WiMAX in the wind

Like many people in Scarborough, the Save9 team were both surprised and excited to see an act as famous and legendary as Elton John confirmed as this season’s opening act at the 8,500 seater Scarborough Open Air Theatre. This didn’t only bring an opportunity to see a world-class entertainer but it also introduced a technical challenge that Save9 were tasked to solve.

The Scarborough Open Air Theatre needed a high-speed Internet connection in a very short time-frame, as Elton John and his production team needed high-speed internet access and a dedicated IP telephony service to ensure the show, and the logistics behind it all, ran like clockwork. Due to the time frame involved the option of digging up roads to install fibre was a ‘no-go’ so Save9 and NYnet were approached to come up with a solution. Based on previous project experience in supplying high-speed Internet access to businesses, without the civil-engineering headaches, we opted for WiMAX technology (see customer case study):

WiMAX & Wi-Fi: Crown Spa Hotel case study

We basically fire our NYnet fibre Internet connection, using radio data links, from the Woodend Creative Workspace building to a receiver on top of the Crown Spa Hotel, which we have a clear line of sight to. In turn we thought it may be possible to send this signal up the coast to the Scarborough Open Air Theatre that is 1.2 miles away from the Crown Spa Hotel. All we needed was a direct line of sight. After many hair-raising climbs to the top of many of Scarborough’s tallest buildings we were surprised to discover that we had a direct line of site all along (thanks to Google Maps and a pair of binoculars)!

We set about making arrangements and just days before Elton was due to arrive for his show; the relevant antenna radios were installed, the Save9 support team worked through the night until finally, at 1am in the morning, successful connectivity was achieved – reaching speeds of 50Mbps through the air.

The run-up to the show and the show itself went off without a hitch and the Save9 WiMAX network now crosses the whole town – linking the South Bay to the North Bay.

Elton John Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Elton John at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre

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