Wi-Fi network provider Xirrus has deployed its equipment in the Amsterdam RAI conference and exhibition centre in the Netherlands to meet the growing demands for wire-like performance on wireless networks.
Amsterdam RAI is the largest exhibition and conference centre in The Netherlands. It can host up to 50 international conferences and 70 trade shows in a single year with approximately 2 million people visiting the venue annually. The total exhibition area covers 87,000m2 with 22 conference halls and 11 multifunctional halls available for exhibitions, trade fairs, cultural or sporting events.
‘As Holland’s largest exhibition venue, we specialize in all kinds of events, from small to large,’ said Carl Ruiter, ICT Manager, RAI. ‘Regardless of the event size, our goal is to provide attendees with an optimal experience, including delivering the necessary network connectivity to enable them to stay connected to their business and friends.’
High quality wireless communications have become an essential part of exhibitions and conferences. Amsterdam RAI wishes to be the hub where exchanges between businesses and people take place so value is created for organizers, exhibitors and visitors. Amsterdam RAI believed Xirrus Wireless Arrays were the perfect fit to bring a high-speed, high-capacity, reliable wireless network to the centre.
‘The demand on the quality of Wi-Fi is getting higher and higher,’ continued Ruiter. ‘What we found is that customers want to order things when they’re in-house and they want to be able to do so immediately. The only way we can do this is to use wireless connectivity. We decided about six years ago to make a major effort in wireless, so we deployed a wireless network to support 500 to 1,000 concurrent users. This year we are expanding to manage 4,000 to 6,000 users. By 2013 we are projecting 6,000 to 12,000 users. Wireless has become commonplace – the only way to connect.’
Amsterdam RAI aims to ensure that all its facilities and services are of ‘star quality’. To this end, it is making substantial annual investments in people, technology and physical infrastructure and making the interior of the complex as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Wireless is imperative in order for the RAI to provide visitors with impeccable service because now people want a constant connection, and usually want that connection on a number of devices.
‘What we are seeing more and more is people coming with notebooks, and with tablets, and they want to have a high level assurance that the connection will work,’ concluded Ruiter. ‘Whether they are accessing a store, uploading a message, or Skyping on a video-conference call, the connection should work and be reliable.
'The Xirrus solution has helped us deliver what I call ‘mass-WiFi’. We can use the Wireless Arrays anywhere we like – indoors or outdoors; it moves with us, it’s very flexible, it’s easy to install, and it supports an enormous amount of users per square meter.’