ExteNet Signs Wireless Deal with Minor Hockey League, Adds App Integration

Screenshot of Go Beyond Live app.

Screenshot of Go Beyond Live app.

Wireless infrastructure provider ExteNet Systems this week announced that it has been named the “Official Arena Wireless Network Provider” for the American Hockey League, a minor-league circuit with teams in 30 cities across the country. Though no specific deals have yet been inked for specific arenas, the Lisle, Ill.-based ExteNet said it will start announcing plans later this year or early next, after it evaluates facilities to see what technology is needed.

Known best for its deployments of Distributed Antenna Systems in sporting venues, ExteNet can also design and deploy stadium Wi-Fi, which it may need to do for some of the AHL arenas. “There are some things that can’t be done just by cellular alone,” said Jon Davis, vice president of business development at ExteNet, in a phone interview earlier this week.

While we’re always skeptical of such open-ended deals like ExteNet’s AHL agreement as well as the one it recently signed with AEG — we have seen too many such announcements in the tech world that end up being a lot of nothing — ExteNet’s track record of building networks for large institutions like the University of Michigan and the Miami Marlins seems to suggest that the company is capable of handling large-scale operations. If nothing else, maybe ExteNet will be hiring more engineers soon, so forward those resumes.

An interesting sideline to the AHL deal is ExteNet’s announcement that it will make available to AHL teams an in-stadium app, developed by the Wireless Fan Network. Called Go Beyond Live, the app has various features designed for use in sports arenas, like concession ordering and replay video services. According to ExteNet the Go Beyond Live app is not exclusive, meaning that teams can add their own apps to whatever infrastructure is built. But the partnership highlights what we here at MSR see as a big potential future for app developers, namely building apps for the thousands of teams and leagues that aren’t in the top pro tiers.

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