The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is beginning installation of a $2.6 million wireless infrastructure overhaul at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). The upgrade will increase the number of existing wireless access points from 113 to at least 580, meaning a 413 percent increase in number of access points throughout the BCEC.
The MCCA, the first organization in the meetings industry to offer completely complimentary and reliable wireless Internet service at its facilities, has upgraded the wireless infrastructure at the BCEC four times since 2004. The implementation of this wireless network will mark a complete overhaul of the original wireless infrastructure, and a transition from a traditional “coverage” wireless system, which focuses on signal strength over a wide area, to an advanced “high-density” system. The new system will increase the BCEC’s wireless capacity, sending focused beams of wireless connectivity. More powerful access points enable more users to connect per access point, resulting in significantly improved signal strength.
”Today’s meeting attendees come to conventions with at least two Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices and the expectation that they will receive reliable, fast wireless connectivity,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA. “Boston is the hub of innovation and technology leadership, so meeting professionals and event attendees expect more from Boston. Our goal is to operate the two most technologically advanced centers in the world, not according to us but in the judgment of our clients. We are confident our latest investment in our wireless infrastructure will allow us to further exceed the expectations of our BCEC customers.”
The MCCA enlisted the help of three renowned wireless systems experts to help guide the BCEC wireless internet upgrade project, including Neil Reid & Associates, M S Benbow & Associates, and Aruba Networks.
Installation of the new BCEC wireless infrastructure is currently underway, with the project slated to be complete for live-testing and phased implementation in May through September of 2015. Also in 2015, the MCCA will begin developing a plan for a wireless upgrade at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center for installation in 2016.
In addition to this major wireless system upgrade, the MCCA is currently underway with a $1 billion, 1.3 million square-foot expansion of the BCEC which will involve significant technology infrastructure aimed at maintaining Boston’s technology leadership in the meetings industry.