FASTWEB selects Ruckus Wi-Fi for Fiera Milano exhibition centre

Italian telecom provider aims to monetises its new 500 access point carrier-class Wi-Fi infrastructure by delivering location-based business services to Fiera Milano exhibition organisers and their customers

FASTWEB selects Ruckus Wi-Fi for Fiera Milano exhibition centre

Italian telecommunications provider FASTWEB has selected and deployed an advanced indoor/outdoor Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi network at the Fiera Milano exhibition centre in Milan, Italy. The Wi-Fi network will deliver high-capacity, high-speed public access and Wi-Fi location services throughout the Fiera Milano, which is the third largest exhibition centre in the world,.

The Fiera Milano hosts more than 50 professional exhibitions each year, serving approximately 23,000 exhibitors and five million visitors annually. The massive Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network, owned and operated by FASTWEB, is comprised of 500 Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points (APs), covering more than 400,000 square meters of space and including 20 pavilions.

FASTWEB centrally manages the Fiera Milano Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure through Ruckus ZoneDirector 5000 controllers within its data centre.

Beyond providing free public Wi-Fi access and paid Internet connectivity to exhibitors, FASTWEB has also deployed the Ruckus SPoT location-based service (LBS) as a means to monetise their infrastructure, allowing exhibitors and organisers to gather more business intelligence about user behaviour in order to help optimise them obtaining additional potential revenue.

“We believe this is one of the most sophisticated deployments of Wi-Fi within any large-scale public exhibition centre in the world, and one that will become the standard for many others, allowing Wi-Fi to deliver new levels of business value,” said Onofrio Pecorella, director of Public Sector Sales for FASTWEB’s Enterprise Business Unit.

“Not only did FASTWEB deploy this infrastructure in record time, but we layered value-added Wi-Fi location services over the network to enable a new class of proximity marketing that allows the network to generate real revenue for the Fiera Milano and its customers.”

According to FASTWEB, Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi was selected for the project due to its unique carrier-grade technology designed to deliver greater coverage, consistent performance, stronger signal strength, and the ability to adapt to constantly changing environmental conditions that negatively impact radio frequency (RF) transmissions by causing spotty coverage, dropped connections and erratic Wi-Fi performance.

“Our goal was to build a carrier-class Wi-Fi utility upon which we could begin offering value-added services that enable monetization opportunities. That’s exactly what we’ve accomplished,” concluded Pecorella.

FASTWEB and the Fiera Milano have established a model that provides for the companies to offer location-based analytics to Fiera customers using the Ruckus SPoT location-based service (LBS).

Purchased as a cloud-based service or a virtualised software instance that operates on standard enterprise-class servers, Ruckus SPoT location-based service combines unique advantages, including options for both public and private cloud-based services, and a choice of location metrics with either SPoT Point (drop-pin) or SPoT Presence (proximity).

Enterprises and managed service providers (MSPs) can also use SPoT APIs to incorporate location data into their own applications. A robust ecosystem of partners provides additional leverage of SPoT for applications in retail, transportation, entertainment and other vertical markets.

“The Wi-Fi infrastructure that FASTWEB has deployed has far exceeded our expectations with respect to the stability, coverage and performance our customers are experiencing,” said Ernesto Bonfanti, chief information officer at the Fiera Milano.

“As one of the world’s largest and most popular exhibition centres, we wanted to deliver more than just a typical Wi-Fi service. Our Wi-Fi network is now a revenue generation tool that allows us to begin offering proximity-marketing opportunities to our customers who want to leverage today’s mobile Internet applications and tools. FASTWEB and Ruckus have allowed us to capture this opportunity,” said Bonfanti.

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