The National Football Team won the match between China and South Korea in the FIFA World Cup Qualification on March 23. As the home ground of the National Football Team, Changsha Helong Sports Center was fully renovated before the match to make it a world-class venue and the lucky field for the National Football Team. With the assistance of Ruijie Networks, Changsha Helong Sports Center now has high-quality Wi-Fi coverage for the auditorium with 55,000 seats. Ruijie's micro-cell stadium solution allows football fans to enjoy high-speed Internet access in Changsha Helong Sports Center.

The wireless network of the press center, office area, and outdoor area of the sports center has substantially improved. Ruijie's marketing cloud platform RG-MCP also enables the sports center to operate smoothly.

Helong Sports Center

Helong Sports Center

Difficulties in Wireless Network Building of the Sports Center

Helong Sports Center covers 150,000 square meters and can accommodate 55,000 audience. It is the fourth largest stadium in China. Large stadiums are one of the most difficult scenarios in building wireless networks. Access by tens of thousands of people needs a large number of wireless APs. More APs deployed in stadiums will result in serious co-channel interference. However, insufficient APs will result in signal dead zones. If conventional indoor settled APs and directional antennas are deployed, the signal coverage effect relies on antenna commissioning and construction errors will greatly affect coverage.

To build a wireless system that supports the concurrency of tens of thousands audience, the stadium needs to invest a lot of manpower and material resources in installing, commissioning, and maintaining network devices. How to guarantee services and the return on investment is a difficulty confronted by stadiums.

Internet + Stadiums Requiring Transformation

Fueled by the Internet + sports strategy, the market-oriented operation of stadiums is now a major trend: It aims to use big data, intelligent hardware, and apps to improve the precision and effectiveness of sports marketing, and migrate the offline interaction of the audience, ticketing companies, sponsors, and stadiums to the online mode. Internet applications and big data rely on stable wireless networks that support heavy load, and the efficient and accurate marketing platforms of stadiums.

Network Upgrade of Helong Sports Center

  • Micro-cell Solution Improving Wireless Coverage Experience in the Venue

Micro cells do not need many antenna azimuth adjustments, which reduces engineering commissioning difficulties and construction time. In addition, APs are deployed under seats. The seat positions on the ground can block signals, thereby controlling the coverage scope of the APs and alleviate interference. Then, more deployment positions are allowed, which increases user capacity and guarantees ultra-high-density user access. Unlike indoor ceiling-mounted APs, APs deployed under seats do not cause top-to-bottom signal coverage for signal reflection from the ground, which makes signals easier to control. In this solution, 800 micro-cell APs RG-AP520 (HD) cover the stand area accommodating 55,000 seats. The high-speed and stable wireless network meets fans' network requirements for multi-angle watching and the playback of match points, greatly improving the watching experience.

Figure: Network Coverage of the Micro-cell Wireless Solution

Figure: Network Coverage of the Micro-cell Wireless Solution

Figure: Micro-cell RG-AP520 (HD) Deployed Under Seats

Figure: Micro-cell RG-AP520 (HD) Deployed Under Seats

  • RG-MCP Marketing Cloud Platform Lighting Up "Smart" Operation for the Venue

In addition to providing the high-quality Wi-Fi network, Ruijie marketing cloud platform RG-MCP can also help Helong Sports Center rapidly attract followers via its WeChat official account to build channels for online interactions and improve the interaction and stickiness between the venue and audience, thereby achieving precision marketing. The MCP can also help Helong Sports Center create a people-oriented sports informationization service. This initiative enhances fans' watching experience, attracts more audience to the venue, and helps managers better carry out the future Internet + strategy in the sports industry. As the first smart stadium is capable of carrying 100,000 STAs and conducting precision marketing, Helong Sports Center can serve as a reference for informationization construction and innovative operation for other large-scale stadiums.

  • Multi-initiative Deployment Showing the True Power of Ruijie Wireless Networks

For the best 12 winner competition of the FIFA World Cup Qualification, the Football Association requires wireless and wired networks to be deployed in the press area, text reporter area, and areas around the field. In particular, full wireless signal coverage needs to be implemented in the press center and office area to ensure that the media can transmit and broadcast HD videos, audios, and texts in real time. For the indoor office area with thick walls inside the venue, Ruijie used the indi-Share+ deployment solution. The i-Share+ solution uses Ruijie's creative master AP + micro APs hierarchical distributed architecture to achieve the lossless data transmission within 100 meters of network cables. It also fully conforms to the integrated wiring specifications and complies with the structural wiring standard. From the early intelligent weak current design, to mid-phase construction, and to later management and maintenance, the Ruijie i-Share+ solution brings great convenience and provides unprecedented ultra-high wireless performance for users.

Figure: Direct Network Access for Users Without Authentication

Figure: Direct Network Access for Users Without Authentication

After the leaders of Chinese Football Association and the related departments of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) visited Helong Sports Center, they highly appreciated the hardware facilities, live television broadcast, wireless coverage, and other venue preparations. The person in charge of the information center of Helong Sports Center says: "The improvement in the wireless network software and hardware strengths in the venue lays a solid foundation for the upcoming matches, and makes us capable of undertaking more large-scale matches and concerts. It helps the sports center transform into a market-oriented stadium and embrace the future development."

It is known that since the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, Ruijie solutions are often found in the large-scale stadium construction projects and the network guarantee of major matches. As a leading brand in data communication solutions in China, Ruijie Networks has built infrastructure networks for Beijing Olympic Village, Beijing Olympic Forest Park and Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium, and undertaken the important O&M tasks for Rio Olympic Games, London Olympic Games, Shenzhen Universiade, Guangzhou Asian Games, Liaoning National Games, Fuzhou Youth Games, Ordos National Games, and many other matches.