The Westfallenhallen in Dortmund extend over an area of 60,000m2. There are currently nine halls with the most well-known being the Westfallenhalle dating from 1952. Numerous exhibitions, congresses and other events attract 1.7 million visitors every year. The events are managed by three subsidiaries—Messe Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH, KHC Westfalenhallen GmbH and Veranstaltungszentrum Westfalenhallen GmbH. Technology, marketing and IT are central responsibilities of the parent company—Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH.
The aim was to provide free Wi-Fi for exhibition and event visitors, exhibitors, congress participants and hotel guests at the Westfalenhallen Dortmund. In order to ensure transparent network maintenance, management required consultation, installation and support from a single source with a high level of expertise in Cisco solutions.
The Westfalenhallen Dortmund is made up of nine halls, each with an area of between 1,800 and 10,000m2 meaning a gross surface area of around 60,000m2. A hotel and a congress centre are also located at the site. In order to ensure full Wi-Fi coverage in these buildings, Bechtle installed Cisco Aironet Access Point bundles in the hotel, congress centre and also in one of the halls. Cisco® Catalyst® Series switches were also fitted in the hotel. The resulting platform and access points combine the mobility of wireless networks with the performance of wired.
At the core of the switches is a Cisco Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) ASIC (Application-specific Integrated Circuit), which enables unified policies to be enforced across wired and wireless networks as well as increased application transparency and optimised application performance. Cisco Catalyst switches fully support Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) compliant with IEEE 802.3at, modular and field-replaceable network modules as well as redundant fans and power supplies. Cisco Series Wireless Controllers were also installed to increase availability. Bechtle updated the existing Wi-Fi controllers, integrated the new ones and created a Prime Infrastructure 2.2 for testing purposes that aided in the configuration of new access points and enabled floor plans to be imported for mapping.
Lastly, Bechtle carried out a Wi-Fi connectivity test and briefed the IT department of the Westfalenhallen Dortmund on the Cisco Prime Infrastructure.
The new IT infrastructure means that the Wi-Fi at the Westfalenhallen Dortmund has enhanced capacity, better area coverage and improved availability. The updated Cisco network technology supports current IEEE 802.11ac standard specifications and is therefore future-ready. With a transfer rate of up to 1.3 Gbit/s—which is around triple the current high end 802.11n access point rate—the new Wi-Fi is the basis for a highly efficient network ready to meet even the future performance and bandwidth demands of wireless users. The project was successfully completed on schedule thanks to direct Cisco support via Bechtle’s own Cisco team. Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH were able to save time and money by working with the local Bechtle partner, who has the competence and expertise to manage such projects. Using standardised procurement processes via Bechtle’s e-commerce platform also enabled the project to remain within budget.