Xirrus Promotes Olympic Wireless Fix

Xirrus, the WiFi enterprise provider, was quick to jump on the news that the Olympic men’s cycling road race was disrupted by clogged pipes on 02′s cellular network. The cyclists GPS unit couldn’t get through because spectators clogged the pipes.

Xirrus said it is standing by to provide a number of its Wi-Fi Rapid Deployment Kits (RDK) to the London Organizing Committee. Xirrus WiFi uses sector arrays with a unique distributed architecture and multiple radios.

Olympic cycling 016 Xirrus Promotes Olympic Wireless Fix

“It’s a real shame that technology was the cause of this issue at an event of this stature,” said Xirrus CEO Shane Buckley. “It is unfair that a number of athletes did not have their positions accurately recorded due to performance issues on the wireless network. These athletes have spent years preparing for the greatest race of their lives. It isn’t practical to ask spectators to stop using their smartphones and therefore, Xirrus is willing to help by offering our Rapid Deployment Kits to the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to alleviate any future wireless issues during the Games.”

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Xirrus had a pretty good Tour de France, as its wireless arrays finished off a successful string of supporting the demanding needs of the world’s media during the 21-stage event, says Paul Kapustka’s Mobile Sports Report. Orange selected Xirrus for the Tour de France to access and share real-time race statistics, standings, and media footage. Their network supported the event organizers, some 125 TV broadcasters, 2,300 journalists, 70 radio stations, and 450 newspapers.

 Xirrus Promotes Olympic Wireless Fix

The combination of a Xirrus Wireless Array and their Rapid Deployment Kits can provide temporary Wi-Fi connectivity solutions, supporting voice, video, and data access across a large area, said Xirrus.

The downside is that Xiruss networks are tightly controlled. They may provide access for media organizations and officials, but because they swamp the WiFi band, they may not play well with the requirement for availablility of simultaneous public WiFi.

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Telefonica O2 provided both public WiFi and cellular services around the Olympic Park. They deployed metrocells across London, and have placed them on 400 street lamps in Olympic Park, paying the IOC for the privilege.

Their extensive 1,500 small cell deployment in the London Olympic Village uses Alcatel-Lucent metrocells and open access indoor femtocells to achieve an astonishing throughput of 1 Gbit/s per square kilometre. O2 claims to have built, “the biggest small network in the world“, using both small cells and 14,000 Wi-Fi access points.

BT made good on its public commitment to have half a million hotspots in place for the 2012 Olympics, and installed a public high density Wi-Fi network in the Olympic Park, consisting of 1,000 access points across nine venues, as part of its role as official communications services partner.

Everything Everywhere, a venture between DT and Orange, Telefonica’s O2, and UK-based Vodafone provide cellular services, while British Telecom (BT), provides mostly landline and WiFi connectivity. Both 02 and British Telecom provide Olympic WiFi network services. O2′s WiFi network uses beamforming Ruckus Wireless hotspots on some 400 lampposts around the Olympic Village.

But WiFi was not the problem.

Cyclists were using cellular frequencies. When thousands of spectators attempted to use the same cellular network, the cyclist’s tiny GPS units couldn’t get through the traffic jam.

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A so called Basestation Hotel situated was situated in the Olympic Park. From there, they feed antennas in the venue sites using radio over fibre gear. Each Olympic competition venue has separate Ethernet to each PoP, providing one of the two available options – either 1 Gbps Ethernet Access Direct (EAD), or 10 Gbps Optical. BT’s wireless network provide access to the internet for accredited users — including Olympic “rate card” customers, while secure Wi-Fi access is provided via traffic tunneling to the core network.

Between BT’s wireless network and O2′s Ruckus WiFi Network, it isn’t clear how Xirrus could improve the reliability of the cellular service used by cyclists.

See: Texting Clogs Cycling GPS Trackers at Olympics, London: The Biggest Small Network in the World and The Social Olympics


Related posts:

  1. 02: Olympic WiFi Cloud
  2. Applied Software Promotes Steve Foran to Vice President of Operations – MarketWatch (press release)
  3. Marin Software Promotes Brian Marin and Ed Stevenson to Global Positions – MarketWatch (press release)
  4. Olympic security review after France attacks – The Associated Press
  5. Olympic Games not immune to cyber attacks, says Maude

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