Customer Service in Arenas

Have you noticed that at large sporting and concert venues, you frequently can not access your mobile network due to the large number of people who are all trying to access the network at the same time?    At one venue where I attend college football games mobile phone access on AT&T’s network is almost an impossibility due to the number of people all trying to call, text, look-up scores, etc.   The inability to access the network means that one has to make other arrangements to connect with others at the event like we used to do before anybody had a mobile phone.   Like ‘let’s meet after the 3rd quarter…’

So at these locations where people spend a lot of money on tickets to attend, why do you suppose that the stadium or arena doesn’t provide free wifi access?

At one location where I attend games they’ve built a new $260M football stadium and they do not provide free wifi.   I sent someone a note about it during last year’s season and they said they’d look into it.   Nothing happened so this year, I asked about it again and I was told it was extremely expensive they would not be providing wifi access.    Extremely expensive?   Hello?  We have a new stadium and we didn’t plan to install wifi and it is too expensive to put in now?     I have it at my home.   I think I can get access at McDonalds and we have it at my church.

If you consider that many at the games are trying to look up other scores or sending simple messages or uploading pictures, doesn’t it seem to make a lot of sense to put in a wifi network that would 1) delight those who could access it and 2) unload a lot of traffic from the mobile networks making it more usable to all?

It seems to me that these organizations need to think differently and consider the ticket paying patrons in the stands who want to connect with others easily.   Putting in wifi allowing parents to easily connect with their kids, allowing businesses to connect with their clients seems like a customer service issue, not a technical issue.  It certainly isn’t a cost issue.

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