Meru Networks is enabling more than 5,600 gamers and programmers and providing Wi-Fi access for up to 10,000 devices at this year’s The Gathering, one of the largest gaming and programming events on the planet. In a new deal to implement and manage the Wi-Fi until 2017, Meru replaces the previous Cisco wireless network.
Attracting gamers and media from around the world, the event is broadcast live from 1-5 April at the Vikingskipet (‘The Viking Ship’) Hamar Olympic Arena in Norway – built for the 1994 Winter Olympics (pictured above).
The Meru 802.11ac wireless network is expected to deliver uninterrupted Wi-Fi 24 hours a day throughout the five-day event as gamers, game developers and hardcore programmers using multiple devices participate in game development, artificial intelligence, digital art and real-time graphics competitions.
“The number of devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and gaming consoles has skyrocketed since 2013, when The Gathering first offered a wireless solution. The demand for a Wi-Fi network that can cope with a wide variety of devices and yet operate at maximum performance with 100% reliability is therefore extremely high,” according to Peter Blakstad, chief technical officer for The Gathering.
“With Meru on board, we are confident that this year’s network will be the most stable wireless network The Gathering has ever seen.”
Designed to excel in high-density environments with very large numbers of simultaneous users, the network is being implemented by technicians from The Gathering Crew and includes more than 200 Meru AP822 802.11ac access points throughout the Hamar Olympic Hall. While each competitor has access to one wired Ethernet connection, most are expected to bring multiple devices, including mobiles and tablets.
“There are no restrictions and the number of devices may be somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 devices accessing the network at any one time. You have to remember that these are hardcore programmers at The Gathering who come together in this environment to game, program and socialise non-stop for five days – they expect extremely high performance in terms of uninterrupted access and speed,” added Annika Broberg, senior area director Northern Europe, Meru Networks.
First held in Skedsmohallen in 1992, The Gathering has been hosted by KANDU, a non-profit organization, since 1996. It has continually attracted more participants each year and is expected to host more than 5,600 people between the ages of 8 and 60 years old this year.