How will Wi-Fi and mobile networks cope with Euro 2016 traffic?
This year marks the 14th UEFA European Championship, taking place in France. Millions of fans are expected to attend 51 matches across ten venues, presenting a huge opportunity for sports teams and stadium organisers to use technology to both improve the fan experience and increase their bottom line.
Connectivity at large public venues and events such as the Euros has become an integral part of the experience. Guests expect to be able to connect easily and quickly, and believe that reliable Wi-Fi should be part and parcel of attending the venue.
So how exactly can mega-event organisers keep on top of their networks to keep spectators happy? We have asked four industry experts for their advice on how to manage connectivity, as it continues to become an imperative part of the guest experience…
Michael Hack, SVP of EMEA Operations, Ipswitch:
“In regular office environments, IT pros work to reduce the strain on the network caused by employees watching YouTube videos and uploading files to social media sites, making sure business-critical applications to run smoothly. However, when running a huge public event like the Euros, the challenge becomes much more difficult: The business critical applications are the data-draining media apps. 2.5 million fans are expected to flood the stadiums across France over the next couple of months, and the IT teams responsible will be expected to manage all the images, video and audio files being uploaded via the network of the venue.”
“The first thing that needs to be tackled is network visibility. If all IT operations are shown under one interface, then it will be easier to be proactive during the event. With more visibility, it is easier for IT teams to monitor the status of the network, pinpoint, assess and fix a problem before it affects your system.”
“By using a flexible and unified monitoring solution, IT teams can quickly, easily and efficiently scan across all wired and wireless networks, and physical and virtual servers and applications. This will keep the social media match commentaries alive and kicking.”
Perry Correll, Principal Technologist, Xirrus:
“When the first European Nations’ Cup took place in the late 1950s, connectivity as we know it today was non-existent. In fact the integrated circuit – the building block of the electronic age – wasn’t invented until 1959! Fast forward to the Euros 2016. 2.5 million fans are expected to attend. Sharing what they’re up to with friends and family online is becoming an increasingly important part of the experience. Let’s be frank. We live in a Wi-Fi-first society. But if the Wi-Fi connection at your large venue is patchy, visitors will likely move to the 3G / 4G network. And when that gets saturated with requests (which it will, quickly) all those selfies, videos and pictures cannot be shared – tainting the spectator experience.
With this in mind, Wi-Fi networks in large public venues must meet three key requirements: an always reliable experience, regardless of the number of devices on the network; simple onboarding for all users; all for a low total cost of ownership. The good news is that innovative Wi-Fi solutions can meet all of these requirements. Choose a solution with reliable performance in high-density areas, the option to assign priority to traffic based on application, self-service registration, and software defined radios. The glowing reviews from your happy visitors will quickly follow.”
Hubert de Costa, VP EMEA, Cradlepoint:
"For owners of large public venues such as football stadiums, match day revenue is serious business. In the 2014/15 season both Manchester United and Arsenal’s match day revenue at that their respective grounds was in excess of £100m. Match day revenue isn’t just ticket sales – it’s the whole experience, including food and drink, programme sales, club memorabilia and merchandise from the club shop, and more. And then consider if the match is scheduled to be live-streamed around the world via the web. There will likely be broadcast and sponsorship income associated with that too. Imagine the impact if your Internet connection goes down on match day…. That could mean money literally walking out the door."
"No wired connection can deliver 100 percent uptime. The question isn’t whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it’s when. So the question is how to protect your organisation from loss and disruption when it happens. When your wired Internet connectivity experiences a service disruption (in some areas this happens several times a month) your business is exposed to risks of lost revenue, productivity and customer experience issues.
“Upgrading to a more robust wired connection is one possible solution – but it’s expensive and is still susceptible to outages and service disruption. An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover. This option is quick and easy to deploy. Ultimately when network connections fail, there will be a loss of productivity, brand credibility and revenue. In my experience, there are few businesses that can afford to take that risk. Let’s hope UEFA and each match venue have a robust failover plan in place to ensure consistent, secure and fast Internet connectivity at this year’s tournament and they don’t end up scoring the technology equivalent of an own goal.”
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.