The Las Vegas Convention Center has unveiled a technology upgrade that will leave show attendees talking – literally – thanks to one of the nation’s largest Neutral-Host Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). The antenna infuses the convention center with the power of 14 cellphone towers and provides state-of-the-art talk and data technology for 100,000 visitors and exhibitors simultaneously.
Officials from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which oversees the convention center, said the wireless upgrade was achieved through a partnership with Cox Business/Hospitality Network and InSite Wireless Group, LLC and took three years to plan and 10 months to build. The $18 million system is engineered to accommodate future technology, such as 5G cellphone service, and will be maintained by a dedicated staff of InSite technicians.
The undertaking was so huge, officials said, that it required four separate installation contractors working in different parts of the 3.2 million-square-foot facility. “Today’s world is a wireless world, and to provide a first rate customer experience, we have to have the infrastructure to ensure visitors have seamless coverage and service,” said Hugh Sinnock, LVCVA’s vice president of customer experience. “Investments like this will continue to provide our clients with the best possible tools for conducting business.”
A number of large venues around the country employ similar, albeit likely smaller, technology to improve cellphone reception within their facilities. The catch, however, is that cellphone providers must sign a contract with the center and pay for access to the antenna, which means the improvement is only relevant to visitors with partner cell providers. Officials said in a press release that four major U.S. wireless carriers have signed agreements with the venue so far, though they did not specify which ones.