Etherlive approached C4L to provide a wireless leased line to support our backhaul connectivity for the Bournemouth Air Show where Etherlive provided free wi-fi access along the length of the beach to support an iPhone application launched for the air show this year. In addition Etherlive provided a number of organiser services such as VoIP telephony and internet access.

Extract from the C4L press release follows:

“C4L has set up a wireless point to point link between County Gates House and the Cumberland Hotel in Bournemouth in order to provide the Cumberland Hotel rooms, bar and pool area with Internet connectivity. Etherlive will be providing free Internet access to all attendees watching the Air Show from the beach, as well as giving the Air Show’s event organisers some key services, including a number of Wireless VoIP phones. This has been made possible by C4L’s Wireless Leased Line Service.

Matt Hawkins, Managing Director of C4L commented ‘When we were approached by Etherlive, we were more than happy to oblige to their request of our using our services to provide the Bournemouth Air Show with Internet connectivity. This is a fantastic opportunity for C4L to deploy our Wireless Leased Service to such a high calibre local event. The introduction of our Wireless Leased Line Service will provide the UK with an alternative connectivity option that can reach areas which traditionally have limited connectivity’.

C4L’s Wireless Leased Line service has been devised to address the ever increasing gap between broadband speeds in areas close to the telephone exchange, and those further away. The service has been developed via thorough research and by using C4L’s existing Internet Infrastructure. Wireless Leased Lines work by transmitting radio, microwave or laser technology frequencies to a receiver giving them a private, uncontended, high speed Internet connection. To provide a high speed wireless connection to the Air Show an antenna was deployed on the roof of the Bournemouth data centre which then links with another antenna on the Cumberland Hotel, allowing for connectivity within a three mile radius. C4L will be extending their wireless presence over the upcoming months to ensure maximum coverage across the UK.”

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
t
. 01454 629 741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

For further information contact:

Becky Martin-Jones / Mark Hook
www.ascentpr.co.uk
etherlive@ascentpr.co.ukT. 01454 629 741

Rock and wristbands beat paper at WOMAD festival

10 July 2010 – This month, Etherlive will be working with WOMAD festival organisers to provide the infrastructure for a pioneering pilot scheme that replaces paper-based crew meal tickets with electronic cards.

Based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, each crew member at this year’s WOMAD festival will be provided with a smart card, which allows them to collect food from the canteen once their card has been placed on a special reader.

Chris Green, managing director at Etherlive says, “The WOMAD crew were previously given paper tickets to claim their meals. The problem with this was that they would get lost or ruined, were hard to track and were open to duplication.

“The implementation of RFID cards for crew members will help to combat these problems by enabling WOMAD organisers to know exactly how many staff have claimed meals and who they are. The system will also help WOMAD to better manage their costs.”

RFID technology has yet to be successfully deployed in volume at festivals and represents a first for this year’s WOMAD event.

Chris Smith, festival director, at WOMAD adds, “A lack of reliable technology has stalled the success of RFID at festivals, but Etherlive’s commitment to providing permanent, reliable connectivity will supply the basis for success at this year’s WOMAD event.

 “WOMAD is an exciting test case for the deployment of RFID at festivals, and I believe it could soon be rolled out in other ways. This is the first step in the journey towards cashless events where festival-goers use their wristbands to pay for their drinks, goods and food.”

ENDS

About Etherlive
A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to the Southampton Boat Show and the Three Counties Show, we are the ones that make IT work. Etherlive sits behind the scenes delivering reliable Wi-Fi internet, telephony, laptops, PDQs and interactive messaging. Whether in a field or a building, we make connectivity simple.

https://etherlive.co.uk

To music lovers, the festival season may seem like a lifetime away, but organisers are very much in the thick of it; securing acts and commissioning suppliers. 

While headlines are dominated by the glamour of the line-up, behind the scenes, there is a hubbub of activity by a myriad of experts and suppliers, to make sure that the show runs smoothly. 

