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Fans Cheer Wireless Glasgow Football Stadium

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Fans Cheer Wireless Glasgow Football Stadium

2014/7/29 14:10:14

Background

The Glasgow Rangers Football Club is one of two Scottish Premier League clubs in Glasgow. It has been a major force in Scottish football for over 100 years. Its home ground, Ibrox Stadium in southwest Glasgow, holds 51,082 spectators.

Located on the south bank of the River Clyde in the Ibrox district of Glasgow, Ibrox stadium is one of the oldest and largest football stadiums in Great Britain. Ibrox is rated a five-star stadium by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the governing body of football in Europe. The stadium currently has the second largest spectator capacity in Scotland and maintains the record in average fan attendance for league matches in Great Britain.

Challenges

To provide better services and enrich fans’ experience, the club planned a Wi-Fi network that would connect the entire stadium, plus the parking lot. The Wi-Fi-enabled stadium would offer Internet and value-added services, including online lottery, social media, and online shopping. However, any solution would have to face the challenges of wireless interference and unstable signals in a complex environment.

Solution

In 2013, Ibrox Stadium managers selected Huawei, due to its experience providing Wi-Fi services at other stadiums. The managers knew that proper wireless network planning would be the key to strong signal coverage.

The Huawei solution deployed indoor and outdoor Access Points (APs) in spectator stands and other areas of the stadium to provide Wi-Fi access for all the fans. In addition to the APs, Huawei also deployed S5700 access switches, S7700 core switches, AR3200 routers, and USG5500 firewalls to construct an end-to-end network.

Wireless coverage

Huawei also used enterprise-level WLAN products, including indoor and outdoor APs (AP6010DN and AP6510DN), and AC6605 wireless access controllers. A total of 253 APs are deployed, including 105 indoor AP6010 and AP7110s, and 148 outdoor AP6510s.

Huawei indoor AP6010DN is a performance-enhanced 802.11n AP with integrated built-in MIMO antennas. It works on dual frequency bands, provides a rate of up to 600 Mbit/s, and supports high-density access. The AP6010DN is well-designed with energy-saving features.

Huawei 802.11n dual-band outdoor AP6510 uses a 2 x 2 MIMO design and provides enhanced performance and a rate of up to 600 Mbit/s. It resists high and low temperatures, and is dustproof and waterproof. Its industry-leading high-density access enables football fans to enjoy smooth and dependable wireless services.

Huawei AC6605 used an integrated design and is deployed in the core equipment room. It can function as a wired access or aggregation device and as a wireless Access Controller (AC) to manage and monitor APs. It supports STA roaming, enabling fans with their Wi-Fi devices to receive services within coverage areas without interruption.

High-density user access

Huawei WLAN products support the most-advanced 802.11 technologies. In addition to 802.11n, 802.11ac, MIMO, and implicit beamforming that improve throughput, they also integrate smart scheduling features for high-density user access. Features include airtime scheduling, Auto Radio (automatic radio frequency calibration), High-Density Boost, multi-user Connection Access Control, and low-rate access control.

Proper wireless network planning is the key to strong signal coverage. Huawei’s professional WLAN planning and optimization tools, such as WLAN Planner, together with experienced network planning experts, enable the wireless network to run in a stable manner and deliver high-speed access services, solving the problems of unstable signals and internal interference.

Huawei’s solution uses 18-degree directional antennas for wireless coverage of the spectator stands. The small-angle antenna design minimizes interference between co-channel APs so that high-density APs can be deployed to connect more users.

Network reliability

Huawei’s solution used the following design innovations to ensure high network reliability:

  • AC 1+1 Hot Standby: An AP sets up CAPWAP control channels with two ACs at the same time. When the active AC fails, the AP switches to the standby AC, and the standby AC takes over. The AP continuously manages the CAPWAP data and control channels. An active/standby switchover is triggered when the AP detects a data or control channel fault.
  • High Ingress Protection design: Huawei outdoor AP6510DNs comply with industry IP67 waterproof and dustproof standards, which prevent dust, sand, and rain from entering devices. These APs can operate in humid conditions of 10 percent RH to 100 percent RH (non-condensing) and temperatures of -40oC to +60oC. These APs have an all-metal shell, a built-in feeder, a network port, and AC port surge protectors. A Huawei outdoor AP has, in addition, four feeder surge protectors, a network port surge connector, and an AC surge protector.
  • New hardware architecture: Huawei’s WLAN products are equipped with the latest in RF chip technology and industry-leading CPUs. The RF chip’s signal amplification features provide high linearity and power. It ensures that signals are stable and not distorted in 802.11n high-speed mode. The CPU chip used in Huawei products offers higher processing capabilities and throughput, establishing the foundation for multi-user data forwarding. Huawei APs support level-2 isolation and anti-interference technologies that can prevent interference and mutual impact between receive and transmit channels. These reduce bit error rates and improve data transmission efficiency.

Benefits

  • The new network platform creates new business opportunities, delivers a quick return on investment, and increases the stadium’s revenues through value-added services, such as advertising, sales promotion, and online lotteries
  • The reliable WLAN architecture design, along with a unified network management system, makes network operation and maintenance easy for the Glasgow Rangers Football Club
  • Huawei’s surge protector design means that club network managers do not need to purchase additional surge protective devices, thus reducing network construction costs. Additionally, the surge protectors prevent single-point failures that can result from multiple passive components. As a result, the surge protector design improves network stability and reliability.

Huawei’s high-speed Wi-Fi network not only serves 51,000-plus spectators, but also provides a stable and interactive social networking platform to improve brand recognition and fan loyalty.

WORLDWIDE