands continue skyward. Systems upgraded and implemented for the first time are expected to shoulder the load for years to come.

What's a DAS?

For those not versed in wireless tech talk, a DAS What's a DAS? Part of the answer is with a robust distributed antenna system, (DAS), which is a network of spatially separated antenna nodes connected to a common source that provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure. It's common for venues to have DAS from multiple wireless providers.


So what goes into installing a DAS? For starters at US Bank Stadium, it entailed creating a network of devices that would essentially be invisible. That meant placing antennas under seats, as part of hand rails (see picture) - and under drink rails.

But these systems require larger and far more powerful antennas, which Verizon addressed with what's called Matsing Balls. These devices are ultra-high-power units that hang from structures above and also go unnoticed by the average football fan.

Tackling Tech: Sports-First OTT Services Emerge

Originally Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017


It may sound like a TV service for the “other” football, but well-funded fuboTV has assembled a streaming sports-first lineup that offers fans of America's game an alternative to cable TV packages, a model to be followed starting later this year by Disney/ESPN and CBS.


fuboTV's international approach includes offering channels and regional sports networks that together offer depth in live game coverage. Source: fuboTV.

FuboTV's sports-depth approach actually puts it far beyond current competitors DirecTV Now, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue in total coverage as it offers a channel lineup featuring sports around the world with some in foreign languages. That's on top of live sports coverage in the U.S. of the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball, golf and others.

And yes, with fuboTV you get your staple news, niche and broadcast TV staples as well, all for $35 a month. FuboTV has a very heavy load of global soccer channels and should appeal to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking consumers with channels from Univision and Telemundo, among others.

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