One element of this is the technology – the means to ensure organisers, stewards, and punters can communicate and receive information on site.  They need phones, broadband connectivity, CCTV, payment terminals, connected ticketing systems, interactive content – and these things need to work.

Tom McInerney, Event Director at Etherlive, highlights some of the tricks of the trade to help festival organisers get their technology organised.

  • From boutique festivals to a national event, the chances are you’ll need phone lines as part of your licence.  Be aware that it can take up to four weeks for your telecoms provider to install a line assuming they offer a temporary service.  An alternative option would be satellite connectivity, which can be deployed at a couple of days notice.
  • When you’re planning the number of phone lines you need, it’s not a disaster if you don’t get it spot on; or if you leave it until the last minute to do.  You can always opt for Voice over IP (VoIP) lines which can be easily deployed to meet demand with no extra cost whilst delivering the same quality. Many also offer free national calls.
  • Your communications technologies are all reliant on the power supply – if your power source fails, you have a problem.  So when you’re planning your power requirements for organiser areas, opt for an uninterruptable supply, or arrange a back-up generator to ensure operations continue in emergencies.
  • An increasing number of venues have existing Wi-Fi networks in place for organisers and punters. Don’t make the assumption this network will be enough to provide everyone with the right connectivity and support. Check the capacity of the network and what would happen if you need technical support.
  • It sounds obvious, but before you install Wi-fi, check that the laptops your staff have are set up to use the latest standards (802.11n is the most modern), which means they will be able to enjoy faster speeds and get better signal strength.  Don’t be afraid of using wire if you need to.  Better that, than no internet access.  Check with your technology provider that they’re bringing the correct kit for your needs.
  • In our experience, the onsite team at a festival gets bombarded with questions during the event which come up time and time again – opening times, parking details etc.  If you have a telephone exchange on site, why not set up an automated attendant system to reduce the volume of calls to your key staff.
  • Ensure you have a method of secure one to one communication which doesn’t rely on mobile phone networks (which may become too busy).  Radio networks are great for most communications on site, but what if you need to transfer private or sensitive information, like the description of a missing child, for example?  It makes sense to have a secure line dedicated to staff in case of instances like this.
    • Other examples where you may use onsite phones would include passing payment details between departments, for example takings totals. Some events may require a dedicated incoming line for local residents who wish to contact the event (perhaps a noise issue, or parking problem) and having a dedicated line in the organiser’s office can help keep residents on side with the festival.
    • Generally events will have lines for artist liaison, organiser compound, gates, hospitality, sponsors and more depending on the number of staff present. What’s nice about VoIP telephone systems is that wherever there isnetwork connectivity phones can be installed or removed in minutes. In addition hunt groups can be created or managed and automated answer systems can be arranged quickly.
    • ELT (Emergency Liaison Teams) should have dedicated BT lines whilst others may use voice over IP (VoIP) which do not require an individual BT cable to operate, costing significantly less to operate with free national calls..
  • Does your licence require keeping within noise levels at agreed locations? If so, it is possible to monitor multiple remote units from a central location – and have an audit trail of readings should they be required. A secure wireless connection is setup between the on-site network and the remote sound meter. A special network unit is installed with the sound meter at the remote location providing connectivity and power (which can include battery or uninterruptable secured mains) whilst the sound meter takes readings from the local environment. The network connection allows the sound monitors to be remotely viewed from a laptop anywhere with range of the network onsite.
  • In the same vein, CCTV can now be used for far more than surveillance – it can fulfil a much grander role in your on site security without the requirement of cabling between each camera.  For starters, the latest developments in the CCTV world include ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) which automatically logs number plates which pass by cameras; with the latest digital cameras all video is stored on a hard disc making later retrieval and viewing straightforward.  Many cameras can automatically detect and track motion and combined with infrared lights which can ‘see in the dark’.  As well as pure security aspects, deployment of cameras can assist in monitoring crowd flow, entrance traffic management and even providing a more flexible webcam option for linking into websites! 
  • Audience interaction is becoming more popular especially using mobile devices which can be used to view running orders, purchase artist albums and even find tents. Consider supplying a Wi-Fi network where attendees will get the best experience.

