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Online and on the water: Cambium Networks and Camping Connect make ubiquitous Wi-Fi a reality at Hill Farm Marina

Photo of Hill Farm Marina WiFi

The Background

As with every area of the hospitality and leisure market, reliable, superfast complimentary Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury, rather a necessity. Whether its streaming Netflix, browsing the internet or downloading content, guests expect the same Wi-Fi performance that they would receive at home when sailing out on the waters. However, many contributing factors, such as the layout, size and nature of marinas and the boats which use them, make delivering ubiquitous Wi-Fi a grave challenge. With over fifty longboats on the site as well as a business centre, conference building and cafe which all required dependable Wi-Fi connectivity, Hill Farm Marina, in Warwickshire, needed a solution – and fast – which could enable them to meet their guests expectations for high-performance Wi-Fi, as well as offer new premium Wi-Fi packages.

The Challange

Whilst marinas may be great open spaces for boats, they are not so hospitable for Wi-Fi signals. As many canal boats are solely made of metal, this presents numerous problems when it comes to Wi-Fi penetration. This, combined with the fact that canal boats are constantly moving due to the tides and open water, makes providing cutting-edge Wi-Fi connectivity no easy feat. Given the wide-open spaces which marinas are, this means that additional access points are required to cover and blanket the space. To overcome these obstacles and the environmental factors, Hill Farm Marina required a robust, easy-to-install solution.

The Solution

Recognised for its expertise in deploying external Wi-Fi solutions for Marinas, Camping Connect was selected for the job. As a specialist UK Wi-Fi provider for the leisure industry, Camping Connect has worked across over 500+ sites across the country and they turned to leading global wireless connectivity solutions provider, Cambium Networks, which it has previously worked with across another vast site in the UK. As part of the project, Camping Connect installed 15 of Cambium Networks’ Point-to-Point outdoor and indoor links across the site, including four of its outdoor cnPilot e500 Access Points (APs) and five of its Indoor cnPilot e410 Access Points. Cambium Networks’ cnPilot e500 AP can be deployed in any demanding outdoor environment, making it the ideal solution for Hill Farm Marina. Providing additional power for another backhaul radio, security camera or other additional equipment, the cnPilot e500 AP was able to increase the performance of the marina’s network. Cambium Networks’ cnPilot e410 APs were also installed to provide greater flexibility for both coverage and capacity within Hill Farm Marina’s indoor business centre, conference facilities and onsite café. Designed to overcome constant interference challenges, Cambium Networks’ ePMP™ 2000 was also deployed to provide high-speed backhaul connectivity to the Wi-Fi APs, enabling Hill Farm Marina to deliver peak performance of its Wi-Fi network, even throughout noisy and busy periods such as its peak season.

The Result

Since the deployment, Hill Farm Marina has benefited from a reliable and high-performing Wi-Fi network. This has proven essential to the marina, who require dependable Wi-Fi to make card payments within the café and run its business centre. Furthermore, Hill Farm Marina can now provide different types of Wi-Fi packages to meet its customers’ specific demands. Alongside its complimentary Wi-Fi network for its customers and marina members, Hill Farm Marina has been able to launch a new premium Wi-Fi offering within its conference rooms, enabling them to generate new revenues. Following the completion of the deployment, Cambium Networks and Camping Connect have provided continuous support and aftercare, with both companies providing remote management of the network. As a result, the network can be rebooted and diagnostics can be provided remotely, reducing response times in the event of a network failure. When the network was struck by lightning, Camping Connect were able to rapidly log into the network and diagnose which equipment had been destroyed as a result of the storm. Within three days, Camping Connect were onsite to replace the equipment which had been destroyed, minimising down time of the network and ensuring guests were back online.  
“We are thrilled that we could work alongside Camping Connect in installing our range of indoor and outdoor access points to fulfil Hill Farm Marina’s complex needs. Our experience in delivering exceptionable connectivity across a variety of demanding environmental terrain made this project a seamless process.” Dan McCarthy, Sales Manager UK, Ireland and Nordics at Cambium Networks.     “Regardless of whether guests are using the facilities, roaming around the marina or streaming content in their boats, they expect to be able to seamlessly connect and use their devices at all times. That is why delivering high-performance Wi-Fi is imperative not only to our operations across the marina, but to meeting our customers’ expectations. And with the expertise and aftercare help of Cambium Networks and Camping Connect, we are able to do exactly this 24/7, 365 days a year.” David Cooke, Managing Director, Hill Farm Marina     “We are delighted to have successfully installed Wi-Fi connectivity to Hill Farm Marina and its customers. We decided to work with Cambium Networks as its radios and antennas have such high levels of management and control, which allows us to monitor and maintain the network without significant overhead and its capability to function at the highest level in any environmental condition was a huge factor.” Rhodri John, Director at Camping Connect  
Download the case study here.