When it comes to the mobile internet at Cisco, there has been a great deal of coverage lately around the need for and advances in small cells to offer spectrum in places hard to get to from a cell tower, on ways to optimize the macrocell radios with SON capabilities, and even some ground breaking advances we’re doing with some of the world’s leading SPs on Hotspot 2.0 to enable a seamless mobile experience. In fact, this topic of Wi-Fi  deserves attention.  Not just because, according to Cisco Mobile VNI, by 2017 more traffic will be offloaded from the mobile network than will be on it, but also because it will be the primary way for many to get access to the network in the first place.  That was certainly the case a couple of weeks ago for many of the tens of thousands attending Mobile World Congress.

As the world’s mobility industry descended upon Barcelona for a week, a number of people (myself certainly included) wanted to avoid roaming data charges which could quickly add up – so we turned to Wi-Fi.  And this year, Cisco was proud to be able to help the staff of the Fira, the convention center which hosts MWC, deliver it free to all attendees, while offering Wi-Fi services to exhibitors.  The Fira selected Cisco Wi-Fi equipment last year,  and given the anticipated demand, we brought some of our experts to the event to help manage what ended up being one of, if not, the world’s largest single Wi-Fi deployment ever staged in a venue, even surpassing our stadium deployments during championship games.  Here are just a few of the stats that attendees and exhibitors generated:

  • 1.2 gigabytes per second of peak Internet traffic;
  • 19.1 terabytes of data – offloading 3G and 4G traffic from mobile networks to provide an improved, integrated mobile experiences for attendees;
  • 5 gigahertz (GHz) to 2.4 GHz ratio was 58 percent to 42 percent — indicating a shift to higher adoption of 5 GHz devices;
  • 280 gigabytes were uploaded and transmitted via a single access point in the Mobile World Congress press center on Feb. 24, 2014;
  • By 10:00 a.m. on the first day (Feb. 24, 2014), the number of users had surpassed the total number of users on last year’s network, ultimately reaching 22,126 peak concurrent users; and
  • 80,880 Internet-enabled devices connected, doubling the amount from 2013.

One of the ways this bandwidth was being used was understandably social media – and in looking over both our Wi-Fi analytics tools and the APIs of various applications, we could get insights such as facebook took the leading share of all social media activity at 71%, twitter was used for 25%, while linkedin accounted for 4% of the activity.

And of course, since Mobile World Congress  is the largest service provider tradeshow in the globe, it would only be appropriate to showcase the most active social media influencers at the event, as well as provide links so that you too can follow their commentary:

  1. Benedict Evans
  2. Carsten Knobloch
  3. Ilaria Barbotti
  4. Maurizio Pesce
  5. Rosa Jimenez Cano
  6. Emanuela Zaccone
  7. Evgeniy Kozlov
  8. David E. Weekly
  9. Dan Seifert

Thank you to these top influencers for touting the many highlights of this year’s Mobile World Congress to those well beyond the Fira’s walls, and thank you to the Fira providing such great Wi-Fi connectivity to the many gathered within the walls at this annual mobile pilgrimage.  We’re honored to have played a part of in it.


Doug Webster

Vice President