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Portugal’s football fans wept with delight as Ronaldo lifted the Euro 2016 trophy. What a phenomenal tournament this was for the entire Portuguese national team.
This win has undoubtedly positioned Portugal as one of the world’s greatest football nations, and it will come as no surprise that Portuguese clubs have made significant investments to connect to their loyal fan base.
In fact, extensive efforts have been made to create ‘smart’ football arenas, ensuring the best possible viewing experiences.
Smart stadiums are the future of football, both in terms of performance and fan experiences, and Sport Lisboa e Benfica is leading the charge in creating a next-generation stadium for its 14 million fans.
Prior, the Portuguese club had several smaller, spread out data centers, and had begun to struggle with its growing technology needs. The club was troubled by remote Operations and Maintenance (O&M) which resulted in lack of efficiency and other problems at the data center.
To improve both the online and offline interactive spectator experiences and enable fans to enjoy network connectivity, the Benfica Club cooperated with Huawei to create a new-generation smart stadium in 2015.
Huawei’s Agile Stadium Solution, a powerful technology for next generation football stadiums, provides the Estadio da Luz, the club’s home field in Lisbon, with high-density Wi-Fi that can support 64,000 fans, along with a new generation Data Center solution with IT infrastructure to power the grounds and enable connectivity to smartphones and tablets.
One of the most significant changes has been the installation of Huawei’s FusionModule 2000 modular data center.
Simple and flexible capacity expansion: FusionModule2000’s modular deployment and key facility factory prefabrication only takes about three months from construction to operation. Compared with traditional data centers whose long construction period is two to three years, even if network traffic outgrows the capacity of the current data center, the facility can now easily expand in response.
Efficient: FusionModule2000 is an independent O&M data center for Benfica. In the past, remote O&M across dispersed data centers had become a major issue, so O&M efficiency issues are now resolved.
Reliable: The fault-tolerant design of the facility ensures reliable, uninterrupted streaming. Additionally, the main data center and its disaster recovery data center now work as mutual backup, which improves reliability. Without risk of signal interruption, the football fans are guaranteed seamless viewing experiences — no matter where they watch.
Huawei FusionModule2000 modular data center not only greatly reduces the data center deployment period, but also improves in terms of cost-effectiveness and technology. This ensures a smooth watching experience for over 500,000 users on Benfica’s TV channel. In addition, Huawei modular data center implements integrated O&M of the TV channel devices, greatly improving the power supply efficiency of the network and meeting the power supply requirements of all network branches.
Even the club’s training center, the Caixa Futebol Campus, benefits from this technology upgrade. Across the ground’s six pitches, players have access to smart training facilities that include sensors to monitor athletes through automatic learning systems.
Pedro Ferreira, the country Director of Huawei Portugal, says, “Huawei’s Agile Stadium Solution guarantees improved data center efficiency and future cloud computing and virtualization requirements, enhancing Benfica’s technological capabilities and bringing added value to all.”
Huawei considers innovation within the football arena as just the beginning. From higher resolution broadcasts to new ways to watch matches on different platforms, the tech company expects to expand and build new technologies that will benefit both players and fans.
In addition to Benfica, Huawei has also been working with other European football clubs such as AFC Ajax, Arsenal, Madrid, Glasgow Rangers, Paris Saint-Germain, Dortmund/BVB, Milan, La Liga, and others to build the smartest stadium solutions.