"Saga was involved in Ušće Shopping Center project from the very beginning. It's involvement started during the consulting phase, was crucial during the design phase, and went on through the equipment delivery, installation and implementation. And now, they provide support services. Saga is a company that equally well work with copper and optics, can conduct all needed tests, and program active equipment. That makes Saga unique and places it on the very top, among the best companies in their line of business.

That is why we now have unique and most modern shopping mall in Serbia, from the telecommunications infrastructure perspective. Top of the line equipment by Panduit, Conteg, Belden and Cisco Systems was delivered and installed. The highest criteria and standards were satisfied, which is why this building is prepared for today and tomorrow. Tenants can use all types of services they need or want. The most used are IP telephony, connections for POS terminals, internet and IP television. Together with Telekom Srbija, which is involved as a service provider, Saga connects all tenants to the network, and services the network when needed, with very fast reaction time, ie. as soon as the problem is reported. Saga employs highly experienced engineers and technicians that are well prepared and educated to participate in all phases of the project. Also, they were reliable and efficient, and have acted professionally.

If I were to grade all contractors on this project with grades between 1 and 5 and consider the quality, deadlines, responsibility, following flow of materials procedures, etc. Saga would get 5+."

Milena Zarić, Telecommunication Systems Supervisor
City Real Estate

In the beginning it was planned that the Shopping Center will provide telecommunication services to its tenants. But short deadlines imposed the change, and a provider was chosen to offer these services, while Saga was selected to install structural cabling, which includes passive and active network, and telecommunications equipment.

While installing passive equipment, Saga also laid down cables and performed their termination. Every floor has 4 or 5 hubs, depending on the surface that had to be covered. One hub covers about 90 running meters, and if the area is bigger, another hub has to be installed so that network signal remains strong. Central racks (with 42U capacity) are located in the main server room in the basement, while smaller racks are installed in each hub. Every shop has 4 lines that are used for internet access, POS terminals, and two IP phones. But in several larger shops 8 lines were installed to satisfy their demands.

Implementation of structured cabling was carried out in two phases. The first phase included connections in technical rooms (mounting the racks). Copper cables termination was carried out in technical rooms on the floors, and optical panels, fans and switches were installed. Then all the racks in technical rooms in hubs were connected to the main server room in the basement using the optical cables.

The main switchboard was connected with the central rack using the cluster of cables. From that point, the cables were arranged for the second rack reglets, to make the system clear and easy to maintain. From the second rack new cables are laid down to connect the hubs. Each hub is connected to the floor racks, and then lines were laid to the shops. It took four weeks to end this phase of the project.

The second phase included internal connections in the shops, testing the network, and issuing the certificate. This was finished in three weeks. The work itself didn't require that much time, but it depended on the work of other contractors, and therefore took more time than was actually needed. After the network was installed, it was possible to see the whole routing scheme in Ušće SC from the central location. It was also possible to connect remotely (using a password) from any location and have complete control over the switches. All 17 racks are accessible from one place, everything is centralized, which makes maintenance of the system easier.

Installation of active equipment had it's own challenges. Saga installed environment for providing public services, which includes monitoring, billing and security systems on several levels. All users inside the mall are protected, and special attention was given to the telephone, internet and POS output, authorization and authentication. Special software solution was used to make sure that certain bandwidth couldn't be taken by third parties. Work on this phase of the project was carried out during the day, during the night and during the weekends, so it was finished in only 20 days.

Working Conditions
In the beginning of the first phase the technical rooms didn't have electricity, so it was necessary to use extension chords up to 100 meters in length. Sometimes the work had to be carried out under flashlights or spotlights. During the winter there was no heating, because there wasn't any way to install it, so the workers had to use gloves and hats. For safety protection, all workers wore helmets. While the temperatures were low, and while the building wasn't closed, sometimes there were strong winds and draft. The second phase was easier since the building was completely covered, but still it was complicated. The engineers worked at the same time as did the painters, floor layers and other contractors. This type of work was sometimes very demanding: installing fine structured cabling infrastructure, while others were conducting their rough jobs.

Expanding the Capacity
Shops that required more internet connections or telephone lines used their own switches, routers or switchboards, and in that way distributed the internet link or phone line to several points in the shop. Special demands mostly came from larger shops because 4 ports (that they could configure as needed) weren't enough for their needs. If somebody wanted, for example, three analogue lines, cable quality allowed Saga's employees to split the pairs in the same cable. Copper cables were laid out from the switchboard to all 17 hubs in the mall, and to the big stores. The other stores were connected to the hubs with four Ethernet cables.

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Redundant network infrastructure was installed on all levels. The project only did not include redundant infrastructure on the level of access switches, but there are backup switches that can be enabled promptly, without users noticing the delay. In every other aspect redundancy is full: core switches, internet modules, Telekom Srbija link. There are two internet links (one is active, while the other is for backup) and the minute there is any kind of failure on the primary link, the secondary one takes over. That means that end users wouldn't have any interruptions in their work. Regarding the core switches, and internet routers, switches and firewalls, two of each were installed.

IP telephone module supports 300 lines (600 public numbers), redundant call managers, redundant voice gateways, and two ISDN primary links towards public telephone network.

Switchboard reliability was tested so it would fit into Telekom Srbija's system, and everything was integrated with their billing system. IP television was implemented in technical stores and 16 bars and restaurants.

According to the Telekom Srbija offer, 12 user groups were created. All users have unique IP addresses, and each user was provided with complete redundancy, there is no interaction between the users, they are completely protected, and do not represent any threat to each other.

Users can access all internet contents, without any limitations. Nothing is forbidden and all ports and services are open, but IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and IDS (Intrusion Detection System) are enabled on the package level. This mechanism can easily find malicious packages and reject them. There are no firewalls and the users are directly connected to the internet, so they have to protect themselves. The secondary link was tested, and if the primary fails, the data is sent through the backup. Metro Ethernet switch from Telekom Srbija (with two ports, each with 100 MB of bandwidth) was installed in the building. Load balancing system was implemented so all the equipment is equally used.

Structured cabling of 17 hubs was carried out, and multi-mode optical cables and category 6 cables were used. Each store has four Ethernet connections, the whole system was finished within the deadline, and installed infrastructure fulfills all current and future needs of the users.

Passive equipment installed:

  • Panduit optical panels
  • Panduit patch panels
  • Conteg racks
  • Belden cables

Active equipment installed:

  • Cisco core switch
  • Cisco access switch
  • Cisco Call Manager Server for IP telephony
  • Cisco Unity voice mail
  • Cisco voice gateways
  • Cisco IP telephones
  • Cisco ASA firewall with IPS module
  • Cisco internet routers
  • Cisco internet switches
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Summary

01

Overview

Communications Equipment for Ušće Shopping Center

02

Country

Republic of Serbia

03

Type of business

Retail - Real Estate

04

Customer Profile

German company ECE was MPC's most important partner for the development and management of this project. ECE manages more than 100 shopping centers in Europe, and is the first company to bring North American shopping mall concept to the Europe.

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