Event Production Show  –  Etherlive  – Stand 614

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
T
. 01454 629741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Ecolite tower reduces hassle of festival communications

Lights, Connectivity, Action!

02 February 2010 – Festival directors will be able to reduce the hassle and cost associated with on-site communications, following the launch of the Ecolite-P Plus; a mobile communications tower which combines lighting, connectivity, surveillance, and PA services.

Traditionally, event organisers have hired in these services as separate units, a time intensive and costly exercise. 

Tom McInerney, Sales Director with Etherlive, the company bringing Ecolite to the events market, explains, “The Ecolite concept comes from the construction industry – taking temporary light, sound and communications onto exposed and sometimes remote sites. Working with ACE Plant, we’ve adapted the tower to suit the needs of festival communications; combining services that would otherwise have been hired as separate pieces of kit – each needing its own power supply and stand.” 

The Ecolite-P Plus, developed by Etherlive in partnership with Ace Plant, also includes many features which will help site managers reduce their environmental footprint, alongside advanced CCTV capabilities such as auto number plate recognition.

The Ecolite unit packs away into a single pallet size, which makes it convenient to transport.  Once in situ, the Ecolite tower can only be moved by a fork-lift truck, which helps to minimise the risk of theft. 

Alan White, Managing Director at Ace Plant adds, “The beauty of the Ecolite-P Plus is that, once deployed, it can be left to run on-site for up to seven days with its own power generator. This gives festival organisers one less thing to worry about”

Visitors attending the Event Production Show will be able to take a look at the Ecolite-P Plus by visiting Etherlive on stand 614.

ENDS

About Etherlive
A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to Southampton Boat Show and Three Counties Show, we are the ones that make IT work. Etherlive sits behind the scenes delivering reliable WiFi, the internet, telephony, laptops, cash machines and interactive messaging. Whether in a field or a hanger, we make connectivity simple.

http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

About Ace Plant
Ace Plant is the trading style of Adams Cundell Engineers Ltd.

The company was formed in 1973 by David Adams and Frank Cundell. Initially the company was based at Firs Farm, Old Stratford and in 1974 Ace Plant purchased its first tractor, a 1968 Ford 4000. This original tractor is still owned by us and was recently been restored for display at our 25th anniversary party.

Since those early days we have expanded our range of services considerably and this policy of continued improvement and expansion necessitated a move in 1981 to new purpose built premises in Cosgrove Road, Old Stratford.

www.aceplant.co.uk

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
T
. 01454 629741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Lights, Connectivity, Action! Etherlive and AcePlant release the Ecolite P Plus tower light with embedded communications and security technology

Etherlive in partnership with Ace Plant are launching the brand new Ecolite P Plus at the Showman’s Show at Newbury show ground, stand 171, Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October. This new tower light comes ready to illuminate any event with integrated CCTV, public address and Wi-Fi connectivity, all in one eco friendly unit!

The Ecolite P Plus has been created in collaboration with TCP, based on the latest Ecolite tower light it includes many features which will help site managers reduce costs and their environmental footprint whilst benefiting from technology such as wireless internet and CCTV coverage.

With the addition of industrial Wi-Fi the unit automatically meshes back to existing Etherlive wireless networks in the area, providing secure internet access, CCTV video and public announcements.  

The Ecolite P Plus includes all the advantages of the Ecolite family of tower lights which include advanced high efficiency, low glare, ceramic discharge lamps which make the bulbs 85% more efficient than traditional tower lights. The unit has been designed with a pallet size footprint which uses over 50% less space during transport than conventional tower lights (20 on a standard lorry) but still includes a hydraulic 9.1m mast using bio-degradable fluids which can withstand 100 kph winds.

With multiple power options, including seven day generator and hot swap battery; lighting, communications and security systems such as the pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) CCTV camera will continue to operate regardless of the external power environment.

The communications capabilities of the EcoLite P Plus includes industrial Wi-Fi and wired network access which can deliver VoIP services and other network access as required. Public address announcements are sent to the unit from a central point and broadcast using the built-in speakers.

