A: For exhibitors, TSI provides cost effective and convenient 4G Internet Kit WiFi hotspot rental solutions.
For event organizers, we offer our premium CONNECT service. With CONNECT, we create a professionally engineered event-wide wired and wireless network. By providing our own dedicated bandwidth, enterprise-class network equipment, and managing the entire network on-site, we guarantee your attendees will receive a flawless Internet experience.
A: Providing reliable WiFi in the trade show environment has several distinct challenges. Since WiFi signals in the U.S. must be broadcast within the 2.4 or 5 GHz public spectrum bands (per FCC rules), at crowded trade shows there is a significant risk your WiFi signal will interfere with others, rendering it unusable. To help our clients overcome this challenge we employ a channel selection strategy using best practices we've learned over the past 5 years.
The newer 5 GHz public WiFi spectrum band has a total of 21 non-overlapping channels from which to choose. As a result, the 5 GHz band carries much less risk of interference. We program each Internet Kit's CradlePoint router to seek out and broadcast its WiFi signal on the least crowded 5 GHz WiFi channel (choosing from 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161, and 165).
To take advantage, it's important you verify in advance that all of your devices (PC & MAC laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are compatible with 5 GHz WiFi (802.11a). If your devices are not compatible, we recommend you consider upgrading your device hardware in advance to support 5 GHz (802.11a). Alternatively, you can hard-wire up to 4 devices per kit with standard cat5 ethernet cables. One standard cat5 ethernet cable (5 feet long) is included with every kit. You can rent additional cables from us or you may bring your own. TSI also rents 5 GHz WiFi USB adapters to temporarily upgrade laptops and other devices with a USB port.
As a last resort, our routers can be easily reconfigured (in advance or remotely) to broadcast on the older 2.4 GHz WiFi channels (802.11b/g/n). While the 2.4 GHz public WiFi spectrum band is suitable for certain environments, it is limited to only 3 non-overlapping channels (1, 6, and 11). There are lots of devices using the 2.4 GHz band: personal mobile hotspots including the MiFi, Overdrive, and Jetpack, non-WiFi devices using Bluetooth, cordless phones, baby monitors, and even microwave ovens. As a result, the 2.4 GHz band is often subject to radio-frequency interference and overcrowding at trade shows. TSI recommends you avoid the 2.4 GHz WiFi band if at all possible. No refunds will be issued for inability to maintain a satisfactory WiFi connection using the 2.4 GHz band.
A: Our 4G Internet Kit is like a MiFi on steroids. Our kit includes a signal booster antenna to amplify the inbound Verizon 4G signal along with a back-up AT&T 4G modem for redundancy. The kit's CradlePoint router has 3 omni-directional WiFi antennas specially designed to amplify your WiFi signal and extend your wireless network's range. The router broadcasts WiFi on the newer 5 GHz public WiFi spectrum band (802.11a) where there are 21 non-overlapping channels with much less risk of WiFi interference. The router also has 4 ports for hard-wired Ethernet connections. All kits come with an external static IP address, giving TSI the ability to remotely log into the kit's CradlePoint router to provide remote support and change settings (if necessary).
By comparison, most personal mobile hotspots including the MiFi, Overdrive, and Jetpack have weak internal antennas, lack the ability to utilize external antennas for cellular or WiFi signal boosting, and suffer from a limited WiFi broadcast range. These devices can usually be hard-wired to a single computer or provide WiFi to 4-5 devices. Personal mobile hotspots may work well at coffee shops, but they tend to function poorly (if at all) in the crowded trade show environment. Their major limitation is they broadcast WiFi on the older 2.4 GHz public WiFi spectrum band (802.11b/g/n). The 2.4 GHz WiFi band is limited to only 3 non-overlapping channels and is often subject to radio-frequency interference and overcrowding at trade shows. Many exhibitors report slow or dropped WiFi connections with personal mobile hotspots and little to no support available from their cellular carriers. TSI recommends you avoid using personal mobile hotspots and the 2.4 GHz WiFi band at your trade shows.
