BDP, one of the largest interdisciplinary design practice's in Europe, has installed Meru Networks' unique high performance virtual cell wireless network technology to deliver network data and future voice access in its new 33,000 square foot state-of-the-art design studios, which opened September 1 in Manchester, England.
In selecting the wireless network for its second-largest building, BDP wanted a reliable, high-performance solution that would offer ubiquitous connectivity, while avoiding the difficulties it had experienced previously with the micro-cell architecture that is commonplace in most wireless networks. “We wanted a wireless LAN for data, and the possibility of running telephony over it as well,” said Paul Davies, Special Projects Director at BDP. Additionally, they also wanted the WLAN to support high speed 802.11n networking when BDP decide to move to this new standard. Meru filled all their needs.
“We are a project-based organisation,” said Davies. “There are times when specialists move from one office to another, and project teams get together for a design session. Wireless access throughout the building means these meetings can take place in offices or meeting rooms with all the staff having the connectivity they need.”
Meru's Virtual Cell wireless architecture will enhance productivity, creativity, and collaboration among the 275 professionals in the new BDP location, and will meet the company's aspirations for growth, network demand and the addition of voice over IP. Meru's single-channel wireless insures seamless and unbroken connectivity plus land-line QoS voice communications over the network for users roaming through the building, something not easy to achieve with legacy micro-cell multi-channel wireless.
An additional benefit for BDP of the Meru wireless LAN was the simplicity of planning and deployment. BDP wanted the wireless network up and running on Day One. They did better. “It was working on Day One minus 20,” said Davies.
The Meru solution was recommended and installed by Building Zones, part of the Cordless Group, a specialist in using wireless networks to support creative and productive businesses. When the wireless network was planned, the building was under construction. Complex site planning is a prerequisite for a multi-channel mirco-cell WLAN because performance is compromised if adjoining microcells overlap similar radio channels; with a single channel architecture, the Meru wireless LAN did not require a survey. The Meru MC1030 wireless switch and the twenty-five 802.11n-ready Meru AP311 access points worked immediately when installed.
“Meru eliminates a lot of the issues which swirl around providing consistent reliable radio coverage,” said Jason Green, Chief technology officer of Building Zones. “We wouldn't install any other wireless vendor in an enterprise.”
BDP's stunning new Manchester studios on Ducie Street overlooking the Piccadilly Canal Basin, have already been recognised as one of the best new buildings in the city. Designed by BDP, the office sets new standards for energy efficiency in the North West of England and features natural ventilation and a rooftop habitat designed to help save one of the UK's rarest birds, the Black Redstart. BDP has already installed Meru technology in its offices in Sheffield and Edinburgh.