San Diego Convention Center, Smart City Networks Celebrate Expanded Cellular Service Coverage

A special ribbon cutting event marked the completion of a technology project that is designed to expand the cellular service coverage and capacity at the San Diego Convention Center.

Smart City Networks, the nation’s leading telecommunications provider for the convention industry, announced completion of a new distributed antenna system (DAS) at a celebratory event held outside of Hall H on Monday, July 17. San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward joined the convention center staff, Board of Directors Vice Chair Gil Gabrera and Secretary Xema Jacobsen as well as representatives of Smart City Networks, AT&T and T-Mobile in marking the occasion.

"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. "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."

The installation of the DAS system, which was completed this month, involved plotting and installing hundreds of miniature antennas at secure points throughout the convention center that connect to the networks of different cellular carriers, which include AT&T and T-Mobile. The DAS 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. The result is 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 San Diego Convention Center Corporation President & CEO Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, CFE. "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," said Karen Totaro, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

In total, the entire implementation took just over two years.

"This project wouldn't have been possible without the collaboration of everyone involved,” said David Langford, Vice President of Technology for Smart City Networks. "We had to work hand-in-hand for two years to complete this – but everyone made it happen."

City Councilmember Ward applauded the enhancement to the center.

"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," said Councilmember Ward. "We certainly hope the upgrades we are celebrating here today will make it even more inviting to have people come to our city and choose to host an event in this facility."

The installation of the new DAS system at the San Diego Convention Center is just one of several technology upgrades Smart City Networks has recently completed as part of its continued mission to deliver peace of mind and a better experience to convention center managers across the country. It's also one more example of the many modernization efforts that are ongoing throughout the convention center. To view them, visit our Capital Improvements Projects page.

Watch video of the ribbon-cutting event below.

Barbara Moreno's picture
Posted by Barbara Moreno, on July 17, 2017
Attendees, Meeting Planners, News and Developments

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