The Rain Holds Off at the Showman’s Show for Sunny Reviews
Typically the Showman’s Show, which Etherlive exhibited at in October 2009, is a rather rainy old affair bringing together the leading outdoor and indoor event suppliers at the Newbury Showground. This year the dark clouds held long enough to give exhibitors and visitors a chance to see the latest market innovations in some British October sunshine.
We exhibited in both the outside and inside areas. The outdoor space meant that we could demonstrate to customers the new Ecolite P Plus tower light, combining lighting, CCTV, public address and network access in one palletized unit. The revolutionary unit received very positive reviews especially around its efficiency and simplicity. Also on display outside was the Mobile Command Centre (MCC), the network centre which keeps the largest events up and running with server racks, high speed networking, real-time monitoring and working space for operational teams.
Indoors we demonstrated the latest POD units which have been providing connectivity for many of the UKs leading outdoor and indoor events this year. The current generation includes a solar panel, part of a focus from Etherlive to provide event customers with the most environmentally conscious solutions on the market. With the panel, combined with the existing battery, the unit will run non-stop for several weeks even with UK weather conditions!
Also on display inside was one of our portable flight case communications units which provides a network brain for indoor and smaller events. The unit can support up to 20 VoIP handsets and 5 wireless PODS making it perfect for press or PR launch events.
The response to the two stands was fantastic; customers were keen to see the latest innovations and understand how their event can reduce costs by taking advantage of the latest technology. If you missed the Showman’s Show then Etherlive will also be exhibiting at the Event Production Show 2nd and 3rd February 2010 at Olympia, London or you can get in contact to setup a personal demonstration at any time.

Typically the Showman’s Show, which Etherlive exhibited at in October 2009, is a rather rainy old affair bringing together the leading outdoor and indoor event suppliers at the Newbury Showground. This year the dark clouds held long enough to give exhibitors and visitors a chance to see the latest market innovations in some British October sunshine.

We exhibited in both the outside and inside areas. The outdoor space meant that we could demonstrate to customers the new Ecolite P Plus tower light, combining lighting, CCTV, public address and network (Wi-Fi & Wired) access in one palletized unit. The revolutionary unit received very positive reviews especially around its efficiency and simplicity. Also on display outside was the Mobile Command Centre (MCC), the network centre which keeps the largest events up and running with server racks, high speed networking, real-time monitoring and working space for operational teams.

Indoors we demonstrated the latest POD units which have been providing connectivity for many of the UKs leading outdoor and indoor events this year. The current generation includes a solar panel, part of a focus from Etherlive to provide event customers with the most environmentally conscious solutions on the market. With the panel, combined with the existing battery, the unit will run non-stop for several weeks even with UK weather conditions!

Also on display inside was one of our portable flight case communications units which provides a network brain for indoor and smaller events. The unit can support up to 20 VoIP handsets and 5 Wi-Fi PODS making it perfect for press or PR launch events.

The response to the two stands was fantastic; customers were keen to see the latest innovations and understand how their event can reduce costs by taking advantage of the latest technology.

If you missed the Showman’s Show then Etherlive will also be exhibiting at the Event Production Show 2nd and 3rd February 2010 at Olympia, London or you can get in contact to setup a personal demonstration at any time.

The Etherlive outdoor stand with the Ecolite P Plus and Mobile Command Centre (MCC)

The Etherlive outdoor stand with the Ecolite P Plus and Mobile Command Centre (MCC)

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
T
. 01454 629741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Lights, Connectivity, Action! Etherlive and AcePlant release the Ecolite P Plus tower light with embedded communications and security technology

Etherlive in partnership with Ace Plant are launching the brand new Ecolite P Plus at the Showman’s Show at Newbury show ground, stand 171, Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October. This new tower light comes ready to illuminate any event with integrated CCTV, public address and Wi-Fi connectivity, all in one eco friendly unit!

The Ecolite P Plus has been created in collaboration with TCP, based on the latest Ecolite tower light it includes many features which will help site managers reduce costs and their environmental footprint whilst benefiting from technology such as wireless internet and CCTV coverage.

With the addition of industrial Wi-Fi the unit automatically meshes back to existing Etherlive wireless networks in the area, providing secure internet access, CCTV video and public announcements.

The Ecolite P Plus includes all the advantages of the Ecolite family of tower lights which include advanced high efficiency, low glare, ceramic discharge lamps which make the bulbs 85% more efficient than traditional tower lights. The unit has been designed with a pallet size footprint which uses over 50% less space during transport than conventional tower lights (20 on a standard lorry) but still includes a hydraulic 9.1m mast using bio-degradable fluids which can withstand 100 kph winds.

With multiple power options, including seven day generator and hot swap battery; lighting, communications and security systems such as the pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) CCTV camera will continue to operate regardless of the external power environment.

The communications capabilities of the EcoLite P Plus includes industrial Wi-Fi and wired network access which can deliver VoIP services and other network access as required. Public address announcements are sent to the unit from a central point and broadcast using the built-in speakers.

About Etherlive
Based in Wiltshire, England, Etherlive is a technology services company working in partnership with event organisers to deliver key services such as VoIP, internet, CCTV, payment processing, interactive advertising and rich media to all types of festivals, events, product launches and conferences. A finalist in the Red Herring 2009 technology awards, Etherlive has developed a range of solutions tailored to meet the demands of the live event environment all backed by experienced deployment & support teams. For more information visit http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

Media Contacts

Dana Hashem/Kathryn Mills-Webb
Johnson King
ruckusteam@johnsonking.co.uk
+44
(0) 20 7401 7969

WOMAD Music Festival Moves to Better and Faster 802.11n Wi-Fi to Keep Everyone Unplugged but Well Connected

Etherlive deploys high performance Ruckus Wireless mesh network to meet wireless needs of organisers, traders and festival-goers

SUNNYVALE, CA, July 20, 2009 Ruckus Wireless today announced that Etherlive, an event and specialist IT services company, has selected the new Ruckus Wireless dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi system to provide outdoor wireless infrastructure services and public access to support the annual World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) festival.  Co-Founded by Peter Gabriel, WOMAD will be held in Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire from July 24th to 26th.  The festival attracts some 40,000 visitors, and covers an area of over 250 acres.

After extensive evaluation of various vendor outdoor Wi-Fi products, Etherlive selected the new Ruckus 802.11n system because it was the only centrally-managed concurrent 2.4/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi solution that combined advanced beamforming technology to deliver extended range and reliability, with sophisticated smart meshing technology at the same or lower cost than existing 802.11g outdoor products.

The massive, ultra high speed Wi-Fi network is the primary infrastructure to support a number of applications including organiser voice communications, public broadband Internet access, commercial PDQ point of sale devices and even sound monitoring units around the grounds.

“The new Ruckus kit effectively redefines the outdoor market with respect to price, performance and cost,” said Tom McInerney, operations director for Etherlive.  “With the new dual-band outdoor system we were able to more than double the performance and range at a lower cost and with fewer APs to deploy and manage.  But more importantly, the mesh code automatically forms and self-heals as the environment changes.  This solves some huge problems for use with respect to dealing with interference and the time it takes to manage and tune such a large network.”

With InStat predicting that more than one billion Wi-Fi-enabled devices will be in use by 2012, there is a growing demand for ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage everywhere.  At outdoor festivals it is critical that organisers and production teams are able to communicate out in the field as effectively as if they were in their offices to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible.  Previously, festivals had to rely on incumbent telecoms providers to install telegraph poles around the desired sites.  This was not only extremely expensive; it also did not provide the flexibility required to support delay-sensitive applications like voice over Wi-Fi or chip-and-pin machines.

WOMAD consulted with Etherlive about installing a temporary wireless network to cover the site in Wiltshire, further specifying that the connection had to be robust enough to support critical applications without the risk of network failure.

Etherlive installed a Ruckus Wi-Fi high performance mesh network at the site to provide a reliable Wi-Fi connection for the organisers, traders and the general visiting public.  The network is already in use by the operational team, and when the festival opens it will also support a number of critical applications such as voice over Wi-Fi phones used by site managers, IP cameras, and Wi-Fi point of sale (PDQ) chip-and-pin machines used by traders.  For festival-goers there will be free internet access to a WOMAD portal & iPhone application from the main arena, and across the extensive camping areas, providing visitors with live, up-to-date information about the event including audio streams from Radio WOMAD. Using the iPhone application users can even download music from the artists playing.

