Multitasking meeting attendees no longer have to wrestle with inferior wireless networks — at least, not when they’re in Las Vegas, as MGM Resorts International has partnered with Cisco Systems to install a new high-density Wi-Fi system that will accommodate more and faster wireless connections at its eight Las Vegas resorts.
According to MGM, which is the only hospitality company in the country with this type of connectivity, the new system is the highest-performing wireless LAN in the hospitality industry, offering 30 percent faster connectivity and an “automatic” Wi-Fi connection that eliminates user hassle, not to mention longer battery life for users’ mobile devices — including smartphones, tablets and laptops, all of which can be simultaneously connected to the network.
“No one else in Las Vegas, and even the U.S., can offer the scale, quantity and quality of wireless services we now have available,” says John Bollen, vice president of technology strategy for MGM Resorts International.
Already available at Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage, with rollout planned this year at Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor and Excalibur, the new Wi-Fi system currently offers complimentary wireless Internet access in all public spaces — including pools, casinos, lobbies and restaurants — with the option to upgrade to a higher bandwidth. That service will extend to guest rooms starting this spring, beginning with MGM Grand in March.
MGM is using its expanded bandwidth to enhance not only wireless speed, but also wireless service, as resorts will now be able to provide guests with state-of-the-art apps that offer interactive wayfinding — including turn-by-turn directions to resort amenities — onsite promotional offers and restaurant menus.
MGM’s new Wi-Fi program is a major differentiator for meetings and conventions, as it gives meeting attendees — who use an average of two devices per person — the support they need to be productive during even the largest conventions, without having to compete for bandwidth.
What’s more, groups that need extra assurances now have the option to upgrade to a premium-level, guaranteed service that can support 120,000 concurrent users citywide, up from 4,000 with the company's previous system.
A third and final benefit to groups is the new ability to create customized Wi-Fi networks, which allows meeting organizers to send targeted information, notes and reminders to attendees — including sponsored messages that can generate revenue and offset meeting costs.
Says Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group, “By working with MGM Resorts, Cisco is taking the customer from basic connectivity to an uncompromised user experience that allows them to utilize the rich guest services offered by MGM Resorts.”