About Etherlive
Based in Wiltshire, England, Etherlive is a technology services company working in partnership with event organisers to deliver key services such as VoIP, internet, CCTV, payment processing, interactive advertising and rich media to all types of festivals, events, product launches and conferences. A finalist in the Red Herring 2009 technology awards, Etherlive has developed a range of solutions tailored to meet the demands of the live event environment all backed by experienced deployment & support teams. For more information visit http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

I like to think these days I’m not easily drawn to the latest gadget craze so, when hunting down a company mobile phone handset, I was somewhat concerned that the team consistently said the iPhone 3G ticked all the requirements boxes. With our requirements including push email, WiFi and a good web browser, competition was relatively thin but the consumer label of the original iPhone did concern us. If you need the best phone repair services, you can check out phone screen repair service | Pro Phone Repairs of Albuquerque

After much discussion, with a creative agency we opted for the iPhone 3G and after three months of use by the team what’s out verdict? In a word – excellent. Ok it’s not quite perfect but it is pretty darn good. Now before I get spammed by all those folks who love to complain in forums about its shortcomings let me expand on my view in a few key areas:

Call Quality – no issue here, much better than my previous few phones. I haven’t experienced the ‘call drop’ problem that has been reported so much – personally I suspect it was primarily related to a certain carrier’s network in the US.

Buggy OS – Yes the 2.02 firmware was poor, a step back from 2.01 but even so the phone still worked fine and the issues were contained to specific functions. OS 2.1 however has proved to be excellent – as stable as a normal phone, and much better than your average smart phone.

Battery Life – No smart phone has the multiday battery life we expect from a more traditional phone. The iPhone is no exception, so yes it needs charging daily but with the 2.1 firmware it is very reasonable considering what it is delivering.

Email Integration – We use Microsoft Exchange, although I also have a POP3 account running on the phone too. Both accounts work flawlessly with excellent usability. The only letdown is the lack of task and note integration and the missing ability to invite people to calendar items on the phone. Hopefully a software update will resolve that.

Camera – Not what it should be, but hardly a major issue on a business phone.

App Store – A great killer app for Apple, an environment that is controlled enough to give you confidence in the apps that cover everything from games to serious business tools. 

The point is that if you focus on narrow aspects you will find imperfections but when you take the whole package together you get an impressive device that is very user focused, comes at a good price point and yet still fits comfortably into your pocket (a key requirement for me).

What I haven’t mentioned of course is the fact that the iPhone blurs the edges between a consumer item and a business tool. Personally for me that’s a great bonus – one device that meets my business and personal needs, and I suspect most professionals like that idea too. The people that don’t like that idea are in enterprise IT departments.

And that’s the big issue. The iPhone 3G is a great small/medium business tool but I doubt it will succeed in the enterprise environment. Having spent 13 years working in a very big enterprise IT department I know all the questions and issues that will be raised which, in the view of those departments, make the iPhone 3G completely unsuitable for enterprise use.

Sadly many enterprise IT departments are struggling to keep up with where their users are – they are worrying about the latest encryption standards whilst the sales team are happily copying confidential presentations on USB memory sticks. In one company I know over 60% of the company laptops have iTunes installed. Then there are all the people who are happily syncing their non-company phone via a dock, copying contacts, email and confidential information onto a completely uncontrolled device.

Rather than embracing this, most enterprises continue to fight it – a futile exercise – but because the iPhone looks like a consumer device, is seen as a gadget and straddles the consumer/business boundary it will more than likely be officially kept out of most enterprises. Of course the users will be finding any way possible to get them in though the back door.

As for us we have already moved to the next step and are developing applications for the iPhone which forms part of our interactive event strategy – from basic event guides to location aware solutions, video streaming and real-time information screens.

Now I’m not saying immediately ditch your Blackberry, Nokia or whatever, but I am saying ignore the hype and the naysayers, focus on user requirements and keep an open mind. The iPhone isn’t for everyone but it does set the scene for the next generation.