Wembley and EE transform iconic arch to mark new wave of stadium technology
- Unique light show on Wembley arch marks roll out of new stadium technology as part of EE’s six year partnership deal
- Iconic arch installed with world’s fastest-response LED lighting system and will react to event moments such as goals scored and crowd noise as well as social media sentiment
- Arch light display will be viewable through live in-app ‘Arch Cam’ as part of a series of updates to the official Wembley app launching October 9
- Wembley and EE reveal contactless ambition with payment and ticketing plans for less queues and more convenience
- EE commits to installing world’s fastest commercial mobile data network in stadium by 2015, and quadruples capacity for phone calls, texts, social media updates and fan selfies
- For more information visit ee.co.uk/Wembley
Wednesday September 24 2014: Wembley National Stadium Ltd. (WNSL) and EE last night transformed the London skyline with a spectacular illumination of the iconic stadium arch set to Clean Bandit’s chart-topping hit, Rather Be. The fastest interactive LED lighting system in the world has been installed on the arch as part of Wembley Stadium connected by EE’s ground-breaking six year partnership deal, which was announced in February.
The advanced arch lighting system marks a new wave of technology innovations at the stadium – stage one of EE’s commitment to transform Wembley into the most connected stadium in the world. From early 2015, the iconic arch will act as the digital heartbeat of stadium events as fans will be able to control the light show with social media sentiment. The LED lights will also react to significant moments such as goals scored and crowd noise. The specialist lighting system is comprised of 228 large-scale LED floodlights which can create millions of colour combinations – including EE’s signature aqua tone – and when placed end to end stretch the length of five Olympic-size swimming pools.
The arch will be able to be viewed through the official Wembley app via the new live arch cam function, which forms part of a series of updates going live on October 9 – in time for England’s Euro qualifier against San Marino. Further updates include ‘Event Day’ mode, offering stadium visitors a dynamic news feed with aggregated social media content and a free event-day playlist, which will feature 150 tracks to help fans get in the mood to support their favourite team or act performing at Wembley. For those using the app at the stadium – new features offer fans a chance to win a seat upgrade for free and message the big screen direct from their smartphones.
Roger Maslin, Managing Director at Wembley National Stadium Ltd, said: “Technology is changing the way that people enjoy the events at Wembley Stadium – how they get here, how they get in, how they buy drinks and snacks, and how they share their experiences with friends and family. Wembley and EE have a shared ambition to use technology to make this stadium the best fan experience anywhere in the world – that’s about being the most connected stadium, and integrating mobile into everything people do here.
“Ahead of a busy autumn schedule with three NFL matches, vital England qualifiers and the first England Women’s Senior match at Wembley Stadium in November, we’re working to continue to create inspiring memories for every sport and music fan.”
Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE said: "Switching on the new connected arch marks an exciting moment in our technology roll out, with fantastic new app features launching in October, contactless technology to change the way people queue and pay, and so much 3G and 4G capacity that uploading selfies and downloading replays are possible for everyone. The Wembley experience has advanced so much in the last seven months, and it’s just going to keep getting better and better.”
To keep technology at the forefront of the fan experience, and change the way people queue and pay, Wembley and EE are trialling contactless payments and ticketing in the stadium this year. Terminals are being installed in the stadium to support card payments, and mobile payments from EE’s Cash on Tap and other major device payment services. EE and Wembley have an ambition for over 50% of all payments in the stadium to be contactless by 2017.
Mobile network innovations
Since the partnership announcement in February, EE has commenced a vast network upgrade programme at the stadium to ensure that every visitor through the gates can stay connected. 3G and 4G capacity has already increased as part of EE’s commitment to provide consistently fast speeds, even on event days. More capacity means more people can connect, and upload more to social media and download or stream from sports channels. It also means phone calls and texts are more reliable, so you can keep in touch with friends and arrange where to meet.
In 2015, EE will continue to invest in superfast WiFi and enabling a 4G service that all the other UK operators can join – making sure every smartphone can get a great connection. EE will also launch the 300Mbps ‘LTE-Advanced’ network in Wembley next year, and trial speeds of up to 400Mbps, making Wembley the world’s fastest stadium.
Fotis Karonis, CTO at EE, said: "Since we announced this historic partnership six months ago, customers using the network at Wembley have already uploaded the equivalent of 850,000 selfies, and streamed 400,000 goal replays. We’ve added enough capacity to connect every visitor that walks through the gates, and we’re continuing to invest – more 3G, more 4G, Superfast WiFi and the capability to launch a multi-operator 4G service, supporting all the networks, means everyone with a smartphone can be connected at Wembley.
“This partnership has a very clear vision – we want Wembley to be the world’s best connected stadium, showing off new technologies first and giving two million visitors a year the best possible Wembley experience.”
To register for more information visit ee.co.uk/Wembley
For more information on the new features launching on October 9 go to http://wembley.ee.co.uk/app/
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As part of its program of innovation since February 2014, EE has already:
- Doubled 3G & 4G capacity for more calls and more mobile internet
- Installed Multi-Gbps backhaul – meaning more calls and data for everyone
- Added 12 new mobile antennas to cover more of the stadium
- Carried more than 1.7 Terabytes of downloaded data – the equivalent of 400,000 goal replays
- Carried more than 900 Gigabytes of uploaded data – the equivalent of 850,000 Wembley selfies
- Enabled 99% of calls to be successful around the stadium
Before the end of 2015, EE will:
- Enable a multi-operator system to allow all operators to offer 4G in the stadium
- Switch on the 300Mbps network
- Trial and launch contactless ticketing and payments, to change the way people queue and pay
- Trial a ‘4G Broadcast’ service in Club Wembley – offering more HD content to more devices, all with no buffering
- Trial a 400Mbps network – making Wembley the world’s fastest stadium
- Trial in-app ordering to seat and jump the queue facilities to make drinks and snacks even easier to get to at half time
For more information, please contact Wembley Stadium, EE or M&C Saatchi PR:
Thomas Rowland, The Football Association – Thomas.Rowland@thefa.com
Jessica Turner, EE – Jessica.Turner@ee.co.uk
M&C Saatchi PR – firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7544 3600
For further information on EE, please visit www.ee.co.uk
About Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Wembley Stadium is the home of the England national football team. Since its creation in 1923 Wembley has hosted some of the most famous sporting and music entertainment events, including England’s World Cup success in 1966 and some of the most iconic music moments including Live Aid in 1985 and Take That’s record-breaking Progress Tour in 2011.
The original stadium was demolished in 2000 and the new, 90,000-seat stadium was opened in 2007.
Wembley Stadium has evolved and now hosts no fewer than 15 different event owners with an incredible 38 events hosted in 2013. The NFL will host three International Series matches in 2014 which complement the other existing partnerships with the Football League, RFL, Saracens Rugby Club and a number of music promoters, including SJM, Metropolis and Live Nation.
In 2012 the stadium hosted nine matches during the Olympic Games and was the proud host of the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, making it a total of seven European Cup Finals, more than any other venue in Europe.
Wembley Stadium has a rich and proud sporting and music heritage spanning 91-years and welcomed boxing back to the stadium with a blockbuster fight between Carl Froch and George Groves in May 2014.
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EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 15,000 employees and 520 retail stores, and serves more than 30 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.
EE runs the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 70% of the UK population. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.
In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Best network at the 2014 Mobile News Awards, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2013 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu awards and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards.
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