American punk rock band Green Day put on a show at newly renamed and revamped Spark Arena on Saturday and Sunday night. Most importantly for Spark, it was the first time those in the audience fans in the audience could capture their arena experience while using the new free high-powered Spark Arena WiFi.
Thousands of fans logged on and made use of the new WiFi before, during and after the concerts. From the start of the weekend to the finish, the free WiFi network transferred over 400GB of data, meaning that fans were able to check in online and share photos of their arena experience on social media.
This is the maiden voyage for Spark’s new arena WiFi service, which has been introduced as part of the rebranding of Vector Arena to Spark Arena. Spark partnered with Huawei to develop the high density WiFi network.
Brendan Hines, GM at Spark Arena says the results were satisfactory.
“It was amazing to see the Arena WiFi in action for the first time over the weekend. Here at the Arena, we’re all about creating amazing live experiences and lasting memories for fans,” he says.
“We could see over the weekend that fans embraced the new technology for things like event information and of course capturing and sharing the buzz of the live gig through social media.”
Neal Richardson, portfolio director for WiFi, explains why it was a no brainer to bring free WiFi to the arena.
“Just as Spark bring music into our technology through our partnership with Spotify, we saw an opportunity to bring our tech to music by providing free WiFi to Spark Arena,” he says.
“With Spark Arena WiFi, visitors will be able to jump online easily as part of enjoying the awesome time they’re having at Spark Arena. So many opportunities to create FOMO!”
Spark Arena WiFi is available and free to use for all visitors to the venue. The network extends right around the building – and the stadium-sized specifications of the network means that thousands of visitors can use the WiFi simultaneously.
Richardson gives an overview of the WiFi setup.
“It’s without a doubt the best WiFi technology currently available at a large venue in New Zealand. The Spark Arena network supports over ten times the capacity of the WiFi at other large scale New Zealand sporting and entertainment venues,” he says.
“When we compare this to international benchmarks such as the WiFi provided at the O2 in London, we think the experience stacks up really well.”
“We designed the solution to ensure a significant proportion of a packed Arena audience can connect to WiFi and use it to enhance their experience of visiting the arena. Up to 80% of a full capacity audience should be able to connect to WiFi simultaneously.”
The new partnership between Spark and the arena means that Spark is the sole technology partner for Spark Arena going forward. Introducing WiFi to the venue is just the first initiative for the partnership. Spark and the arena plan to look at different ways of using technology to enhance the visitor experience in future.