2014/12/18

Next-Generation Wi-Fi at the Valencia Conference Centre

The Valencia Conference Centre is located near the international airport at Manises and is easily accessible from the city center. It is one of the greatest exhibition centers in the world, hosting numerous large events throughout the year. 4ipnet's local partner, Civired & Wifisafe , was responsible for the deployment which was completed in September 2014.

The Valencia Conference Centre is one of the most important congress venues in Europe. It was designed by Norman Foster and awarded the “World's Best Convention Centre” by the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) in 2010. With a floor space of 5,900 m2 covering three auditoriums, a VIP lounge, and an exhibition area, the Valencia Conference Centre is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and impeccable customer services.

According to a survey conducted by the AIPC, Internet access was a primary demand of business professionals during exhibitions and conferences. Considering the increasing number of mobile devices used during these events, the management team at the venue recognized the necessity of providing a managed Wi-Fi network. However, providing wireless coverage to service more than 3,500 concurrent users spreading across 16 different areas in the premises was no easy task. To address this challenge, the Valencia Conference Centre turned to 4ipnet’s local partner, Civired & WifiSafe.

The requirements for the WLAN deployment were clarified. Coverage was the most primary concern, as there could not be any Wi-Fi dead spots across the vast floor space of the convention. Furthermore, user authentication was essential, as unauthorized access could potentially cause leaks of confidential information. Segregated virtual networks for different usage scenarios was also required to add another layer of security. Finally, given the high density of users and devices in auditoriums during events, the APs needed to be well-managed with advanced features that prevented overloading. Civired & WifiSafe’s technical expertise helped the Valencia Conference Centre realize that centralized AP and user management was a must-have for successful WLAN operation.

The proposed products included 4ipnet’s WHG711 wireless LAN controller, EAP757 concurrent dual-band access points, and SW1008 unified access switches. Civired & Wifisafe was responsible for all aspects of the deployment which was completed in September 2014.

Valencia Conference Centre was pleased with the results. Advanced AP management features on the WHG711 such as automatic AP discovery and provisioning, bulk AP configuration, and real-time status notifications simplified the deployment process. Once the APs went online, users could seamlessly roam between different APs without losing connectivity. Load balancing also prevented individual APs from being overly congested. With these functions, the Wi-Fi network was able to service thousands of simultaneous concurrent users, and the risk of potential downtime was reduced.

In addition to stable Wi-Fi connectivity, 4ipnet’s solution also allowed the conference center to provide flexible and secure user authentication through 802.1X or browser-based user authentication. After being authenticated on the network, each user could then be applied with schedule-based QoS, firewall, and routing profile according to their role. As a result, network administrators were able to prevent individual users from consuming the entire network bandwidth, ensuring that all users would receive an acceptable connection quality.

Valencia Conference Centre is a perfect example of how a public venue can successfully deploy a large-scale Wi-Fi network using 4ipnet’s solution. With high performance APs and comprehensive user and AP management features, the venue reaffirms its commitment to providing advanced facilities and services to business professionals worldwide. ##ShowAll##

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