New York’s Javits Center Offers Free Wireless Throughout Facility
New York Convention Center Operating Corporation President and CEO Alan Steel unveiled the launch of free wireless service – up to 256K of bandwidth – for all customers and visitors at the Javits Center, the busiest convention center in the United States.
With free wireless service throughout the facility, visitors can experience online access on their mobile devices while in and around the iconic structure on Manhattan’s West Side. Customers who prefer greater connectivity for larger data downloads will be charged at specific rates per day.
The wireless service is part of a new state-of-the-art technology system installed at the Javits Center, providing the facility with one of the most advanced systems among convention centers nationwide. The new system includes a consolidated data center, hundreds of new access points, new back-up power supply units and a tracking system to monitor on-site service requests.
Each year, the Javits Center hosts more than two million visitors and 35,000 exhibiting companies who conduct millions of dollars of business with mobile devices throughout the 2.1 million square-foot building.
“With the installation of our new technology system, the Javits Center is wired for success like never before,” Steel said. “We understand the importance of wireless access, and we are happy to provide free service throughout the facility to accommodate visitors who want to send email or search the Internet. For any convention center to succeed today, it must have superior technology to accommodate the countless wireless transactions of data and dollars during an event, and our advanced infrastructure can do just that.”
Vice President and Chief Information Officer Mark Sims said, “Wireless access is an integral part of business today, and thanks to our new modern infrastructure, our customers can conduct transactions in a seamless fashion in any area of the building. Nearly 30 years ago, this iconic building was constructed in order to spur economic activity, and our new technology capabilities will certainly generate even more business opportunities in the years to come.”
As the Javits Center’s recent top-to-bottom renovation project was implemented, several significant technological upgrades were installed throughout the building in order to ensure reliable connectivity, provide visitors with easier web access and offer greater flexibility for customers.
Prior to this technological overhaul, there were severe connectivity issues inside the building, including outdated circuits, limited wireless signals and service gaps, that mandated a new focus on technology to enhance the customer experience and adapt for future advances in technology.
Among the new system’s highlights are:
• Enhanced infrastructure. Upgraded 85% of the exhibition hall data cabling to Category 6 Ethernet standards (8,000 data drops) – enhancing our capability to provide more reliable and consistent information technology (IT) services;
• More access points. Installed and cabled more than 700 wireless access points, forming the foundation of a high-density wireless system, which provides more reliable connectivity for up to 70,000 users at any one time throughout the building;
• High-quality networking equipment. This equipment will enable the Javits Center to design and deliver IT services to provide the best value and return on investment for the Javits Center and our customers;
• Back-up power. Installed back-up uninterruptible power supply units (UPS), which will keep IT equipment powered up in the event of a short-power failure until full extricate power is restored;
• Comprehensive on-site redundancy. On-site redundancy has been built into the design of the critical core and edge IT networking equipment. All such dual equipment has been configured to failover seamlessly or with minimal service interruption; and
• Antenna system. Installed a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) with the country’s major wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, enabling reliable cellphone signals throughout the entire facility.
In addition to installing advanced equipment, the Javits Center’s Technology Solutions Department also has taken several steps to improve customer service, such as the implementation of a tracking system to manage service requests, increasing the efficiency and accountability of its employees.
The department also collaborated with leading industry organizations to provide employee training and establish an IT governance council to explore future trends.