Sound engineers will be using the Wi-Fi network to remotely monitor and manage decibel levels around the event without having to physically walk the property.  As sound levels can be affected by even slight changes in weather such as cloud cover or rain, keeping them within the required range, as set by the local authority, has traditionally been a tricky task with engineers patrolling the edge of the site and then having to rush back to the stage to adjust the volume when required.  With the Ruckus system, the likelihood of fines is dramatically reduced as engineers gain complete visibility to sound levels from wherever they are on site, meaning much quicker reaction times.

“There’s a growing expectation among festival-goers that Wi-Fi should be freely available, and that internet access and access to social networking should be part and parcel of the WOMAD experience,” said Chris Smith, Festival Director at WOMAD.  “What’s more, we need a reliable wireless network to run the site efficiently and ensure the event goes off without a hitch.  When we saw the demo from Etherlive we knew this was exactly what we needed.”

The deployment consists of Ruckus dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access points (APs) and a centralised ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controller.  The units, which are all weather-proofed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, are installed within specially designed PODs across the site.  In addition to the Ruckus wireless technology, Etherlive has developed a power management system with redundant 48 hour battery backup which ensures the network keeps running should one of the on-site generators fail.  A team of experts from Etherlive will also be on hand throughout the festival to trouble-shoot any potential issues.

“Building a flexible and robust Wi-Fi network on such a large scale to support a massive area and a huge number of concurrent users is a major undertaking – especially outdoors where interference and noise is everywhere and can’t be controlled,” said McInerney.  “The Ruckus kit solves all these problems because it is designed to be self-optimising and highly adaptive, it’s the only solution that can cope in this environment, directing signals exactly where they are needed and avoiding any interference as and when it occurs.”

The Ruckus Wi-Fi mesh uses dynamic beamforming APs on both ends of every mesh link to eliminate performance variability on the mesh backbone.  In addition, the network will erase dead spots to ensure reliable connections and provide stable performance across the entire site, delivering a two- to four-fold increase in signal range and reliability.  Pioneered by Ruckus Wireless, dynamic beamforming is the latest Wi-Fi innovation that automatically directs transmissions to the best performing signal path on a per packet basis using real time feedback mechanisms inherent in the 802.11 protocol.  In this way, Ruckus is able to overcome problems that have previously hindered outdoor Wi-Fi deployments at large festivals and events, namely interference, physical obstructions such as moving trucks and even metal stages, network management complexity and cost.

“Outdoor Wi-Fi has traditionally had a bad reputation, suffering performance problems when the wind blows or when a tree is in the way of the signal – obstacles you can’t really do much about,” said Jim Calderbank, director of enterprise sales EMEA at Ruckus Wireless.  “But with Wi-Fi becoming ubiquitous, this needed to change and we’ve done just that.  For festivals and organisers of large outdoor events, this is going to make their life much easier.  The organisers will be able to work more efficiently, traders will be able to process transactions reliably, and festival-goers will be able to easily access the internet from their smartphones – a recipe that will surely help WOMAD continue to attract more visitors and artists year on year.”

About WOMAD

WOMAD stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance and gives its name to the internationally established WOMAD Festival, which brings together artists from all over the globe.  The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance. As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but our aims are always the same – at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and through educational projects, we aim to excite, to inform, and to create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society. Peter Gabriel was one of WOMAD’s co-founders: “Pure enthusiasm for music from around the world led us to the idea of WOMAD in 1980 and thus to the first WOMAD festival in 1982. The festivals have always been wonderful and unique occasions and have succeeded in introducing an international audience to many talented artists.”Equally important, the festivals have also allowed many different audiences to gain an insight into cultures other than their own through the enjoyment of music. Music is a universal language; it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism.”

