Connecting the Red Devils' Faithful: Extreme Networks Brings Wi-Fi Solutions to Old Trafford

By Greg Tavarez August 18, 2023

Fans at Old Trafford, home to Manchester United, were treated to seeing the likes of Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Nani, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie display their speed and technical ability as they attacked the opposition’s goal at the Stretford End.

Although things haven’t been “Glory Glory Man United” for the past decade since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, speed on the field is still on full display with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes.

But those players aren’t alone in the fast category that fans will notice this season, which started with a 1-0 win over Wolves on Aug. 14. Extreme Networks, which became United’s official Wi-Fi network solutions and Wi-Fi analytics provider in 2022, is committed to delivering the latest generation of Wi-Fi connectivity at the stadium for the hundreds of thousands of fans who visit the Theatre of Dreams each season.

Now, fans will experience fast new Wi-Fi solutions from Extreme, which completed the rollout of a new Wi-Fi 6 network at Old Trafford, deployed in partnership with Verizon (News - Alert) Business.

The new Wi-Fi 6 network supports modern experiences for fans, including updated digital signage throughout the stadium and mobile ticket scanning at the stadium entrances. Stay connected with friends and family and utilize the Manchester United mobile app to navigate the stadium as well as get match updates when away from seats.

For Old Trafford’s operations teams, ExtremeAnalytics provides real-time insights into fan activity and network performance, which is used to continuously improve digital fan experiences. This includes application usage insights, which identifies areas and moments of increased usage to ensure better provision of services.

Manchester United’s IT team also leverages ExtremeCloud IQ to monitor and optimize network performance, giving it a view into the entire stadium network through a single dashboard. The cloud-managed network enables the IT team to easily scale operations based on event needs and automatically adjust traffic streams based on network traffic, helping ensure seamless experiences for fans and staff connected to the network.

“The network is at the heart of every organization. With functions from EMS services to retail stores, a stadium on gameday is like a small smart city, and the network supports every digital service,” said Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks (News - Alert). “The new network at Old Trafford will enable its operations team to improve experiences for everyone who visits the stadium while streamlining match day operations.”

With Extreme, the next time United win major silverware, fans at Old Trafford can take it all in with reliable Wi-Fi. Bringing it back to the now, fans chanting “United, United” during a buildup to a goal from Rashford, which then prompts the chanting of “Marcus Rashford is Manc born and bred,” would be a sight to behold. Extreme’s reliable Wi-Fi 6 gives fans the ability to stay connected while capturing it all on their devices.

"Old Trafford is steeped in history; it is vital we keep innovating with the best possible modern digital solutions which allow us to improve the overall matchday fan experience,” said Attiq Qureshi, Chief Digital Information Officer, Manchester United. “The next generation of connectivity at Old Trafford will provide the club with a great platform for future digital innovation as well as help the club better understand the wants and needs of our huge fanbase.”

Edited by Alex Passett
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