Stadium WLAN Design Considerations

To start off, what is a WLAN? It stands for Wireless Local Area Network, it is a type of network that connects two or more computer instruments and/or devices wirelessly. This allows devices to communicate with each other in a close geographical area. Networks can be as large as a campus or as small as a room. This makes the network more accessible for devices by reducing most of the wired connections.

Equipment Required

Building a WLAN network requires a certain set of components to enable. Products such as access points and directional antennas. First, Access Points also known as an AP, is a piece of equipment that enables a wireless connection to a wired network. AP’s are generally connected to a router also known as a default gateway, and inside most routers today are switches, allowing the network to communicate with the public network. This allows the network to access the internet. AP’s are versatile pieces of equipment that can establish a new network or expand an existing network; AP’s operate on 2.4 or 5 GHz bands and can support multiple users.

A directional antenna concentrates the signal in a specific direction rather than having it radiate everywhere. Some antennas are built inside access points, these antennas transmit the signal in all directions. In most cases, these are not suited for a venue like a stadium due to RF pollution. This results in degrading service. Directional antenna’s help to minimize negative effects such as RF pollution.

Selecting the Right Equipment

When determining what equipment to purchase there are some considerations that will dictate what products are required. The first consideration is the total capacity of the stadium. One should plan to have a network that can support the capacity and then add some additional as there will be some users that connect multiple devices to the network. When dealing with large amounts of people at a venue, there should be an AP count. When doing an AP count for a stadium that holds 50,000 people, assume a standard AP can support up to a max of 250 users. That would mean for the stadium of 50,000, there would be a need for 200 APs. This would be at the max user limit for the AP under the consideration that everyone connects one device. Trying to maintain that amount of people on it even for a short period of time will drastically shorten its life expectancy causing it to fail and break down. Under the assumption that an optimal percentage is around 60% of the APs standard limit. That would mean each AP can support 250 users, with 60% capacity there would ideally only be capacity for 150 users on it. This will help maintain the longevity of the AP as well as keep its operation service efficient and effective. Instead of installing 200AP’s, there should be 334 APs set up inside the stadium.

Location is Key

Next is the placement of AP’s, the first step is determining where the highest user density is in the stadium. This can be discovered by doing a survey of the stadium. Once the high-density locations are found, additional AP’s in these areas should be allocated to handle the workload. AP’s should also be located where the signal drops to provide full coverage. Knowing how much power is being emitted and dissipated will help determine the WLAN’s quality. If the power being released is too low, then the user will not get the greatest of service and in some cases, they will be unable to connect to the network.

Another factor that will also help increase the quality of service is how much bandwidth is needed to sustain all the users. The WLAN should have enough bandwidth to support the consumer’s needs so that they are able to surf the internet with enough throughput speeds, making calls and texts without delay.

Directional antennas can also help increase throughput speeds and increase power. As discussed earlier this will help reduce RF pollution, which will minimize interference. Interference such as co-channel interference, is when two or more AP’s are transmitting at the same frequency channel. After doing the survey on where to put the AP’s, the next thing is to do a coverage prediction. This helps to guide the placement of directional antennas. One of the best ways to conduct a coverage prediction is to get a RF coverage predicting tool. It will help to determine the signal strength and what the SNR levels are going to be like in the stadium, what the AP’s radiation pattern will be if it were placed in that part of the stadium, and several other factors. These are some of the crucial parameters one needs to look at in order to point the antenna in the correct location.

After doing a coverage prediction survey for the stadium, the next step is selecting the equipment. Equipment should follow IEEE standards for WLAN which consists of 802.11, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax. Remember there are a lot of vendors out there that sell those pieces of equipment, having their own advantages over one another. Make sure to do some research as to which piece of equipment best fits the needs. One crucial aspect to look at in these pieces of equipment is the security features. Since people are going to use this WLAN not only for surfing the internet and using social media applications. The stadium is also going to use the network for its internal office use, including credit card transactions, so security is imperative. One way to help keep one’s network secure is to purchase AP’s with security features built in. The main features fall under these IEEE standards like WPA, WPA2 with AES and 802.1x etc. These security features will create encryptions for one’s network and help protect the network against cyber-attacks.

The last step is installing the AP’s in the locations determined by the survey. Though there is one more thing to consider when placing the AP’s. The final placement should not only be in areas that are functional but also in areas that are aesthetically pleasing. Generally, this would mean keeping them out of people’s sight and path. This could affect the way one’s stadium looks and can potentially cause more harm than good.

