Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced
that Liberty University, the largest university in Virginia, has
completed a significant expansion of its Williams Stadium using Aruba
wireless, security and network management solutions. The massive
upgrade, which was completed in less than one year, is already
delivering fast and reliable connectivity to bring fans and event
attendees an exceptional mobile experience.
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Liberty University is using Aruba infrastructure to deliver a mobile-first fan experience in its Williams Stadium for the University's inaugural D1 football season. (Photo: Business Wire)
In preparation for its new NCAA Division 1 (D-1) football
classification, the Liberty IT team knew they needed to upgrade Williams
Stadium to accommodate the minimum levels of seating and attendance
required by the NCAA and to provide a rich and engaging fan experience.
Additionally, IT needed to address event attendees’ complaints about a
lack of Wi-Fi in the school’s large public venues – particularly the
stadium and other athletic arenas.
After conducting a Proof of Concept with several vendors, Liberty chose
Aruba for the new stadium infrastructure and MS
Benbow and Associates for construction and engineering. Using a
mixture of Aruba Access
Points, as well as Aruba ClearPass
for Network Access Control (NAC) and guest access services, and AirWave
to deliver a single pane of glass to monitor and manage the network,
Liberty can now support an expected 25,000 devices in the stadium. The
new infrastructure and Aruba software will enable the use of key
applications such as HD video streaming and Wi-Fi calling in a highly
“The main goal of the University and our IT team is to keep our fans in
their seats in a state-of-the-art stadium, run by a state-of-the-art
network,” said Richard Lee, Assistant Director, Network and Media
Operations at Liberty University. “With Aruba, we were able to satisfy
these immediate requirements, upgrading the network in just under a
year, while ensuring that the infrastructure can handle our future plans
At Liberty’s first home football game of the season, the IT team
measured take rates of 38% among the 20,000+ attendees in Williams
Stadium with more than 10,000 unique devices connecting to the network.
Those connecting to the Wi-Fi experienced average speeds of 1.2 Gbps
down and 770 Mbps up, with nearly a terabyte of data used.
“We’re pleased with the statistics we pulled from the home opener and
expect to see additional uptake as we progress through the season and
our fans realize the stadium can now deliver a great mobile experience,”
said Thomas Norton, Wireless Network Architect for Liberty. “The Aruba
wireless network performed flawlessly in its debut.”
A key factor in Liberty’s decision was Aruba’s multivendor capabilities.
While the University was already an Aruba wireless campus, they also
have other vendors’ switches in place, so Aruba’s ability to seamlessly
interoperate with these products was key.
“The multivendor capabilities of ClearPass and AirWave are huge for us,”
said Norton. “Avoiding vendor lock-in and using non-proprietary
protocols so we can have the flexibility to make the best business
decisions possible are important objectives for the University. The
Aruba solutions allowed us to implement this best-of-breed strategy.”
Liberty was also impressed with the benefits of ArubaOS 8, including
AirMatch for automated RF management, and Live Upgrade, which allows the
entire network to be updated in real time without taking the network
Norton noted, “We’ve played with a lot of algorithms in the industry and
so far, I haven’t seen one that works as well as AirMatch for RF
management, dynamic channel utilization and channel planning.” He also
noted that previously, making a change to the network could take an
engineer four to eight hours between configuration changes, validation
testing and actual deployment, so Live Upgrade saves the IT team a great
deal of time, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives.
Because Williams Stadium is used for a variety of events, such as
Liberty’s commencement ceremony, the opening ceremonies for the
Commonwealth Games that Liberty hosts, and special events like drone
racing, it was critical that the new network be ready to support all of
them. With ClearPass, Liberty can set up and manage secure access for
all of these events and stakeholders, including the various vendors that
take part in them.
In the future, Liberty plans to expand the network infrastructure to
provide the same experiences in all eleven of its large public venues
around campus including the baseball and softball fields, indoor track
facility and natatorium. Norton says they will also evaluate Aruba’s
location services portfolio as they look to enhance their current campus
app with the athletic venues’ information, adding new features that will
enhance the fan experience further.
“One of the big benefits of Aruba’s wireless solution is having
location-ready access points with built-in beacons – and without the
need for additional PoE cabling to manage the beacons – so we have the
flexibility to enhance our application with this functionality when
we’re ready,” he said. “With our Aruba infrastructure in place, we can
look at new and innovative ways to draw more fans into our venues and to
continue to improve their experiences.”
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of
next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes
worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations
to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on
cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal
To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com.
For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook,
and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products
visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181023005022/en/