A: Our 4G Internet Kit is designed to cost 50% less than comparable services from most in-house Internet service providers at major hotels and convention centers. The going rate in the industry is currently more than $1,200 for a 1.5 Mbps Ethernet drop to an exhibitor's booth, plus a 4-port switch/router rental, with 4 internal IP addresses. We encourage our clients to conduct an apples-to-apples price comparison to their hotel or convention center's advertised service. Please make sure you consider the promised upload and download speeds, whether this bandwidth is shared or dedicated, the total # of devices you plan to connect to the Internet, the total # of days, and whether you are being provided a hard-wired connection and/or a WiFi connection.
A: In most cases the answer is no. We are a 3rd party independent Internet service provider in the trade show industry. Since 2009, our Internet Kits have been used at thousands of events across the country. We offer a legal, competitive alternative to your venue's official provider. We offer consumer freedom of choice. We take our role in the marketplace very seriously as there are few companies providing alternatives for Internet/WiFi connectivity at events. We never present ourselves as the exclusive provider of Internet services. In fact, one of our biggest selling points is the cost savings exhibitors receive when choosing our kits over the in-house provider's comparable service.
Our Internet Kits comply with all FCC rules and are designed to be about half as expensive as the comparable in-house solution. Internet exclusivity hurts consumers and is prohibited by federal law. We invite you to review our Consumer Bill of Rights webpage for more information.
A: You get 3 full days, plus a partial day for shipping/testing before your trade show and a partial day for return shipping immediately following your trade show.
A: We offer 3 easy ways to order:
A: When you place your order, you specify the rental dates. FedEx will deliver your 4G Internet Kit shipment to your local office or designated hotel by 5:00pm (local time) 1 business day prior to your event. If you request delivery to your hotel, you must provide the name of a registered guest staying at that hotel. On the FedEx shipping label we will list the guest's name beneath the hotel's name. Hotels will accept and hold packages only on behalf of registered guests. (If your trade show takes place at a hotel, you must also be a registered guest staying overnight at that hotel in order to have your FedEx package shipped there.) We include your email address on the FedEx tracking. As soon as your 4G Internet Kit ships from our San Francisco office, you’ll receive an email notification from FedEx with your tracking number. You’ll also receive a FedEx email notification when your shipment is delivered, along with updates if there are any delays during transport. Please keep in mind that we do not ship to the trade show floor or your booth since these shipments tend to get lost/misplaced.
A: Yes, our 4G Internet Kit works with both PCs and MACs. It also works with Apple iPads, WiFi-enabled smart phones, and many other devices. There is no software to install and you don't need to put the USB modem into your computer. Simply insert the USB modem into the router we provide. Then, connect your computer to the router using the provided Cat5 Network Cable. Or, you can connect to the router via WiFi using your computer's wireless network connection manager.
A: Our CradlePoint router offers both wireless (WiFi) and hard-wired connection options to provide Internet connectivity to your computers. While WiFi is often more convenient than running wires, you should keep in mind that at many trade shows there could be competition for (and thus interference on) the FCC’s unlicensed public wireless spectrums (2.4 & 5.0 GHz). We’ve seen WiFi speeds equal to or slightly slower than hard-wired connection speeds. To play it safe and avoid dropped WiFi connections, we advise customers to plan for a hard-wired configuration between our router and their computers. 1 standard Cat5 Ethernet Cable (5 feet long) is included with every 4G Internet Kit. You can rent additional cables from us for each router or you may bring your own. Please make sure you take into account the planned distance between our router and your computers by selecting appropriate cable lengths. For your convenience, we rent 5-foot, 25-foot, and 50-foot cables.
