In 2018, the China National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) started a renovation and upgrade of its wireless network by adopting Ruijie’s WiFi 6 scenario-based smart venue solution.
As the world’s largest single exhibition complex, China National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai (NECC) has a total construction area of 1.47 million square meters, integrating various types of business such as exhibitions, conventions, events, commerce, offices, hotels, etc. The main building, which is shaped like a four-leaf clover that stretches elegantly, is used for several exhibitions holding up to over 10,000 people every year.
With regard to the different application environments and visitor density, it presents a high-quality Wi-Fi coverage solution across the whole venue to meet the network access demands of visitors, exhibitors and media, with a smooth, user-friendly experience, creating a new generation of “smart venue”.
During exhibitions, the wireless network in the venue is required to meet the demands for information access, interaction, downloading and live streaming, etc. of numerous participants. The simultaneous use by tens of thousands of people means that the wireless network must be “deployed with high density, high concurrency and high bandwidth”.
The multiple functions of the venue have also created diverse demands for the wireless network. Simple high-power wireless signal coverage is not sufficient for the high-density access needs. The deployment of a large number of access points (APs) at any cost can also cause signal interference and conflicts among them, which ultimately affects the network experience of users.
In addition to wireless applications in the pavilion area, the quality of the conventions also depends on the ability to meet the special network needs of the aisles between the pavilions, the aisles in the business area, the login hall and other locations for business negotiations. The complex environment of NECC, as well as the different visitor densities and application requirements in different areas, have put great demands on the overall design and deployment of the wireless network.
NECC put forward the requirements of “large scale, high density and high quality” for this network upgrade:
As the deployment of Wi-Fi in the venue required a strict wireless site survey, the Ruijie network operator team, together with the R&D team of the Wireless Products Division and Shanghai Zhixun Industry Co., Ltd., conducted a comprehensive site survey, testing and point design based on the different requirements of various areas of NECC.
In the actual application, channel conflicts, the flow of AP switching, and even the rate of access switches directly determined the quality of the wireless network. In the deployment of the smart venue solution, the engineering team carried out site survey, design and testing multiple times and selected specific APs for different application scenarios of NECC.
In addition, the implementation team also provided services such as visitor flow analysis and customisation of exhibitor reports to meet the business needs of NECC.
In this project, the engineers found that the main entrance and exit areas of NECC and the core convention areas of its pavilions had high crowd density, which brings extremely high network quality requirements. Ruijie specifically uses the latest WiFi 6 access point—ultra-high density wireless AP RG-AP850-I, to ensure the stability of the high-density access network for large crowds, and to provide the need of participants at the entrances and exits to use the network.
As many NECC buildings have high ceilings and wide spaces, the use of ordinary omnidirectional antennas for WiFi access points will not only result in poor signal coverage but also cause interference among the APs, leading to unsatisfactory results. For this purpose, the implementation team used the small-angle outdoor directional 802.11ac wireless AP RG-AP630. It is specially factory-debugged to prevent signal interference among APs by shrinking the coverage area to ensure practical outcomes.
The rise of video and live streaming has led to an increased demand for the speed and stability of wireless networks. The wireless deployment solution configured by the operation team for NECC uses the Ruijie WIS network intelligence service based on the scenario to diagnose and optimise the wireless network in real-time. Through visualised user experience, WIS allows intelligent diagnosis and optimisation, transforming wireless network optimisation into a “one-click” operation that solves problems related to channel, power, interference, user roaming stickiness and terminal remote association, which improves the wireless experience as well as the management efficiency of the operation team.
In addition to the high-quality network experience, Ruijie also improved the ease of management for the venue’s operation team. Although it is possible to improve the wireless experience by deploying a large number of top-line APs, there is an upper limit to the number of terminal accesses per AP, and the network experience will still be affected under high-density situations. Ruijie’s joint operation team provides dedicated SSIDs for exhibitors to strengthen the signal in booth areas with high uplink demand by using a dedicated sub-network, which will ensure smooth business flow for exhibitors and media live streaming.
Ruijie also offers Certified Web Portal Ads to help the operation team customize on-page advertising and create new business opportunities.
With years of experience in providing data communication services for venues, Ruijie has become a network service provider for more and more major events and important international conferences. From major events such as the Beijing Olympic Games and Guangzhou Asian Games to the “China v.s. South Korea” in the World Cup qualification to the Tencent Partner Conference, Apsara Conference, Suning Summer, Mobile World Congress (Shanghai) and other large-scale events with a capacity of 10,000 people, Ruijie Network has undertaken important network construction and protection tasks.