Each day, millions of people visit large venues in the United States and expect instantaneous access to those venues’ Wi-Fi networks for their smartphones, tablets or wearable devices. Many of these facilities’ existing wireless networks are obsolete and simply not up to the challenge of delivering connectivity to hundreds and thousands of devices in large areas.
Large-scale venue IT administrators face a rapidly changing wireless landscape that requires solutions that can be quickly upgraded, deployed and optimized to work out of the box. To help guide this process, here’s a checklist of best practices and an example of a venue that successfully deployed a high-density Wi-Fi network to meet this demand.
Best Practice #1: Determine and Eliminate Overall Pain Points
More than $2.4 billion is spent annually on conventions and other large events. Competition to attract these vendors and exhibitors is fierce at every large-scale venue. In order to stay relevant, these sites should determine and eliminate overall pain points.
One of the largest pain points is the cost of installation dramatically reduces the utility of the Wi-Fi network. The density of access points needed to cover large areas indoor and outdoor is cost prohibitive. To greatly reduce costs while delivering broad coverage you must introduce antenna technology that not only extends range of the Wi-Fi signal but reduces the number of access point locations and the associated costs of cabling, power and labor required to deliver dense wireless connectivity.
Best Practice #2: Bring in the Right Team to Address Customers’ Needs
When it comes to covering an convention center show floor, amusement parks, school campuses and even hospitals creating flexibility is critical. To create flexibility and reduce operational expenses you need to be able to remotely configure and modify not only the access points (which most are cloud managed) but also the antennas. Ensuring that your deployment can remotely manage smart antennas eliminates expense labor costs and provides the network operator the flexibility to meet customers demands in moments, not days or weeks.
Best Practice #3: Deploying the Right Solution
The right solution is always tricky when selecting wireless access points. The right solution to amplify the utility of the access points deployed is rather simple. Out of the box, Apogee Software Defined Antenna Platform(tm) by Aura Wireless provides up to 10 acres of coverage and is agnostic to access point so long as the access point has external RF ports that can deliver one watt of power. In fact, Apogee can support up to four wireless access points per AP location with one single antenna platform which greatly reduces capital and operational expenses.
Best Practice #4: Results Always Demonstrate the Value of the Decision
As you determine the best option for your wireless infrastructure future, it’s always wise to study the results — which demonstrate the value of the decision — and ask yourself if you’d make the same choice again.
Large scale Wi-Fi deployments will come with applications and systems that require powerful Wi-Fi to gather market intelligence and capture data while subscribers connect, give manufacturing facilities the flexibility to rapidly move production lines and keep students connected throughout the campus without sacrificing performance.