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Local events increasingly place emphasis on digital technology. Whether it’s live streaming performances, live tweeting speeches, or remote bidding for auctions, local events nationwide are using technology — particularly cell phones and smartphones — to enhance their events.

Unfortunately, WiFi and cellular networks can quickly overload during large events, essentially shutting down any effective use of digital technology and eliminating a key component of the function. This was the case at Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minnesota.

The Challenge

Each year, Totino-Grace High School, a private Catholic school in the Twin-Cities area, hosts the Winter Place Gala, a fundraiser for the school’s programs and technology needs. The auction features big-ticket auction items and regularly attracts more than 800 parents, teachers, administrators, and community members.

As the event evolved, organizers began adopting remote-bidding apps that allowed guests to place bids on auction items from their cell phones. At first, organizers relied on the school’s in-house WiFi system, but quickly found that the system did not have the capacity for such a large event. Next, they tried bringing in a temporary WiFi system, but at a cost of $20,000 per year such a significant investment wasn’t sustainable.

The Solution

Event organizers and school administrators called in connectivity experts from Konecta USA and asked the team to devise a permanent connectivity solution for this critical event. The Konecta team quickly realized Totino-Grace was the perfect candidate for a in-building cellular repeater system and designed a solution using WilsonPro products.

Rather than relying on WiFi, WilsonPro repeaters would amplify the cellular signal inside the school’s gymnasium, cafeteria, and common areas. The boosted signal would allow gala guests to bid on their phones using their cellular carrier’s signal.

With the system installed, Totino-Grace High School was able to provide the necessary connectivity for its event without taxing the school’s existing WiFi system.

WiFi offers a viable connectivity solution for many buildings, but in a room full of laptops, tablets and smartphones, the network may not have sufficient bandwidth to support a reliable connection. Installing a temporary, secondary network comes at considerable costs.

Alternatively, in-building repeaters can be used in conjunction with WiFi networks. WilsonPro solutions can be installed in a matter of days, and with less overhead, fewer regulations, and lighter equipment than an active DAS. Our repeater systems are a financially viable option for a wide range of users—especially in the education sector.

Download our Buyer’s Guide to learn more about how WilsonPro solutions compare to other connectivity options, including WiFi.