Kite Systems provides outsourced IT services for Hong Kong businesses. Its parent company and largest customer is Magnetic Asia, an event and entertainment producer that stages Clockenflap, the country’s largest art and music festival. Kite Systems is also the preferred Wi-Fi and broadband vendor for events held at the popular Central Harbourfront Event Space, which offers 36,000 square meters of open-air space.
Wi-Fi is a crucial part of the event experience.“Until a few years ago, our customers just needed individual Wi-Fi hot spots for ticket scanning, payments and badge access to restricted areas,” says David Killingsworth, IT Manager.“Now they demand reliable, high- performance Wi-Fi throughout the venue for employees, vendors and guests.”
Shortens setup time for temporary Wi-Fi with 75% fewer access points and Xirrus Rapid Deployment Kits
Adapts to any ratio of 5GHz and 2.4GHz devices with a few clicks in the management interface
Eliminates the need for a management server at temporary venues
Provides detailed Wi-Fi usage statistics that help custo- mers understand guest behavior
Kite Systems’ previous Wi-Fi solution was not suited for high-density venues. If too many devices attempted to connect at the same time, technicians had no solution other than scurrying around deploying more access points. The nudge to find a Wi-Fi solution designed specifically for high-density environments came when Kite Systems won the IT services contract for one of Hong Kong’s highest profile events, Art Central. An outdoor art show, Art Central would feature 200 vendors and attract tens of thousands of guests over five days. “The client needed us to guarantee high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the venue, even with several thousand devices connecting at the same time,” Killingsworth says.
Rapid Deployment of Temporary Wi-Fi Networks
After rigorously evaluating three leading high-density Wi-Fi solutions, Kite Systems selected Xirrus Wi-Fi.“Normally we have just a few days to set up Wi-Fi in a complex environment — with floors being laid down, tents going up, booths being built and other vendor’s equipment strewn over the floor,” Killingsworth says.“The ease of setting up temporary Wi-Fi makes Xirrus our go-to partner. With Xirrus Wi-Fi, we can provide coverage with 75% fewer access points — and often thousands of yards less cabling.” The reason: each Xirrus access point can contain up to eight radios, not two radios like other vendors’ access points. Xirrus Rapid Deployment Kits include everything needed to quickly install Xirrus access points: tripod stand, mounting hardware, protective covers and cables.
The Right Mix of Radios for Any Type of Event — With a Click
Vendors and guests bring a variety of wireless devices to events, from Apple watches, the newest smartphones that operate at 5GHz to legacy POS systems and old Windows laptops that operate at 2.4GHz. Having enough 5GHz radios — which support more simultaneous connections — improves the overall guest experience. Kite Systems can provide the right mix of radios for any event because Xirrus radios can be programmed to operate in either band with a couple of clicks in Xirrus Management System (XMS).“At most events we program around 70% of radios for 5GHz, matching the proportion of 5GHz devices we see,” Killingsworth says.“But when events producers only need Wi-Fi for 2.4GHz devices, like access controllers and ticket scanners, we set all radios for 2.4GHz operation.” Programmable Xirrus radios minimize inventory requirements.
Simple Management — On-Premises or in the Cloud
During events, Kite Systems’ technicians work onsite to monitor network performance using XMS. They can see immediately if an access point isn’t working so that they can quickly replace it.“Xirrus Wi-Fi has performed flawlessly at all of our events,” Killingsworth says.“The reasons are careful planning and execution, XMS and the dependability of Xirrus access points.” Kite Systems installs XMS on-premises at the Central Harbourfront Event Space. At other venues, Kite uses XMS-Cloud, which requires no on-premises equipment.“When we’re at a venue just for a couple of days, XMS-Cloud saves us the time and resources to install another server,” says Killingsworth.
Detailed Usage Statistics at a Glance
XMS made Kite Systems a hero to a multi-billion dollar company that held its 2016 annual partners’ meeting in Hong Kong. Approximately 1,500 partners attended. After the meeting, the customer surprised Kite Systems with a request for detailed Wi-Fi usage statistics, including how many devices connected to each access point by hour.“With XMS, we could answer every one of our customer’s usage questions,” Killingsworth says.“How many and what types of devices did attendees use? How long did they stay connected? When did they visit the canteen area? When did they enter the exhibition hall, and how long did they stay? What time did they turn off their devices during the keynote session? Our customer was impressed, calling it the ‘best Internet experience of any city where we have held our annual partner meeting.’”
Reliably Great Performance
Kite Systems remains Hong Kong’s sole service provider able to provide temporary Wi-Fi for events — a powerful competitive advantage. The Magnetic Asia sales staff makes sure to mention the dependability of Xirrus Wi-Fi during customer presentations. At a private event held in the Art Central tent, for example, Xirrus Wi-Fi supported 3,000 concurrent connections without stress.“Many people in Hong Kong have newer iPhones and Android devices,” Killingsworth says.“They’re accustomed to 4G LTE cellular networks and expect Wi-Fi to be just as fast. With Xirrus Wi-Fi, we can reassure customers that their guests will have a trouble-free Internet experience.”