Ruckus Lands Major Stadium Deals as High-Capacity Smart Wi-Fi Takes Center Stage Around the World
SUNNYVALE, CA — May 20, 2013 — Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) today announced that it has been selected by Rio Tinto Stadium, a 28,000-seat outdoor stadium in Salt Lake City, the Chennai Stadium, a 50,000-seat stadium in India, and more than two dozen other high-density public venues around the world to provide high-capacity Smart Wi-Fi products and technology for a variety of public access applications.
Chennai Stadium and Rio Tinto Stadium are the latest additions to a growing list of public venues such as convention centers and conference halls worldwide that are turning to reliable, high-speed Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi, including:
- Asia World Expo (Hong Kong)
- Austria Center Vienna
- Bass Performance Hall (Fort Worth, TX)
- Chennai Stadium (India)
- Cobb Galleria Centre (Atlanta)
- DeVos Place Convention Center, and DeVos Performance Hall (Grand Rapids, MI)
- Earl’s Court Exhibition Hall (London)
- Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center
- ExCel (London)
- Georgia World Congress Center (Atlanta)
- Imtech Arena (Hamburg, Germany)
- Irving Convention Center (Irving, TX) • Kansas City Convention Center (MO)
- Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (Malaysia)
- La Cité Nantes Event Centre (France)
- Manchester Central (Manchester, UK)
- Moonee Valley Racing Club (Melbourne, Australia)
- Olympia Conference Center (London)
- Ontario Convention Center (CA)
- Sears Center Arena (Chicago)
- Sydney Entertainment Center and Sydney Town Hall (Australia)
- Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte, NC)
- Xiamen International Convention Center (China)
Unique Requirements for Deploying High Density Wi-Fi
The nature of high-density environments, where thousands of simultaneous users must be supported in a confined space, presents a unique set of challenges that conventional, enterprise Wi-Fi systems simply aren’t able to handle.
The requirements for high-density environments run counter to traditional enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments. Instead of optimizing for broad Wi-Fi signal coverage with the fewest number of access points, Wi-Fi networks within stadiums and other high-density environments require large numbers of access points (APs) to get the needed capacity and very high spectral reuse. When large numbers of APs are deployed in close proximity, it creates the potential for interference. Ruckus BeamFlex™ adaptive antenna technology is ideally suited to this kind of environment as it enables RF energy to be focused at the user. This increases the signal gain, which provides for a much better user experience. It also reduces the radio frequency (RF) energy that neighboring APs might see, which provides for greater interference mitigation.
Ruckus provides a line of ZoneFlex™ 7782 3x3:3 2.4/5GHz 802.11n APs with 120° sectorized and 30° narrow beam antennas, which are especially effective in stadiums when APs are mounted high above the crowd, as the narrow beam limits the coverage area. By limiting the coverage area, the opportunity for interference is also limited. Other technologies that can be essential in any high-density deployment are approaches that enable automatic channel selection. Ruckus ChannelFly™ technology enables the AP to automatically pick the optimum 2.4 or 5 GHz channel, and when circumstances change, the AP can quickly select another channel. The RF characteristics of a venue tend to change greatly with the presence of a crowd, and when that crowd ebbs and flows, the optimum channel selection may change. Having all APs operating on the optimum channel can improve overall network performance.
High capacity Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi solutions meet the demanding access and security requirements of the different Wi-Fi networks used in large, public venues, such as those for point-of-sale (POS), ticketing, business management systems, guest and contractors, special events, and Internet and walled garden access for fans. Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi high-capacity solutions also optimize the capacity for all client devices, meet the stringent aesthetic requirements of stadiums, overcome the RF interference often introduced by wireless devices brought in for special events, and provide system-wide features for securely managing hundreds of access points and thousands of users.
Smart Wi-Fi Enhances the User Experience at Salt Lake City’s Rio Tinto Stadium
Like other indoor and outdoor stadiums where high-density coverage is critical, Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT has to deliver reliable, consistent Wi-Fi performance to thousands of mobile device-toting spectators. Rio Tinto Stadium is the home of the Real Salt Lake (RSL) professional soccer team, and the use of smartphones and tablets by fans there has grown significantly over the past few years.
“We didn’t have a Wi-Fi network at all before we deployed the Ruckus system, and it quickly became a fan favorite,” said Dell Loy Hanson, vice chairman and alternate governor for Real Salt Lake, and the owner of Rio Tinto Stadium. “We needed to get something in place fast. But first we had to plan how we would provide decent coverage throughout a large outdoor stadium like ours. We knew other systems on the market just couldn’t deliver.”