A: Our 4G Internet Kit uses Verizon’s 4G LTE network (primary) and AT&T's 4G LTE network (back-up). When in a 4G coverage area, you can expect speeds from 2 to 15 Mbps down, and 1 to 5 Mbps up. The cellular 4G USB modem will seek out a 4G signal first, and if no 4G signal is available, it will try to connect to the 3G network (speeds from 0.5 to 1.4 Mbps down, and 250 to 800 Kbps up). Various factors can affect your wireless signal strength, so we include a special Verizon signal booster antenna to help ensure a high quality signal regardless of the environment. Our 4G Internet Kit is perfect for checking email, surfing the web, operating web-based software demos, continuous video streaming, VoIP, and higher bandwidth uploading/downloading of large files.
A: We recommend you connect no more than 4 devices to our router (due to bandwidth constraints). Our routers are configured for dynamic IP addressing and without port blocking. Each router has 4 ethernet ports for hard-wired connections. (We include one standard 5-foot network cable with each Internet Kit. You can rent additional cables.)
You can use the router's wireless (WiFi) network to connect up to 4 devices wirelessly. Technically, 64 wireless users is the maximum. However, it's important to keep in mind that since the router performs load balancing, each additional user will receive a portion of the available bandwidth. The more users you add to your network, the more the bandwidth gets apportioned to each additional user. Based on our testing, for optimal results, we recommend you connect no more than 4 computers to each 4G Internet Kit. If you have more than 4 computers, we suggest renting an additional kit.
A: Yes. You can connect any IP-enabled device to our CradlePoint routers (including a switch, hub, network printer, iPad, WiFi picture frame, Xbox, etc.). Please refer to the previous note on the router's load balancing and bandwidth apportioning functions to understand how network bandwidth is shared amongst connected devices.
A: No. The 4G Internet Kit we supply is pre-configured to be "plug and play" for you. Simply follow the 4-steps shown on our Quick Start Guide to set up a wired or wireless connection.
For the techies, each router is configured to automatically provide internal DHCP addresses (dynamic IP addresses).
To confirm whether you are setup for DHCP or Static IP addressing on a Windows PC, go to:
Start > Connect To >Show All Connections
Right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties
Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) > Properties > Obtain an IP address automatically
Make sure "Obtain DNS server address automatically" is also selected
A: At the end of your rental, please pack up all components of your 4G Internet Kit, place the kit in its original cardboard shipping box, and put the prepaid FedEx Ground return label included with your kit on the outside of the cardboard shipping box. Your rental equipment should be returned directly to a FedEx retail location by 5pm on the next business day following your trade show. Once your prepaid FedEx Ground return label is scanned by FedEx, your kit is considered “returned”. If you have misplaced your prepaid shipping label, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a replacement.
Most convention centers have a FedEx retail store inside the building, but please note you may be responsible to pay a “handling fee” charged to ship from the convention center (typically $10-15 per package). To locate your nearest FedEx location, call FedEx at (800) 463-3339 or visit http://www.fedex.com/locate. Although many hotels offer FedEx pick-up services, we no longer recommend this option as equipment returns have been delayed/lost with this method. Additionally, please avoid the following activities with your FedEx return shipment as they carry a high risk of delay/loss:
Leaving it in your booth
Giving it to your general service contractor at your show, and
Leaving it inside/near an unattended FedEx drop-box (these boxes are only for FedEx Express shipments, not FedEx Ground)
If you choose to return your 4G Internet Kit using a different shipping method, please promptly contact our shipping department at email@example.com so that we can update the tracking information in our system. Please keep in mind that additional rental days will be charged if your prepaid FedEx Ground return label is not scanned by FedEx by 5pm on the business day following your trade show.
A: Connection speeds vary depending on many different factors. We keep a proprietary and detailed Approved Venues List of hotels, convention centers, and other venues where our Internet Kits have been used. We review all orders and will advise you in advance of the cellular Internet connectivity situation at your venue.
