Only in Canada

Thanks to Colin for this one 🙂

At a hockey arena in Edmonton, they installed a Cisco AP over the ice, presumably to try and maximize coverage across the whole arena. That makes sense… until you think about the age range of the players.

If you look closely, you can see black smudges on the AP where kids where shooting hockey pucks up at the AP. And it looks like even with the cover over it, the kids are still keen to try and knock it down. 😁🏒

 

Rogers Place in Edmonton

I was recently in Edmonton for work and made a point of going with a colleague (hi SK!) to the brand new Rogers Place stadium to catch an NHL game. This stadium is fully teched out with digital signage, a high capacity, robust IP backbone, and of course, serious Wi-Fi coverage. The stadium offers free Wi-Fi to event attendees and also uses the network for their own services and applications.

First off, at the top of each section is a narrow-beam panel antenna that covers the top half of the section:

Rogers Place YEG Panel Antennas

These antennas seemed to be everywhere in both the lower and upper bowl.

Rogers Place YEG Panel Antennas

Mounted behind each of these panels is a Cisco 3702e AP:

Rogers Place YEG Access Point

Now, one of the coolest installs I’ve ever seen (or kinda, NOT seen, actually) is where the APs sit that provide connectivity to the lower part of a section. The APs and antennas are actually built into the railing!

Rogers Place YEG Railing AP

Those rhomboids are the plastic-y enclosures that the AP+antenna sits inside of. The enclosures blend right in and are so thin that they don’t get in your way as you’re moving up and down the stairs. The cabling for the AP runs inside the hollow railing and down one of the vertical legs and through the stair where it’s run back to the nearest access switch.

Rogers Place YEG Railing AP
Rogers Place YEG Railing AP

Lastly, even though there’s no visual evidence of this, the inside of the scoreboard is filled with APs and antennas providing connectivity to the event floor (think concerts and such where you have event attendees standing/sitting where the ice is in this photo).

Rogers Place YEG Scoreboard

Needless to say, the Wi-Fi service was excellent! We were told by someone who helped build the network that there is mega Internet bandwidth coming into the building so end to end, the service was awesome. The biggest issue seemed to be that the Wi-Fi was not advertised very well. We saw very few people using it and the folks we asked about it had no idea it was there.

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!