This blog post was updated on November 19, 2018.

Chicago Skydeck Now Offering Free Wi-Fi, Flickr: Guillaume Capron

The Lookdown View From the Skydeck


The Skydeck atop Willis Tower and the shops and restaurants at Navy Pier in Chicago used to be things to write home about — but now they are so much more thanks to new wireless connectivity.

So when you step out on The Ledge  in Willis Tower and peer down at the Chicago River, the  seemingly toy-size cars whizzing by on Wacker Drive  and the views north, west and south, you’ll be able to send emails, photos and videos thanks to new Wi-Fi capabilities installed by ExteNet Systems of Lisle, Ill.

The Skydeck previously had limited wireless service, a Willis Tower spokeswoman says, but the new distributed antenna systems (DAS) network provides more capacity.

The Wi-Fi service is free and works regardless of which wireless carrier you may subscribe to, the spokeswoman for Willis Tower says.

The new ExteNet Systems-provided Wi-Fi network at the Navy Pier provides indoor and outdoor wireless connectivity for such venues as the Family Pavilion, Crystal Gardens, Dock Street Shops, Festival Hall,  meeting rooms and the Grand Ballroom, ExteNet says.

At the Navy Pier, the Wi-Fi access points have been installed throughout the attractions on things such as light poles, and this helps make the system “accessible in these complex venues,” says an ExteNet Systems spokeswoman.

The technology behind the DAS networks at the Navy Pier and the 103-story Willis Tower should help resolve broadband issues for visitors, who no longer are satisfied with merely being connected but need speed and capacity, the ExteNet Systems spokeswoman adds.

The two Chicago tourist venues attract millions of visitors annually, and many of them will now be online and sharing the highs and lows of their experiences with friends, co-workers and family thanks to the new wireless access.


The next time you book flights to Chicago you won’t have to worry about not staying connected while you visit chicago tourist attractions like the Skydeck.


Photo: Guillaume Capron

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