Belmont Park Racetrack Goes Wireless With Meru Networks

By PRESS RELEASE — June 16, 2008

WiFi Network Deployed For 140th Belmonst Stakes Will Provide Benefits Throughout The Racing Season

Journalists Get Wireless Internet Access to File Stories, Photos on Race Days

SUNNYVALE, Calif., - Journalists and photographers covering the 140th running of the prestigious Belmont Stakes horse race on June 7 were able to file their stories and pictures wirelessly from Belmont Park using a wireless network recently installed there by Meru Networks.

The Meru wireless LAN provides simultaneous wireless access for hundreds of working writers in Belmont Park's 3,000-square-foot press box near the racetrack roof, and for photographers in a 1,200-square-foot area at track level.  The journalists were able to use their laptop computers to send articles and photos to their respective publications as they covered the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Rodney James, network manager for the New York Racing Association, the non-profit group that operates Belmont Park, said that, after a careful evaluation of wireless LAN vendors, Meru was chosen as the only solution that met the park's requirements for high-density use and seamless roaming.

"We needed a product that could handle wide variations in wireless traffic demand, with particularly heavy traffic on days such as the Belmont Stakes race," James said.  "Meru technology was the most effective at addressing interference in very dense environments.  It was also the only technology we looked at that lets highly mobile users move freely between access points in the coverage area without losing their connections - it seems like you're connected to a single access point the whole time."

James said future plans call for extending the Meru wireless LAN to Belmont Park guests and staff.  Until that time, Meru's WLAN security capabilities - wireless intrusion detection and "rogue" mitigation features - allow wireless bandwidth to be reserved exclusively for access by reporters and photographers.  Meru wireless solutions may also be deployed at Saratoga Racecourse in Saratoga Springs, another track operated by the New York Racing Association, James said.

Meru WLANs use a single-channel approach to wireless coverage, which minimizes co-channel interference by automatically selecting one channel for use enterprise-wide and layering additional channels when more capacity is required.  With all access points occupying the same channel, the Meru system creates a "virtual cell" that eliminates the need for "handoffs" when mobile users move between access points, thus minimizing dropped connections.  In contrast, most legacy WLANs use a "micro cell" approach, which assigns different channels to adjacent network cells, requiring careful and time-consuming channel selection and power-level planning and limiting future network expansion.

Meru products being used in the Belmont Park deployment include the AP208 access point, which has two radios both capable of operating at IEEE 802.11a and 802.11b/g modes; and the MC3000 series controller, which provides centralized intelligent RF management, advanced quality of service and security for the wireless LAN.

About Belmont Park

Belmont Park, a 430-acre racetrack in Elmont, N.Y., is the home of the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 7. 
The Park hosts two race meetings in 2008:  the 59-day spring/summer meeting, from April 30 to July 20; and the 38-day fall championship from Sept. 5 to Oct. 26.  Belmont Park is operated by the New York Racing Association, which also operates the Saratoga and Aqueduct tracks. 

About Meru Networks

Meru Networks develops and markets wireless infrastructure solutions that enable the All-Wireless Enterprise.  Its industry-leading innovations deliver pervasive, wireless service fidelity for business-critical applications to major Fortune 500 enterprises, universities, healthcare organizations and local, state and federal government agencies.  Meru's award-winning Air Traffic Control technology brings the benefits of the cellular world to the wireless LAN environment, and its WLAN System is the only solution on the market that delivers predictable bandwidth and over-the-air quality of service with the reliability, scalability and security necessary to deliver converged voice and data services over a single WLAN infrastructure.  Founded in 2002, Meru is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.   



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