Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority has adopted Wi-Fi 6E from HPE Aruba Networking as part of a network modernization effort for its two million-square-foot Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The new infrastructure will deliver reliable, pervasive, secure connectivity for approximately one million annual guests who rely on mobility for content, commerce, and entertainment during conventions, exhibitions, conferences, trade shows, performances, sports competitions, and other events that generate an average of seven hundred million dollars in regional economic impact. The deployment will also help modernize and streamline the facility’s operations while driving enhanced experiences for meeting planners, event attendees, and PCC employees.

The 14th largest convention center in the U.S., the PCC hosts over 250 national and international events annually, ranging from respected medical conferences and industry conventions to rock concerts and the largest flower show in the country.

“One of the first questions our meeting planners ask is whether we offer high-performance, high-capacity, reliable Wi-Fi to support all of their mobile applications,” said John J. McNichol, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “Our new HPE Aruba Networking deployment is a critical differentiator for distinguishing ourselves as a best-in-class venue that can meet every customer’s access needs with a home-like experience for attendees, where connecting is as comfortable, seamless, and powerful as when a person is in their living room.”

Like any modern event venue, the PCC is expected to provide event organizers and attendees with secure, high-performance wireless connectivity for live streaming, digital signage, large-format TVs, point-of-sale (POS) solutions, radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking, and other data intensive activities. The infrastructure must also support a wide range of IoT, mobile, and connected solutions, while also supplying reliable and secure access to an organizer’s corporate applications and databases. Operationally, the PCC’s venue manager, ASM Global, utilizes Wi-Fi to mobilize and digitize its staff and facilities, such as using tablets for rapidly configuring spaces according to an event’s specifications or web conference with customers and prospects from anywhere within the facility.

Working closely with trusted IT partner Turn-key Technologies, the PCC evaluated Wi-Fi options and determined that Wi-Fi 6E, which enables using the 6 GHz band to provide twice the capacity of previous generation technologies, was the best choice for future-proofing the venue. In particular, the venue selected HPE Aruba Networking AP-655 access points (APs) to blanket indoor spaces with fast, secure connectivity and dual 5 Gbps dual Ethernet ports for high availability.

“Because we host such a wide range of events that accommodate from a few hundred to tens of thousands of users and devices, it was critical for our Wi-Fi to support everything from checking email and hybrid conference sessions with live streaming to enabling hundreds of different POS systems to operate simultaneously,” explained Tony Hodgins, General Manager, ASM Global.

“Moving forward, we expect to see events utilizing VR [virtual reality] and other immersive technologies as part of the experience, for which our Wi-Fi 6E will be critical,” Hodgins added. “Plus, our new Wi-Fi will enable us to adopt modern connected HVAC and other facilities management solutions that will contribute to our efficiency and help us achieve our sustainability goals. In short, with our new Wi-Fi 6E infrastructure, we’re ready for whatever future technologies our operations will require and our customers will bring into our venue.”

Further, the HPE Aruba Networking wireless solution provides an easily managed platform, with the highest return on the investment, compared with other leading infrastructure vendors. “As a taxpayer-funded organization, it’s essential for us to deploy solutions that enable us to deliver on our promises quickly and cost-effectively,” said Shawn Fisher, Director of IT, ASM Global. “Our new Wi-Fi supplies us with intuitive tools for optimizing our environment and rapidly troubleshooting issues. From a total cost of ownership perspective, HPE Aruba Networking was 11 percent more favorable in terms of capital investment, maintenance, licensing, and support, compared to other options.”

“Overall, our Wi-Fi 6E deployment has been game changing,” said McNichol. “The system is running smoothly, our customers are able to focus on their events, and we’re thankful for our HPE Aruba Networking partnership.”

Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise