Have Wi-Fi Your Way at Mobile World Congress

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With the 2013 Mobile World Congress tradeshow now squarely behind us it's time to reflect on the events at the show. It was the first time Aruba Networks attended the event and we're already excited for next year!

As MWC newcomers, Aruba joined around 1700 companies exhibiting over the four day show – an incredible amount. Not to mention the thousands of visitors who filled the Fira Gran Via during this time.

One thing strikes me when talking about these kind of numbers. Nearly every person in the venue expected fault-free Internet connectivity, from the exhibitor pulling up a demo video or stand visitor tweeting a picture, to the journalist looking to file a story. In a few short years, Wi-Fi has gone from a convenience to a business must.

This demand for constant, high-speed connectivity is a growing concern for network operators. What is more, businesses are facing the massive onboarding of user-owned devices. The average mobile device is currently running 40 apps, presenting huge bandwidth concerns to the operator. So how can these challenges be met without affecting quality of service?

Operators have two main technology options for delivering mobile broadband services: licensed spectrum for 3G and 4G or unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi connectivity. More and more users are savvy to the differences in performance and experience associated with higher bandwidth Wi-Fi. Additionally, carriers are realizing the cost savings associated with unlicensed spectrum – especially for data offload use cases. Of course 3G/4G still remains at the core of any mobile broadband strategy.

At this year's show, we showed operators that they can combine 3G/4G and Wi-Fi for offload applications and managed services in a single solution. This new approach has already gained traction in the service provider market with global mobile operators such as NTTBP offering innovative Wi-Fi managed services for retailers like Seven-Eleven convenience stores throughout Japan.

To get a feel for our time at Mobile World Congress, check out this video.

See you next year!