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Cisco Delivers Next Generation Mobility Experience for Fans at Sports and Entertainment Venues

By David Holland
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Sports & Entertainment Solutions Group

According to Nielsen’s May survey of mobile consumers in the U.S., 38 percent now own smartphones. And 55 percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.

It projects an interesting scenario for the sports and entertainment industry and service providers. With the proliferation of Smartphone and other mobile devices on 3G/4G networks, tens of thousands of fans attending these events expect the same ubiquitous and consistent data service coverage they are used to receiving elsewhere.

Many venues and service providers have turned to Wi-Fi access to provide cost-effective 3G/4G offload and focus their cellular resources on voice and text services. However, standard Wi-Fi deployments do not sufficiently address these challenges. Careful placement of the access points, use of specific antennas, and unique radio frequency tuning are required.

Today, we are announcing Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi to help stadiums, entertainment venues and service providers significantly increase wireless performance in high-density areas. This solution also helps monetize the delivery of personalized mobile services, demonstrating the fundamental role of the network to enable business transformation.

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CleanAir: “Open for Government Business”

Inclusion in some government lists may not be such a good thing… for example, the government “no fly list” could be a bummer as you board your flight on your next family vacation. Yet, other government lists can make or break you when it comes to doing business with the Federal Government. Last week, the award winning Cisco CleanAir technology was placed on the all important DoD Unified Capabilities APPROVED PRODUCT LIST (DoD UC/APL). The DoD APL happens to be the official product list that DoD agencies are required to work from when making new acquisitions for network equipment such as routers, switches, WLAN, voice, video etc. With the latest Cisco DoD APL certification, the Cisco CleanAir 3500 Series Access Point becomes the first DoD approved product that supports “built-in” system level spectrum intelligence in support of mission critical wireless networks.

In some ways, the DoD APL is like an exclusive club for a select group of IT vendors –either you are a club member or you stand outside the gate. The process to get products listed on the APL is no cakewalk. First, even before products can be considered for the APL process, the products must meet a series of stringent DoD requirements and certifications such as DISA STIGS, FIPS & Common Criteria. Next, a DoD sponsor must agree to represent the vendor’s products throughout the APL certification process. The actual certification process itself involves several months of rigorous interoperability and Information Assurance compliance testing.

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Cisco Partner Invite Reminder: Warehouse Management with Intermec

As part of the Manufacturing Impact Series, here’s a reminder not to miss the Cisco and Intermec Mobile Warehouse Management Webinar set for Thursday 23rd June, 2011. It’s essential viewing and listening if you’re a Cisco resale or systems integration partner, or a partner looking to build a Manufacturing Practice and provide solutions to Manufacturing Industry Customer Care-abouts.

To be competitive, warehouse managers must deliver a high level of performance while reducing costs. Learn how the Cisco and Intermec Mobile Warehouse Management Solution delivers the benefits of mobility to industrial environments, helping warehouse managers to stay connected with their mobile workforce, increasing asset visibility across warehouse operations, providing access to information at the point of work, and delivering intelligence to mobile workers. This is a solution webcast in the “Manufacturing Impact” partner enablement series.
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There will be speakers from Intermec: Dan Albaum, Senior Director Marketing and Bruce Stubbs, Director Industry Marketing. Jeff Rodawald, Partner Relationship Executive will be the speaker from Cisco with me, Peter Granger, as a panelist. Should be a great event with lots of folks already registered. If you’d like to register click the link: 

Click here to register for the Cisco and Intermec Mobile Warehouse Management Webinar

Date: Thursday 23rd June, 2011; Time: 11.00 am — 12.00 pm Eastern Time; (8:00 am Pacific) Place: Online.  Read More »

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Why no Wi-Fi at Fenway? – Missed Opportunity to Show Off

It is true I have become so dependent on having wireless access everywhere, that when I don’t have it I feel completely disconnected and no longer know how to socialize with my friends. Last Sunday I went to my beloved Fenway Park, one of the oldest baseball parks in America, and its age is showing.

Let me explain. For Father’s day I took my two-year-old son to Fenway Park for the first time, a pinnacle in any Boston Father’s life. To my surprise the opening ceremony included the new “Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins” driving around the park in the locally famous “Duck boats”. A Duck Boat is an amphibious vehicle used to tour Boston on the road and in the Charles River. But over the last 11 years their secondary purpose has been to support the parades of Boston and New England’s championship teams.

Now one thing you need to know is I am NOT a Hockey fan, but I have several friends who live and die by the Boston Bruins. Many of them went to the celebration parade the day before and couldn’t get closer than 20 yards from the Stanley cup. And here I was about 15 feet from it. Here is my view.

So there I am with my phone snapping pictures away and generating some really thought provoking e-mails about how my friends are missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime and I WAS THERE!!!

I sat in the stands, expecting the jealous responses I was bound to get (some not fit for publication!), but one thing stood in my way. Poor cellular network coverage and no Wi-Fi! Boston is notorious for having patchy cell coverage, and when an open wireless network wasn’t available my plans were foiled. I appreciate that the Red Sox management wants to maintain the old-time feel of baseball, but it’s times like these I realize just how dependent we all are on being connected. While sharing a moment with my friends may not be the most important use of the network, the ability to share them is powerful. If for nothing else than to support a dedicated fan, maybe Fenway should look into our Connected Stadium solution!

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Cisco Partner Invite Reminder – Context Aware Solutions

As part of the Manufacturing Impact Series, here’s a reminder not to miss the Context-Aware Solutions for Manufacturing Webinar set for Tuesday 21st June, 2011. It’s essential viewing and listening if you’re a Cisco resale or systems integration partner, or a partner looking to build a Manufacturing Practice and provide solutions to Manufacturing Industry Customer Care-abouts.

This seminar will focus on Context Aware Solutions. Within today’s manufacturing environments, tracking assets and people is crucial for promoting efficiencies in business processes and ultimately reducing costs and time to market. The AeroScout Visibility System accurately locates and tracks valuable assets such as equipment or people. By operating over Cisco® Unified Wireless networks, AeroScout solutions minimize the incremental cost for the communications network and enable greatly enhanced visibility throughout the enterprise. The solution can scale to include tens of thousands of tags, without affecting other traffic on the network.

Click here to register for the Context-Aware Solutions for Manufacturing Webinar

Date: Tuesday 21st June, 2011; Time: 11.00 am — 12.00 pm Eastern Time; (8:00 am Pacific) Place: Online.

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