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Home to the largest airport in Scandinavia and a hub of international tourism in Northern Europe, Copenhagen is welcoming a growing number of business and leisure travellers. At the top of any 21st century jetsetter’s list of travel essentials is a fast, consistent and secure Wi-Fi connection. The mobile traveller of today will accept nothing less than a strong and reliable internet connection at their fingertips that is capable of sustaining a myriad of devices, making phone calls, streaming videos, and much more. If they wish to keep up with the city’s bright and innovative reputation, Copenhagen’s hotels and business venues can’t afford to neglect their customer’s Wi-Fi demands. For the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, the ability to deliver and meet the needs of this increasing demand had become imperative.
Bella Center Copenhagen—part of BC Hospitality Group, one of Denmark’s biggest organisations in hotels, conferences, fairs and hospitality—is one of the largest conference facilities in Scandinavia. It boasts 121,800 square meters of multipurpose exhibition and congress space, with capacity for approximately 30,000 people. In spring 2011, the 814-room AC Hotel Bella Sky at Bella Center was opened. It soon became evident that Bella Center’s incumbent Wi-Fi provider was unable to deliver a strong and reliable network in such a high-density environment. The current network, provided by Cisco, could only support a maximum of 7,500 concurrent users— just 37.5% of the total capacity of Bella Center. During conferences, the wireless access points at Bella Center were unable to cope with the surge in connectivity requests. Similarly, hotel users were consistently frustrated by a slow and inconsistent connection, reporting numerous black spots and unsatisfactory levels of performance. The management at Bella Center soon became conscious that an alternative solution needed to be deployed rapidly.
As the Director of Group IT at the Bella Center, Kenneth Kjøbmand’s objective was clear: to build the Wi-Fi of tomorrow. He commented: “In the hospitality industry of today, Wi-Fi is just as important as running water. Our current network didn’t have the capacity for the amount of users that was needed for large scale conferences. It was failing us when it was most needed and it was crucial that we found a solution that provided reliable connectivity for more concurrent users. I didn’t want to have the second best Wi-Fi; I wanted to have the first. I wanted to build the Wi-Fi of tomorrow.”