Tellabs FlexAir™ Wi-Fi leveraging Passive Optical LAN, enables Coastline Church to improve user experience with high density connectivity, ultra-reliable networking and accelerating technology advancements.
Coastline Church is a contemporary place of worship that is alive with energy and creativity, as it serves an extended community in the northern San Diego area. Their congregation is inclusive of young and old, singles and families, plus locals and global missionaries. With all this diversity, one wonders how they can deliver their core values within the clutter of the modern world? Clearly, this modern church’s success comes from the fact that they embrace technology.
While there are still churches with organ players, stain glass windows, and quiet parishioners sitting in wooden pews, a new generation of modern churches have transitioned to a full multimedia experience that embraces some of the most cutting-edge available technology in order to connect with their congregation. Coastline Church is one such church that embraces that experience. This modern experience is enhanced by online resources, and the congregation is encouraged to access digital content in real time. Furthermore, these events are livestreamed worldwide across the internet via high-end video production. It’s not just a Sunday morning service either: these worship services, weddings, funerals, baptisms, school and community events may occur any day of the week at any time of the day.
Providing an inviting, uplifting and spiritual experience for the congregation in a world that is increasingly online is challenging for any church. Making matters more difficult is how to best design the underlaying wireline and wireless network to enable this full immersion digital experience.
The best choice to satisfy Coastline Church networking needs is Tellabs FlexAir™. Tellabs FlexAir combines the best wireless Access Points (AP), cloud-based intelligent management, and Tellabs® Optical LAN for a simplified and unified enterprise-grade network solution. The decision to move forward with Tellabs FlexAir is centered on its ability to meet the following three unique Wi-Fi challenges:
- High Density Connectivity
- Ultra-Reliable Networking
- Technology Advancement
The purpose of this case study is to expand on the advantages of the Tellabs FlexAir solution, and how its quantifiable benefits helped Coastline Church to overcome connectivity, reliability and technology challenges.
High Density Connectivity
Coastline Church typically has 700 to 800 attendees at any given event, and it goes without saying that these folks show up with their smart phones and tablets. If you want to access the latest bulletin, then you’ll access it online. If you feel the urge to sing along with the band and the choir, you’ll find the lyrics posted digitally. And, when you’re ready to volunteer for an upcoming community event, you can capture a QR code image on your phone that quickly sends you straight to a registration link of an online signup form.
Again, the congregation is encouraged to access all these digital resources in real-time. That means hundreds of people are hitting the Wi-Fi access points and the local area network that connects all the APs all at once.
“We host hundreds of people inside our building with their personal smart phones, and they all need to access the same online resource at the same time, whether it’s a bulletin or signup form,” said Josh McCaskill, Coastline Church Executive Director. “The Tellabs FlexAir solution has kept pace with our all-at-once and have-to-have network performance demands.”
The Coastline Church network design uses an Optical LAN design, based on Passive Optical Networking (PON) technology, which all starts with an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) at the headend (e.g. main data center). The church chose a wall-mounted Tellabs FlexSym® OLT-mini PLUS. The FlexSym OLT-mini PLUS is then equipped with the Tellabs FlexSym® Optical Interface Unit Two (FlexSym OIU2) that is a 2-port PON service module and has 4-port Ethernet for network uplinks. At the network edge are the Optical Network Terminals (ONT) that convert the optical signal to electrical (e.g. Ethernet). Coastline Church chose the Tellabs 140C Optical Network Terminals (4-ports of gigabit Ethernet) and Tellabs 180C Optical Network Terminal (8-ports of gigabit Ethernet). It is these ONTs that provide the Power over Ethernet (PoE) to the subtended FlexAir Wi-Fi APs. Coastline Church installed the Tellabs FlexAir indoor 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 APs in high density areas, Tellabs FlexAir indoor 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 APs in low density areas and Tellabs FlexAir outdoor/indoor 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 APs covering common area in between buildings.
To maximize connectivity density, the Tellabs FlexAir tightly couples Wi-Fi 6 APs supporting Multi-User Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) and Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), plus can take advantage of Optical LAN multi-gigabit Ethernet connectivity. Finally, the cloud-based controller offers scalable operations for managing the Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi 6 support of MU-MIMO and OFDMA – Tellabs FlexAir Wi-Fi 6 APs support both MU-MIMO and OFDMA. MU-MIMO helps increase the number of simultaneous users a single AP can connect. For Wi-Fi 6, MU-MIMO (as the name implies) allows an AP to transmit to multiple receivers while the AP is receiving from multiple transmitters. For Wi-Fi 5, (IEEE 802.11ac) this function only occurred from AP to endpoint – now it happens both ways concurrently.
OFDMA delivers significant improvements to Wi-Fi 6 relative to increasing client count density, throughput capacity, while lowering latency. It does so by subdividing the Wi-Fi channel into smaller frequency allocations, which allows for parallel transmissions of smaller frames to more users.
Optical LAN multi-gigabit Ethernet connectivity to APs – Tellabs Optical LAN edge optical-to-electrical converters are the ONTs. Currently, Coastline Church deploys Tellabs ONT140C and Tellabs ONT80C, which support G-PON (ITU-T G.984) technology. However, the OLT-mini can be readily upgraded to symmetrical 10 gigabit XGS-PON (ITU-T G.9807.1). With this cost-effective 10G XGS-PON upgrade, the system can support Tellabs ONTs equipped with multi-gigabit Ethernet (IEEE 802.3bz and IEEE 802.3an) interfaces. This allows for the ONTs to connect to the APs at speeds of 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps. In the future, when Coastline Church requires even greater density of connectivity, they will easily be able to upgrade.
