Wimbledon 2017: The tech behind the tennis


Wimbledon trials in-grounds Wi-Fi

Source:  Wimbledon/IBM

Whether Wi-Fi will be introduced to the Wimbledon grounds has been a frequently asked question over the years, especially considering the site’s patchy signal and the introduction of the Wimbledon app in 2016.

One year the later, the grounds are trialling public Wi-Fi to certain areas in the grounds, and using this trial to monitor and analyse user behaviour when accessing the service.

But as Sam Seddon, Wimbledon client programme executive for IBM, points out, one of the main issues with introducing Wi-Fi in the grounds is the aesthetic.

"Does the grass still look good? Is the Astroturf the right colour and the right quality? That will honestly be as important a consideration" he explains.

Currently, Wi-Fi points are buried to maintain the beauty of the grounds, and also to test how the Wi-Fi performs when buried up to two inches – in 2018 the hope is to introduce Wi-Fi to The Hill where fans with ground tickets gather every year to sit and watch larger courts on big screens.

Due to health and safety considerations, Wi-Fi cannot be implemented through poles or fixed units, leaving burying the access points the only option. 

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