Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has completed its initial Wi-Fi connectivity plan at its home ground of Headingley, Leeds, using Ruckus Wireless equipment.
The announcement marks the culmination of a three-year project powered by Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology and managed by MTech Solutions. The Club’s new network provides connectivity to the press in the Carnegie Pavilion and pitch-side, as well as connecting staff and hospitality guests in the museum, bar and lounges.
Ruckus products used include:
• 12x ZoneFlex indoor dual band access points
• 4x ZoneFlex outdoor dual band access points, including long range, point-to-point bridge access points.
• 1 ZoneDirector 1125 WLAN controller.
“It was extremely important for us to be able to provide the media with reliable connectivity during matches,” commented David Ryder, YCCC’s operations director.
“They rely on the network to update news feeds, publish photos and broadcast live radio transmissions all over the world, and a high performance Wi-Fi solution is integral to delivering this.
“The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network allows pitch side photographers to instantly send action shots around the world for immediate upload to international news outlets,” he finished.
The media is also happy with the development of the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network. Danny Reuben, head of media & marketing at YCCC, said: “The press photographers were delighted and complemented us on the speed of upload and download. They believe it is now one of the fastest Wi-Fi networks on the international circuit!”
The wireless network caps three years of development at the site. The desired coverage was achieved by using a wireless bridge to extend the network to remote parts of the ground.
This comprised a pair of powerful outdoor Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex access points that deliver fast and highly reliable connectivity across long distances. This ensures blanket Wi-Fi coverage across the necessary areas of the ground.
In fact, the entire network only requires 14 access points overall, which helped reduce the Club’s costs considerably compared with cable networking alternatives. Yet it still provides them with high-performance connectivity in the necessary areas of the ground, including the club museum, ticket office and bar.
MTech Solutions has been working with YCCC since 2011, providing IT support and solutions to meet the Club’s growing technological demands. Chris Cadge, sales director at MTech said: “We selected Ruckus Wireless technology for the project because it enables hundreds of devices to access the network simultaneously, providing reliable and fast connectivity for all users involved.”
Cadge continued: “Propagating the wireless network across the site using the Ruckus ZoneFlex APs saved the club several thousand pounds when compared to the cable alternative. It also meant that we could supply coverage to a number of buildings in the ground, which is a challenging environment for a Wi-Fi network.”
Roger Hockaday, director of marketing, EMEA at Ruckus Wireless, said: “High performance and consistent wireless coverage at sporting venues has become an essential service that supports media professionals and broadcasters who need to upload photographs, videos, audio and reports in real time.
“The Smart Wi-Fi network at Headingley is also designed to be simple to manage, flexible and scalable enabling the Club to increase capacity simply by adding additional access points as and when required.”
YCCC, founded in 1863, has hosted many Test Matches, One-Day Internationals and T20 matches throughout the cricketing calendar, including the traditional annual meeting between Yorkshire and Lancashire, and this year was the setting for England internationals versus Sri Lanka and India.