D-Link offers InterPark improved wireless efficiencies for parking structures

This solution allows parking attendants to monitor premises and provide customer-friendly service.
Parking garages are essentially massive, stacked decks of concrete that cover large areas. Certain sections are dark and difficult to see in a direct line of sight. Structurally, they contain all kinds of materials that can interfere with wireless networking equipment, such as the reflective and metal surfaces of cars. And they are commonly adjacent to large office buildings, campuses and event centers, all with potential interference from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and medical equipment.
Nobody knows this better than Bob Johnson, director of locations systems for InterPark, a nationwide parking management company with more than 350 facilities in targeted 24/7 markets, offering a full complement of services ranging from garage management and operations consulting to design and equipment selection.

So when InterPark was seeking wireless solutions for a particularly challenging parking facility connected directly to a hospital, Johnson turned to D-Link value-added reseller (VAR) NetStar Telecommunications to help identify which technologies would maximize customer safety and accessibility. A site survey indicated that radio signals from medical equipment and the hospital's own internal network were overlapping the garage site. The garage needed affordable, dependable core network switches and wireless access points with the built-in flexibility necessary for overcoming these complex radio traffic challenges.

John Agathon, vice president of NetStar, a D-Link Diamond Business Solutions Partner, recommended D-Link Wireless 802.11ag Outdoor Access Points (DWL-7700AP) and Honeywell's new ParkMAXX customer service and revenue management solution that offers parking owners and operators enhanced customer service, automated access control and video surveillance capabilities. The automated solution ties revenue transaction information together with garage access control, audio customer service and video surveillance information.

The D-Link DWL-7700APs InterPark purchased for this particular project were dual-band access points capable of delivering strong wireless signal rates in both 802.11a and 802.11g wireless bands in any outdoor environment simultaneously. The access points also feature an integrated 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) port that allows device installation in areas where power outlets are not readily available. Enclosed in a die cast watertight housing and equipped with a built-in heater monitored by a temperature sensor, the D-Link access point, which also has a bridging function, is designed to endure harsh outdoor conditions. It can operate in -40F.

"When InterPark officials initiated the project to install ParkMAXX, they considered products from another wireless manufacturer," explained NetStar's Agathon, "but Honeywell's engineers had an excellent working relationship with D-Link and already had a good impression of its products." When Jeff Horne, D-Link associate director of the central region, showed InterPark managers how the D-Link AP could function at temperatures down to 40 degrees fahrenheit, whereas the competitor's product could only handle 22 degrees, the customer trusted his advice.

"The D-Link solution was less expensive, better for outdoor installations, and it simplified installation because you don't need additional enclosures," said Agathon. "In addition, InterPark's engineers already had a good experience with D-Link's other products."

The new system will provide more accurate details and audit information for attendant transactions at the garages and help InterPark track revenue and improve operations management. As a result, they expect the solution to pay for itself long before the original equipment has been fully depreciated. The ParkMAXX solution also allows them to share personnel across more locations without sacrificing customer service, offering substantial bottom line cost savings.

"The installation took two weeks and was successful. The access points offered better coverage than was expected or needed, so the team actually was able to lower output signals. D-Link engineers were instrumental in handling some configuration issues that came up," said Agathon. "The D-Link support was excellent and key to the success of this project"

"This was a big win for D-Link, NetStar and Honeywell. NetStar acted as the network integrator and solutions provider for this newly developed Honeywell solution offering garage owners an automated system which ties revenue transaction information together with garage access control, audio, customer service and video surveillance information designed for parking garages." Agathon added.

About D-Link

D-Link is the global leader in connectivity for small, medium and large enterprise business networking. The company is an award-winning designer, developer and manufacturer of networking, broadband, digital electronics, voice, data and video communications solutions for the digital home, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO), Small to Medium Business (SMB), and Workgroup to Enterprise environments. With millions of networking and connectivity products manufactured and shipped, D-Link is a dominant market participant and price/performance leader in the networking and communications market.
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