07/13/2018
12 BaseStationXGs provide exceptional service at high density concert (ZZ Top)
Used Products
×1
Location
United States
Description

We recently deployed the new Basestation XGs at an outdoor concert that had over 10,000 attendees. At previous events, attendees had issues bringing tickets up on their phones via 4g data because of the sheer amount of connections that registered to nearby cell towers. This caused unnecessary delays for the thousands of people trying to check in through the security lines.  

 

Here is a birds eye view of the area to show the extreme density of users we will be serving.Stage.JPG

 

We are allowed to mount to the light poles on the outside, as well as the "front of house" structure in the middle of the seating. Fiber was buried between most of the poles. We had a few poles that needed 60ghz added so we used Siklu multihaul. We hope UBNT comes out with a 60ghz solution as we love the single pane of glass SDN capabilities of the Unifi controller.

 

 

As we looked at Wifi vendors, we decided whatever we deployed needed to meet several conditions.

1. IP67 outdoor rated enclosure + Aesthetically pleasing design

2. 802.11 AC Wave2 Mu-Mimo compatibility

3. High quality antennas with variable beamsteering capabilities.

 

 

Enter the BaseStationXG!IMG_20180627_143715.jpg

 

The XG easily checks off all of our requirements, and we were able to slash our quote significantly. At $1,499 MSRP we are WAY under our previous estimates from other vendors.

 

The XG touts 3: 4x4 MU-MIMO AC Wave 2 radios under the hood with 3 adjustable antennas that can be independently  switched from a 90degree pattern with 10dBi gain or 50 degree pattern with an incredible 15dBi gain on the fly.Antenna.JPG

 This flexibility was essential to us achieving success in a very complex RF design.

 

We mounted our AP's on the top of the poles. This helped us achieve as much downtilt as possible to limit the cell size of each AP. Combining downtilt with low power is key in a high density environment like this.IMG_20180629_215722.jpg

 IMG_20180629_214213.jpg

 We received many compliments for how cool they looked at night. The LEDs are fully adjustable, both intensity and color can be set to whatever value you want.

 

 

Here is a neat shot of the front of house equipment shelter. IMG_20180629_215036.jpg

 

IMG_20180629_215107.jpgCount the XGs!

 

IMG_20180629_214136.jpg

 

 

IMG_20180629_215118.jpg

 

IMG_20180629_211438.jpg

 

 

Here is what our final design looked like from the Unifi Controller.Client count map.JPG

 A bit hard to tell from the picture, but the AP's near the seating all have between 108 to 153 clients attached. A nice balance.

 

 

 

client count.JPG

 

  If you click on the image you will see how well the unifi controller balanced the AP's. Using a combination of MinRSSI, Cell Size Tuning, and Minimum Data rates, we created a network that seamlessly handed off client devices from Basestation to Basestation. It takes several days to really nail everything down perfectly, but the end result is truely impressive. The larger concert that is coming this fall will be a true test of the XG. 160 concurrent clients is nothing for these guys.

 

Around 10k clients, 1,246 connected simultaneously passing 220mbps.  This concert was ZZtop performing so it drew more of an older crowd, I expect a much higher usage ratio at future events.

 

 

traffic.JPG

 

The XG BaseStations performed incredibly well for us, and we look forward to stress testing them more at the next event. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to install WiFi for a high density event.

 

And of course, to handle that many clients you need to bring it all home to a very capable router! Like the BaseStation XG, the Unifi XG Gateway did not break a sweat.IMG_20180713_114926.jpg

 

 

 

12 BaseStationXGs provide exceptional service at high density concert (ZZ Top)

by ‎07-13-2018 02:21 PM - edited ‎07-16-2018 01:21 PM

We recently deployed the new Basestation XGs at an outdoor concert that had over 10,000 attendees. At previous events, attendees had issues bringing tickets up on their phones via 4g data because of the sheer amount of connections that registered to nearby cell towers. This caused unnecessary delays for the thousands of people trying to check in through the security lines.  

 

Here is a birds eye view of the area to show the extreme density of users we will be serving.Stage.JPG

 

We are allowed to mount to the light poles on the outside, as well as the "front of house" structure in the middle of the seating. Fiber was buried between most of the poles. We had a few poles that needed 60ghz added so we used Siklu multihaul. We hope UBNT comes out with a 60ghz solution as we love the single pane of glass SDN capabilities of the Unifi controller.

 

 

As we looked at Wifi vendors, we decided whatever we deployed needed to meet several conditions.

1. IP67 outdoor rated enclosure + Aesthetically pleasing design

2. 802.11 AC Wave2 Mu-Mimo compatibility

3. High quality antennas with variable beamsteering capabilities.

 

 

Enter the BaseStationXG!IMG_20180627_143715.jpg

 

The XG easily checks off all of our requirements, and we were able to slash our quote significantly. At $1,499 MSRP we are WAY under our previous estimates from other vendors.

 

The XG touts 3: 4x4 MU-MIMO AC Wave 2 radios under the hood with 3 adjustable antennas that can be independently  switched from a 90degree pattern with 10dBi gain or 50 degree pattern with an incredible 15dBi gain on the fly.Antenna.JPG

 This flexibility was essential to us achieving success in a very complex RF design.

 

We mounted our AP's on the top of the poles. This helped us achieve as much downtilt as possible to limit the cell size of each AP. Combining downtilt with low power is key in a high density environment like this.IMG_20180629_215722.jpg

 IMG_20180629_214213.jpg

 We received many compliments for how cool they looked at night. The LEDs are fully adjustable, both intensity and color can be set to whatever value you want.

