The last thing you need is your site network going down mid-event because someone has tripped out a generator. It only takes a drop in power for less than a quarter of a second to cause most IT equipment to restart and that fraction of a second can lead to a lot of frustration as calls get dropped, CCTV stops and users get dropped off the network.

Last year we introduced our ruggedized battery backup units that could run our network units for over 12 hours, this year we have gone much further. Our latest smart power supply offers nanosecond switching between redundant power sources and highly efficient power conversion which has allowed us to push up battery operation to over 24 hours and, with the option for multiple hot-swap batteries, this can be extended indefinitely.

These units can source their input power, what we call ‘red power’, from 110-240V mains supply or from a generator and now, with an eye on the environment, they also have the option of using solar, wind or fuel cell generation.

The smart power supply deals with providing the protected ‘green power’ to the network units and other associated devices such as CCTV cameras or VoIP phones, only switching to a battery if required. What’s more is that these units are designed with remote monitoring so that we can see the status of each unit in our network operations centre.

The important thing is that whether you are a running a small press centre Wi-Fi zone or a 150 acre festival site you shouldn’t just cross your fingers and hope the power stays on.

With attendee numbers at The Event Show at Olympia last week apparently up on 2008 figures, there was a positive feel and vibe to the show. Yes, there were plenty of conversations about whether the downturn was having an impact but all in all it was business as usual, with organisers and suppliers planning as normal for the 2009 season.

The Etherlive stand near the entrance saw a steady stream of visitors

We took the chance to discuss some of the new products and services that we are launching for the 2009 event season. In the Wi-Fi space we have increased our range of solutions to include a new market leading technology that is ideal for the events industry as it is specially designed to work in ‘noisy’ environments using a patented beam-steering technology. This gives excellent connectivity even when rogue wireless units appear on site or large lorries start creating disturbances! These devices also support the new ‘n’ standard giving a much higher (300Mbps) throughput, ideal for services such as video streaming.

Alongside this our location tracking capabilities have also stepped up another gear with a new hybrid location tag that allows us to use GPS, Wi-Fi or RFID to identify location, reducing the infrastructure we require to cover large festival sites and providing outdoor, indoor and close proximity capability.

Power independence remains a key factor in our site designs so that our network and communication services remain operational whether a generator fails or not. Our power units switch from generator/mains to battery in a few milliseconds with no loss of service and can remain on battery for up to 24 hours (or longer if required) if site power is a problem.

Tom McInerney from Etherlive describes some of the new services at an Innovation Seminar

Site Operations is another area where we have been busy. Extending on our modular ‘POD’ design we now have a special version aimed at providing all the key services at a remote site from a small unit that can be deployed quickly when staff first arrive on site. It’s pretty much a portable  ‘office IT environment’ keeping a site operations team connected and productive from anywhere.

To round off the enhanced line-up a new mobile phone ‘portal’ or event guide was also on display. Working across a large range of phones (with no Java download) the guide is highly customisable and varies user experience based on their connection type (2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, etc). It can also be used in an interactive fashion enabling features such as uploads and voting.

As always further information is available on the website or we are more than happy to demonstrate these new technologies and services either at our base in Wiltshire or on a suitable customer site. Let’s just hope that 2009 brings a better summer!

As the economy continues to experience a rollercoaster ride consumer confidence is significantly lower than a typical wet January. Whatever the weather for the economy the events market should focus on growth; those industries that invest through a downturn are always quickest to take advantage when it picks up. Events will benefit from focusing on investing in sponsor relationships, differentiating experiences for attendees through interactivity whilst finding new methods to maximise their event brand.

Etherlive has several new technologies which are aimed at reducing costs whilst maximising return. Come and see us at the event show to understand more, our on booth team will be happy to talk through the opportunities at your event or drop us a mail anytime at


There is nothing more exciting and challenging than organising and executing an event. It’s the highlight of your customer’s calendar whether it is a music festival with mud, bands and portable toilets or the other side of the spectrum with vast exhibition halls and thousands of people in just a few hours.

Where can Wi-Fi help?

– Lower your costs by optimising staff time, reducing call charges & cables

– Enable new services like sponsorship opportunities and on screen messages

– Simplify management by using Etherlive’s site wide location reporting and remote sound monitoring support

Thats certainly the message people where taking away from our stand at the Showman’s show – it was great to see so many people interested

Elements of the media may be determined to drive everyone into recession but this year’s Showman’s Show took no notice, growing in size and having an upbeat feel to it. Etherlive were both exhibiting at the show and providing services to Fonix LED. Over a highly ‘congested’ site in terms of radio spectrum use, including numerous ad-hoc Wi-Fi hotspots and a site mesh network, we ran multiple video streams, three CCTV cameras, a VoIP service and localised web hosting. This all builds on our approach of ‘business class wireless’, using extensive knowledge and experience to deliver high quality, high capacity services.

Etherlive on the LED screen at the entrance to the Showman's Show

The show was a great success for us, with lots of interest in our newer services such as real-time location tracking, video streaming and event portals on handheld devices. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand for a chat and if you couldn’t make the show check out our website for further information on our latest services.

A copy of our press release from the Green Man festival which took place last weekend. Our team provided internet and phone services for the event staff – keeping them connected to the outside world 

Green Man goes Interactive  

Music festival uses cutting edge technology to reduce costs and deploy new interactive services 

Powys, August 15, 2008 – etherLive Event Services are providing the Green Man festival attendees and event organisation team with new technology services during the 10,000 attendee event in August to increase interaction whilst reducing infrastructure cost. The services will be used to publish a live event schedule to ticket holders through their mobile phone whilst also enabling the event organisation team to use office networking including printing and internet services. 

Attendees are able to interact with a live schedule whilst checking their Facebook profile and uploading photos, all for free. Using interactive services keeps attendees engaged and enables them to keep up to date with line up changes and announcements. 

Event staff are continuing to work in a normal connected office environment despite being in the middle of a field thanks to wireless connectivity. Cable runs are being reduced whilst improving productivity. 

About etherLive 

EtherLive event services provides technical solutions UK wide to outdoor and large events. etherLive partners with events utilising new technologies to offer totally new services whilst reduce costs. etherLive provides streaming video services, location based reporting, security cameras and other services from its versatile networking solutions and experience. 

For more information on etherLive, its services and advantages, visit or contact Tom McInerney 07789486939 


So the first few events of the season are under our belt. Good fun and even a few tanning days which is a great sign.

Our self powered wireless PODs are working brilliantly. These can be deployed over a large indoor or outdoor site to provide a self sustaining network. The great thing about this network is how flexible we can make it. Connecting cash machines to the internet to avoid trailing phone lines, connecting press and event organising teams to the net is just the start. We have also provided temporary CCTV cameras and expended pre existing networks to outdoor areas for event duration

It all makes for happy customers

PS – Who wants an EEE PC 901? Me please. Nothing better than a lightweight laptop with solid state hard drive (no issues when completing outdoor surveys)