London Symphony Orchestra turns to Xirrus Wi-Fi

High-quality wireless seen as a key requirement for attracting world-class musical events to enable new wireless services and support mobile business models and applications

London Symphony Orchestra turns to Xirrus Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi equipment provider Xirrus has deployed its high-performance Wi-Fi solution at the London Symphony Orchestra’s (LSO) St Luke’s venue.

LSO St Luke's, the UBS and LSO Music Education Centre, is an 18th-century Grade 1 listed Hawksmoor Church, restored to become the home of the LSO's community and music education programme, LSO Discovery. The venue plays host to concerts and workshops, and is available for rehearsals and recordings as well as a wide variety of corporate and private events.

After a competitive bid, the LSO selected Xirrus and deployed Xirrus Wi-Fi access points (APs) throughout its commercial venue, located on London’s Old Street, covering the entire facility, including the main entrance areas and concert hall, as well as its café area, office space, and conference facilities.

Quentin Bradley, ICT manager at LSO, said: “In the last few years, we’ve seen attitudes towards wireless change. Staff, guests and members of the public view it as an expected service, like heat, light and water. We’ve also seen an increase in the technology requirements of many conferences and events, as organisers use internet-based products and mobile applications which require high-performance Wi-Fi in order to work faultlessly. We’re thrilled that we’re now able to provide a first-class Wi-Fi service to visitors, ensuring we continue to improve our offering as a venue and attract a wide variety of world-class musical events.”

As a grade 1 listed building with complicated equipment requirements and acoustic shielding, the LSO required a solution that not only provided flawless performance in a complex venue, but could also be installed with minimal disruption to day-to-day activity.

“The church has thick stone walls and a reinforced concrete slab between the basement and ground floor, as well as a free-standing internal metal structural skeleton – this layout and building structure had implications on the strength of wireless signal. Due to its experience of delivering sympathetic installations in historic buildings, Xirrus was able to ensure we could deliver high-quality connectivity to staff, clients and visitors using their mobile devices in the venue,” said Bradley.

“With musicians using applications and live streaming during performances and visitors expecting seamless access to digital applications, Wi-Fi usage is dictated on an event-by-event basis and we want to be using it as fully as we can. Wi-Fi is critical to demonstrate applications in rehearsal or teaching sessions, and DJs and musicians require wireless access so they can stream playlists using services such as Spotify.

“With the network running so smoothly, we’re now looking at charging models for Wi-Fi access as it presents new revenue opportunities to the LSO. We’re also looking to set up event-specific SSIDs and customer-branded landing pages, as well as additional third-party services during events,” added Bradley.

Sean Larner, VP International at Xirrus, commented: “The installation at LSO St Luke’s is an example of how event venues are turning to Wi-Fi to provide an outstanding visitor experience in technically demanding environments. We’re seeing more event venues tap into Wi-Fi as a way to improve their service to customers, and to cater for the growing demand to access digital content and applications during performances – whether that’s musicians or members of the public.”

Following the success of the deployment, the LSO will look to develop client-specific landing pages on top of the Xirrus wireless network. It’s also looking to extend the roll out to its Barbican site in the near future.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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