Hanson continued, “Our IT director, Jeff Miller, had worked with Ruckus on other projects, so he made the recommendation to review the newest available Ruckus hardware, which was ultimately deployed. The price point and the familiarity with ZoneFlex were contributing factors.”
Rio Tinto has 100 Ruckus APs deployed, a combination of Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782-N (narrow beam) outdoor APs, which are mounted on the catwalks above seating areas, and dual-band Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 indoor APs that provide coverage in the concourses, press boxes, and business offices.
In addition to guest access, the Rio Tinto Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network provides connectivity to stadium vendors walking up and down the aisles with handheld POS devices, as well as to concession stand vendors. “The entire network was up and running in just a couple of weeks,” said Darren Child, president of Deep Canyon Group, the systems integrator for Rio Tinto. He added, “Performance has been terrific.”
High-Capacity, Smart Wi-Fi Helps Attract Major Convention Business
DeVos Place is a premier convention center located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, the second largest city in the state. The convention center features a 162,000 square foot, column free exhibit hall, 40,000 square foot ballroom and 26 individual meeting rooms (32,000 square feet). The center attracts major conventions and events like the National Heritage Academy’s annual training program and the annual Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) convention.
“DeVos Place Convention Center houses major events from the likes of Microsoft and MACUL every year, but we were faced with the possibility of losing one of our flagship events because we couldn’t deliver the Wi-Fi connectivity the group needed to run their show,” said Eddie Tadlock, DeVos Place assistant general manager for SMG, a nationwide venue and convention center management firm. “We worked with our partner eGear to test different Wi-Fi vendors, and did a trial with Ruckus while connecting 1,000 concurrent users. We were surprised and amazed to discover that it worked flawlessly.”
The new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network replaces a legacy wireless network, which couldn’t keep up with the large numbers of mobile devices being used at trade shows and exhibitions. The upgraded Smart Wi-Fi network is used for guest access, as well as to enable POS systems used by exhibitors for taking orders over their own VPNs. In the future, it may also be used to support digital signage and CCTV cameras, as well as broader use of video streaming.
“We had a definite need to upgrade everything to support the Center’s clients – not just giving them more bandwidth, but overhauling the entire infrastructure,” continued Tadlock. “We knew clients wouldn't come back if we couldn’t meet their demands, and the loss of business would have had a huge impact on the local business community. It made absolute sense to invest in a higher capacity network.”
Based on the success of their deployment at DeVos Place Convention Center, eGear installed another Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system at DeVos Performance Hall, also managed by SMG. DeVos Performance Hall is a 2,404-seat performing arts theater and home to the Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Broadway Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids. The Performance Hall previously had no Wi-Fi network in place, and no connectivity for the ever-growing numbers of people and devices trying to access a wireless network.
To conduct an initial trial, eGear installed 30 Ruckus ZoneFlex 7962 indoor APs and one on-site Ruckus ZoneDirector™ 1000 controller to manage the network. The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure was able to support upwards of 1,600 concurrent users and roughly 4,000 devices, consistently delivering 27 MBps uplink and 40 MBps downlink connectivity, according to Tadlock. “With the huge number of connected devices on a small number of APs, we experienced not one single drop,” said Tadlock. “From that point on, Ruckus has remained and we couldn’t be happier.”
Getting Smarter Wi-Fi at the Kansas City Convention Center
The Kansas City Convention Center (K.C.C.C.) is an eight-square-block convention and special event facility with 388,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space, as well as 48 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, a 2,400-seat fine arts theatre, an arena that seats more than 10,700 people, and two unique outdoor reception and festival areas.
When the center’s management group realized that their existing Cisco wireless infrastructure could no longer meet current event requirements, they turned to their integration partner, ETI, to design and install an upgraded high-capacity Wi-Fi network.
After an extensive site survey, ETI designed a wireless network with the Ruckus ZoneFlex system to both meet the Convention Center’s current needs and satisfy their requirements well into the future. The network at K.C.C.C. includes approximately 120 Ruckus ZoneFlex 7962 indoor access points—100 of which are hard-wired, and 20 that are deployed in a configuration leveraging Ruckus SmartMesh™ Networking. A Ruckus ZoneDirector 3000 centralized controller provides centralized management and administration of the Wi-Fi infrastructure.
Ruckus, Ruckus Wireless, BeamFlex, ChannelFly, SmartMesh, ZoneDirector, and ZoneFlex are trademarks of Ruckus Wireless, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.