LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Mar 16, 2015) - Meru Networks® (NASDAQ: MERU), a leader in intelligent Wi-Fi networking, delivered seamless Wi-Fi connectivity for more than 500 journalists, photographers, VIPs, IBU (International Biathlon Union) staff, athletes and trainers in tough weather and environmental conditions at the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2015 at the Kontiolahti Stadium in Finland (March 3-15 2015). The network supported high concurrent use, high bandwidth applications in a highly demanding sports venue.
"We put huge demands on the Wi-Fi, both in terms of number of users and traffic," said Heimo Koskela, the IBU local organizing committee's chief of timing. "As each competition ended, we regularly saw up to 250 photographers logging on to send images wirelessly, while competitors and support staff were on it continuously using multiple devices to access social media and the IBU site."
Located 120 meters above sea level and playing host to thousands of spectators and media from around the world, the competition venue sees the very best biathletes from 38 nations, including Great Britain and the USA, competing in cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
The Meru network supported hundreds of photographers who needed to send images instantly from their digital cameras and laptops. Video and print journalists also put huge demands on the Wi-Fi, despite having fixed Ethernet available, while broadcasters used wireless to get access to online results services.
Designed and implemented for the harsh outdoor environment by Palmionet, Meru's partner in Finland, Meru's 802.11ac AP832e access points were deployed in climate-proof housings to withstand sub-zero temperatures, wind and snowy conditions.
"This is probably one of the toughest environments you can test a wireless network in -- not only harsh weather conditions and low temperatures, but also the challenges of working alongside other wireless technologies like time-keeping systems with the potential for channel interference," said Matti Polonen, of Meru partner Palmionet. "Yet, the network has been 100 percent reliable and fast."
For public Internet access, local mobile operators (Elisa, DNA and Sonera) provided extra capacity, with 3G and 4G connections supporting a total of approximately 6,000 simultaneous users.
"Supplying high-density wireless connectivity to the media at sporting events is absolutely crucial, especially in inclement weather," said David Kelly, vice president of international sales at Meru. "Members of the press need 100 percent reliability when sending images, filing stories and accessing results online. The feedback from IBU has been incredible, with photographers and journalists commenting that the Wi-Fi there was the best they had ever used."
Notes for editors:
IBU World Championships Biathlon 2015: http://www.kontiolahtibiathlon.com/wch-2015/
The 47th Biathlon World Championships are held in Kontiolahti, Finland from 3 March to 15 March 2015. There are a total of 11 competitions: sprint, pursuit, individual, mass start, and relay races for men and women, and mixed relay. All the events during these championships also count for the Biathlon World Cup season.
38 nations took part this year, including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the USA.
The first Biathlon World Championships (BWCH) was held in 1958, with individual and team contests for men. The number of events has grown significantly over the years. Beginning in 1984, women biathletes had their own World Championships, and finally, from 1989, both genders have been participating in joint BWCHs. In 1978 the development was enhanced by the change from the large army rifle calibre to a small bore rifle, while the range to the target was reduced from 150 to 50 meters.
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) is the international governing body of biathlon. Its headquarters are in Salzburg, Austria.
Meru Networks (NASDAQ: MERU) is a leader in intelligent 802.11ac Wi-Fi solutions delivering uninterrupted user experience for education, healthcare, hospitality and enterprise. The Meru open-standards-based architecture is designed to enable unified management of wired and wireless networks. Its end-to-end application QoS enables enforceable service-level agreements. Meru provides top performance and high capacity in high-density environments. Visit www.merunetworks.com.
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