It’s no secret that Xirrus reigns supreme when it comes to providing Wi-Fi for events, large public venues (LPVs) and other dense locations.
But first we should ask ourselves – what does high density mean? Listening to many of our competitors, you’d think high density is Aunt Sally and her dog reading the New York Times app on the patio on a Saturday afternoon One well-known Wi-Fi competitor claims to connect 300 devices per radio, although they use the same chipsets as the rest of us. So, what is a ‘fair’ definition of high density in the first place?
Not long ago I read an article from what I’ll call a large networking company, about a recent event at – oh, let’s say, a Southern European telecoms show. The firm was thrilled to let us know how, out of 85,000 attendees, they connected 12,000 – 15,000 users across a location that was 2.8 million square feet. The author goes on to brag that they managed to connect 1,924 devices at a plenary session with a well-known social networking leader, with a peak load of 530Mbps in a 23,000 sq. foot space.
But before you start drooling – which I guess is the point of the article – let’s actually run the numbers:
• 15,000 connected users is only 17% of the group in attendance. Given that this was telecoms event and everyone had at least 1 device, what were the other 83% doing?
• 15,000 devices across 2.8 million sq. feet translates to 1 device per every 186 sq. feet. Remember Aunt Sally and her dog? We’re talking about similar density!
• Now, let’s be fair. How about the performance at the event with the social networking leader? 1924 devices driving 530Mbps? That comes out to the princely sum of 275Kbps per device – at peak. Even the original GPRS standard delivers higher performance than this! I guess it also confirms what the other 73% of the attendees were doing – using 4G/LTE, and paying for it.
Xirrus’ definition of high performance in a high-density environment is the ability to reliably and consistently connect. Take our standard of connecting 100 devices in a classroom with two teachers and 30 students (our 3:1 device-to-person initiative). Assume the classroom is 500 sq. feet. That translates to about 1 device per every 5 sq. feet.
Or for the venue world, consider the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, with 2.2 million sq. feet. In this space, they regularly connect 38,000 devices concurrently. That translates to 1 device for every 5.7 sq. feet. If you don’t believe me, watch Justin Hermann, Executive Director of IT at the Sands Expo.
So, if you want ‘real’ high-density solutions for the future, remember – only Xirrus can deliver on your expectations for the most challenging network environments.