For any questions additional questions beyond the materials covered in this article please feel free to reach out to Scientel Solutions directly to assist with all your wireless and integration needs by filling out the form under Contact Us.


Importance of Communication

Communication enables teams in mission-critical moments to be empowered and coordinate an effort to solve any situation. Check out Colin Lecher’s article “Verizon throttled California fire department during wildfire crisis” below to see the importance for all levels of government to maintain control of their communication channels.

“Bowden writes that the resulting throttling from Verizon “had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services,” as responders were unable to properly track and route firefighting resources. The company continued to slow data speeds even after being informed it was “actively impeding” responders’ ability to fight the blazes, Bowden writes. Ultimately, the fire department had to sign up for a new, more expensive plan before speeds were restored.”- Collin Lecher, Verizon throttled California fire department during wildfire crisis. View the full article here.

Scientel Digest

Here is a collection of miscellaneous articles that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

Internet of Things (IoT) Movement and Us Today

This article describes what the Internet of Things Movement is and where it has taken us today. In addition, it dives into IoT’s next steps to maintain a safe world and efficient world in the future. “The Internet of Things movement (IoT) is a movement that has started ever since there were computers and the internet. IoT connects the internet to a variety of devices that do not normally have the internet to enable them to do a variety of additional tasks or processes that were previously unimaginable and not done.” Check it out here.

Five IoT Predictions For 2019

In this article by Daniel Newman, five predictions that will impact both consumers and business are predicted on what will happen in 2019. “Vehicles, wearable gadgets, RFID sensors, and software are advancing past basic function and the network is growing to include even more advancements each day. I have more connected gadgets in my home this year than I did last and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’d also bet that these advancements will be even more commonplace in our homes, businesses and on the road in 2019.” Check out the full article here.

IoT Security Warning: Your Hacked Devices Are Being Used For Cyber Crime Says FBI 

Privacy and security are of the utmost concern for businesses and consumers alike. With billions of devices connected and the number of connected devices expected to grow in the future, it is important for networks and devices to remain secure. In this article by Danny Palmer, the dangers of unsecured devices are discussed. “Internet of Things devices including routers, IP cameras and even smart locks and connected doors are being targeted by cyber criminals who are looking to exploit them as a gateway for hacking and other cyber attacks, the FBI has warned.” Check out the full article here.

AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) Movement

The Internet of Things movement (IoT) was started as soon as there were computers and the internet. IoT connects the internet to a variety of devices that are not normally internet enabled.   This allows them to do a variety of additional tasks or processes that were previously unimaginable.

Billions of devices are being connected to the internet. Light bulbs that can be controlled by mobile phones. Airplanes that can send continual diagnostic information while in flight. Implanted medical devices that send alerts to monitoring stations.  With the growing use of AI there will be few parts of our lives that are not connected to the internet.

IoT for Consumers and Businesses

Consumers now experience connected devices in all parts of their home, and life. Waking up in the morning can activate a host of devices enabled because of the internet. A setting in your home’s mainframe can activate alarm clocks, turn on lights and activate your coffee machine. It can even open the blinds and let the sunshine in or turn on your shower.

Businesses across all verticals can experience benefits from the IoT movement. IoT has enabled remote monitoring of devices to enable the reading of sensors in hazardous locations from safe locations. Machine to Machine communication is possible due to the IoT movement. Machines are able to communicate with one another allowing autonomous actions.

An estimated 23 billion devices around the world are connected to the internet currently with and an estimated 75 billion devices to be connected to the internet by 2025 (Statista). With more and more devices being connected, infrastructure needs to be flexible and scalable to meet the demand. Both the devices and the networks need to remain secure to provide protection and security to all threats.


Advances in wireless infrastructure have enabled the current 23 billion devices to connect to connect to the internet. The roll out of 5G wireless will enable more devices to be connected and with faster connects than currently available.  Broadband wireless in areas not reachable by fiber or cell service are able to match the demand for connectivity.  Broadband wireless is also a very scalable option for future growth. The growth in popularity of smart cities will enable more devices to be connected as fiber and wireless infrastructure increases.


IoT devices capture large amounts of data from users or sensors, and it is streamed over your wireless connection. Enhanced security to protect the sensitive information of users becomes paramount. As processing power increases and chips decrease in size IoT devices will be enabled to run additional programs.  Private networks, both wireless and hard lined, enable higher broadband speeds and capacity. Network security, through programs using AI, can monitor and be essential in protecting the safe usage of IoT devices.


