NFL's biggest stadium will open with Wi-Fi 6

SoFi Stadium, where the LA Chargers and LA Rams will play starting next year, is getting the latest wireless service from Cisco.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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SoFi Stadium

SoFi Stadium will have Wi-Fi 6 when it opens in July.

Hollywood Park Land Company

SoFi Stadium, where NFL's Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will play their home games when it opens next summer, is getting Wi-Fi 6 -- as is the surrounding Hollywood Park area. Cisco is in charge of installing the high-speed wireless connectivity, the networking giant said Thursday.

Wi-Fi 6 is the next standard in wireless networking, allowing compatible devices like routers to take advantage of to transmit Wi-Fi signals more efficiently. Speeds are meant to be around 30% faster than Wi-Fi 5, with a theoretical maximum speed of 10Gbps. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 was the first phone to be officially Wi-Fi 6 capable, and it was followed by the iPhone 11. There's also multiple Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market.

When CNET conducted our first round of Wi-Fi 6 speed tests, we clocked Wi-Fi 6 transfer speeds at 1,320Mbps -- around 40% faster than the fastest Wi-Fi 5 speed we've ever measured of 938Mbps. It was also 1,000% faster than the current average download speed in the US of 119Mbps.

For the new LA-area stadium, Cisco said there'll be more than 2,500 Wi-Fi 6 access points, providing four times more bandwidth and promising that everyone can be on their phones at the same time. Cisco said the setup will also have better reliability so it won't drop out, will have higher security and will be less taxing on phone batteries .

The venue is also getting 4K HD video across 2,500 screens, using Cisco Vision.

"We envision SoFi Stadium not just hosting world-class events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics, but also ... [setting] a new standard for the fan experience through cutting-edge technology that will enhance the way guests interact with live events," said Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.

LA Rams owner and chair E. Stanley Kroenke is developing SoFi, which will be the biggest stadium in the NFL. The indoor-outdoor stadium in Inglewood, California, will seat up to 100,000 people and is set to open in July 2020. There will be a 6,000-seat performance venue next door for concerts, awards shows and esports competitions.

Super Bowl LVI in 2022 will take place in SoFi Stadium, as will the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

First published at 7:00 a.m. PT on Oct. 31.
Updated on Nov. 1 at 5:54 p.m.: Adds more detail on Wi-Fi 6.

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