CDM, Aruba deliver under-seat wi-fi solution to North Qld stadium

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CDM, Aruba deliver under-seat wi-fi solution to North Qld stadium

Integrator and managed services provider Communications Design & Management (CDM) has fitted Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville using tech from wireless company Aruba.

The under-seat wireless network design is the first of its kind for an Australian stadium and was installed at the home ground of the North Queensland Cowboys NRL team. 

Over 600 access points were deployed throughout the stadium in an under-seat small cell wireless design to provide free high-density wi-fi to patrons with speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Working with Aruba’s Large Public Venue (LPV) team and local technical resources, the implementation was completed just before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, according to a statement from the vendor. Since restrictions have eased, the network will be put to use as crowds return.

CDM Queensland general manager Brett Kullman said the aim of the project was, "to give fans the ultimate wireless experience".

"At the same time, we needed to make sure the operational support teams could readily gain access to perform ongoing maintenance. Mounting AP’s on the venue roof is very expensive and it can be dangerous too.

“An optimal wireless signal meant placing AP’s under seats in a picocell design which, being the first of its kind for an Australian Stadium, presented multiple unique implementation challenges. Our team custom-designed a rugged and weatherproof housing to withstand Queensland’s extreme weather, protect against food and beverage spillage, and which would be easy for venue managers to access for future servicing.”

The high-density public wi-fi was implemented without altering the performance of corporate and media wireless networks by using Aruba’s Airwave on-prem management platform and ClearPass for device access management.

“These access points are a mixture of both indoor and outdoor ensuring that no matter the event, a user’s device will be able to bring them into the action. The system allows for seamless connection to the network without compromising security. It scales and solves for changing event capacities as well as potential future expansion,” said Aruba APJ chief technology officer Carlos Gómez Gallego.

“A venue of this magnitude requires a scalable, full-featured management solution which supports visibility, control and the troubleshooting tools needed to manage the large scale environment.”

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