Capital FM Arena Streamlines And Enhances Coverage With Cloud-Managed WiFi
The Meraki Public Access Portal has enabled customer’s easy access to various forms of entertainment
Reading, UK, 11th April 2012 – Value Added Distributor, Cloud Distribution, announced today that Capital FM Arena Nottingham, the East Midlands premier entertainment venue, has implemented a Meraki Wireless LAN. Enabling anytime, anywhere network access via any mobile device, the new cloud-based network has simplified, streamlined and delivered increased network performance to the Arena’s wireless connections and WiFi access.
Through Cloud Distribution, the UK distributor for Meraki, the Arena has implemented 12 Meraki high performance 802.11n internal access points in total – three MR24s and a mixture of MR16s and MR12s. Each access point provides built-in enterprise-class features including a stateful policy firewall 802.1X/RADIUS support, Network Access Control, and Wireless Intrusion Detection and Prevention (WIDS/WIP).
Today the entire venue now has reliable, seamless coverage for all devices, including iPads and other mobile devices and wireless connectivity. Multiple SSIDs have been created to offer a variety of distinct levels of access for staff, guests, customers and entertainment acts. Guest WiFi is also now available and accessible primarily for corporates who use the venue for conferences, so that they can connect and use the wireless network anywhere within the venue. Each separate group authenticates with their own unique usernames and passwords.
In May 2011 Capital FM Arena decided that it needed to refresh its existing wireless network which consisted of 12 Motorola access points, 10 Net Gear access points, 8 BT Open Zone access points – effectively lots of different wireless access points all servicing different requirements. Not only had the network become quite fragmented and cumbersome to manage but the Arena found that passwords were increasingly being compromised. The project to update the wireless network was also necessary to accommodate the increasing number of events taking place in the arena and the varying demands from customers and promoters all of which required different levels of network access.
Having attended an event to investigate WiFi options available Capital FM Arena decided to trial Meraki access points. Rob Williams, IT Director for Capital FM Arena comments: “The main reason for streamlining all of our wireless access points was to make our services more cost effective, easy to use and manage as well as secure. I downloaded a demo, I immediately liked the product and I contacted Meraki who sent out a couple of products for me to use for a month. I was stunned.”
In summary, the Meraki Cloud Controller provides centralised network management for WiFi across the Capital FM Arena. Multiple SSIDs provide network segmentation between different types of users. Integrated Layer-7 application visibility provides insight and control over network usage. As a result Meraki has delivered in one month what BT Open Zone failed to deliver in seven years. Rob Williams concludes:
“I am very anti all the Cloud hype that we hear at the moment. However Meraki’s use of the word Cloud is justified. Meraki is not just a web managed portal but it is incredibly clever in the way that it works and the AP’s connect and configure – it is a true cloud managed network. Meraki is one of the most impressive pieces of kit that I have seen in the last ten years. It is so simple and yet so powerful – quite frankly a fantastic product.”
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About Cloud Distribution
Cloud Distribution is a Value Added Distributor focusing on the security, management and optimisation of devices which access the Cloud. Cloud computing is a paradigm of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the ‘Cloud’ that supports them.
The company was founded by senior executives with a wealth of experience in the security and optimisation space. Its philosophy is to take innovative, leading-edge vendors into the UK market by recruiting and partnering with innovative, pioneering security, management and optimisation partners.
Cloud Distribution is the sole UK distributor for Meraki. Meraki is the leader in cloud controlled Wi-Fi, routing, and security. Secure and scalable, Meraki’s enterprise networks simply work.www.cloud-distribution.com.
About Capital FM Arena Nottingham
Capital FM Arena Nottingham is the East Midlands’ premier entertainment venue based in the heart of the city centre. With a 10,000 crowd capacity the Arena showcases the biggest names in music, comedy and sport. Opened as Nottingham Arena back in 2000, the venue has gone from strength to strength over the last decade and is now working in partnership with UK music station – Capital FM. As the newly rebranded Capital FM Arena Nottingham, it continues to attract world class acts and events. The venue itself is based within the National Ice Centre, the UK’s first twin ice pad facility and centre of excellence for ice sport in the UK.
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