Intellium has built a wireless network capable of supporting over 2000 simultaneous connections at Victory Convention Centre.

Victory Convention Centre boasts a bespoke 2200-seat, tiered auditorium, curving front foyer and spacious break-out rooms and hosts concerts and conferences, symposiums, and small exhibitions and expos. 

WiFi was previously provided to the venue by Intellium to the foyer, breakout rooms and in the auditorium, but was limited to the stage area and desk.

Chris Adams, Victory Convention Centre Venue Manager, says the expectation in the past was that people in the auditorium would have their phones turned off as they are attending a show or event.

"But in recent times things have changed and with a lot of events there’s an expectation that those in the audience need to participate either via an app or access to WiFi" he explains.

"That’s when we engaged Intellium to see how we can find a solution by increasing the coverage and giving more people access."

Intellium surveyed the convention centre site with radio equipment to determine how best to design the new wireless network.

The brief provided a welcome challenge as up to 2000 devices would potentially be accessing the service at the same time in a compact and irregular space and the service needed to be seamless.

Intellium recommended using Ubiquiti UniFi technology, which is used to provide WiFi to large stadiums in the United States. Within a month of starting the project, the new equipment was installed, tested and performing well.

"I needed everything to be done by a certain date," says Chris.  

"What makes it difficult with this venue is the events and needing to schedule work around that so there’s no interruption or down time."

"Intellium was really flexible and worked around our schedule. They were very efficient, and everything was in on time, which was very impressive."

Intellium has provided IT support to Victory Convention Centre for nearly five years and the two companies have built a strong partnership.

"They have a good understanding of how we operate and how important it is for us as a venue to do everything to a very high standard," says Chris.

The first real-life tests of the network were in April 2019 with 500 participants at a conference discussing cyber-hacking and a graduation ceremony that was live-streamed and the networked performed well at both, he says.

In the conference centre business, having a really good quality WiFi network is "priceless", particularly for the large and reputable companies that make use of Victory’s spaces.

Intellium provides a fully monitored and managed Network as a Service (NaaS) solution for Victory Convention Centre.

Chris says having an IT support provider he can rely on, "makes my life really easy."

"That part of the business is covered and if there are any issues we know it’s going to be taken care of," he says.

Dale Daniels, Intellium Director, Infrastructure, says wireless networks for high density locations such as the Victory Convention Centre are sometimes deployed but left unmanned and unmonitored and with no real design to the service, resulting in a poor experience for the user.

To provide a great customer experience, the network needs to be well designed, managed and monitored.

Intellium used a mixture of UniFi Basestation XG – high capacity software-controlled access points - and UniFi AC Mesh in conjunction with specialised UMA-D directional antennas to provide ‘in-fill’ signal at the convention centre. It meant the user experience was seamless form both a hand-over between access points and the speed to high bandwidth connections/downloads.

The project involved the highest number of devices being simultaneously connected to a wireless network for Intellium and illustrates the New Zealand owned and operated company’s ability to successfully implement a complex high-capacity network.