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Visitors to Australia’s Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) should have an easy time hooking up to the Internet wherever they are in the facility.

United States-based Xirrus has deployed wireless arrays across the about 100,000-square-foot Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), in Melbourne, Australia. The centerpiece of Melbourne’s new South Warf development, the MCEC continues to raise the bar to new heights in technology and service options. The new Xirrus Wi-Fi network easily supports the facility’s 52 rooms, grand banquet room, entry-level foyer and 5,550-seat great hall that can be divided into three self-contained, acoustically separate theaters.

“We opened the Melbourne Convention Centre in 2009, and technology was one of our flagship pieces for the venue. In the last two years, we have seen a real increase in the number of wireless devices that people have with them at business events,” said Michael Walsh, director of technology operations at MCEC. “Two or three years ago it was purely laptops. Now, we’re finding a lot more people carrying a laptop, an iPad or other tablet device and an iPhone or other smart phone. So, any user can have up to three different wireless devices with them at all times.”

The MCEC had a conventional wireless system in place, but it could not support the growing client demand for wireless connectivity despite only being a few years old. Due to the mounting trouble tickets and complaints from clients, the MCEC sought a new wireless network that would be robust and dynamic enough to support a few hundred to more than 10,000 concurrent devices in a given day.

“The wireless arrays and the Xirrus management system have been absolutely rock-solid for us,” said Walsh. “We had a large conference a week ago with 8,500 internet connections and no support tickets the entire time, which was an amazing experience for us. Obviously, our clients were exceptionally happy with that as well.”

Xirrus is a provider of high-performance wireless networks that are reliable and offer strong security. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Xirrus is a privately held company that designs and manufactures its products and solutions in the United States.


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