High-Density Wi-Fi for sports and entertainment venues is now more accessible than ever, thanks to Cisco’s Catalyst 9104. In all of my years working for Cisco, this has been one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever worked on. Seeing the process from conception to the first complete permanent installation at Geodis Park in Nashville, TN has been rewarding and frankly, just plain cool. Watch the video below!
Geodis Park Stats
- The network supports the fans as well as the business office at Geodis Park
- Number of seats: 30,000
- A typical game connects 15,000 clients on Wi-Fi
- 4 Terabytes of traffic at a typical game
- Cisco Catalyst 9104 reaches clients at up to 130 feet
- Provides patrons the convenience of mobile ticketing and concessions
How it went down!
Back in September of 2020, during the office shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote my first-ever blog. I talked about how Cisco engineers were using the downtime to create new products that would be ready when the world came back out to play. The Catalyst 9104 is the result of that work.
New Product Goals:
- Lower Cost
- Much simpler to deploy
- Did not require an enclosure
- Ability to beam switch, beam steer
- Serve wifi clients at a greater distance
- Resulting in High-density Wi-fi that changes the game
Fast forward to October 2022 and I was able to see the results of that work. I joined Ken Martin, Head of Cisco’s Sports and Entertainment sales along with Bill Anderson, President/CEO of Cisco partner Ampthink, at Geodis Park in Nashville, TN to check out the very first permanent install of the Cisco Catalyst 9104. Sure, there were other 9104 installs, but they were smaller temporary festival and conference networks. In contrast, the network at Geodis Park was designed from day 1 with the 9104 as the centerpiece.
It was so cool being able to witness the product that we had spent well over a year developing (thanks again COVID-19) working exactly as we had designed it to. This is what I love about working at Cisco. This project was what engineers like me (and others) live for.
- We sat down with customers and partners and get their feedback on what they wanted…. what they needed from Cisco prior to building it.
- Then we took that information back to our hardware design teams, product management teams, software, and test teams.
- It was a series of innovations, testing, re-testing, validating, and finally…
- Delivering to the organization which had trusted us to design their network around the 9104 before it was even available for sale!
Very rarely is someone able to see the full process from end to end.
Hats off to all the amazing teams at Cisco that worked on this product and to the customers and partners that provided valuable feedback from the very beginning, you know who you are.
The Catalyst 9104 has changed the high-density wi-fi game. Now fans at Geodis Park can sit back and enjoy the game.