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Mobile High-Speed Communication In Germany’s Bundesliga

High-performance WLAN – Coface Arena

The game-winning goal sails into the back of the net

It´s standing room only at the new Coface Arena. Fans and reporters are intently following the exciting game between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and FC Bayern Munich. The game-winning goal sails into the back of the net — it´s a 3:2 win for Mainz 05! An army of reporters on the sidelines and in the press box captures this moment in images and words, sending photos and reports directly to editors. Just moments later, fans can read about the game and see images on countless portals on the Web.

Professional sports depend on timely reporting. The new high-performance WLAN network in the Coface Arena is up to the challenge. The high-performance wireless internet access for journalists covering the entire 45,000 m² of the stadium grounds is a milestone for the media. Stadium employees also utilize the connectivity for customer support, catering and stadium administration. Crucial services such as telephony and wireless payment are also provided on the WLAN. Thanks to the bintec access points and gateways from bintec elmeg GmbH in Nuremberg, the Coface Arena profits from a highly economical and powerful WLAN solution capable of handling large quantities of data.

Kick-off – a seamless network

The modern Coface Arena in Mainz was built to create an attractive venue for players and fans. One of the key requirements of the project was the implementation of innovative technology to ensure successful stadium operations. Sports journalists require the best possible working conditions to provide up-to-the-minute reporting. And that´s of particular importance during critical times such as half-time, when all the reporters are online at once. Visitors to the stadium expect cashless payment options. For the stadium administration, connectivity is also a must. Consequently, the technology has to provide complete coverage, security, high-bandwidth, and an IT infrastructure capable of supporting the required applications.

URANO, an experienced IT provider from Bad Kreuznach and the official technology partner of 1. FSV Mainz 05, supported the Coface Arena team, handling the planning all the way from the project kick-off to the successful rollout of the high-performance WLAN network that now provides coverage to the entire Bundesliga stadium. Besides the bintec elmeg GmbH, two other manufacturers were involved in the bidding phase of the project to equip the Coface Arena with a high-speed communications network. In the end, bintec elmeg won by offering superior value for the money, a comprehensive solution suitable for large deployments, and excellent pre-sales project support.

The German manufacturer actively supported its bintec elmeg Solutions Partner URANO by providing systems engineering expertise during the implementation of the project. Karsten Lippert, Senior Consultant at URANO, explained: “The bintec elmeg GmbH actively supported us in implementing the wireless network—they helped with everything from planning and calibration through to fine-tuning under heavy loads. The stadium´s WLAN network is really top-notch. It provides perfect wireless coverage.”

“bintec elmeg GmbH actively supported us in implementing the wireless network—they helped with everything from planning and calibration through to fine-tuning under heavy loads. The stadium´s WLAN network is really top-notch. It provides perfect wireless coverage.”

Karsten Lippert, Senior Consultant at URANO

The limited time available to complete the project also meant everyone had to be on top of their games. Because of delays in the construction of the arena, the URANO project team was not able to start work on the IT project until the beginning of May. Everything had to be finished by the opening in July. The high-performance WLAN network was deployed using the state-of-the-art 802.11n transmission protocol. A site survey was performed in advance to determine the number and position of access points. This ensured that the desired coverage was achieved and that the applications run smoothly.

A total of over 80 bintec access points were installed indoors and outdoors. For guests in the VIParea and members of the media, wireless internet access is provided by the bintec HotSpot Solution. Initially, the WLAN HotSpot was not encrypted. A large number of fans in the stadium used smartphones that attempted to connect to the wireless network autmatically, creating heavy network traffic, even though the connections were denied by the HotSpot server. To minimize this traffic, the HotSpot was subsequently converted to WPAPSK encryption.

To ensure seamless access to the Internet, high-performance RXL-series central-site VPN gateways boasting bandwidths of up to 100 Mbit/s were used. The BRRP protocol was used to establish a connection between the gateways, enabling redundant operation and providing high-availability and one-hundred-percent system stability. The challenge for the technology here is to perform under high loads. During halftime, over 600 users—including numerous reporters and photographers—are online at the same time, generating high volumes of data.

The bintec WLAN Controller, used in tandem with the bintec RXL12500 gateway, enables quick and easy configuration and monitoring for all the connected bintec Access Points in the stadium. The easy-to-use monitoring functionality lets administrators keep a close watch over the system and quickly detect security threats. Administrators receive e-mail alerts on their mobile phones if a managed access point goes down.

The big score-high-speed communications

Right on time for the opening of the new Coface Arena, a stable, high-performance and Wi-Fi certified WLAN network was available throughout the entire stadium. The network is perfectly suited to the needs of the modern Coface Arena, fulfilling the expectations of all its users.

Tobias Sparwasser, director of media and PR at Mainz 05, explained: “In the Coface Arena, they´ve created an excellent working environment for the accredited members of the press—with convenient and stable wireless internet available in the press box, in all the media offices, and especially for the photographers, behind the goals. All you need to do is enter the access code. With the WLAN infrastructure and the additional LAN ports in the press offices and inside the stadium, the Coface Arena is a shining example in the league.”

The system is currently capable of providing secure, high-speed WLAN internet access to all the reporters in the stadium, even for sold-out sporting events. The entire bandwidth of 100 Mbit/s is consumed at peak usage times during the game, for instance during halftime. The performance of data networks is very important to journalists who report the latest news on professional sports events. The modern IT infrastructure at the arena also enables extremely efficient services and administrative processes for FSV Mainz 05, both during and after games.

About

URANO - bintec elmeg Solutions Partner

URANO Informationssysteme GmbH was founded in 1990. Today, the company is active as an independent provider of hardware, software, and network technology with a total of 14 locations across Germany. In 2011, URANO‘s sales revenue exceeded the 50-million-euro mark for the first time. Employing close to 400 employees, the company is headquartered in Bad Kreuznach. URANO is a bintec elmeg Solutions Partner, authorized Apple dealer, Citrix Gold Solution Advisor, FrontRange Certified Platinum Partner, VMware Enterprise Solution Provider, Microsoft Gold Competency Partner, HP Support Partner, HP Preferred Gold Partner, Quest Software Authorized Product Reseller Platinum, Unified Networking Specialist Expert and SMART Accredited Gold Reseller.

URANO Informationssysteme GmbH
Nikolaus-Otto-Straße 6-8
55543 Bad Kreuznach
Tel.: 0671/84030-100
Fax: 0671/84030-300
www.urano.de

1. FSV Mainz 05 e. V.
Dr. Martin Luther-King-Weg 20
55122 Mainz
Tel.: 06131 - 3755 00
Fax 06131 - 3755 033
www.mainz05.de

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