SUNNYVALE and ANAHEIM, CA – October 3, 2014 – Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) announced today that 5 Bars™, a premiere provider of high-capacity, wireless infrastructure for large-scale public venues, has deployed advanced Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products and technology for the 45,483-seat Angel Stadium of Anaheim, home to Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network, owned and operated by 5 Bars, officially went live during last night’s Game 1 of the MLB American League Division Series (ALDS), which continues tonight at Angel Stadium.
5 Bars has deployed Ruckus high-capacity Smart Wi-Fi products and technology to give a new generation of fans the best online experience imaginable, and to increase service efficiency for vendors and staff everywhere within the stadium.
“Delivering wireless performance within high-density public venues such as stadiums has been a major challenge across this industry, but one that we believe is essential to solve in order to attract and retain fans who now demand the fastest, most responsive and reliable wireless connectivity possible,” said John Clarey, president and CEO of 5 Bars.
Clarey notes that having a carrier-class wireless infrastructure in stadiums not only brings much needed unlicensed broadband capacity for free Wi-Fi access to fans, it also serves as a foundation for emerging and future video-based applications that let fans catch replays, watch live videos, and view different camera angles. “It also opens the door for more sophisticated neutral host services that supplement current distributed antenna systems that offer cellular access to fans,” he said.
“We want to bring the best possible Major League Baseball experience to fans attending our games, and we’re confident this new, high-performance Wi-Fi network will fully meet those expectations when our fans come to Angel Stadium,” said John Carpino, president of the Angels.
With the growth of powerful mobile devices and more sophisticated mobile Internet applications around which people increasingly run their lives, reliable, high-capacity Wi-Fi is becoming a non-negotiable requirement for stadium and high-capacity public venues around the world who want to attract and retain visitors.
Clarey added, “We’ve found that Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi equipment is ideally suited for high-density user environments, with access points that not only adapt to changing environmental conditions, they also provide highly focused signals, along with a range of purpose-built options for each type of application, whether indoors or out.”
Unlike traditional enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments that use conventional Wi-Fi technology architected to deliver pervasive signal coverage to hundreds of concurrent users, stadium Wi-Fi requires a much more sophisticated Wi-Fi architecture and technology that confines Wi-Fi signals to groups of fans in order to reduce media contention, so each user can realize higher performance and more reliable connectivity through stronger signals. Solving the challenge of insufficient wireless connectivity inside crowded venues extends real-time, reliable access to applications and services on mobile devices simultaneously to tens of thousands of fans. It also addresses the need to offload cellular data traffic to more scalable Wi-Fi solutions that can be deployed quickly and cost effectively.
Application and Deployment Details
High-density Wi-Fi best practices typically call for a large number of APs that limit media contention and mitigate co-channel interference. The narrow beam and sectorized smart antennas integrated within Ruckus ZoneFlex™ access points (APs) are designed to focus RF energy into a specific area, which greatly reduces the opportunity for interference and increases network performance.
5 Bars has deployed over 200 Ruckus ZoneFlex narrow beam (30 degrees) and ZoneFlex sectorized beam (120 degrees) outdoor access points around “the Big A,” as well as over 100 high-capacity, three-stream Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor access points, all centrally managed with the Ruckus SmartCell™ Gateway (SCG) 200. Fans attending Angels games and spectators of other events held at Angel Stadium, increasingly armed with various mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, are now able to reliably access Wi-Fi service throughout all indoor and outdoor seating areas, and interior stadium concourses.
This includes club-level seating and dugout-level suites, plus three full-service restaurants: the KnotHole Club (a sports bar located at the club level down the right field line); the Diamond Club (an upscale restaurant with outdoor seating on the field level behind home plate); and the Homeplate Club (an indoor restaurant on the club level overlooking the main entrance to the ballpark), as well as the recently built Halo Club all-inclusive seating location (located behind home plate above the Diamond Club).
