February 03, 2017

Building a Public Venue Wi-Fi Network – 4 Steps To Take

11449-Gartner-Market-Guide-2016-Blog-ImageLast year about this time I talked about the growing expectations of customers to have ubiquitous mobile access in public places and venues. As we enter 2017, we have certainly seen the increased usage of and reliance on ubiquitous mobile connectivity in public environments such as hotspots, stadiums, transportation centers, parks, malls and convention centers, which has driven organizations to strategically invest in high-density Wi-Fi solutions. At Extreme, we are focusing on better meeting the Wi-Fi demands of our customers with our recent acquisition of Zebra’s WLAN business which established us as #3 in WLAN in our targeted enterprise verticals.

As the expectations of pervasive wireless connectivity continue to grow, it’s important for organizations to note that public venue wireless connectivity is cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity for large defined public areas, which is different than connectivity inside the four walls of the enterprise.  While some requirements for public venue wireless connectivity solutions are similar to indoor enterprise solutions, the market requirements, types of users and business outcome decision criteria are very different and organizations that try to lump these two decisions together often fail.

To help infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders, tasked with planning, sourcing and managing public venue communications services, to rationalize the requirements of these differing constituencies in order to make the best solution decision for their organization, Gartner published their 2016 Market Guide for Public Venue Wireless Connectivity.

Extreme Networks is listed in the guide once again based on our success in deploying Wi-Fi within challenging environments including ten National Football League (NFL) stadiums, a number of college stadiums and arenas. As the Official Wi-Fi provider of the NFL, we will be powering the biggest game on the sports calendar (for the fourth year in a row) at Super Bowl 51.

Download the 2016 Market Guide for Public Venue Wireless Connectivity to learn more about the public venue wireless market, see what providers are included in this space and learn Gartner’s key findings and recommendations.

 Building a Public Venue Wi-Fi Network – 4 Steps To Take

As organizations look to add pervasive mobile access to their public venue, Gartner recommends taking these important steps:

  1. Define the usage scenarios for the environment, using boundary conditions that identify maximum performance per user and numbers of users in a coverage area, understanding that this may be difficult since the infrastructure is being built for unknown users.
  2. Keep public venue projects separate from enterprise projects, and don’t assume that enterprise WLAN vendors will be ideally suited for public venue requirements since many do not have cellular or hybrid solutions that may be needed to meet the defined usage scenarios.
  3. Review the organization’s needs for additional applications to support the usage scenario, such as location, application tools and analytics reporting, in order to achieve the desired TCO.
  4. Run a pilot, even if it is for a portion of the total environment, to assure that the vendor can achieve the desired performance, coverage and reporting outcome for the organization and end users.

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Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About The Contributor:
Ryan HallSenior Marketing Specialist

Ryan T. Hall is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Extreme Networks, supporting the Sports & Entertainment business unit from a marketing and business development perspective. He also manages solution marketing for hospitality, and has been with Extreme Networks since August 2012, beginning in an entry-level inside sales role. He earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature as well as his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of New Hampshire.

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