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Fans Cheer Wireless Soccer Stadium

7/29/2014 2:10:14 PM

Background

The Glasgow Rangers Soccer Team is one of the Scottish Premier League clubs (one of the two Scottish Premier League clubs in Glasgow). It has maintained a monopoly on Scottish soccer for over 100 years. Its home ground is Ibrox Stadium in the south-west of Glasgow, with a capacity of 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 British history. Being a UEFA five-star stadium, Ibrox stadium currently has the second largest spectator capacity in Scotland and maintains the record in average fan attendance for league matches in Britain.

To provide better services and enrich fans’ experience, the club plans to build a Wi-Fi network that covers the whole stadium and offers Internet and value-added services, including online lottery, social media, and online shopping.

Solution

Huawei solution deploys indoor and outdoor APs in spectator stands and other areas of the stadium to provide Wi-Fi access for tens of thousands of fans. In addition to the APs, Huawei also deploys S5700 access switches, S7700 core switches, AR3200 routers, and USG5500 firewalls to construct an end-to-end network.

Wireless coverage

The wireless network needs to cover a wide area, including the four stands (Govan Stand, Broomloan, Copland Stand, and Main Stand) and parking lot. The deployment environments are also complex. To address the challenges, Huawei uses enterprise-level WLAN products, including indoor APs, 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 access point 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 and especially applicable to enterprise offices, campus, hospitals, large shopping malls, stadiums, and exhibition centers.

Huawei 802.11n dual-band outdoor AP6510 adopts a 2 x 2 MIMO design and provides enhanced performance and a rate of up to 600 Mbit/s. It is high- and low-temperature resistant, dustproof, and waterproof, and applies to squares, pedestrian streets, and amusement parks. The AP6510 offers an industry-leading high-density access capability, enabling users to enjoy smooth and dependable wireless services.

Huawei box AC6605 uses an integrated design and is deployed in the core equipment room. It can function as a wired access or aggregation device and also a wireless management device to manage and monitor APs. It supports STA roaming, allowing STAs to roam within coverage areas without service 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 rich smart scheduling features for high-density user access which include airtime scheduling, Auto Radio (automatic radio calibration), High Density Boost, and multi-user Connection Access Control (CAC), 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 uses the following design innovations to ensure high network reliability:

  • AC 1+1 Hot Standby (HSB): 1+1 HSB is implemented between ACs through the CAPWAP control channel. 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 job of the active AC. The AP keeps detecting 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 (IP) design: Huawei outdoor AP6510DNs comply with IP67 waterproof and dustproof standards of the industry, which prevent dust, sand, and rain from entering into devices. The AP6510DNs can operate in humidity of 10% RH to 100% RH (non-condensing) and temperatures of -40℃ to +60℃. Huawei AP6510DNs use an all-metal shell and have built-in feeder, network port, and AC port surge protectors. A Huawei outdoor AP is equivalent of a a common AP with four feeder surge protectors, a network port surge connector, and an AC surge protector. This means that customers do not need to purchase additional surge protective devices; reducing network construction costs significantly. Additionally, this surge protection design prevents single point failures that result from multiple passive components and improves network stability and reliability
  • New-generation hardware architecture: Huawei’s WLAN products are equipped with the latest in RF chip technology and industry-leading CPUs. The RF chip provides high linearity and large power with signal amplification features. It ensures that signals are stable and not distorted in 802.11n high-speed mode. The CPU chip applied on 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 which can prevent interference and mutual impact between receive and transmit channels to reduce the Bit Error Rate (BER) and improve data transmission efficiency.

Benefits

  • Serving 51,082 spectators, the high-speed Wi-Fi network provides a stable and interactive social networking platform to improve brand recognition and fan loyalty
  • The new network platform creates new business opportunities, delivers a quick Return On Investment (ROI), and increases the stadium’s revenues through value-added services, such as advertising, sales promotion, and online lotteries
  • The highly reliable WLAN architecture design, along with a unified network management system (NMS), makes network operation and maintenance easy for the customer