Right on target
Providing WiFi for a large event sounds like a challenge, but it’s no problem for our partner Systems. Thanks to the WiFi experts at Asteas and the IACBOX software, several thousand visitors to the Biathlon World Championships in Antholz were able to get online. We were there to find out more.
The grandstands are already full of fans and spectators, and the weather is wintry but the electric atmosphere in the stadium will keep us warm. We’re at the Südtirol Arena Alto Adige in Antholz, 1,600 metres above sea level, where the Biathlon World Championships are being held from February 12th to 23rd. Today is the 7th race day and things are about to kick off with the men’s individual competition. We’re here for the first time, IACBOX for the fifth time. In a competition like this, it’s all about momentum, adaptability and speed, and that’s exactly what we expect from the event WiFi, too.
Coaches, athletes, media representatives and last but not least the large number of spectators expect reliable, efficient and free Internet access, as well as an exciting competition. These days, we don’t expect it to only be available in the hotel or the restaurant – we want good WiFi everywhere we go, whether we’re in hospital or on a train, at work or in a public space and even at events, from a rock concert to a sports event. Every single second, information is being accessed or shared. Spectators want to share their experiences by posting photos and videos to Facebook or Instagram. Journalists send reports and results to their editorial offices while still on location or post them online. Suitable infrastructure is just as important as devices and compatible software in managing the huge amounts of data involved. This requires professionals – something the organisers of the Biathlon recognised many years ago, which is why they work with local experts such as our South Tirolean partner company Systems, whose many years of experience enable them to meet the challenges of a large event such as this. These include coping with large and continually changing numbers of spectators and the associated volumes of traffic, all while taking into consideration the fact that the users are moving around an extensive area. The network comes from the specialists at Systems, the software from the WiFi experts at Asteas.
We meet Matthias, one of the technicians at Systems who are on site during the whole event. They’ve set up the WiFi in advance, and will monitor and manage the whole environment during the Championships. Matthias shows us the servers they use and explains that there are 25 access points around the stadium. Two IACBOX systems, each with unlimited user licences, are also being used. The modules External Login API for the landing page and Application Control PRO, which provides information about user numbers, data usage and other useful statistics, have been activated, and browsing is limited to 6 GB per ticket per day using bandwidth management. Matthias tells us that last year a massive 2.4 terabytes of data was transmitted on the competition days and that even more is expected this year. Talking about data – the privacy settings in IACBOX WebAdmin ensure that all saved data is anonymised and deleted after a specified period of time. The login page was designed by the IACBOX technical team in accordance with our partner’s requirements. To ensure the recognition factor, it’s based on the organiser’s website and uses their logo and those of the WiFi sponsors. Unrestricted login was selected as the login method, which allows users to connect to the WiFi for free.
Back at the grandstand, we try the free event Internet for ourselves and turn on the WiFi on our mobile phones. The login page appears straightaway …