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updated: 2/22/2013 12:23 AM

New technology helps Schaumburg Convention Center

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  • In this 2006 file photo, Steve Thom of North Aurora moved to a window to make a cellphone call at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Cell phone users at that time were finding it difficult to get a good signal inside the new convention center. AT&T recently installed a 4G update to the system that now distributes antennas throughout the facility to improve service.

      In this 2006 file photo, Steve Thom of North Aurora moved to a window to make a cellphone call at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Cell phone users at that time were finding it difficult to get a good signal inside the new convention center. AT&T recently installed a 4G update to the system that now distributes antennas throughout the facility to improve service.
    Daily Herald File Photo by Mark Black

  • Renaissance Hotel's General Manager Tom Robertson, left, and Schaumburg Village President Al Larson raised the Renaissance Hotel flag during an opening ceremony at the 2006 grand opening of the Schaumburg Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel.

      Renaissance Hotel's General Manager Tom Robertson, left, and Schaumburg Village President Al Larson raised the Renaissance Hotel flag during an opening ceremony at the 2006 grand opening of the Schaumburg Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel.
    Daily Herald File Photo by Bob Chwedyk

 
 

When the Schaumburg Convention Center opened in 2006, a major problem that popped up almost immediately was wireless connectivity. There wasn't any.

Participants at meetings held inside the center just couldn't get any reception on their mobile devices. Many had to find a window or doorway just to get a signal and make a call. That was frustrating for meeting attendees, especially when they needed to return calls that could affect their businesses or tried to reach family or handle other matters.

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Since then, technology has continued to advance and the center installed a Distributed Antenna System, known as DAS. AT&T is currently updating it with its own 4G LTE technology, said AT&T spokeswoman Erin McGrath.

AT&T owns and operates a DAS system that was just installed at Navy Pier, but the DAS system in Schaumburg is considered "neutral," meaning multiple carriers, including Verizon Wireless and T-Mobil can use it.

Other venues that now use DAS include O'Hare International Airport, the United Center and the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

DAS consists of hundreds of strategically placed antennas that distribute wireless network coverage throughout the facility. The system provides more efficient management of the wireless capacity, especially when the facility gets crowded during special events and thousands of people are tweeting, calling or texting at the same time. DAS has the ability to provide enhanced and consistent wireless voice and data transmission, she said.

"It's compared to a cake, where the antennas are layered," she said. "Instead of having just one antenna, there are several around the facility."

Investing in such service technology is vital for places such as the convention center, to help guests and meeting attendees, said David Parulo, president of the Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau.

"Connectivity is very important to these folks," he said.

Surfing:ComEd's smartphone app, which allows customers to report power outages and manage their accounts from their smartphones, has had more than 59,000 downloads since it launched in April 2012. The company also has handled 18.2 million transactions completed through the ComEd website and its mobile-enabled site. It also has garnered more than 32,000 fans on Facebook and nearly 4,800 followers on Twitter.

• Coldwell Banker residential brokers Bill and Linda Baker of Arlington Heights launched their new website, www.IvyHillHomes.com, which includes current seller/buyer information for the Northwest suburbs, extensive short sale and foreclosure information, and the ability for visitors to search for a home nationwide.

JSH&A Public Relations, a marketing agency based in Oakbrook Terrace, has introduced its slightly new name of JSH&A Communications along with a new website at www.jsha.com. The firm has worked with Beam Inc., Hershey's, McDonald's, ConAgra Foods, Master Lock and Skil and Bosch Power Tools.

• Fans of the Great Clips Facebook page have a chance to participate in a contest by posting notes of advice on how to get out of "hairy" social situations.

Advanced Technology Services in Schaumburg is offering a new mobility product called Enterprise Managed Mobility Service, which helps companies look for mobile solutions to better run their business.

Littelfuse Inc., a provider of circuit protection, has launched its redesigned website at www.littelfuse.com, in German and Japanese. The English and Chinese versions of the website were released last July. Now Littelfuse customers, partners and internal associates worldwide can learn more about the company and its products and services, the company said.

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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