About Etherlive

Based in Wiltshire, England, Etherlive is a technology services company working in partnership with event organisers to deliver key services such as VoIP, internet, CCTV, payment processing, interactive advertising and rich media to all types of festivals, events, product launches and conferences. A finalist in the Red Herring 2009 technology awards, Etherlive has developed a range of solutions tailored to meet the demands of the live event environment all backed by experienced deployment & support teams. For more information visit http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, Ruckus Wireless is a next-generation Wi-Fi company credited with pioneering “Smart Wi-Fi” technology. Named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Ruckus Wireless was formed in 2004 at Sequoia Capital. The company designs, develops and markets industrial-strength Wi-Fi systems that provide reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 technology. Its flagship product, ZoneFlex, is the first wireless LAN system to combine the best in centralized wireless LAN principles with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi advances such as smart antenna arrays and wireless meshing. Its MediaFlex line of multimedia wireless routers is used by more than 125 broadband operators around the world to extend digital services such as IPTV throughout the home without wires. The company’s patented hardware and software technologies deliver predictable performance, extended range and real-time adaptability to changing Wi-Fi environments. The company has raised approximately $42 million in financing from premier venture capital investors, consumer electronics companies and broadband operators such as Motorola, T-Ventures, Telus, Sutter Hill Ventures, Mitsui, Sequoia and others. Ruckus Wireless is led by President and CEO Selina Lo. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.ruckuswireless.com.

Etherlive recently completed the latest of its permanent outdoor Wi-Fi internet hotspots for fast, reliable internet access.

Like many open spaces in the UK, Poole Park is constantly looking for new services to offer to its visitors.  Friends of Poole Park, who are a local volunteer organisation working with the council, recently undertook a revamp of the park adding a new water fountain and bird nesting islands, alongside this they contracted Etherlive to install a community Wi-Fi internet hotspot.  Located in the centre of Poole the park offers a picturesque 60 acre lake, restaurants and cafes – all of which are used by the local community including a large percentage of local businesses (more of which the park is trying to attract) and students from Bournemouth University.

The wireless equipment installed at Poole is based on a ruggedized 802.11n meshed infrastructure providing Wi-Fi internet across the whole of the park including several buildings. The main benefit of the mesh is that each wireless unit only requires a power source such as a lamp post; all connectivity across the network is managed from one central location. In addition proxy (caching) and firewall services were installed to improve performance and security. The network will be used in the future to provide webcams and communications infrastructure for the popular Poole Park Fest.

Bob Lister of Friends of Poole Park, speaking to Poole Borough Council said: “We are delighted Wi-Fi is up and running. In addition to providing local people and visitors with new park facilities, we also anticipate event organisers will make good use of the new technology for their activities.”

By offering free community internet access Poole Park becomes a credible location for businesses to meet and students to study encouraging more visitors during the day whilst also fulfilling the recent ‘Digital Britain’ drive by the British Government which sees regular access to internet services as a must have.

Etherlive wi-fi installed at Poole Park

Etherlive Wi-Fi installed at Poole Park

For further information see Borough of Poole News and Bournemouth Echo

The last thing you need is your site network going down mid-event because someone has tripped out a generator. It only takes a drop in power for less than a quarter of a second to cause most IT equipment to restart and that fraction of a second can lead to a lot of frustration as calls get dropped, CCTV stops and users get dropped off the network.

Last year we introduced our ruggedized battery backup units that could run our network units for over 12 hours, this year we have gone much further. Our latest smart power supply offers nanosecond switching between redundant power sources and highly efficient power conversion which has allowed us to push up battery operation to over 24 hours and, with the option for multiple hot-swap batteries, this can be extended indefinitely.

These units can source their input power, what we call ‘red power’, from 110-240V mains supply or from a generator and now, with an eye on the environment, they also have the option of using solar, wind or fuel cell generation.

The smart power supply deals with providing the protected ‘green power’ to the network units and other associated devices such as CCTV cameras or VoIP phones, only switching to a battery if required. What’s more is that these units are designed with remote monitoring so that we can see the status of each unit in our network operations centre.

The important thing is that whether you are a running a small press centre Wi-Fi zone or a 150 acre festival site you shouldn’t just cross your fingers and hope the power stays on.

