Smart City Networks Improves Cellular Coverage at San Diego Convention Center

July 20, 2017

Smart City Networks has completed a new distributed antenna system (DAS) designed to exponentially expand the cellular service coverage and capacity at the San Diego Convention Center.

“This new system is going to make a noticeable difference for everyone who attends an event or convention at the San Diego Convention Center,” said Julia Slocombe, vice president of western region operations for Smart City Networks, a telecommunications provider for the convention industry.

She continued, “This was a massive upgrade, but it reiterates our commitment to deliver exceptional experiences through technology and San Diego’s commitment to be one of the leading meeting and convention destinations in the world.”

Completed this month, the two-year DAS system installation project involved plotting and installing hundreds of miniature antennas at secure points throughout the convention center that connect to the networks of different cellular carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile.

The new system reduces gaps in coverage created by steel or concrete pillars, isolated niches and other architectural features that disrupt the signal between the phone and the devices receiving the messages, resulting in the elimination of dead spots and improved reliability of the network.

“We are excited to offer our guests and customers yet another amenity to continue to make our facility the region’s premier gathering place,” said Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

He added, “The DAS will amplify mobile broadband coverage throughout the facility, eliminate dead spots, improve reliability in areas with heavy demand and increase network capacity.”

As part of the DAS improvements, Smart City also installed a two-way radio system throughout the convention center that allows communication anywhere in the facility.

“Not only does this improve the convention experience for the people who attend events at our facility, but we’ve been able to improve our own internal communications to provide a higher level of support to our clients,” explained Karen Totaro, SDCC executive vice president and general manager.

San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward applauded the enhancement to the center, citing it as one more amenity that makes San Diego even more attractive as a conventions and meetings destination.

“This convention center is able to bring about 900,000 visitors to San Diego every year to experience the wonders we have here as a city and as a region,” Ward said.

He continued, “We certainly hope the upgrades we are celebrating here today will make it even more inviting to have people come and use this facility.”

The installation of the new DAS system at the SDCC is just one of several technology upgrades Smart City Networks has recently completed as part of its continued mission to deliver a better digital experience to convention centers across the country. 

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of everyone involved,” said David Langford, vice president of technology for Smart City Networks.

He added, “We had to work hand-in-hand for two years to complete this – but everyone made it happen.”

Watch a video of the special ribbon cutting event marking the completion of the SDCC technology project here.

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