Henley Regatta WiFi
Henley Regatta WiFi.
For trader payments, production comms, live streaming and spectator connectivity.
Connecting the length of the River Thames, keeping Henley online.
Henley Regatta is the most prestigious rowing regatta in the world. Established in 1885, the one mile course sees the best-of-the-best competing for the coveted win.
Six days of racing, culminating in finals on the Sunday, sees a 3km stretch of Henley riverside transformed to welcome competitors, VIPs, spectators, supporters and party go-ers.
With a growing number of people descending each year, connectivity has become a big challenge, to the extent that the demand had started to outstrip the available bandwidth on site.
Wireless Solutions, a specialist event WiFi provider, was approached by a number of the Henley Regatta event production companies due to our reputation in delivering WiFi solutions for outdoor events. Across the various production companies hosting events along the length of the Thames riverside, they needed a WiFi solution that could offer:
- 100% uptime for traders. With nightclubs and bars taking £thousands each hour, any risk to payments would have a significant impact on revenue for both the traders and the production companies
- Connectivity for the production teams during the event, allowing reliable communications for smooth event control, site management and health and safety
- Live Streaming for the media teams, including race coverage, live event and social promotion
- Technology integrations, allowing production teams to utilising their cutting edge event digital technology solutions to deliver amazing shows
- Connectivity for the general public on a pay as you go basis.
- Zoned and authenticated access for campsites, VIPs, hospitality tents, race officials and charities to ensure that everyone could securely get online.
- Connectivity for local properties that were rented out to corporates on a hospitality basis during the regatta.
Enabling Event Growth
A unique WiFi challenge
Once all of the different requirements had been collated, we had a full picture of the bandwidth, area and scope of connectivity required. The network design phase began in early 2023 to make sure it would be ready on time for the live event in June.
The existing telecoms infrastructure and 4G/5G coverage had reached its limits. Unless more bandwidth could be brought to site, connectivity would be unreliable, with too much contention for the available WiFi. Site limitations meant that satellite alone would be too risky, so a fixed fibre internet solution from the opposite site of the river was also utilised to bring across additional bandwidth.
It was apparent that additional internet was needed, in addition to better WiFi distribution across the site.
A combination of fixed fibre, satellite and 4G/5G was planned, to give each event zone additional internet bandwidth, allowing for the growing demands for 2023.
The WiFi solution demanded enterprise level hardware. With two network cores installed along the length of the river, these deployments would manage the traffic, allowing it to pass without restriction. Trader devices were pre-authenticated on the network to ensure that they would stay connected, and high availability was deployed, meaning that if there was a hardware failure, the secondary core network would take over without interruption.
We covered 3km of the riverside, ensuring that every event zone had more than adequate connectivity to cope with the maximum number of people in each zone.
Core production areas were set live the day before the regatta, allowing us to test the connectivity, and ensure there would be no last-minute issues that could jeapordise the event success.
On-site support throughout the event meant that production teams could focus on running their events, knowing that we were on call for immediate support if required.
How did it go?
The high availability solution was a complete success. Each morning we walked the whole site to check in with each of the production companies. It was reported that there were no issues with the connectivity, something we could verify live from our on-site monitoring centre.
We were able to support with additional requirements for WiFi during the event, rather than dealing with connectivity issues.
The real success was in the increase in revenue going through the tills. A 25% increase in revenue was reported thanks to the speed of payments and 100% uptime.
More devices could connect seamlessly to the WiFi, and the general public for the first time could access WiFi.
We are now planning ahead, working to harness the potential of WiFi to drive more revenue from the event. Sponsorship, data collection, marketing opportunities, along with monitoring visitor footfall can all be driven by the WiFi network offer additional revenue for very little effort.
Comment of the week:
“We’ve had our best year ever for revenue, thank you for making it possible.”
What Wireless Solutions Can Offer You
We’re committed to bringing better event WiFi to the UK market.
Here’s why we’re different.
“Wireless Solutions has delivered a truly impressive WiFi service. They get where we’re trying to go with our events, and we can have good discussions about what is achievable. What I am 100% confident of is that if they say it’s achievable, they will deliver it to perfection. They’re dependable, honest, brilliant at what they do and a member of the team now. I recommend them to anyone looking for event connectivity.