Untethered In Vegas

By  Susan Nunziata — July 31, 2008

When the M Resort Spa & Casino opens in Las Vegas in spring 2009, it will feature a pervasive wireless LAN (WLAN) covering its entire footprint of nearly 2 million square feet.

This includes 92,000 square feet of gaming and 60,000 square feet of meeting and conference space on 90 acres of land.

Sprint Converged Network Solutions (CNS) and MobileAccess are handling the deployment, which will bring wireless coverage to hotel staff in the front and back of the house, as well as to all 390 guest rooms.

The primary goals for M Resorts are public safety and the ability to have a wide range of wireless services, says Rob Willis, VP of I.T. for M Resorts. "A distributed antenna system in general is necessary in order to ensure good communication throughout the campus."

It will support multiple wireless services, applications and devices, including:

> point-to-point radios to be used by security staff and first responders;
> Sprint Nextel push-to-talk handhelds to be used by housekeeping and facilities management staff;
> machine-to-machine devices that will monitor food storage units, among other facilities;
> RFID for asset tracking;
> Zigbee for door keycards;
> 802.11b/g Wi-Fi

The infrastructure is also designed to boost in-building coverage for cellular providers beyond the Sprint Nextel network, should they want to come on board, says Willis. It can also be easily adapted to support upcoming technologies such as WiMax and 802.11n, he says, as well as new video surveillance solutions that transmit wireless images quickly and in real-time.

"What the M Resort is about is a new trend in in-building wireless, exemplifying the need for multi-service wireless" says Jeff Kunst, VP Marketing for MobileAccess. He says enterprises are increasingly incorporating wireless networks early on in their new-building construction process, particularly in the hospitality sector.

"We're seeing a huge swing in customers across the board looking to move to a wireless infrastructure across the campus," adds Darlene Braunschweig, VP of Sprint CNS.

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