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ASM hails UK’s ‘first 5G neutral host arena’

ASM Global has announced Leeds’ First Direct Arena as the UK’s first 5G neutral host arena.

Designed and installed by Boldyn Networks, the new 5G multi-carrier wireless network promises to “revolutionise” the visitor experience for fans attending events at the 13,000-cap building, while streamlining operations and commercial activity within the venue.

ASM says benefits for fans will include enhanced ticketing processes, more efficient entry and navigation around the venue, plus faster browsing and ordering from the range of food and beverage options.

Sponsors can also leverage this enhanced network to offer exclusive promotions and experiences, fostering stronger connections with their target audience.

“At ASM Global, we are continually striving to elevate the experience for all of our guests, and collaborating with innovative partners helps us keep our finger on the pulse,” says Chris Bray, EVP Europe at ASM Global. “Soon, guests at the First Direct Arena in Leeds will be able to experience live entertainment with complete connectivity, and not only that, there’ll also be vast improvements operationally, with high-speed 5G allowing our team on the ground to be even more agile in a fast paced environment.”

“The launch of the UK’s first 5G neutral host arena represents a significant leap forward in delivering seamless, high-speed connectivity”

The neutral host network model, implemented by Boldyn Networks, is designed to allow all four UK mobile network operators to join onto the network, minimising equipment and power usage, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient means of delivering reliable mobile connectivity to customers. 5G service will be rolled out as the mobile network operators connect to Boldyn’s neutral host network.

“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with First Direct Arena on this pioneering project,” adds Paul Osborne, chief commercial officer, UK & Ireland at Boldyn Networks. “The launch of the UK’s first 5G neutral host arena represents a significant leap forward in delivering seamless, high-speed connectivity for both fans and venue operators.

“This collaboration highlights our shared commitment to working with venues, including through our partnership with ASM Global, to revolutionise the visitor experience and set a new standard for connectivity in entertainment venues.”

Upcoming shows at First Direct Arena, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, include Iron Maiden, The National, Shania Twain, New Order and Fall Out Boy.


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