Outdoor WiFi in Wilmington, NC

Back in June, I was in the RTP area for work and took the opportunity to do some site seeing over the weekend. It’s funny, I’ve become totally spoiled at home with the ubiquity of service provider Wi-Fi that when I travel in the US, I’m usually reminded that this type of access is not as ubiquitous everywhere. In the regular places I visit in San Jose, CA and in RTP, I’ve yet to see the physical signs of SP Wi-Fi. So it’s funny to me that the first place I do see the signs is in this tiny little down on the coast of North Carolina called Wilmington.

Outdoor AP in Wilmington, NC
Outdoor AP in Wilmington, NC
Outdoor AP in Wilmington, NC
Outdoor AP in Wilmington, NC
Outdoor AP in Wilmington, NC
Outdoor AP in Wilmington, NC

This AP appears to be from Ruckus’ ZoneFlex Outdoor series of APs and judging from info on the Ruckus website, is likely backhauled via cable modem.

Cisco Live 2016

The folks that organize and run the network at Cisco Live do an awesome job of making sure there’s Wi-Fi throughout the entire conference location. They also do not skimp out on the number of APs they deploy.

It only happened one time where I was in a room that didn’t have an AP (but there was an AP right outside the door). Every other room had at least one AP. In the larger rooms, there were multiple APs.

Cisco Live US 2016 In-room APs
Cisco Live US 2016 In-room APs

I believe this room had 10 APs: 5 along each wall (of which 4 are in the picture and 1 is behind me). The APs are not placed haphazardly either. They are carefully placed and the antennas are carefully angled as appropriate as well (notice how the antenna at the front of the room is angled downwards more than the others).

Even outside the breakout rooms, the hallways are lined with APs. Again, everything carefully positioned and aimed.

Cisco Live US 2016 APs in Hallways
Cisco Live US 2016 APs in Hallways

I asked Jason Davis (@SNMPguy) who works the Cisco Live NOC how many APs they had deployed at the conference:

snmpguy_num_of_aps_at_clus16That’s slightly more APs than my largest customer has in their whole environment! 😲

Wi-Fi Spotted at Calgary Stampede

I suppose you can’t call it “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” if there’s no Wi-Fi, right?

Cisco 1552 outdoor APs are attached to the underside of the overhang at the grand stands:

Cisco 1552 at Calgary Stampede
Cisco 1552 at Calgary Stampede

The scale of this picture is hard to grasp. It appears the ceiling is rather close to the camera but just look at the size of the AP; the ceiling is actually dozens of feet away. Here’s another angle to try and give some perspective:

Cisco 1552 at Calgary Stampede
Cisco 1552 at Calgary Stampede

Some observations about this install: first, I notice that the AP is mounted in a way that makes the dipoles stick out horizontally and I wonder if this was done for RF reasons or for ease of mounting? Second, I’m curious what the material on the overhang is, whether or not it’s metal, and what kind of affect it might be having on the RF with the horizontal mounted antennas.

Thanks to VK for the pics. 😊

Cisco Stadium Vision at T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas

Cisco Live US 2016 was held in Las Vegas this year which meant the Customer Appreciation Event was held in the brand new T-Mobile Arena. This arena has Cisco Stadium Vision which basically means it’s tricked out with Cisco-powered digital signs and TVs and of course… pervasive Wi-Fi.

At first I couldn’t spot any of the APs or antennas! But then I realized they were carefully installed so as to blend into building.

First up is what I’m assuming is a 3702e with some sort of panel antenna. I’m horrible at identifying antennas so that’s as close as I can get to an ID. This was way up in the rafters and I only saw it after going all the way up to the lounge on the 5th level.

Cisco 3702e + panel antenna at T-Mobile Arena
Cisco 3702e + panel antenna at T-Mobile Arena
When I was down on the mezzanine level, I again couldn’t easily spot any APs but then I noticed that these boxes — which looked kind of like speakers in the dim lighting — had little LEDs on inside them; some boxes had a blue LED, some  a green. I realized those are the lights on the APs and the front of the “speaker” was actually another panel antenna.

AP + antenna housing at T-Mobile Arena
AP + antenna housing at T-Mobile Arena
Cool stuff in a very modern stadium!