With an enrollment of over 31,000 students, the University of Connecticut (UCONN) ranks as one of the largest universities in New England. The public institution boasts a formidable athletics department, particularly its men’s and women’s basketball programs that have won a combined 15 NCAA titles since 1995. While renowned as a basketball powerhouse, the school’s football team is also impressive in its own right, having garnered 26 conference championships in its history. When game day rolls around, legions of diehard fans flock to the XL Center (1) in Hartford and the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford to see their beloved Huskies in action.

Not only does the XL Center host UCONN’s men’s and women’s home basketball games, the 15,000+ seat arena also serves as a popular venue for trade shows, consumer events, ice-skating spectaculars and concerts performed by the biggest names in the music business. Similarly, Rentschler Field, where the Huskies football team takes the gridiron, is a full service facility designed to host special occasions including banquets, weddings, job fairs, corporate meetings, and bar and bat mitzvahs. In order to ensure successful, incident-free events, operations at both the XL Center and Rentschler Field require wireless communication. They rely on equipment for maximum readiness and rapid response – which is why they turned to Hytera America. As a full solutions provider of professional wireless communications platforms that include two-way radios and wireless trunking systems, Hytera was able to design a customized solution for each facility.

For the XL Center, Hytera supplied 175 PD752 portable radios and a cost-efficient XPT Digital Trunking System(2). The PD7 Series is built to the DMR Standard and is packed with robust features for both voice and data communication. Users enjoy superior digital audio clarity even in noisy environments, such as a thrilling basketball game or booming rock concert. The PD752 also offers encrypted communication for enhanced security.

For any events at the XL center that take place there, the center hands a couple of the PD752 radios to the first responders to ensure there are no communication issues with them during the events. Craig Jankowski, Director of Operations at the XL Center explains, “We stay in contact with each other...[and] work closely with the Hartford Fire Department and Police Department as well to help our events get off, and be nice and successful."

One of the primary challenges to communication at events held at the XL Center is the sheer number of people with mobile devices, leading to dropped or even failed calls. Fortunately, the PD752 offers reliable and instant push-to-talk communication to circumvent interference in a way previous radios could not, allowing XL Center personnel to respond to all incidents and emergencies. Armed with radios, Mr. Jankowski communicates with staff on a minute-by-minute basis, adding, “If there’s a safety hazard, or somebody happens to slip and fall and needs some type of medical attention immediately, we are able to radio instantly to our medical staff.”

At the 38,000-seat Rentschler Field, Stadium Operations Manager Derek Miles raves about the Hytera platform his staff has been using for just over a year. To meet their needs, Hytera designed a communications solution that includes up to 240 PD782 (3) two-way radios and an XPT system. As a PD7 Series radio, the PD782 ensures better audio quality across a wider coverage area, and has data capabilities for sending private and group text messages. It has a rugged design built for protection against dust and water immersion up to one meter for 30 minutes. Perhaps what impresses Mr. Miles most is the PD782’s battery life. He says it lasts “a million times longer” than the radios his team used in the past. The long lasting battery, along with its compact and lightweight structural design, makes it easy for staff to carry and operate well into late double-overtime games, and beyond.

Like Mr. Jankowski, Mr. Miles was also frustrated by the frequency of dropped calls he experienced with radios prior to adopting Hytera products. “We did have quite a few problems with calls dropping out, and with these new ones...dropped calls are down to basically nothing. Everyone loves it.”

When playing host to tens of thousands of people, anything can happen – especially during raucous college sporting events. The best way to provide a safe experience for everyone in attendance is through preparedness. Crystal clear and reliable communication enabling a quick and efficient response is essential. Equipped with state-of-the-art communications systems from Hytera, the operations departments at the XL Center and Rentschler Field can better ensure smooth proceedings and a secure atmosphere come game day. The only thing the Huskies faithful have to worry about? Securing their next championship title.

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9 August 2017

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