If you rent our 4G Internet Kit and are not fully satisfied, we'll offer you our 100% money back guarantee. Each 4G Internet Kit is quality control tested before and after every rental to ensure each customer has the best possible experience. We understand that on rare occasions issues do arise that could negatively impact your experience with our product. Simply call our customer support number (866) 385-1504 x3 during your trade show if you are having a problem and we will do our best to resolve it. If we are unable to resolve your problem to your satisfaction, and you desire a refund, you must state your refund request with us during your trade show, cease using the equipment, and return your Internet Kit to us at your earliest opportunity. No refunds will be issued for claims made after the conclusion of your event.
A: Should the equipment malfunction, you must notify us immediately via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (866) 385-1504 x3. We will undertake every effort to immediately troubleshoot or replace your damaged/non-working equipment. We reserve the right to test the equipment and review your usage data to verify your claim.
A: Trade Show Internet's business is based upon each customer renting reliable equipment and returning it in the same great condition in which it was received. If our equipment is damaged, lost, or stolen, Trade Show Internet will charge you the full replacement cost of the equipment, up to $1,200 per 4G Internet Kit. If the damage occurred during shipping, you must contact us immediately so we can promptly replace the damaged equipment. Please see our Replacement Parts Price List for more information.
A: The "exclusive" control over the Internet in each venue pertains to the facility's in-house wiring and switching equipment. It's illegal for a venue to prevent you from using your cell phone or a 4G Internet Kit. The Internet exclusivity practice is carefully designed to deceive consumers, artificially maintain a non-competitive price for Internet services, and generate extreme profits by keeping your Internet dollars in-house. Under The Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits exclusive contracts between telecommunications common carriers and building owners (47 CFR § 64.2500).
Specifically, the FCC prohibits Internet exclusivity rules which prevent consumers from operating wireless devices in hotels, conference and convention centers (FCC Public Notice DA 04-1844). It is perfectly legal for exhibitors and show organizers to operate TSI’s 4G Internet Kit and any other wireless devices that meet FCC 47 CFR 15 requirements. For more information on the relevant consumer protection laws please review our Consumer Bill of Rights.
A: Some hotels and convention centers place illegal restrictions on the use of wireless Internet equipment to preserve the integrity of their own wireless networks, their monopoly positions, and their exorbitant pricing. A common business strategy in the industry involves taking advantage of consumers by exploiting the informational asymmetry that exists regarding telecommunications laws. Many venues assume that exhibitors with only a few trade shows per year will lack the motivation or the knowledge required to challenge their illegal WiFi restrictions and take advantage of cost-effective alternatives.
With the knowledge below, you’ll have an informed response to anyone who challenges your federally protected right as a leaseholder to operate a wireless (WiFi) network inside their venue.
The FCC reserved the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz unlicensed spectrum bands for wireless (WiFi) use by the public (also referred to as 802.11). Your venue and their in-house Internet service provider have no legal right to regulate, control, or prevent others from broadcasting on the 2.4 or 5.0 GHz wireless spectrum bands (or any other unlicensed wireless frequencies within their airspace). The wireless equipment your venue uses to operate the facility’s wireless (WiFi) network on the 2.4 or 5.0 GHz spectrums, like TSI’s equipment, is regulated by the FCC and bound by 47 CFR 15 rules. By law, all wireless equipment operating on this spectrum must accept interference from other wireless transmitters and satisfy power emission and radiation standards. The mere fact that your venue operates a WiFi network utilizing 2.4 and/or 5.0 GHz unlicensed wireless spectrum in no way creates any ownership rights to this public spectrum, nor any superordinate right to operate on the spectrum, nor does it confer authority from the FCC to the venue to mitigate radio frequency interference issues created by the use of competing wireless equipment.
Further, as an exhibitor or show organizer, you are a commercial leaseholder pursuant to state property laws. As a leaseholder, the FCC provides special legal protections under OTARD rules which allow you to operate a wireless network within your leased space.
For more information on the relevant consumer protection laws please review our Consumer Bill of Rights.