IoT enables billions of devices to be connected to the internet and allows advancements for consumers and business. The infrastructure that supports these devices must remain flexible, scalable, and secure to meet future demands. Devices continue to evolve, expand, and further develop.  Enhanced security measures for AI and IoT enabled devices are required to protect the sensitive data created by end users.  The security advances must be developed at the same furious pace as the products it protects.

Scientel Digest

Here is a collection of miscellaneous articles that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

3 Ways First Responders Can Take Advantage of 5G and IoT

In this Article by Lindsay Notwell, three advantages of 5G are discussed that will benefit first responders “As first responders depend more on the Internet of Things technologies to carry out missions, new challenges for interoperable data communications are bound to emerge. The saving grace, however, may be that the IoT data flood is perfectly timed with the arrival of 5G networks, the fifth generation of cellular technology that promises to deliver speeds 10 times faster than 4G LTE and cut latency to milliseconds.” Check it out here.

Smart City Projects to Resolve Urban Areas’ Issues

Smart Cities are innovating to solve a variety of problems, remaining future-proof is key to a lasting investment. “Cities are getting more crowded. Already, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas and this number is expected to increase to two thirds by 2050. With pressure increasing on public services and infrastructure, cities have been looking for innovative, future-proofing solutions.” (Albawaba). Read more here.

House of Representatives Passes Precision Agriculture Bill

Juan Tomas discusses a recently passed bill by the House of Representatives to provide funding and establish a task to develop broadband wireless for agricultural applications. “The legislation stipulates the creation of a task force to evaluate best ways to boost precision agriculture in American farms” Check it out here.

Fast & Easy Friday Digest

Here is a collection of articles from this past week that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

Taking the Temperature of IoT for Healthcare

Fredric Paul discusses the current state of IoT in Healthcare in this post. “The Internet of Things (IoT) is full of promises to transform everything from transportation to building maintenance to enterprise security. But no field may have more to gain than the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers and device makers are all looking to the IoT to revolutionize the gathering of healthcare data and the delivery of care itself.” Check out the full article here.

5 Use Cases for Smart City IoT

In this article by Matt Leonard, five common applications are discussed about the capabilities of smart cities “Cities across the world are running internet-of-things pilots to gain insights that will them run more efficiently. A new white paper from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies  takes an exhaustive look at the promise of these burgeoning technologies.” Check out the full article here.

Adaptive Technology Programs Turn Robotics and IoT to Help People Who Have Disabilities

David Kawamoto discusses some of the trends that states are funding to help citizens. This article further explores ways that IoT and Technology of Things movements are able to help people in the future. “Smart technologies, such as robotic telepresence and the Internet of Things (IoT), are capturing the attention of adaptive technology programs in state and local governments, as well as educational institutions, according to experts.” Check out the full article here.

Scientel Digest

Here is a collection of miscellaneous articles that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

5G Forecast Force Owners to Prepare for Next-Gen Wireless

In an article by Kyle Campbell the future of 4G and 5G is explored. “An upcoming sea change in the wireless industry promises to optimize everything with a digital pulse, from phones, tablets, and watches to cars and even entire office towers. As carriers prepare the first wave of their fifth-generation, or 5G, cellular technologies, property owners are making sure their properties are ready, too, with extensive in-building networks.” Check it out here.

Five Key Trends in Telecom and Their Impact on Businesses

Craig Wigginton shares five trends from 5G to shifting consumer behaviors that will impact business. “Connectivity is an inseparable part of our daily lives and the telecom industry continues to evolve with the consumers’ needs and habits. Today, the industry is faced with a changing revenue stream with the revenue yield on data services continuing to decline as consumers use more and more data, with static or declining monthly bills. Hence, it is critical for the industry to identify rapid investment opportunities across the telecom portfolio—including fifth-generation wireless network technology (5G), Internet of Things (IoT), cross-industry partnerships (such as mHealth and mPayments), as well as a host of other growth opportunities.” Check it out here.

Why Image and Text Recognition Maybe Today’s Most Powerful RPA Tool

Peter Church discusses how technologies in image and text recognition are able to increase productivity among workers in today’s workforce. “This emerging form of technology uses artificial intelligence in order to recognize and identify different forms of data, including the actions taken by a user, the way someone interacts with different software, or just analyzing different data sources.” Check it out here.

Scientel Internship Experience

Lab Room

Internships are a key part in developing a well-rounded resume and in building experience while in college. Internships, additionally, shape and develop your professional character; without my internship at Scientel, I would not be the same person that I am in the workplace today.

The Scientel Internship challenged me in unique ways that are not possible in a classroom setting. I was challenged day in and day out on with issues in networking, security, information technology, and hardware. These challenges required me to work outside of my comfort-zone and research topic’s that I had never worked on before. This allowed me to get a feel for multiple sides of my field. I gained experience and knowledge that was irreplaceable. I was challenged in ways unlike any that are faced in the classroom, I was hands-on with equipment, troubleshooting unique problems.

One of the major things I learned during my internship, through experience, is that explaining the theory of how something works does not equate to having the practical knowledge to perform those tasks. Hands on experience with equipment problem solving is essential in developing your skills and knowledge. Nothing ever works exactly how its supposed to and no problem is ever the same, it is essential to have experience troubleshooting on equipment to a variety of different scenarios.

Lessons Learned

An important lesson is that when you get stuck with a difficult problem to not give up and immediately and find someone to help you solve the situation, sometimes there may not be someone with the answer. I learned that doing your own research and troubleshooting brings you the best long-term benefit. This does not mean you cannot ask for help but if you do not take the time to try and learn it yourself you will miss fundamental skills like problem-solving.

The experience from being able to work hands-on with equipment used in the industry is a huge advantage when entering the workplace. Many graduates have little to no practical experience upon graduation, this makes an internship extremely valuable. An internship experience is what makes an individual stand out from other graduates every year. Another benefit of having the internship was getting to experience multiple sides of the industry. I was able to experience the technical side, business side, and even the skilled labor that is required when moving and installing equipment.

In Conclusion

Being able to experience every part of the process helps make me more knowledgeable in my field and more confident in a variety of situations. I enjoyed being challenged while developing skills and experience during the duration of my Scientel internship and would recommend to anyone that is trying to get ahead in this field to consider seeking an internship.

The Importance of Change Management

CollaborationPicture this……  You run several large Managed Services contracts.  Your Network Operations Center (NOC) is responsible for monitoring and supporting first responder networks all across the country.  Of course, with a first responder network, lives are at stake and these networks cannot be down.  You have been involved from the beginning to ensure that there is redundancy to safeguard against exactly that.  It is now 2:00 a.m. because, of course, it is.  Network alarms seem to only happen overnight.  Your phone is blowing up with text messages, most from network devices and a few from the NOC technicians monitoring these networks.  The alerts and techs are warning of a substantial outage in one of those networks.

All backup devices are up and operating but your focus needs to be the primary devices.  You hop on the phone and start talking to the NOC techs.  They have done all the basic troubleshooting and cannot seem to reach the imperiled devices.  They are asking for approval to escalate internally to the engineering staff, while they contact the on-call customer to get a status and let them know of their issue.  Nobody is answering at the customer location.  You assume it is due to the fact the customer’s primary network is done.  Your engineers are also stumped as they cannot get to any of the devices either.  Even the backdoor interfaces you have installed and configured.

As you are the 3rd level of escalation, it is your responsibility to notify your management counterpart at the customer location.  Just as you are about to make that call, your first level NOC tech calls.  He is in contact with the customer and has just been made aware that they are doing scheduled maintenance.  Starting to feel relieved that there is no catastrophic issue going on there, you think about going back to sleep.  You look up at the clock and realize this whole exercise has taken 2 hours and it is almost time to get up for the day.  You make the coffee and begin to post-mortem.

With proper Change Management Processes

It’s 2:00 p.m. and you are heading into a customer’s Change Management meeting.  You attend this meeting via phone, once a month.  In this meeting, you discuss events that are planned regarding maintenance on the devices within that network.  Your customer announces that network-wide maintenance will occur on the regular 3rd Thursday of the month.  You note it for later reference.  The meeting goes as planned and you begin to prepare a Change Notification for your NOC staff to read and file in preparation for the outage.  The day of the actual work arrives.  Your NOC techs, by design, have switched off the monitoring tool for those specific devices that we know will be affected.  At the allotted time, the primary network is taken out of service.  Your NOC team knows this as they see the secondary devices begin to carry the network traffic.  The customer network team notifies you when they are completed and your team watches as the network nodes all return to green.  Your team then goes in and re-activates all the alarming.  Everything goes as planned and the network is back up and running on its primary devices.

So, what have we learned here?  If you want a good nights sleep and not to be making a pot of coffee at 3 a.m. preparing to tell a customer his primary network is down, create, participate and exchange information prior to any network work.  It is called Effective Change Management and it can make your life a whole lot more bearable.  Not to mention, a better night’s sleep.

What are botnets? How do they work?

Lines of Code

Over the last few years, malicious code, normally known as Malware has been around in some form or the other. Hackers have been breaking into computers over the Internet to leak sensitive information. The world has now been introduced to the concept of Botnets which have caused several security issues.

What exactly are Botnets?

Botnets are a group of computers which are infected with malware to take control of any device connected to the internet. They are like worms. They can be a combination of devices running different operating systems. Devices like cheap webcams, video recorders have little security settings. The hackers find it easy to take over such devices in no time and build huge botnets.

What are Botnets used for?

Botnets are commonly used in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. With the collective computing power from the infected systems, the botnets are highly capable of stealing sensitive information, malware propagation, disruption of the internet, sending spam and spying on individuals or organizations. Cyber criminals or Botmasters as they are called do not build these botnets only to compromise an individual computer. These are designed to infect millions of devices and bring a large network down. There are botnets that can self-propagate, find and infect devices automatically. They are constantly searching for vulnerable internet-connected devices that are lacking the operating system updates or antivirus and security settings.

They are used to commit click fraud. This is nothing but a scheme to fool the advertisers into thinking that people are clicking on their advertisement. Botnets spread due to downloading attachment links. Malicious software can be attached with illegal software or media downloads. When a user clicks on this link of the infected site, the botnet software gets downloaded and gets installed on the user system. Botnets can send spam messages to a million devices in a short period of time. Botnets destroy a large amount of data in the host system. Smart botnets have the capability of going offline for a period and come back again when the targets are not suspecting.

Botnet Attacks

Mirai botnet

The Mirai botnet was responsible for bringing down a large amount of internet traffic and has been said to be the largest of its kind in history. The servers of the company that controls the internets DNS infrastructure were affected by this botnet. It brought down critical sites including Twitter, Netflix, CNN and many others in the US and Europe. The internet outage was caused due to a DDoS attack. Unlike the other botnets that have been built to date by infecting many computer devices, this was largely made up of internet of things (IoT) devices like digital cameras and DVD players. The Mirai botnet mainly targeted these devices with weak or default passwords. Akamai has reported that Mirai is still around with two DDoS attacks of more than 100 Gbps.


A new botnet has now been discovered called Reaper which is said to be infecting the IoT devices at a much faster pace than Mirai did. This botnet has the capability to bring the entire internet down. Reaper has been known to affect D-link, Netgear, and Linksys.


Botnet detection is not an easy task as these have the capability of being dormant for a while and come back when the botmaster programs them to. Botnets try to disguise their origins. In most cases, the owners do not know that their systems have been infected and have become a part of a botnet.

The easiest way a user can find if his computer system has been affected is by using an anti-malware product. Also, the user can look at the processes that are running, the programs that are installed. These might reveal the presence of a botnet infection. But in most of the case, the detection is not so simple.



As we all know Prevention is better than Cure, the users can prevent their systems from getting infected by following some steps. These can be implemented at an individual user level and at a network level as well.

Individual level:

  • Install anti-virus/ anti-spam software and keep them updated regularly.
  • Turn ON the Firewall settings and restrict unwanted access.
  • Make sure that the OS is updated from time to time.
  • Do not download illegal stuff like pirated music, games, files etc from the internet.
  • Do not click on attachments or links from unknown email messages.


Network Level:

  • Have Firewall, IDS/IPS systems, and content filtering in place.
  • Monitoring unusual increase in traffic.
  • Have DDoS protection in place.
  • If individual user systems have been suspected of being botnet infected, try to remove the malware software immediately. If this is not done in time, the other systems in the network might get infected as well.
  • Make sure that all individuals in the company have their systems with the updated software.
  • Monitor firewall logs to identify botnet command and control centers.
  • If any infection has been identified, notify the anti-virus vendors immediately.


Take away points

Running anti-malware software on user systems is the basic way to prevent botnet attacks. The most effective way to fight botnets is to be vigilant and be aware of this threat. Keep your systems updated. Help your coworkers to understand the effects of a botnet attack. Make sure you stay away from clicking on unknown email links and attachments. We need to help everyone realize that if one computer gets infected, it might cause harm to the entire network.

With the increase in the IoT and more and technological advancements, the potential of such botnet attacks and their power also increases. Taking preventive action will protect us, our company network, our identity, devices, and data.