For many of us, conferences like Mobile World Congress are places where we learn about the latest technology and industry developments, network with our colleagues, and meet with customers and partners. During that time, Wi-Fi connectivity is imperative to successfully communicate with other attendees and share the latest news with colleagues back home.
The Fira de Barcelona knows how important connectivity is for their conferences. Since 1932, the Fira de Barcelona has been one of the most important trade fair institutions in Europe. Every year it organizes and hosts events spanning all aspects of the global business and social calendars. Hosting global technology shows such as the annual Mobile World Congress means that Fira has to always be familiar with the latest advanced technology. That requirement came sharply into focus in September 2013 with the 49th meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). One of the four biggest annual medical conferences in Europe, it draws attendees from over 100 countries.
Demand for connectivity at the EASD 2013 meeting was the highest that Fira had ever recorded for a medical conference. To address the demand, the Fira deployed the Cisco service provider Wi-Fi solution, which delivered high-density wireless LAN performance required by venues managing record numbers of mobile devices and thousands of simultaneous connections. Some 15,000 people attended on each of the four days, enjoying aggregate connection speeds of 2.5Gbps throughout. On average, 2000 devices were connected to the Cisco WLAN at any time; and up to 26 percent of attendees stayed online in the lecture halls. Even against that hectic backdrop, no significant network issues occurred and, furthermore, the Cisco wireless platform consumed significantly less power and engineering effort.
The Barcelona event set a new benchmark for all future EASD annual meetings. Some Wi-Fi had been available during the 2012 conference, but only in public areas and not in lecture halls. “Between 2013 in Barcelona and the year before, there’s no comparison,” says Antoni Llevat, telecom manager at Fira. “The Cisco environment worked brilliantly. It was much easier to interact and participate. Surveys show people were delighted and expect this technology in future.”
Will you be coming to Barcelona to attend Mobile World Congress on February 24-27th? If so, you will be able to experience the Fira Wi-Fi network for yourself. Come visit Cisco at the show and learn more about how we’re innovating how people work, live, play, and learn.