“Does the Moscone Center Have Wi-Fi?”

By Bryan Sheppeck

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when attendees walk through the convention center doors. And the answer is that it surely does! (Is the sky blue?) In fact, this is especially important when you have as many as 60,000 guests attending a single event, and each of them has multiple devices. High-capacity Wi-Fi is equally important for events hosted by the likes of IBM, Google, VMware or Salesforce.com as it is for trade shows and gamer conventions. That is why the Moscone Center and the city of San Francisco deployed Xirrus Wi-Fi, now part of the Cambium Networks’ wireless solutions portfolio. Above all else, Xirrus Wi-Fi is known for its capacity, pioneering multi-radio access points (AP) that deliver exceptional user capacity – pretty important when you have tens of thousands of guests every week of the year and no tolerance for downtime.

18,000+ Peak Wi-Fi Connections

As you will read in our recently released case study on the Moscone Center deployment, it is a darn good thing they chose Xirrus. Demand for connectivity is consistently very high on convention center or large public venue (LPV) networks. During large events, the Moscone Center has seen more than 18,000 device connections at peak. At one Moscone event in 2019, they experienced:

  • 37,000+ unique device connections to the access points
  • 14,200+ peak device connections at one time
  • 2.1 Gbps peak bandwidth

For those of us who have attended trade shows and conferences, we can relate. Firstly, attendees need Wi-Fi to check email and text messages throughout an event. Then, building staff needs to check IoT devices and securely monitor video surveillance cameras. Lastly, exhibitors require a connection to run a plethora of applications to maximize their visitors’ experience and their own ROI. In aggregate, these user groups at the Moscone Center consume multiple gigabits per second of data.

A Wi-Fi Network Designed for Dependability

Cambium Networks engineers worked with the IT and business teams to develop their Wi-Fi solution. Moscone’s network was planned with the purpose of making wireless internet available in all common areas throughout the convention center. In their case, the network involves high-capacity indoor, outdoor and even mobile access points. When installed on tripods, mobile access points accommodate temporary, high-volume locations, such as keynote addresses. Xirrus access points deliver reliability, scalability, low total cost of ownership, reduced cable runs, and high-quality technical support. The capacity advantage stems from the unique software-defined, multi-radio design that Xirrus Wi-Fi is known for. 

Don’t Settle for Slow Wi-Fi

Next time you are at a trade show, you shouldn’t have to watch that spinning wheel on your device. Also, you shouldn’t have to wait for an update, resume a demo, or worse, complete a transaction. Grab one of the trade show’s comment cards and suggest they reconsider their approach to Wi-Fi. After deploying tens of thousands of networks, we have learned that Wi-Fi is needed everywhere by everyone. There is no such thing as too much capacity.

Read more about the Moscone Center deployment here.

Do you have a challenging connectivity need? We at Cambium Networks have the technology and the experience that can help you deliver the coverage and capacity you need to satisfy demanding customers in mission-critical networks. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any Cambium Networks contacts with your questions or comments.

Bryan Sheppeck
SVP, WW Cambium Sales

Published February 5, 2020