Scalable operations with cloud-based Wi-Fi controller – The cloud-based controller helps manage the wireless networks from anywhere using its intuitive graphical user interface and intelligent management. It offers automatic provisioning tools to reduce operational complexities. IT staff can utilize coverage maps overlaid on real property views, configuration templates/profiles and the collection of real-time network performance statistics (e.g. devices status, client list, traffic patterns and bandwidth utilization).
For Coastline Church, interruptions are not acceptable. The events on the church property are pious, reverent and are often special, once-in-a-lifetime moments. Spotty connectivity at a minimum is distracting, and to a greater degree, it is disrespectful. Whether the church is engaged in a worship service, wedding, funeral or baptism, human emotions are running high and the last thing attendees should be worrying about is their network connectivity.
“Interruptions are distracting and just unacceptable during a service. It is very important to mitigate the glitches and provide the highest level of experience for our guests,” stated McCaskill. “Since deploying the Tellabs FlexAir we have had less outages and our trouble tickets have declined.”
To ensure the highest degree of network availability, the Tellabs FlexAir offers quality of service prioritization and strict traffic management. In addition, the APs are linked by an ultra-reliable Tellabs Optical LAN fiber-based infrastructure. Finally, Tellabs Professional Services ensure the Coastline Church system is engineered, installed and maintained in a manner that maximizes network uptime.
Tellabs FlexAir service prioritization and traffic management – The total system can be tuned for best possible network performance and user experience based on real-time over air, network health and LAN traffic management criteria. Furthermore, the client filtering, airtime fairness, traffic priorities and access policies improve network reliability.
Ultra-reliable Tellabs Optical LAN – Tellabs Optical LAN solutions provide enterprise LANs with superior stability, high availability and industry-leading network uptime. This is accomplished with carrier-class componentry, equipment redundancy (e.g. power, fans), multiple uplink connectivity to wide area network (e.g. internet provider), the option for route diversity in fiber cabling infrastructure and the option for redundant OLTs in geographically dispersed locations. Currently, Coastline Church has not deployed the PON redundancy option for fiber route diversity or dual OLTs, however that option is available to them in the future.
Tellabs Professional Services plan, build and operate – The Tellabs Professional Services team partners with Coastline Church to get the most out of their network. They have extensive expertise in every stage of the network life cycle. By first identifying the church’s goals, the Tellabs team has helped Coastline Church design, deploy and manage their network with the best practices and tools for their specific needs. The result is a network that is fine-tuned to boost performance and resiliency to make sure that Coastline Church applications and services are always available.
Tellabs product testing, solution interoperability testing and real-world deployments across a wide range of industries offers confidence in the optimal performance between wired, wireless, IoT and smart building devices. This is very important relative to high-performance Wi-Fi controllers and Wi-Fi APs.
Coastline Church congregation includes Gen X, millennials (Gen Y) and Gen Z members. With that comes the expectation that all the latest and greatest technologies for audio, visual and internet are provided. Let’s not forget that today’s Boomer generation is pretty technology savvy too. To be at the forefront of modern times means constant change, which can potentially be disruptive to business, tough for humans to manage and expensive.
“We deliver a modern church experience where everything is online, and that can be challenging since technology is changing exponentially on us,” commented McCaskill. “This transcends Coastline Church and impacts all churches these days. We are very pleased to have learned about fiber cabling and Optical LAN, and happy to know it will help us keep pace with technology.”
Tellabs FlexAir solution helps bridge the transition to faster speeds, greater capacity and higher density in the future. Its management is simplified to mask the underlying technology advancements. By leveraging fiber optics, the Optical LAN infrastructure offers investment protection moving forward.
Simplified, and scalable, cloud-based Wi-Fi controller – Easy, fast and error free deployment, configuration and operation with centralized management of cloud-based controller hides the complexities of a high density and far-reaching network. This simplified yet fully functional controller lessens the IT staff burden and stress of operating Wi-Fi network as its underlying technology constantly advances. Again, IT staff can use coverage maps, real property views, templates/profiles and real-time performance statistics to assist in their daily workload.
Fiber-based infrastructure decouples technology advancements – By positioning ONTs near APs, the initial installation and future migration costs (e.g. upgrade to 10 gigabit XGS-PON and upgrade to multi-gigabit Ethernet) are minimized, plus fiber cabling unlimited bandwidth and OLAN multiwavelength further protects infrastructure investment (e.g. both G-PON and 10 gigabit XGS-PON can be transmitted over the same fiber with no wavelength conflicts). The underpinning of a fiber-based infrastructure ensures the least disruptive path (e.g. no rip-and-replacement of cabling) for future wireless technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi 7 and beyond).
Tellabs FlexAir delivers Coastline Church a better way to build and operate wireless networks
Coastline Church benefits from Tellabs FlexAir enterprise-grade wireless access points, cloud-based management and Optical LAN design. Tellabs FlexAir allowed Coastline Church to exceed expectations for connectivity, reliability and keeping pace with new technologies.
“With the Tellabs FlexAir system in place, the potential is very great. We are so thankful that Tellabs came to us and worked through our needs. It’s been an amazing opportunity for us,” remarked McCaskill.
Tellabs FlexAir combination of Wi-Fi, powered by Optical LAN, ensures superior operations, performance and security within a future-proof network design. It offers one common architecture that helps expedite IT operations. Tellabs FlexAir improves network performance and user experience. Better yet, as Wi-Fi technologies constantly advance, it provides investment protection with the least disruptive path to future wireless generations.