Updated: Mar 6
The Flow Festival in Helsinki completed the Poutanet private LTE festival summer. Not that anyone of of the visitors would have noticed. It was the payment card readers that were connected to our private LTE network. There were four hundred of them.
The same setup was used at Tuska, Pori Jazz and Ruisrock - an event that boasts over 100 000 visitors.
At an event where good food and drinks are almost as important as the very diverse set of bands playing, seamless operation of the payment traffic is essential. In a private LTE network you do not have the uplink hick-ups when the Gorillaz or Nick Cave enter the stage and thousands of phones start to push pictures and video into the public mobile networks. You can connect card readers also to Wifi - but there is a lot of work to construct reliable Wifi service for a large crowded area. The risk for congestion and interference from all the wireless technology that media folks carry to the festival is high. After all Wifi is operating on unlicensed bands.
The temporary point of sales private LTE use case is by no means limited to music festivals. Poutanet private LTE was used in the Jukolan viesti orienteering event and the Forssan kuninkuusravit horse racing event - and let's not forget the Helsinki craft beer festival. A reliable solution for making payments easy is needed at a lot of places.
Interested on technicalities? Read Cumucore blog: Temporary connectivity for wireless PoS terminals
Licensed frequencies! Most people think that is a big no-go and only available for the big telcos. Thank you Traficom and Elisa for the great flexibility in frequency matters - and to Cumucore for tweaking the mobile core to meet all the needs - and finally a big applause to Helppari Oy for pioneering the private LTE festival use case.
Together we have proven that it is perfectly ok to set up an LTE network on Thursday, operate it over the weekend and to move it then to the next location for the next weekend.
Added February 2023: The PoS solution was documented in a video. It was shortlisted for the MWC 2023 GLOMO award in in the category of Best Mobile Innovation for Connected Economy.