providing wifi-hotspot for public consumption

Posted on 2014-02-16
Last Modified: 2014-02-20
Greetings EE warriors...
I have an outdoor concert  stage area that can house 6000-9000 maximum participants.  I am being asked to provide hotspot for that area.  This brings up two questions.

1. of 6-9K people, what is the current ratio of people that would actually use it?  50%? 75%
2. I have two buildings near the stage that I can put up wifi equipment, but in either way, what kinds of radios would support the amount of people calculated in question 1?

Thank Much all.
Question by:Evan Cutler

Accepted Solution

Conner Turner earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Hello There arcee123,

That is a Good question, currently you would have to think a lot more than just consumption rate and equipment to usage ration, things like Security, hotspot type and connection speed, those also would have to be taken into account.

As for an answer to question 1, as more and more people are latching on to the craze of mobile devices and laptops, this brings up the question if you where going to a concert what would you possibly need Wi-Fi for?, out of your 6000-9000 people i would estimate that only 2 in 5 people would use this service and then 4 in 5 would use the service is advertised, for example on a sign or a logo (usually endorsed by "Free WiFi" logo which is most recognisable.)

From past experience when attending such events i normally do use the wifi, so in answer to your question i would suggest a small number, 2,000 or so would use the WiFi provided, now comes the question of if you are to provide this service how.

To provide a service that enables customers to use the Hotspot, i would recommend looking around at business solutions to name a few GNSwireless and Aruba both spring to mind when looking for such solutions.

Amongst those thoughts there is a matter of security and how you will present this service to your attendees only !, on the security side i would suggest limiting bandwidth to each device connected and making sure that there is filters on your content, so stopping people form using  so called "dodgy" websites, another solution maybe to incorporate a Splash page, this is a page that the user sees before being allowed access, maybe a Ticket ID system, allowing customers who have a Ticket ID (or similar) access only, you may consider having a fully stable all-in-one system like some of the products offered here: ZyXel.

Another step to making sure your WiFi Hotspot is secure is protecting against not only malicious user but people coming into the network, for this a lot of Firmware is on the market which is used to filter content and check a devices status before allowing them access, this stuff can be expensive , since the regular user of the wifi will be attending the concert i do not think this is a necessity, but it may be handy to have some form of security measures.

I think that just about covers the scope of your question, if you need any more help or information just ask :)


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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
Comment Utility
25% at most will actually 'use' it.

I have never seen a stadium setup where any more than that actually uses the service.  Their devices may be connected or probing, but they're not generally active.

Cisco have an AP and antenna system especially for this type of deployment.

This might be of interest...

Author Closing Comment

by:Evan Cutler
Comment Utility
This was such full of great information.  You should expand on this on a white paper....I know people will read it.

Thank you very much.

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