Providing the ultimate fan experience is one of the goals at the 2015 Super Bowl. And Wi-Fi is no exception. CDW has been working with the Arizona Cardinals this football season to make sure that the University of Phoenix Stadium is ready for Sunday’s Big Game.
The work started last summer when we designed and installed a Cisco Connected Stadium solution for the Arizona Cardinals prior to the 2014-2015 season. Preparations for and support during the Fiesta Bowl, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl were included in the project. As these games are high-profile sporting events, ensuring a spectacular fan Wi-Fi experience is of the utmost importance.
Confirming AP Locations and SSIDs
With nearly 850 access points (APs) deployed in the University of Phoenix Stadium, it’s important to ensure that each AP is installed in the correct location and servicing the correct SSIDs. We used the Fluke AirCheck Wi-Fi Test Tool to confirm this information.
The handheld AirCheck is a purpose-built Wi-Fi testing device that’s fast, accurate and convenient. Its quick scan rate and feature-rich software make short work of validating an access point’s host name and the SSIDs that it’s servicing.
The CDW team uses the sorting features of the AirCheck to sort the SSIDs that are seen, we then narrow the results by signal strength or signal-to-noise ratio to confirm access point locations. Alternatively, we sort the access points observed by signal strength, then drill down to see what SSIDs are serviced by the access point. In either case, the whole process only takes a couple button presses to complete.
Fluke Networks AirCheck Wi-Fi Test Tool
Rogue Access Point Detection
Due to the dynamic nature of large events, like football bowl games, it’s common to have temporary vendors, booths, entertainers and other fan-supporting services present during the game. Oftentimes, they set up and teardown the same day or within a day or two of the event. If they bring their own Wi-Fi and it’s not coordinated with the venue’s wireless network, it can severely degrade the Wi-Fi experience for fans.
A single rogue access point can have a devastating effect on a precision-engineered and optimized stadium Wi-Fi solution. That’s why venues take a stern approach to finding and eliminating rogue APs, particularly during high-profile sporting events.
In preparing for last Sunday’s Pro Bowl, we used the AirCheck Wi-Fi Test Tool to track down rogue access points, perform client troubleshooting and confirm access point and SSID locations.
As part of CDW’s normal event day support, the Fluke AirCheck is used to sweep the entire stadium looking for rogue devices prior to the game. Once detected, it’s paired with the external antenna to quickly identify the exact location of any rogue devices. Prior to the Pro Bowl, in less than 30 minutes, the CDW team found and worked to remove over a half-dozen Wi-Fi networks with the AirCheck tool.
Optimizing wireless networks can be more than a game day event. For example, leading up to one of the League’s key events, a fan support service was having some issues with wireless client devices. The devices were unable to communicate on the Wi-Fi network.
When CDW was approached to assist with troubleshooting the wireless client devices, the Fluke AirCheck was the first tool used to diagnose the problem. We configured the AirCheck to be a wireless client on the same Wi-Fi network as the fan support services – another capability offered on the device. The AirCheck’s built-in test features quickly identified the root problem. The fan support services DHCP server was not functioning correctly.
4th and Goal with Seconds Left: Who Do You Want on Your Team?
Today, sports organizations are bent on bringing the best possible experience to fans attending events. That includes offering dependable, high-capacity Wi-Fi in stadiums across the country, if not the world.
Whether it’s tracking down rogue devices, troubleshooting wireless clients or confirming that equipment is positioned and operating correctly, we’re leveraging the Fluke AirCheck to get the job done and make fans the real winners.
Learn more about the Arizona Cardinals’ deployment of Flexible, Secure Wi-Fi.