Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center, announced the completion of a two-million-dollar technology upgrade for Cobo Center. The work includes an upgraded Nortel core switch that distributes the Wi-Fi signal, along with several new edge switches located throughout the center.

“These upgrades [are like updating a] one lane highway to a three lane super-speedway,” Molinari said.

Other system enhancements include upgrading the Cobo Center’s Wi-Fi access points to 802.11ac Aruba APs and increasing the number of APs to 400 throughout the facility. The network location of APs and configuration will be remapped based on events’ anticipated high use of Wi-Fi in specific areas.

According to SMG, the Wi-Fi upgrades will allow 32,000 simultaneous users on the network. Additionally, to create a more flexible Wi-Fi network, the ClearPass Account Management System was installed to create an integrated platform, creating a splash page for the “CoboFree” Wi-Fi network.

Along with the upgrades to the full facility fiber infrastructure, Cobo Center contracted Rocket Fiber, Detroit’s newest bandwidth provider with a hub on the property, to upgrade bandwidth to 10G.

Detroit’s Cobo Center offers 723,000 square feet of exhibit space for meetings and events.