Hello, I would like to share experiences on stadium design.
In over-head areas, we use the AIR-ANT2513P4M-N antenna, and we are waiting to know the details of the new C-ANT9104 antenna for Catalyst 9100.
In this over-head mode, we estimate between 150 and 200 seats per cell. As an option we can put some APs in 5 Ghz + 5Ghz mode, like the model 9130 that supports macro-macro or Tri-Radio mode.
For areas with AP placed "under-seat", I know cases with non-Cisco equipment, where they have used APs with omni antennas, where we obtaine a cell with ellipse shape where the AP is in the upper area. As an example dimensioning 1 AP every 78 seats, in the form of 6 rows x 13, the AP is located in the center of fifth row.
Can anyone share experience using directional antennas instead omni, in under-seat mode? And how many seats per AP do you install for both modes, overhead and underseat?
I think from my experience with peers whom did a lot of stadiums, it depends on where you can mount. I also know that they have used rail mount antennas along with above and in seat areas. You can't go wrong either way, but when you have to support the install for a number of months or years, you learn what works best in that environment. You might have to adjust angles after the fact but with stadiums, its never install and leave. So what I'm saying, is that your experience doing more and more stadiums will help you on decisions in regards to mounting and position.
I'm not a big fan of placing APs under seats of audience for following reasons.
1. Humans directly involved. health hazard in closer proximity of RF human contact is still investigated.
2. Once the seats started to fill, certainly the signal gets blocked and anyway can't transmit as generally expected as it blocked at the source for both upper/lower areas of the seating.
3. there're better alternate soln and it takes some ground-work, if aesthetic is of more concern OR other deployment reasons/challenges.
Hide APs in side-walls(in place where design lights installed), hide many underneath the stage, if available and areas around the stadium while the center once can be covered by the APs mounted on top. inner and outer wall.
overhead areas -yes, don't use 2.4ghz and use dual 5ghz(different directions), of course the other radio works only when DART connector in use. Require RF-tuning over the period of time.
Note: In large gathering areas, have more APs at the entrance to on-board the Clients and to smoothly transfer the connections to the APs inside the stadium/auditorium.
They will eventually do, however, not much changes from one year to another except they might add or remove some details. At the end of the day, you should understand as a design engineer, what works best in what scenario. Also cost comes into play along with if a type of install is allowed or not. When you have experience and understand how everything worked after an install, you can make adjustments in future implementations. Keep in mind that you also can utilize rail mount enclosures that uses patches. You might only be able to use one specific type of mounting in an area so keep all options opened. I have never seen one type of mounting in a stadium install.