Wi-Fi for the Masses: Cisco provides seamless and secure OpenRoaming Wi-Fi network for MWC Barcelona

It’s that time again, MWC Barcelona starts February 28th, 2022 at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via Venue in Spain.  As in years past—12 to be exact—Cisco is providing the infrastructure that supports the MWC Barcelona network for vendors as well as guests across 240,000 square meters of show space. The network is built with scale in mind. As the largest wireless show in the world at one of Europe’s largest venues, MWC Barcelona requires Wi-Fi that’s built for reliability, speed, and security.

Lightning-fast Wi-Fi 6

To connect attendees, the event uses the Cisco Catalyst 9100 series Access Points and 9000 series switches. Control is delivered by Cisco DNA Center which automates processes that not only save time and eliminate manual errors but also uses an AI engine to help keep the network optimized and users connected. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about best effort wireless here, we’re talking about a carrier grade Wi-Fi experience.

AI/ML makes the network smarter

The network makes use of the latest software and AI to provide consistent and reliable connectivity. AI Enhanced RRM or Radio Resource Management not only mitigates channel interference but also automatically strengthens the Wi-Fi signal when the venue is crowded and powers it down to save energy when areas are less crowded. It’s the only way to deliver Wi-Fi across this massive space supporting 75k+ simultaneous Wi-Fi users.

OpenRoaming, just connect!

The wireless network is outfitted with WBA OpenRoaming so guests will automatically connect. OpenRoaming leverages a federation of identified providers to automatically onboard users. This includes a number of mobile carriers, Google ID, Apple ID, natively with Samsung Galaxy devices, as well as many other identities. The beauty of OpenRoaming is that users are automatically and securely connected to the Wi-Fi network, it’s completely seamless.

Cisco DNA Spaces delivering actionable insights

This network goes being providing connectivity. Using Cisco DNA Spaces, data captured through Cisco access points and sensors will provide details about people density, traffic flows, and more to help better understand and manage crowds, a key element of the show’s health and safety plan. Additionally, with digital signage, facilities and guests will get a visual overview of the space with occupancy details, environmental data, temperature, humidity, CO2, and more. It’s all very futuristic and it’s here now, today.

At the Cisco Booth

Some exciting things are taking place at the Cisco booth. The entire area will be lit up with Cisco’s latest Wi-Fi 6E APs, the Catalyst 9136. This AP sports tri-band radios and built-in environmental sensors, it also clocks Wi-Fi speeds well above the gig mark. Additionally, we’ll have demos of Cisco’s new Private 5G as a service offering.

If you’re going to be at MWC Barcelona, stop by Cisco booth #3E30

At the Cisco NOC

Located in the Cisco booth, Cisco’s NOC replicates live information from across the show. Data points from across the MWC Barcelona network provide live stats such as the number of devices connected, OpenRoaming users, terabytes of information shared, and much, much more. The Cisco NOC also serves as an exclusive demo room where Cisco will showcase its device ecosystem partnership innovations and capabilities with Intel, ConvergeX, Samsung, Keysight and more.

Wireless Industrial IoT Demo

Cisco, Intel, and Keysight have come together to deliver SLA-driven Wi-Fi using wireless time-sensitive networking protocols. The demo will showcase the capability of Wi-Fi 6 to support a growing industrial IoT requirement, such as Wi-Fi controlled automated guided vehicles and autonomous mobile robots.

Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) Location Tracking

Cisco, Samsung, and ConvergeX, a Geoplan company, have co-developed the capability to support 3cm accuracy location tracking. Using Cisco’s App Hosting capabilities, ConvergeX software tracks the movements of people or things using either a Samsung Galaxy device or ConvergeX tags. This is all done through a UWB dongle attached to a Cisco Catalyst 9100 series access point, eliminating the need for an IoT overlay network.  The applications for this technology are a game changer for wayfinding and asset tracking, as well as for detailed information about people density.

AI Enhanced RRM

As noted above, this technology will underpin some very advanced features for the show floor. We’ll be showcasing the technology in the NOC and how it can be used in a number of environments to deliver the right amount of Wi-Fi at the right time while reducing energy consumption and channel interference.

Learn more about Cisco Wireless

Additional Resources

Check out Cisco DNA Spaces

Learn more about Cisco DNA Center

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