Smart City upgrades Wi-Fi access at event venues

Smart City Networks, a communications company that targets the conference industry, has upgraded its wireless networking services at 39 convention centers and other venues managed by Smart City throughout the country.

Smart City Networks deployed Wi-Fi connectivity equipment sourced from MikroTik, a wireless router OEM based in Latvia.

Smart City said it installed 234 new MikroTik gateway devices at Smart City facilities, increasing capacity and speed on its wireless networks.

Journalists attending conferences have been whining for years about the consistently miserable Wi-Fi quality at conference centers everywhere. But as more and more people are coming to rely more on Wi-Fi for connectivity for everything from laptops to dual-mode smartphones, there’s a growing imperative to provide more and better Wi-Fi connectivity just about everywhere, from retail outlets to mass transit stations to event facilities.

"Over the past few years, we've seen a triple digit increase in the wireless adoption of events," said David Langford, vice president, technology for Smart City. "By investing in this infrastructure, we're ensuring event attendees can have a multifaceted experience that extends through all their devices, not just their laptops."

The MikroTek equipment enables Smart City Networks to create a captive portal for convention centers, arenas and other venues that it works with. That provides the opportunity for the event to have a custom splash page that can be sponsored by event exhibitors, which Smart City notes can be a revenue opportunity for show producers.

The captive portals are also supported with full redundancy, meaning critical components are duplicated to allow maintenance on the system without causing any interruption to service. All 234 gateways were configured in, and are monitored from Smart City's Network Operations Center Las Vegas, the company said.