The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced that the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre has upgraded its Wi-Fi 6 network to support WBA OpenRoaming™, which simplifies the user experience and enables exhibitors, attendees, and event staff to seamlessly connect to a secure, high-quality network.
Convention centres, stadiums, arenas and other large-scale public venues are increasingly deploying WBA OpenRoaming, to simplify the wireless experience, enabling people to log in only once and then have their smartphone, tablet or laptop automatically connect every time they return to an OpenRoaming-enabled hotspot.
Available at over 1 million hotspots worldwide, WBA OpenRoaming has become the global standard that Wi-Fi network owners, service providers and others are adding to free users from the need to constantly re-register or re-enter log-in credentials — all while maintaining enterprise-grade security.
RAI Amsterdam Picks Cisco
The RAI is among the thousands of convention centres, arenas and stadiums worldwide that have deployed Wi-Fi throughout their venues. In 2021, the RAI deployed a Cisco Wireless Wi-Fi 6 network throughout the complex’s main halls, restaurants and auditoriums, designed to support the most demanding high density use cases. Leveraging Cisco Spaces, the RAI is also able to utilize the wireless network to monitor occupancy levels for space utilization planning and locate people and things within the Centre.
Less than two years later, at the Wireless Global Congress EMEA event held at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, the Wireless Broadband Alliance federation members partnered with Cisco to deliver the first OpenRoaming LIVE experience, with multiple identity providers able to connect their customers, seamlessly. Federation members delivering the OpenRoaming experience included: Agreefy, AT&T, Boingo, Charter, Cisco, CityRoam, Cloud4Wi, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, GlobalReach, Google, Intel, Marriott, MiniMe Labs, SingleDigits and WeFi. Throughout the four-day event, over 1,139 unique users automatically connected to the network, without needing usernames or passwords. These users also collectively consumed more than a terabyte of data, which highlights Wi-Fi 6’s unique ability to provide high speeds to multiple users simultaneously.
In February of 2023, Cisco held its annual regional customer event, Cisco Live Europe, at the RAI event centre where 18,000+ attendees had access to seamless and secure Wi-Fi connectivity from OpenRoaming. Multiple IDs were accepted from carriers and device manufacturers. The preferred ID was the Cisco Live App which integrates with OpenRoaming via the Cisco Spaces SDK. Over the four-day event, attendees spent an average of 6 hours on the OpenRoaming network and consumed more than 77 terabytes of data.
Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “Nearly 10k convention centres, arenas and stadiums worldwide have deployed Wi-Fi throughout their venues because it’s the preferred way that people stay connected during trade shows and conferences. The RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre is on the leading edge of this trend, first with Wi-Fi 6 and now with OpenRoaming. As a result, the RAI is a case study in how venues can leverage OpenRoaming to provide the kind of secure, convenient and seamless connectivity that attracts marquee events.”
Bret Baas, Manager IT of RAI Amsterdam, said: “For conferences, trade shows and other events, high-performance Wi-Fi has become as critical as electricity. That’s why we’re continually investing to make our Wi-Fi network among the best in the world. With Wi-Fi 6 and OpenRoaming, high quality connectivity is always available. And in the near future, we’ll be raising the bar again with an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E so we can leverage next-gen capabilities such as deterministic Wi-Fi to deliver an even better experience.”
Matt MacPherson, Wireless CTO at Cisco, said: “WBA OpenRoaming provides users with a seamless and secure way to connect to wireless networks without the need for complex usernames and passwords. Together with Cisco and the WBA, conference centers around the world can start exploring the future of connectivity. It’s no longer just about connecting people and devices, but about creating unique, personalized and immersive experiences for attendees. It all starts with the network.”