With attendee numbers at The Event Show at Olympia last week apparently up on 2008 figures, there was a positive feel and vibe to the show. Yes, there were plenty of conversations about whether the downturn was having an impact but all in all it was business as usual, with organisers and suppliers planning as normal for the 2009 season.

The Etherlive stand near the entrance saw a steady stream of visitors

We took the chance to discuss some of the new products and services that we are launching for the 2009 event season. In the Wi-Fi space we have increased our range of solutions to include a new market leading technology that is ideal for the events industry as it is specially designed to work in ‘noisy’ environments using a patented beam-steering technology. This gives excellent connectivity even when rogue wireless units appear on site or large lorries start creating disturbances! These devices also support the new ‘n’ standard giving a much higher (300Mbps) throughput, ideal for services such as video streaming.

Alongside this our location tracking capabilities have also stepped up another gear with a new hybrid location tag that allows us to use GPS, Wi-Fi or RFID to identify location, reducing the infrastructure we require to cover large festival sites and providing outdoor, indoor and close proximity capability.

Power independence remains a key factor in our site designs so that our network and communication services remain operational whether a generator fails or not. Our power units switch from generator/mains to battery in a few milliseconds with no loss of service and can remain on battery for up to 24 hours (or longer if required) if site power is a problem.

Tom McInerney from Etherlive describes some of the new services at an Innovation Seminar

Site Operations is another area where we have been busy. Extending on our modular ‘POD’ design we now have a special version aimed at providing all the key services at a remote site from a small unit that can be deployed quickly when staff first arrive on site. It’s pretty much a portable  ‘office IT environment’ keeping a site operations team connected and productive from anywhere.

To round off the enhanced line-up a new mobile phone ‘portal’ or event guide was also on display. Working across a large range of phones (with no Java download) the guide is highly customisable and varies user experience based on their connection type (2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, etc). It can also be used in an interactive fashion enabling features such as uploads and voting.

As always further information is available on the website or we are more than happy to demonstrate these new technologies and services either at our base in Wiltshire or on a suitable customer site. Let’s just hope that 2009 brings a better summer!

Elements of the media may be determined to drive everyone into recession but this year’s Showman’s Show took no notice, growing in size and having an upbeat feel to it. Etherlive were both exhibiting at the show and providing services to Fonix LED. Over a highly ‘congested’ site in terms of radio spectrum use, including numerous ad-hoc Wi-Fi hotspots and a site mesh network, we ran multiple video streams, three CCTV cameras, a VoIP service and localised web hosting. This all builds on our approach of ‘business class wireless’, using extensive knowledge and experience to deliver high quality, high capacity services.

Etherlive on the LED screen at the entrance to the Showman's Show

The show was a great success for us, with lots of interest in our newer services such as real-time location tracking, video streaming and event portals on handheld devices. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand for a chat and if you couldn’t make the show check out our website for further information on our latest services.

A copy of our press release from the Green Man festival which took place last weekend. Our team provided internet and phone services for the event staff – keeping them connected to the outside world

Green Man goes Interactive  

Music festival uses cutting edge technology to reduce costs and deploy new interactive services

Powys, August 15, 2008 – etherLive Event Services are providing the Green Man festival attendees and event organisation team with new technology services during the 10,000 attendee event in August to increase interaction whilst reducing infrastructure cost. The services will be used to publish a live event schedule to ticket holders through their mobile phone whilst also enabling the event organisation team to use office networking including printing and internet services.

Attendees are able to interact with a live schedule whilst checking their Facebook profile and uploading photos, all for free. Using interactive services keeps attendees engaged and enables them to keep up to date with line up changes and announcements.

Event staff are continuing to work in a normal connected office environment despite being in the middle of a field thanks to wireless connectivity. Cable runs are being reduced whilst improving productivity.

About etherLive

EtherLive event services provides technical solutions UK wide to outdoor and large events. etherLive partners with events utilising new technologies to offer totally new services whilst reduce costs. etherLive provides streaming video services, location based reporting, security cameras and other services from its versatile networking solutions and experience. 

For more information on etherLive, its services and advantages, visit https://etherlive.co.uk or contact Tom McInerney 07789486939