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Connector of the World, Warden of the IAAF

On August 30, 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships: Beijing 2015 drew to a close. This sparky athletic gala in Beijing evoked high praise from its audience, which numbered in and around 6 billion people located around the world. Sebastian Coe, the President of the IAAF, even dubbed it as the best one in history.

Meantime, Huawei also received a letter of thanks from the Committee, which stated the following: “The 2015 Beijing IAAF World Championships is the first important international athletic competition in Beijing after the 2008 Olympic Games. During the preparatory and competition period, your company’s technical team demonstrated a highly developed sense of political responsibility, excellent general situational awareness and sensitivity, and was held in high regard by the IAAF. We would like to express our sincere thanks for your support and to express the highest level of respect for your technical team.”

As brief as the letter was, it carried a lot of weight for Chen Gang, the project delivery manager of Huawei. In less than 100 days, they equipped the stadium with more than 1000 APs. This Wi-Fi network offered access to more than 680,000 spectators. The 16.4 TB traffic flow generated in this duration was capable of carrying 8.6 million digital photos or facilitating 1.6 billion social media interactions.

So how did Huawei pull this off? As the leading manufacturer of wireless solutions for high-density stadiums, Huawei was fully involved in the key aspects of this project, including demands analysis, circumstance surveys, and overall modeling, as well as providing professional O&M and network assurance proposals. It also successfully provisioned high-density wireless coverage within the single largest steel-structured stadium in China and guaranteed Wi-Fi access during the athletic meeting by taking three measures:

  • Visualized simulation of signals to ensure coverage: Huawei has pioneered the technique of visual stimulation of signals, that is, to map a 3D image of network coverage, which enables network adjustment before the network is actually deployed. In this way, extremely precise customer-oriented solutions can be provided. It enables Huawei to work out the optimal solution for each customer no matter how complex, unusual, or specialized the building or environment in question is.
  • Putting together an effective team to guarantee excellent service: As previously mentioned, Huawei built a high-quality network consisting of 1088 APs and about 100 switches, routers, and safety devices within 100 days. In doing this, Huawei was faced with numerous obstacles that encompassed shipment, construction, optimization, and acceptance issues. During the deployment phase, the most difficult task was to deploy 155 APs and their corresponding antennas on ceilings. As the suspended ceilings blocked the devices from view, coverage directions and angles were unknown. The experts could only rely on their accumulated experience and educated guesswork in deploying them. Even given all of the aforementioned circumstances, the deployed network nonetheless met every conceivable expectation and all of the necessary requirements of this application scenario.
  • Senior experts ready to tackle any given emergency: Prior to the athletic meeting, Huawei organized an R&D and service team of 27 experts to formulate detailed contingency plans. During the meeting, the service team members stayed on duty in each area, prepared for any emergencies. Their professional dedication drew great recognition from their peers.

Huawei has won the admiration and respect of the media and partners owing to the Wi-Fi network for IAAF World Championships: Beijing 2015. Emanuele Perotti Nigra, the Manager of IAAF’s IT department, stated “It is really incredible that Huawei took only three months to complete and deliver such a complicated project, with such a good Wi-Fi access experience. We are sure to recommend Huawei’s solution to the London IAAF.”

By Zhou Wei