Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi Brings Highly Focused, High-Capacity Wi-Fi to 19,000-Seat Indoor Arena, Meeting Demands for Capacity and Performance
Ruckus Wireless recently announced that Time Warner Cable has deployed its ZoneFlex family of high capacity Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) systems to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the 19,000-seat Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The deployment by Time Warner Cable of Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi is in place and ready to support all arena patrons, including those attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which takes place at Time Warner Cable Arena this week.
The new Time Warner Cable Arena Wi-Fi network replaces a legacy Wi-Fi network with 120+ purpose-built, ZoneFlex high-capacity, indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi access points with integrated adaptive antenna arrays that focus signals only where they are needed, steering transmissions around obstacles while mitigating interference.
The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system allows the arena to provide pervasive Wi-Fi service to all public seating areas, while also providing coverage to the locker rooms, luxury suites, concourses, and back office areas in the facility. Home of the NBA team the Charlotte Bobcats, Time Warner Cable Arena is used for a variety of purposes including music concerts, ice shows, and other types of sporting events.
Smart Wi-Fi Provides Bipartisan Support for Capacity and Coverage
With technology changing so rapidly, the new system allows for additional functionality. As more and more event visitors have come to the stadium with smartphones, iPads and other wireless-only devices, the enhanced Wi-Fi network is able to meet the demands for continuous access to support a variety of activities like uploading and streaming video, use of games and interactive apps, and surfing the Web.
Ruckus worked closely with Time Warner Cable and its integration partner ARRIS to develop high-density, sectorised antenna arrays and figure out the ideal placement of these APs to narrowly focus signals while also maintaining visual aesthetics. As a result, the arena now has enhanced capacity where the network is used most, and long-range coverage in other parts of the arena.
To deliver the capacity and performance needed in different areas of the arena, TWC installed roughly 120 Ruckus ZoneFlex access points (APs), including indoor dual-band 802.11n 7363s and 7962s. Outdoor dual-band 7762s are also used in the main seating bowl, given their unique antenna patterns and transmit power, which are suited to the broad open area. Additionally, because they’re located close to the ground underneath the seats, their hard exterior casing, normally used for extreme climactic changes, protects the units from power washing.
The arena is surrounded by a fiber ring connected to PoE switches in wiring closets. The switches then connect to Gigabit Ethernet copper, which interconnects the Ruckus APs. The entire network is managed with a ZoneDirector 5000 housed at TWC’s Herndon Data Center, where all arena Wi-Fi traffic is routed. TWC runs the network with multiple VLANs: one for public access, and others for arena staff, food and beverage service, and on-site ticketing scanners.
Integrating patented adaptive antenna technology, the Ruckus ZoneFlex system is designed to overcome the physical and technical challenges of delivering high-capacity, high-performance access to indoor and outdoor areas which are prone to interference or which pose physical barriers to signal penetration for seamless connections. By focusing and directing Wi-Fi signals over the best signal path, the ZoneFlex system is the only one on the market that automatically avoids interference to ensure consistent performance and high throughput.