Zeetta: The networking specialists for stadiums

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Zeetta: The networking specialists for stadiums

Article first published at Soccerscene, on 3rd June 2021

 

As Australia and the rest of the world are hoping to allow more fans to regularly games in the future, network partners like Zeetta can shoulder the load that comes with managing 5G/WiFi connections.

Zeetta Networks offer high-quality software so that organisations can monitor, control and operate their networks in a flexible and cost-effective manner. In essence, this optimises their communication potential to fans (the customer), delivering a better experience for all.

Zeetta are a leading provider of network solutions, capable of deploying the right technology for any stadiums looking to harness the potential of mobile usage in particular, where communications from a club can be sent direct to a person’s smartphone.

Their products centre around three key pillars:

Visualise: Paints the picture of a network, giving a better indication of the condition of the network with Zeetta’s multi-vendor, multi-technology, multi-site monitoring.

Optimise: Simplifies network operations, eliminates human error and reduces time spend to create and manage network services by up to 90%, ensuring that data is not only quick but accurate.

Automate: Gives businesses the power to make network configurations in a timely manner, with fast on-demand responses able to make sure that all objectives are met.

Backed by a “service-centric” network design approach, Zeetta is versatile in their capabilities – orchestrating their service across mixed LAN, Wireless LAN and cellular LTE/5G technologies with proven distribution in stadia, multi-purpose venues, events, ports and factories.

One of the highlights among Zeetta’s case studies is the creation of a programmable stadium. Ashton Gate Stadium (AGS) – home to Bristol City FC and Bristol Bears RFC.

Regarded as the largest stadium in South-West England with a capacity of 27,000, AGS features state-of-the-art conference facilities and is a major exhibition and hospitality venue for the area.

The stadium offers more than just hosting football matches during England’s winter months, with AGS regularly holding summer concerts for major artists which allows several hundreds of thousands more fans to attend, boosting the stadium capacity to more than 34,000.

For a 24/7 multi-purpose venue that needs to cater for a variety of people, it comes with a complex network and service environment supporting sports, hospitality, conferences and large-scale events.

Upon linking up with AGS, Zeetta identified that it is a complex enterprise environment. The stadium’s public Wi-Fi network on its own is a multi-vendor network with more than 300 network elements and is designed to support crowds of high densities.

There have been a couple of access points added from two vendors located in different areas. A high-density Wi-Fi installation from Ruckus is found in the bowl, while Edgecore access points have been installed in hospitality areas and the concourse. By placing these vendors in specific areas that are easily identified, this creates a better efficiency and up to a 30% reduction in CAPEX (the costs associated with setting these connections up).

With the ability of the network to support a range of services, it can extend to electronic point-of-sale (ePOS) terminals in bars and concessions to CCTV surveillance to electronic turnstiles and IPTV distribution systems.

As mentioned before, the quantity of events on a yearly basis at AGS means that a strong and stable network like Zeetta can match the demands that come with a large number of users.

In 2018, Zeetta launched their NetOS® technology to AGS. NetOS is a software-defined networking (SDN) orchestrator, based on the industry-standard OpenDaylight controller based on the Linux Foundation®. By using the SDN technology, IT teams have ultimate control of their network operations and lets them concentrate on constructing services according to what the user wants, rather than how the network presents its capabilities.

For a complex network infrastructure that AGS contains, Zeetta proved that in a large-scale demonstration of the capability and scalability of their technology, they could manage this network in a vendor-agnostic way that reduces CAPEX and OPEX, to provide a single-pane-of-glass visibility and control. Found within AGS’ network is the two populations of Wi-Fi systems, CCTV, IPTV displays and other IoT devices and sub-systems.

Zeetta’s execution of its NetOS technology to AGS delivered an intelligent network automation for a complex enterprise network to support multiple mission-critical and business-critical services running in areas of high crowd density and the applicable demand for digital connectivity, dependant on the number of visitors.

Sports stadia across the globe struggle with connectivity and real-time evaluation of data. I believe we are just scratching the surface of what this NetOS platform can deliver,” AGS chairman Martin Griffiths said.

For more information on Zeetta’s products, technologies, solutions and case studies, you can find it here.