Villa Park set to offer 4G mobile phone coverage for fans
Villa Park looks set to be the first stadium in the Barclays Premier League to offer 4G phone coverage to fans on a matchday.
Supporters should be able to better text and phone on their mobiles in B6 from Spring 2014.
Villa have been in discussions with Vodafone for the past two years in a bid to expand the matchday cellular coverage at the stadium.
Mobile phone coverage has been spotty and non-existent at times in the past, due to the sheer number of supporters at Villa Park.
Discussions were in conceptual stages for the past twelve months but sitework began at Villa Park this week.
It is a big project, with the "extensive" system of antennae and cabling inside the stadium taking approximately eight months to fully install.
The system would be attached to the underside of roofs and look very much like flat speakers - there would be no external masts.
It would provide Villa Park with very specific 4G cell coverage, separate from surrounding areas.
Only those within the perimeter of the ground would be able to access.
Tom Fantini, head of facilities, said: "We believe this is exciting news for our supporters, particularly those who actively rely on their mobile phones.
"We have fully recognised the need to improve and are working strenuously to make this happen.
"These plans should not only allow better communications for our supporters in terms of texting and calling but also increase the smart-phone data downloading capabilities of some of our more technologically-interactive fans."
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