WiFi Setup for Event


#1

Hi guys,

My team has decided to venture into the provision of WiFi for events, we monetize this venture through the sale of ads space through the ads delivery service. Our primary business in providing WiFi connectivity on-board buses hence we have MAX BR1 Mini devices. We have tried to provide WiFi at a crowded annual music festival last week and the result wasn’t as good as we had hoped. We used Wilson Antennas and placed 6 of our MAX BR1 Mini devices strategically in areas such as the bar and food areas so patrons could connect at these locations. Lets just say the result was less than favorable.
Now that we have advertised this as a new service we provide, we have been getting a lot of requests and we are now considering to use the MAX HD4 IP67. I am hereby seeking some advice and guidance on the best setup for a crowded event that may have up to 15,000 patrons that need WiFi for streaming, going live on Facebook and general social media usage. I need to be able top provide a report showing advertisers that they have gotten many impressions and clicks on their banner or video ad.


#2

I would separate this task into two parts:

  1. Providing on-location Wi-Fi for 15K people.
  2. Arranging the backbone Internet bandwidth which can handle your requirements.

Wi-Fi APs are specified to be able to handle a certain amount of “Concurrent Users”.
Most Peplink APs - 60, Ruckus R720 - “up to 1,000”, so none of these will be able to handle 15K, need many hardwired APs etc.

Backbone via bonded LTE:
LTE-A standard claims “up to 50Mbps upload”, MAX4 can bond 4 x LTE-A
50x4=200Mbps upload. (Realistically, 50-75% from that value)
200Mbps / 15K users = 0

This task may be not realistic…
You may need a gigabit backbone and many APs.


#3

Thanks for the feedback, so I have been trying to break the intended outcome down into smaller portions. The VIP area would have about 2,000 patrons, backstage would be about 500 and I would concentrate on the Food area and the are Area that is doing a symposium then I would try to connect as much as I can in the general area.
Ultimately I just want to connect as much users as possible over the duration of the event so I can add as much value as possible to my advertisers as it relates to impressions for their advertisements over the network.
So I would basically need to get a fiber connection (gigabit backbone) wired into a switch and use about 10 APs strategically placed to maximize traffic.
I need suggestions of the most cost effective way to get this done in terms of the most appropriate switch and APs (Equipment) to ask my distributor to source for me.


#4

Peplink makes excellent SD (Software Defined) switches with PoE (APs need PoE).
https://www.peplink.com/products/sd-switch/
Another interesting product is MediaFast Content Caching Router which can cache online content and deliver it much faster and to many clients locally. In theory, you could cache adds and deliver over Wi-Fi to hundreds of users. (The only bump is that advertisers may not see and count “clicks” if the content is played from a local source).
In any event, you should be looking for the “gigabit” routers to handle large traffic.
For Wi-Fi APs, you need to look for the higher MIMO count and higher “recommended concurrent users” amount. Ruckus R720 claims 4x4x4 MIMO - something like that.
Good luck, this is not a small project…
wifi


#5

Thanks again for the feedback @VideoStream. I consider this as a mammoth of a task but I need to get it done because I see it as a good generator of funds and a lot of event planners see this service as a must have. I areas that are readily accessible for fiber, it may be pretty straightforward and easy however, for those remote areas that will require 4G or LTE technology it may be a bit more tricky.


#6

Hello @Kedon_Luke,
A technique we apply, and we know many other professionals use, is to establish a private microwave PtP Link from a location suitably outside of the area where the event is to be held back to the site, this may be a location where you have a connection to the ISP(s) be that physically or cellular/LTE.

@VideoStream has mentioned many points, here are some more to consider:

  • LTE (or LTEA) Bandwidth is carrier capacity dependant around the world, in Australia we can get over 100Mbps upload and 200Mps download depending on where in the country we are. It varies dramatically between all three of the local carriers, area A may be better with carrier X and area B may be better with carrier Y.
  • Any event that has fifteen thousand (15k) people coming to it is going to saturate the cellular/mobile facilities in the area and the backhaul in the area, therefore you need to get your own backhaul be that via Microwave PtP Link or leased fibre, depending on the type of data or location Satellite Broadband may also be an option. In a saturated cellular/mobile situation, even having a dozen SIM cards does not guarantee you bandwidth. @MartinLangmaid has written, as have others, about these many times before in the forum.
  • The RF noise floor is going to substantially increase during any event, this is due to people mobile devices, other event related teams running their own RF equipment and transmissions from your own systems. The way we recommend handling this is through a combination of WAPs & managing the power levels. We often find more APs running on lower power levels and closer together handles this better than high powered APs spread far apparat.
  • The MediaFast content caching can only be used for none secured data in a public Wi-Fi space due to the complexities around security certificates, so anything that is https or SSL cannot be cached (the majority of content people access day to day now is https & SSL such as all major social media & video platforms).

We use Peplink/Pepwave equipment complemented with many other reputable manufactures to help people pull off things like this, a supplied PtP may even have to be relay by one or multiple temporary solar powered locations and consist a mixture of licenced & unlicensed spectrum (depending on the project & environment).

Something that is important is to do a comprehensive site survey & design, with us this is not just of the event location, it includes the surround areas/towns/terrain and many other things. In Australia most of this can be incorporated into various GIS systems (including Google Earth Pro desktop version).

If you do not have someone who is capable of this locally, we can seek out through our other manufactures someone that may be suitably positioned to help you, just PM us if you need sort of assistance.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile: