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Moonee Valley Racecourse rolls out public Wi-Fi

The new Wi-Fi network will allow patrons to access social networks and betting services while in the racecourse.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Moonee Valley Racecourse has implemented a public Wi-Fi service to facilitate communications services for patrons using smartphones.

IT service provider Triforce was commissioned to execute the project.

Located in Victoria, the racecourse is the home of the Moonee Valley Racing Club and hosts the annual Cox Plate race, one of the biggest racing events in Australia. The objective of the Wi-Fi project was to increase customer satisfaction, which would in turn boost revenues to the racecourse.

Previously, mobile network coverage for the racecourse struggled during race days, particularly when big events such as the Cox Plate race was on.

"When you have 30,000 to 40,000 people within the Moonee Valley Race Club attending a single day event, it makes it almost impossible for users to be able to communicate through the 3G network," Triforce General Manager Corie Marinucci told ZDNet.

This crippled the ability for patrons to use social media or online betting services. Moonee Valley also wanted to appeal more to the younger generation with new technology, he said.

After months of assessment and architecture design, Triforce decided to use Ruckus Wireless as a technology partner for the project. Carrier services would be supplied by Vertel.

Ruckus provided Wi-Fi equipment for both wired access points and meshed access points. The latter is used in venues where Ethernet cabling isn't readily available to be able to hook up wireless access points.

"Meshing technology allows you to bolt up an access point with power provided from an external source, which will automatically be connected to the rest of the venue's network," Ruckus Wireless Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand Carl Jefferys told ZDNet.

The Wi-Fi project was implemented through multiple phases, but all in all, it took around 6 to 7 weeks to rollout and was completed in late October.

The Wi-Fi network didn't just provide Internet access to patrons, but underpinned several internal projects, including integration to the point-of-sale system, as well as network access to back-end systems.

Along with a five year managed services and maintenance contract, the Moonee Valley Racecourse Wi-Fi project came in just under AU$500,000.

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