In 2018, China National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) has started the renovation and upgrade on the overall wireless network by adopting Ruijie’s scenario-based smart venue solution, which has withstood the test of holding large-scale exhibitions in 2019, including the 2nd China International Import Expo, Shanghai International Automobile Exhibition, etc. With regard to different application environments and visitor density, it presents high-quality Wi-Fi coverage across the whole venue to meet the network access demands of visitors, exhibitors and media, and presents smooth and user-friendly experience, creating a new generation of "smart venue".

The "pain" of wireless network in a 10,000-capacity venue

As the world's largest single building and exhibition complex, China National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) (hereinafter referred to as NECC) has a total construction area of 1.47 million square meters, integrating various types of business such as exhibitions, conventions, events, commerce, offices, hotels, etc. The main building, which is shaped like a four-leaf clover that stretches elegantly, is used for several exhibitions holding up to over 10,000 people every year.

During the exhibitions, the wireless network in the venue is required to meet the demands for information access, interaction, downloading and live streaming, etc. of numerous participants. The simultaneous use by tens of thousands of people means that the wireless network has to be “deployed with high density, high concurrency and high bandwidth”.

Meanwhile, the multiple functions of the venue have also created diverse demands for wireless network. Simple high-power wireless signal coverage is not sufficient for the real-world high-density access needs. The deployment of a large number of access points (APs) at any cost can also cause signal interference and conflicts among them, which ultimately affects the real-world network experience of users.

In addition to wireless applications in the pavilion area, the quality of the conventions also depends on the ability to meet the special network needs of the aisles between the pavilions, the aisles in the business area, the login hall and other locations for business negotiations. The complex environment of NECC, as well as the different visitor density and application requirements in different areas, have put great demands on the overall design and deployment of wireless network.

To sum up, NECC has put forward the requirements of "large scale, high density and high quality” for this network upgrade:

1. Coverage and access: It’s required to achieve full network coverage across all the pavilions of NECC, and meet the network requirements brought about by the ultra-high crowd density during the exhibitions.

2. Configuration and operation: Due to the limited number of personnel of the network operation team, huge exhibition space and high crowd density during large-scale conventions, the whole wireless network needs to be managed and configured conveniently.

3. Network security: It’s necessary to fully meet the requirements of the department in charge to avoid network attacks, which requires the full support from equipment manufacturers and service teams.

Good use, starting with a professional site survey service

As the deployment of Wi-Fi in the venue requires strict wireless site survey, the Ruijie network operator team, together with the R&D team of the Wireless Products Division and Shanghai Zhixun Industry Co., Ltd., conducted a comprehensive site survey, testing and point design based on the different requirements of different areas of NECC.

In the actual application, channel conflicts, the flow of AP switching, and even the rate of access switches directly determine the quality of a wireless network. Therefore, in the deployment of the smart venue solution, our engineering team carried out site survey, design and testing for many times and selected specific APs for different application scenarios of NECC.

In addition, the implementation team also provided services such as visitor flow analysis and customization of exhibitor reports to meet the business needs of NECC which has given credit for our work.

Wi-Fi 6, a “sharp blade” unsheathed

Good design can be implemented only with the support of "hard power". In this project, the engineers found that the main entrance and exit areas of NECC and the core convention areas of its pavilions have a high crowd density, which brings extremely high network quality requirements. Ruijie specifically uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 access point—ultra-high density wireless AP RG-AP850-I, to ensure the stability of high density access network for large crowds, and to provide the need of participants at the entrances and exits to use the network. Meanwhile, Ruijie strives to maintain its advanced technology to meet the development needs of NECC in the next few years.

 

 

Figure: Ruijie ultra-high density wireless AP RG-AP850-I (V2)

As many NECC buildings have large floor height and wide space, the use of ordinary omnidirectional antennas for Wi-Fi access points will not only result in poor signal coverage, but also cause interference among APs, leading to unsatisfactory results. For this purpose, the implementation team used the small included angle outdoor directional 802.11ac wireless AP RG-AP630. It is specially factory-debugged to prevent signal interference among APs by shrinking the coverage area to ensure practical outcomes.

In addition to the scenario-based design and product use for different areas, all the AP equipments provided by Ruijie for NECC support wireless probe function, and can help the operation team to analyze the visitor flow across the whole area.

 

Fast Internet access, easy to manage, profitable - “visibly” good experience

 

Simple operation maintenance + strong optimization = seamless surfing

The rise of short videos and live streaming has led to an increased demand for the speed and stability of wireless networks. The wireless deployment solution configured by the operation team for NECC uses the Ruijie WIS network intelligence service based on the scenario to diagnose and optimize the wireless network in real time. It, through visualized user experience, allows intelligent diagnosis and optimization, and transforms wireless network optimization into a “one-click” operation which solves problems related to channel, power, interference, user roaming stickiness and terminal remote association, which improves wireless experience as well as the management efficiency of the operation team.

 

Fast Internet access + profitability = creating new business opportunities

In addition to the high quality network experience, Ruijie also improves the ease of management for the venue's operation team. For example, although it is possible to improve the wireless experience by deploying a large number of top-line APs with small included angle, there is an upper limit to the number of terminal accesses per AP, and the network experience will still be affected under high density situations. Ruijie's joint operation team provides dedicated SSIDs for exhibitors to strengthen the signal in booth areas with high uplink demand by using a dedicated sub-network, which will ensure smooth business flow for exhibitors and media live streaming.

In addition, Ruijie also offers Certified Web Portal Ads to help the operation team customize on-page advertising and create new business opportunities.

Extreme tasks, without compromising quality

In addition to the requirements of "large scale, high density and high quality" of the wireless network of NECC, in order to meet the needs of the venue to hold the 2nd China International Import Expo, the Ruijie network operator team, together with the R&D team of the Wireless Products Division and Shanghai Zhixun Industry Co., Ltd., completed a large-scale online deployment within a very short period of time, and passed a series of strict tests by the department in charge to ensure the smooth progress of the 2nd China International Import Expo with high efficiency and quality.

 

 

With years of experience in providing data communication services for venues, Ruijie has become a network service provider for more and more major events and important international conferences. From major events such as Beijing Olympic Games and Guangzhou Asian Games, to the "China v.s. South Korea” in the World Cup qualification, to the Tencent Partner Conference, Apsara Conference, Suning Summer, Mobile World Congress (Shanghai) and other large-scale events with a capacity of 10,000 people, Ruijie Network has undertaken important network construction and protection tasks.