Chalk up another impressive stadium-network win for middleman ExteNet Systems, which will install and maintain a DAS (Distributed Antenna System) network in the new Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA.
The Barclays Center, a 19,000-capacity stadium set to open in September, will host hundreds of events a year including home games for the old “New Jersey” Nets, who will move to the borough of Brooklyn for the next NBA season. Like it does at the new Marlins Stadium in Miami, ExteNet will act as the network service provider, connecting the small cellular DAS antennas to any wireless service provider who wants to improve its in-building coverage.
If you missed our previous post about ExteNet, here’s a quick primer on how it uses DAS to bring better service to fans, and better business to service providers and stadium owners:
If you’re not familar with how a DAS works, it’s essentialy a bunch of small cellular antennas that are mounted on ceilings and walls inside buildings, instead of on huge towers like traditional cellular antennas. A DAS network administrator provides normal cellular connectivity to users, and then connects those signals to the appropriate cellular vendor on the network’s back end. DAS deployments can also add Wi-Fi antennas to their infrastructure mix. ExteNet, like many DAS operators, can connect its back end to any number of cellular networks, meaning that fans don’t have to be a customer of a certain provider to get better in-stadium service.
The openness of ExteNet’s design may make it a better choice for stadium operators than an internal network designed and owned by a single carrier, since fans wouldn’t have to be customers of a specific carrier to get better service. ExteNet runs a network operations center 24/7 to provide support to all its networks, and signs a service level agreement (SLA) with both the stadium owner and its cellular partners to give both parties what they really want — happier customers.
No word yet from ExteNet on which carriers might be signing up to provide service to Nets fans. But it’s a big win for the relatively new player ExteNet, in a high profile installation.