On day one at MWC 2014, the WBA kicked off its very first Carrier Wi-Fi Summit in Hall 8.0 of the Fira. The day began with a workshop program that had over 150 attendees! It was opened by Elitecore who posed the question: ‘what is Next In Carrier Wi-Fi: Monetization and upcoming trends in SP Wi-Fi?’

Birdstep followed with CEO Lonnie Schilling delving in to the issue of smart Wi-Fi offload for continuity of experience and asking if this is the true OTT differentiator? The audience was presented with the first key steps to understanding how users are really behaving through application real world use of big data, providing the foundation for network, device and content policies that enable Intelligent Network Selection for an optimal and seamless experience.

Next came the Meet the Wi-Fi Alliance Workshop where attendees were introduced to this well-known industry body that is working with the WBA to improve Wi-Fi roaming and define Carrier Wi-Fi.

This was followed by the incredibly popular ‘Meet the Analysts’ session where Peter Jarich (Current Analysis), Chris Nicoll (Analysys Mason) and Joe Madden (Mobile Experts) discussed current and future opportunities for Wi-Fi. There was standing room only as the panel gave their take on critical focus areas such Carrier Wi-Fi and NGH deployments.

Simultaneously, Dr. Mo Shakouri and Declan Byrne from the WiMAX Forum discussed what exactly is WiMAX Advanced and how operators and vendors are implementing this technology to meet their strategic vision, specific business model, regulatory circumstances and other needs unique to their organization.

This was followed by Ivan Muccini from Cloud4Wi who delved in to how Wi-Fi is perceived as a key part of operators’ business strategy not only to provide the basic Internet access, but also to increase customer satisfaction in order to reduce the churn phenomenon. He questioned which is the best Wi-Fi monetization strategy to implement.

The day was rounded off with John Smith (Cisco), Mark Ennamorato (Wi-Fi Alliance) and the WBA’s very own Tiago Rodrigues presenting a workshop on Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) and Passpoint “Hotspot 2.0” technologies. The organizations gave their definition of these technologies and discussed how they are continuing to work together to drive the industry forward.

On Day 2 of the Carrier Wi-Fi Summit, the Wi-Fi Alliance and Ruckus Wireless will carry out a demonstration of Passpoint, the Roamfest will continue along with the NGH demo and networking lounge. There will also be workshops hosted by BandwidthX and Birdstep.