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2015: A Great Time to be a Service Provider!

As we close on the first two months of 2015, I am amazed by the exciting developments that can directly benefit service providers. A few examples from my recent travels:

  • CES in Las Vegas – The Internet of Everything moved from concept to reality as seen in new connected services, continued proliferation of 4K video and virtualization as a business imperative.
  • Cisco Live in Milan – Advances in how service providers can integrate collaboration, cloud, open network environment enablement solution to drive transformation. And SDN shifting from a question of “how” to “when”.

I’m confident that Mobile World Congress this year will have even more exciting developments. The recently announced 2014 Cisco VNI Global Mobile Traffic Forecast states that more than Read More »

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Ready for Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015!

Brian's GarageIn just a couple of days, many of you will be taking planes, trains, and automobiles to sunny Barcelona. I see that the weather forecast is for 65ºF / 19ºC for the opening day of Mobile World Congress. I really appreciate how the MWC timeframe has gradually crept closer to Spring over these past few years. Maybe you are not paying attention to the weather as much as me. You would if you had the same view that I have out my window, where it is currently 20ºF / -6ºC. Yes, I should clean off my roof. But I do like that my garage roof serves as an historical record of the unmerciful winter we have had here in Boston in northeast U.S., where we have had over 100 inches / 250 cm of snow so far.

So my main point is, if you don’t go to MWC 2015 next week, you are going to miss Read More »

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Carrier Wi-Fi for the Mobile Industry: An Insider’s View

Written By Lisa Garza, Cisco Service Provider Marketing, Mobility Solutions


In his Wi-Fi Achieving New Heights blog after Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, Doug Webster was excited to talk about the record-breaking carrier Wi-Fi network results we achieved with the Fira de Barcelona during the four-day conference.  It was one of the world’s largest single Wi-Fi deployments ever staged in a venue. Just to give you an idea, there were 80,880 Internet enabled devices connected during MWC, twice the amount from the year before. We summarized all the results visually in this Infographic.

Since MWC, we’ve received a lot of questions about the details behind the network deployment. We decided to go behind the scenes to give you an inside look with a couple of informative Read More »

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Behind the Network @ Mobile World Congress 2014: Hotspot 2.0

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 was the largest mobile industry exhibition in the world, where over 1800 companies showcased and launched their latest products and services. This event was visited by over 85,000 attendees from over 200 countries around the world, to learn, network, inspire and innovate. Providing them seamless and robust data network was the first priority. GSMA , Fira de Gran Via and Cisco took this challenge to provide them next generation Wi-Fi experience with seamless connectivity and onboarding using Hotspot 2.0 service on the top of baseline free Wi-Fi service.

Hassle and risk are the two key factors involved in connecting free public Wi-Fi. When you are traveling in the different countries, you get off the plane and turn on your cell phone… and within few seconds you get connected to the cellular network. There is no need to search for a suitable network manually (hoping it’s not rigged by a hacker), then enter long password or credit card details to pay for the service. But unfortunately connecting to Wi-Fi is not that simple. Hotspot 2.0 Service addresses these problems by automatic network discovery and selection, seamless network access and secured authentication for the Passpoint certified devices.

mwc1Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, the venue of MWC 2014 is a massive 280,000 meters2 (Three Million Square Feet) facility with 8 grand exhibition halls, conference rooms, multiple outdoor areas and restaurants. Read More »

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Behind the WiFi Network @ Mobile World Congress 2014: Site Surveys

In my last blog I discussed setting the stage in preparation for the Wi-Fi network for Mobile World Congress 2014 which supported more than 80k devices over a span of 4 days. Today I’ll talk about one of the many site surveys we conducted at the Fira Gran Via to ensure the success of our high density network.  Full details in the white paper here.

High Density Wi-Fi deployments and site surveys go hand in hand. Pre-installation and post-installation site surveys account for the most effective way to identify the contours of your RF coverage and eliminate potential multipath distortions, hidden nodes, and other coverage issues. Special attention was given to the large keynote auditorium halls in order to keep a check on the additional RF coverage needs to accommodate the high density of users packed in a very close range.


View of inside the Hall-4 Keynote Auditorium (23000 sq ft) before the Facebook keynote session

Site Survey analysis used to measure the RF coverage in Hall-4 keynote auditorium

Site Survey analysis used to measure the RF coverage in Hall-4 keynote auditorium

The Hall-4 auditorium was one example of such a high density area with the 2000 person capacity area had a peak connection of 1924 concurrently connected Wi-Fi devices distributed across 16 Cisco APs while the Facebook keynote was in progress, with a max load of 530 Mbps of internet traffic. To avoid an RF overlap, the ceiling mounted APs above the auditoriums were converted to monitor mode. Using the final pre-keynote site survey data, the RF profile for the Hall-4 auditorium was tweaked, and RRM automatically optimized the coverage to the desired degree by adjusting the Tx power levels. Read More »

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