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Behind the WiFi Network @ Mobile World Congress 2014: Setting the Stage

Every year a new attendance record is set at Mobile World Congress by networkers participating from over 200 countries across the globe. This grand attendance of industry-defining vendors, technology enthusiasts and exhibitors triggers an explosive growth in the number of Wi-Fi capable devices being brought to the event. For MWC 2014, Cisco partnered with Fira Gran Via and GSMA to pull off one of the most successful high density Wi-Fi network deployments in the history of global tech events. This blog kicks off a series to provide a glimpse of behind the network, into the design stages, and the course of actions undertaken to implement a robust high density wireless network which served more than 22,000 concurrently connected unique devices and a total of 80,880 devices throughout the event. Full details in whitepaper here.

Setting the Scene

Divided into eight massive exhibition halls, Fira Gran Via covers around 3 million square feet (280,000 square meters) of area which also includes outdoor areas, restaurants, conference rooms, network lounges and a continuous elevated walkway flowing through the entire venue. Higher the environmental complexity, the more fun and challenging it is to achieve the right wireless design for a pervasive network that meets all the needs.

An aerial view of Mobile World Congress 2014 arena at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona

An aerial view of Mobile World Congress 2014 arena at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona

Generally, the physical design of large convention and exhibition halls bear an impish knack of unfavorable conditions for a ubiquitous high density Wi-Fi network, owing mostly to the lofty ceiling heights and construction components. Read More »

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Cisco CMX Analytics & Insights @ #MWC14

mwc3_1Today MWC 2014 came to a close in Barcelona having been another resoundingly successful event.

Mobile operators and Service Providers have displayed ever increasing interest in Monitization of their infrastructure especially via WiFi and Cisco’s CMX solution.

During the week I had many conversations with SP’s from across the world while very different geographies and facing different challenges, a common theme among the meetings was how can Cisco help us find ways to generate new revenue streams and new monetization models.

At MWC we showed various demos that show how this can be achieved and provide many interesting ideas to the customers to help them think about their own businesses and how they may be successfully applied.

One demo was how various components of Cisco’s SP Architecture can improve services and provide montitization opportunities to a fictitious hotel resort chain with wired and wireless small cells, SON &  Analytics all working together. Read More »

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Cisco CMX & Monetization @ MWC 2014

mwc1_1Mobile World Congress 2014 continues this week in Barcelona with record attendances.

Many SP’s are exploring new ways to monetize their network investments, in an earlier posting some of these models were explored. Again this week these topics were again very much to the forefront with Service Providers actively discussing and exploring how to take the first steps to exploit this.

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Hall 3 @ MWC Analytics:

The volume of traffic at the event was very large and as we can see in Hall 3 below, where Cisco along with a number of large companies are located, was very busy this morning.  Read More »

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CMX, Analytics and Intelligence @ MWC 2014

Mobile World Congress 2014 is underway at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.

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As well as providing the WiFi network to the event, which has over 1200 access points covering the 2.6m sq feet  conference venues, Cisco had a number of exciting demos within the booth area in Hall 3.

Cisco’s theme is around utilizing your network infrastructure for business outcomes, being more intelligent, utilizing analytics and delivering capabilities and monetization opportunities.

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Utilizing location based information along with various other network related information interesting dashboards and views of the event are possible. These screens show how using the Cisco open infrastructure various sources of data are combined in to a graphical view of the Fira conference venue during day 1 of MWC 2014. Read More »

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Move Over SDN – NFV Taking the Spotlight

Energetic debates of what SDN is and the expanding scope of what it can do for our customers continue to race along in a chaotic frenzy. In addition, the overall SDN market is somewhat fragmented in terms of both vendor positioning and marketing.  Collectively, the conversation really comes down to improving business agility and the efficiencies gained in bringing new services to market. Essentially, the goal is to enable operators to make their networks and services go much faster.

While software defined networking (SDN) technologies continue to drive significant entropy in our industry, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) recently rose up and became a key focus of many discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. Read More »

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