Football fans at games in the Championship, League One and League Two will be able to access free WiFi in the future, after The Football League signed a deal with IntechnologyWiFi to offer access.
However, the service will not offer full all-internet access but instead provide key information such as real-time news and scores, social media content, highlights of the game and access to league betting sponsor SkyBet via a dedicated iOS or Android app for that club.
The costs of the WiFi installation will be paid for by IntechnologyWiFi as part of a seven-year deal signed with The Football League, and a full list of clubs taking part will be announced on 30 June.
The Football League said that providing access to an app containing key information on match days, rather than full internet access, would give fans a “complete match day” experience, and solve the problem of patchy and weak mobile data coverage often encountered at packed stadiums.
“The Football League is leading the way with regard to delivering digital solutions to its member clubs so that they can enhance the supporter experience at their matches,” said Shaun Harvey, chief executive of The Football League.
“The fact that IntechnologyWiFi is able to deliver this solution at no cost, while also facilitating new revenue streams for our clubs, made this a compelling proposition.”
Peter Wilkinson, CEO of Intechnology Plc, added that the rollout of the service will be a “game-changer”.
“Anyone who has tried to log-on in a stadium during a busy football match will know the sheer frustration of poor connectivity caused by bad WiFi or overburdened cellular networks (i.e. 3G or 4G), which can also be hugely expensive (in terms of data) for users,” he said.
“Our solution will revolutionise the digital match-day experience for fans, harnessing the power of great WiFi connectivity and the smartphone in the palm of their hand to deliver a market-defining digital content offering.”
The move to enhance the digital services available to fans may not please some football supporter purists, but it underlines the growing push in all areas of life to use technology to enhance offerings to end-users, whatever the event.
To recognise this sort of digital transformation, V3 has recently launched the V3 Digital Technology Leaders Awards 2016 to celebrate the best projects, people and digital teams bringing new ideas to life to benefit customers and their business. Entries are free and open now.
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