 

 

Here is a neat shot of the front of house equipment shelter. IMG_20180629_215036.jpg

 

IMG_20180629_215107.jpgCount the XGs!

 

IMG_20180629_214136.jpg

 

 

IMG_20180629_215118.jpg

 

IMG_20180629_211438.jpg

 

 

Here is what our final design looked like from the Unifi Controller.Client count map.JPG

 A bit hard to tell from the picture, but the AP's near the seating all have between 108 to 153 clients attached. A nice balance.

 

 

 

client count.JPG

 

  If you click on the image you will see how well the unifi controller balanced the AP's. Using a combination of MinRSSI, Cell Size Tuning, and Minimum Data rates, we created a network that seamlessly handed off client devices from Basestation to Basestation. It takes several days to really nail everything down perfectly, but the end result is truely impressive. The larger concert that is coming this fall will be a true test of the XG. 160 concurrent clients is nothing for these guys.

 

Around 10k clients, 1,246 connected simultaneously passing 220mbps.  This concert was ZZtop performing so it drew more of an older crowd, I expect a much higher usage ratio at future events.

 

 

traffic.JPG

 

The XG BaseStations performed incredibly well for us, and we look forward to stress testing them more at the next event. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to install WiFi for a high density event.

 

And of course, to handle that many clients you need to bring it all home to a very capable router! Like the BaseStation XG, the Unifi XG Gateway did not break a sweat.IMG_20180713_114926.jpg

 

 

 

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Comments
by
on ‎07-28-2018 08:40 PM

I know where this is exactly. Very interesting and cool to see this technology used at our events. I'll PM you soon.

by
on ‎09-02-2018 11:31 AM

Great write up. I think the BaseStationXG is going to be one of those really useful niche products for stuff like this. I agree that it would be fantastic to have a Ubiquiti 60GHz backhaul product for this type of scenario, because mesh sure as heck isn’t going to cut it, especially on WiFi bands, since you need all the channelization you can get. For a permanent venue install I would try to go under the seats if possible, but for a temporary setup or one where you have to come in from above, this is a great solution that really has no equivalent anywhere else in the market. Xirrus has the multi-AP arrays. Ruckus has adaptive antennas. Cisco has micro/macro, but this unit seems to combine the best of all these. 

 

Looking at the numbers posted, the load seems pretty consistent with and environment this size. I’d love it if you could get a distinction between active and associated clients (I suppose you could sort clients by 5-minute bandwidth usage and set a threshold.  In the grand scheme of things, we’re talking about 100-150 associated clients per AP, which is about 50 per radio, and each AP cranking about 20Mbps, which is not a heavy load by any stretch. I’m somewhat surprised the associated client to seat ratio was that low, however. When I plan for auditorium WiFi, I typically plan capacity for one associated device for every 3 seats, and internet backhaul of 125Kbps per associated client (you were around 175K, which may be a function of the type of content that was going over the network for this particular event). The real difficulty of this type of deployment is feeding and powering the APs. 

 

Im curious where this was, the map pin shows the middle of nowhere near Coffeyville, Kansas (I’m north a bit up in Clay Center), but I’m not aware of any large amphitheatres anywhere near there... was this a permanent install or just for the event? Would love to link up with you if you’re based here in the state. 

 

 

 

by
on ‎09-02-2018 12:17 PM

@EDPR bandwidth throttling in a large venue setup like this is not your friend. What ends up happening is that the throttling causes a bunch of TCP timeouts on the wired side, so ACKs don’t get back. your wireless clients end up chewing up a whole lot more airtime because there are extensive retries going on up at Layer 3, which won’t show up when doing a wireless traffic capture, since the 802.11 frames are being ACKed properly. Additionally, it can start beating up your switch stack links. It’s one of those utterly counterintuitive things about WiFi when you do it at scale. A good friend and colleague runs the WiFi at a large tent-like airport and has discovered all kinds of crazy things about doing it at scale (the kind of client and traffic numbers the Super Bowl puts up are what they call “a slow tuesday” around there), and they are able to turn this around and deliver a consistent 200Mbps to the clients. 

 

Also, don’t underestimate the value of having a really beefy DHCP server. It’s amazing how much trouble you can get into if your wired backend isn’t absolutely top shelf. The end goal is for your client devices to get onto the wireless medium, do their business, and get off, as quickly as possible. Airtime is finite. 

 

(And you can also cover a lot of RF sins with a big fat internet pipe on the backend) 

by
on ‎09-02-2018 09:14 PM

@IanB I haven't come across too many airports delivering more than 2Mbps per user, but once in a while you find one that sticks out.  Bangkok airports for example were a real eye opener with hitting towards 300Mbps without a problem.    Granted it was very early in the morning and not too many people in the waiting room.  Overkill for sure but nice nonetheless.

 

That tent-like you've mentioned is DIA?  Nice piece of architecture that is! 

 

IMG_6442.jpgBangkok airport

by
on ‎10-22-2018 02:07 PM

Yes I also want to know how you planned subnet sizes and VLAN:s. What DHCP server?

by
on ‎11-10-2018 12:38 PM

 @Wifimax

 

Hi mate great write up. Can I ask if you used a layer 2, or layer 3 network design? Route to the edge? And how you went about allocation of dhcp, and subnet sizing? Cheers 

by
Monday

Very nice setup! What cloudkey did you use with this many people?