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Published on May 9th, 2013 | by Alexis Argent

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Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre turns to Xirrus to deliver high-performance Wi-Fi to ’always-on’ visitors

Xirrus and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) have today announced a partnership that will see the deployment of Xirrus Wireless Arrays to deliver high capacity connectivity to the venue’s 2.2 million annual visitors.

Xirrus XR-1220 Wireless Array

Xirrus offers a variety of Indoor Access Points with the Xirrus XR series’ designed to fit a wide range of needs. The XR-1000 series includes the  Xirrus XR-1220 and the Xirrus XR-1230. The XR-2000 series includes the Xirrus XR-2420 and the Xirrus XR-2430.  The range also features the XR-4000 series, the XR-500 series, the XR6000 series and the XR-1000H series

The SECC will now be able to provide wireless access across its conference, exhibition, concerts and events halls. The venue hosts between 200 to 300 events annually, ranging from large-scale international conferences, conventions and large meetings, to exhibitions, trade shows and concerts.

Over the past two years, we’ve seen an explosion in connected devices and mobile applications, adding to the interactivity and content of our events.” said Alan Taylor, IT manager at the SECC. “Our delegates and visitors are increasingly expected to be ‘always-on’ so Wi-Fi is the big ask that people have when they come to venue. Our visitors need to have seamless connectivity and online access at all times, whether it be for accessing event content on interactive apps on their smartphones, or keeping in touch with the office. In order to cope with this activity, we require a secure, fast wireless network that provides the best possible service to visitors.”

The venue provides a wide range of conference, exhibition and concert facilities, which range from 22,000 square metres of flexible space throughout five halls, to the iconic Clyde Auditorium, a purpose-built 3,000 seat conference centre. The solution had to provide seamless coverage across these spaces as delegates move from one to another. To address these issues the SECC installed 38 Xirrus Wireless Arrays to provide ubiquitous wireless access throughout the venue and the Armadillo.

Xirrus provided a great deal of consultancy, and were transparent and professional throughout the whole process,” said Taylor. “We were impressed by Xirrus’ site survey, which was the most comprehensive we experienced. The end result was a predictive survey and detailed analysis report to ascertain the level of coverage required – we didn’t get this much insight from other providers. The spaces we had to cover are pretty vast, so covering the full scale of the venue and different areas, this was a challenge that we looked to Xirrus to address. “

With many site visitors still using older smartphones, we wanted a system that would allow us to configure radios accordingly.” continued Taylor. “The new infrastructure optimises the Wi-Fi connections for those older devices operating in the 2.4 GHz range, as well as the increasing number of those operating in the 5GHz range such as the new iPhone 5. This gives us power to be flexible during events, for example if organisers have high technical specifications, then we can switch the spectrum on the fly to suit relevant devices.”

Over the past 18 months, events and exhibition visitors have come to regard reliable Wi-Fi connectivity as a given right.” said Sean Larner, VP of International Sales at Xirrus. It’s therefore crucial for businesses within this space to provide a robust wireless network that can not only accommodate consumers’ bandwidth-heavy applications, but enable exhibitors to use rich-functionality apps to enhance the visitor experience at the SECC.”

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