San Jose free Wi-Fi service extended to airport and convention center

The San Jose free Wi-Fi network, which is currently available in the downtown area, has been extended to cover the Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. “People in and traveling to Silicon Valley are among the most technically sophisticated in the world, with an expectation for super fast and highly reliable Wi-Fi,” said Vijay Sammeta, CIO, City of San Jose, California, which owns and operates Mineta San Jose International Airport. “With the infrastructure changes we’ve made at the airport, customers are experiencing dramatically faster speeds. On the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system, we’ve seen top download speeds of 60Mbps compared with 14Mbps on our previous Wi-Fi system. For most people, that’s better than what they have at home—and we’re now able to provide that Wickedly Fast experience at Silicon Valley’s Airport.”

The new public Wi-Fi network, which incorporates 58 high-capacity Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi access points at the airport, offers twice the coverage of the old system, and is capable of supporting thousands of concurrent users transmitting hundreds of terabytes of traffic. At the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, over 225 high-capacity Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor access points have been installed.

The Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi network (as the city calls its) is designed, installed, and managed by SmartWAVE Technologies. It replaces older Wi-Fi networks previously installed to provide free public access throughout the city’s airport and convention center (see our earlier post: San Jose Upgrading Downtown Wi-Fi Network).

“Our previous Wi-Fi network served its purpose, but was based on older technology,” said Sammeta. According to Sammeta, the airport needed to address three key issues:

  • high-capacity demand from mobile devices;
  • spotty signal coverage; and
  • erratic performance.

With a reliable and high-speed Wi-Fi network now in place at the airport, officials can consider deploying a range of new applications, such as connecting digital information kiosks, new mobile applications for facility maintenance, and an overall improved traveler experience.

“Conventions and exhibitions are an extremely competitive business, and we believe offering not just free, but proven, high-performance, reliable Wi-Fi will attract more business to the convention center which, in turn, will help us generate more revenue for both the city and businesses across downtown.”

Located in the heart of San Jose’s downtown core at the corner of W. San Carlos and S. Market Streets, the City has recently completed an extensive renovation and expansion of its Convention Center. Following a $130M investment, 169,000 square feet have been added for a total of 550,000 square feet of convention space, including a new 35,110 square foot Grand Ballroom, plus a revamped Executive Ballroom, more flexible meeting configurations, an outdoor plaza, and additional meeting and networking spaces. The city’s Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi is the perfect complement to serve the thousands of visitors using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets during various conventions and exhibitions held throughout the year.

“We’re extremely proud to be an integral part of this expansion of San Jose’s Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi network,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “We are seeing a huge resurgence around the country and the world for more reliable public and managed Wi-Fi services for business to satisfy an exploding population of users now armed with multiple smart devices. These carrier-class Wi-Fi networks are becoming instrumental for offloading mobile data traffic from cellular networks and giving users a much more satisfying online experience.”


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