'Wireless-over-HVAC' technology for US

Indoor wireless network uses HVAC system

McCormick Place in Chicago, US
McCormick Place in Chicago, US

An innovative ‘wireless-over-HVAC’ system has been deployed at McCormick Place in Chicago, the largest convention centre in the US.

McCormick Place comprises four buildings with a combined total of 2.4 million square metres of exhibition space. The ‘wireless-over-HVAC’ system allowed a non-intrusive installation covering the entire complex, from office spaces to exhibition floors.

The indoor wireless network from ExteNet Systems Inc. was installed by Cricket Communications Inc., a pioneer of unlimited wireless services. It comprised an indoor distributed antenna system (DAS) that can extend the reach of conventional cell sites by using discrete indoor antennas, base transceiver stations, remote radio units and the metal ducts within the building’s existing HVAC system.


In the US, nearly 80% of mobile calls originate or terminate inside buildings, which has meant that wireless carriers are increasingly interested in indoor DAS. Such systems have been installed in suburban corporate campuses, downtown high-rises, hospitals and educational institutions.

“The patented ‘wireless-over-HVAC’ technology used by ExteNet Systems was a great solution for the unique challenges of McCormick Place,” commented ExteNet VP of in-building solutions Jon Davis.

“Not only does the network provide coverage in the operations and office spaces, it also extends throughout the convention centre and adjacent areas. In a complex environment where network installation could not interrupt scheduled conventions and meetings, we were successful in completing the network design, installation, test and optimisation within the established timeframe,” said Davis.

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