Angel Stadium staff is also utilizing the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network, specifically for their food concession operations. This includes approximately 150 wireless-enabled, movable cash registers and over two dozen handheld point-of-sale (POS) devices for facilitating in-seat food and beverage services to guests seated on the Club Level, and in the Diamond Club and Dugout Suites. Angels Baseball administrative and operational staff is also using Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi in their business offices located inside the Stadium.
“Not only is sophisticated Ruckus technology like BeamFlex™ ideally suited for providing Wi-Fi to Angel Stadium, it requires deploying less APs in order to provide reliable coverage over the same area, compared with other vendors like Cisco, so it was an easy choice for us, and one we know will deliver the kind of performance, capacity and reliability both we and our clients demand,” concluded Clarey.
For the peripheral areas of Angel Stadium, such as stadium concourses, and the immediate surrounding areas outside of the Stadium, including entry gate areas and ticketing booths, 5 Bars has deployed over 50 Ruckus ZoneFlex outdoor sectorized beam APs, which are well suited for high density deployments, providing a wide 120 degree beam, making them ideal for long-range, horizontal coverage in areas inside and outside of Angel Stadium like these, with excellent coverage and capacity in these environments. They also provide easy mounting on exterior walls.
For the indoor club-level and dugout-level seating areas and suites, the three full-service restaurants at Angel Stadium, and various stadium administration offices, 5 Bars is deploying Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor APs.
Ruckus ZoneFlex access points are the most reliable and highest performing products in the industry, delivering consistent performance and maintaining stable connections within high-capacity environments and to smart mobile devices that constantly change their location and orientation. The simple variation of a device’s orientation can account for up to a 5x performance degradation among Wi-Fi products unable to adapt to such changes. To address these challenges, Ruckus ZoneFlex three stream (3x3:3) access points combine dynamic polarization diversity with adaptive antenna arrays and transmit beamforming to give customers up to a 4x improvement in Wi-Fi performance, signal gain and reception.
5 Bars will manage the entire Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network infrastructure at Angel Stadium with a Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200, the most scalable WLAN controller on the market, supporting 10,000 APs per instance in a cluster architecture. Successfully installed in customer deployments around the world, the Ruckus SCG 200 supports both WLAN controller and WLAN gateway functions. The Ruckus SCG 200 also provides support for subscriber management, other value-added services such as traffic breakout directly to the Internet, and Hotspot 2.0 technology, which enables the Wi-Fi connection experience to be as secure and easy to use as 3G/4G LTE.
Looking forward, Angel Stadium staff plan to utilize the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network for handheld ticket barcode scanners to process and validate tickets of incoming Angels fans and special event spectators at all of the Stadium gates.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim adds to the long, growing and impressive list of other Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi high-density stadium and arena deployments around the world including: the 74,738-seat Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho in Rio de Janeiro, better known as the Maracanã, the world-famous venue that hosted seven 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil matches this past summer—more than any other venue—including the final match between Germany and Argentina that was held on July 13th; three other 2014 FIFA World Cup venues in Brazil: Estádio Nacional de Brasília, a 69,349-seat stadium in Brasília and the second largest of the stadiums that hosted matches during the World Cup; Arena Fonte Nova (aka Estádio Octávio Mangabeira), a 51,900-seat stadium in Salvador, where the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (USMNT) played their Round of 16 World Cup match on July 1st; Arena Pantanal, a 41,112-seat multi-purpose stadium in Cuiabá that hosted four early round World Cup matches, plus; Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Southern California; Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC; American Express Community Stadium, a 30,750-seat venue in Brighton, England (UK); M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, a 70,000-seat facility in Chennai, India; Rio Tinto Stadium, a 25,000-seat venue in Salt Lake City, UT; Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany; and the 45,574-seat National Stadium (Estadio Nacional) of Lima, Peru, among many others.
BeamFlex, Ruckus, Ruckus Wireless, SmartCell, 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.