SOURCE: Ruckus Wireless

Ruckus Wireless

September 07, 2010 08:00 ET

Mobile Internet Demand Drives Huge Sports, Entertainment and Public Venues to Faster, More Reliable, High-Density Wi-Fi Systems

Georgia World Congress Center Authority, Ontario Convention Center and Nantes Congress Center See Wireless as Revenue Generator, Select Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi for Better Range and Reliability

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - September 7, 2010) - Ruckus Wireless™ today announced that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), Ontario Convention Center (OCC) and France's La Cité Nantes Events Center (CNEC) have selected its advanced "Smart Wi-Fi" systems and technology as the foundation for a Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure capable of supporting thousands of concurrent users at their sprawling sports and entertainment venues.

The GWCCA, OCC and CNEC are the latest of a growing list of convention centers and conference halls around the globe (as also including Hamburg Stadium in Germany and the Eagles Stadium in Philadelphia) that are turning to smarter, more reliable Wi-Fi for wireless broadband access, offloading data traffic from 3G cellular networks, video streaming and surveillance, voice-over-IP (VOIP) communications, and a host of other applications. 

"With the explosion of wireless-enabled devices, the Wi-Fi network has clearly become a revenue generator for GWCCA," said Sam Brown, IT director for CCLD Networks, which oversees the technology infrastructure at GWCCA. "So we needed to take a much harder stance on the type of Wi-Fi systems and technology being deployed at GWCCA in order to provide a level of service that was consistent in its performance and pervasive in its reach."

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the GWCCA includes a 3.9 million square-foot convention center with 12 exhibit halls and 106 meeting rooms, and is complemented by the 71,250-seat Georgia Dome and 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park. The GWCC ranks among the top five largest convention destinations in the United States.

According to CCLD, the selection of Ruckus "Smart Wi-Fi" over competitive offerings was due to the impressive range and performance, and significantly lower cost of the ZoneFlex equipment. 

Each ZoneFlex system features Ruckus' dynamic beamforming, a patented technology that delivers dramatic improvements in Wi-Fi signal range, reliability and performance -- as well as the ability for smart wireless networks to automatically adapt to environmental changes.

"The Georgia World Congress Center is a premier venue for some of the largest sporting, musical and educational events in the country. The need for high-performing, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity became critical to providing attendees the world-class experience they expect," said Brown.

"We literally have thousands of people on-site using iPhones, smartphones and other mobile devices at any given time, not to mention the state-of-the-art equipment used at various events, which pose further challenges for the wireless network. Ruckus is the only system we've found that has improved Wi-Fi technology enough to meet these requirements," he said.

Smart Wi-Fi Delivers World-Class Performance at High Traffic Venues

The need for more reliable Wi-Fi stemmed from the coverage and performance limitations of the GWCCA's previous network, as well as demands from clients to support 802.11n laptops and devices.

"Given the size of our facilities, with our previous network, coverage of all three venues was a big issue," said Brown. "In addition, performance was unpredictable and the network couldn't scale to high volumes of people and devices," said Brown. "We were also interested in a system that could scale from an applications perspective. Looking forward, video streaming and surveillance are both important for us, and we needed a system optimized to support these applications. So an advanced implementation of 802.11n became an imperative for us. "

Brown noted that in such large areas such as exhibit halls and stadiums, the changing environment can cause serious problems for Wi-Fi with respect to delivering consistent performance and signal strength. "At GWCC things are in a constant state of change as new exhibitions come in and the facility is reconfigured. The ability to have a Wi-Fi system that can automatically adapt to such changes was another crucial criterion for us."

CCLD evaluated competitive wireless systems but found none delivered the range and reliability required at the right price point. "Ruckus clearly had the most compelling price/performance ratio and provided remarkably better range with fewer access points," said Brown. He noted that the unique combination of beamforming and beamsteering with airtime fairness and band steering helps optimize the use radio spectrum when thousands of users are simultaneously connecting to the Wi-Fi network.

To provide ubiquitous, high-speed, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the GWCCA, CCLD is installing 90 Ruckus ZoneFlex 7962 802.11n dual-band APs -- a 40% reduction from the 170 APs previously in place. Additionally, CCLD Networks will take advantage of Ruckus Smart Meshing technology to provide additional coverage in the Georgia Dome, home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, which would otherwise require costly hard-wiring.

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