Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), the private management company responsible for the daily operation of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has kicked off a US$3.9 million project to rebuild the entire Wi-Fi network at the HKCEC. The new Wi-Fi system will enable HKCEC’s users and visitors to enjoy unlimited, high-speed and complimentary Wi-Fi service.
The new network operates on the highest Wi-Fi standard (802.11ac wave 2), and packs a new 10gbps fibre network, the backbone for superb signal stability. With over 1,100 events held annually at HKCEC, the data demand generated by the sheer number of guests at the venue is unprecedented.
To that end, the project also involves the installation of 660 new Wi-Fi access points, supporting more than 20,000 mobile devices concurrently. The Cisco-provided solution provides smooth and reliable access to the Internet via mobile devices, despite the crowds, and sets a new benchmark for the event venue industry.
The full overhaul will take about one year to complete, and set for implementation in Q4 of 2018. The area covered by the network totals 125,000 sqm, including all exhibition halls and function rooms, front of house areas, entrance lobbies and concourses, organiser offices and ancillary rooms, as well as restaurants.
Monica Lee-Müller, managing director at HML, said of the development, “The HKCEC welcomes over 5.7 million visitors from around the world every year. We understand that a high speed, high density, reliable and media-rich Wi-Fi experience is vital in enabling them to keep in touch with their homes and offices at all times.”
HML began providing a complimentary Wi-Fi service to HKCEC users and visitors as early as 2005, making the HKCEC a pioneer in the convention and exhibition industry in Asia. Since then, HML has invested in continuous upgrades to cater to rapidly growing user needs.
The infrastructure is also scalable, meaning upgrades in bandwidth will be possible as the venue expands in the years to come. With more and more guests streaming 4K videos and sharing live feed of HKCEC events, the network’s importance for organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike can’t be understated.
The new Wi-Fi system also supports location-based services (LBS) technology, allowing organisers to utilise their mobile applications for improving attendees’ experience. In the era of big data, the LBS platform gives organisers oversight of guest behaviours and can improve crowd management.
HML will also provide configurable bandwidth for individual organisers or exhibitors upon request, and will offer premium services (paid passes) to visitors for additional bandwidth. The captive portal feature in the new Wi-Fi network provides a customized Wi-Fi landing page offering promotion opportunities for events.