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Cisco to provide high-speed Wi-Fi coverage across Expo 2020 site

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As part of its joint commitment with its partners to create the most digitally-connected and immersive event in World Expo history, Expo 2020 Dubai is deploying Cisco’s Wi-Fi technology – ensuring fast and secure wireless connections throughout the 4.38 square kilometer site.

Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, expected to welcome thousands of visitors per day once fully operational from 1 October 2021. It is estimated that the majority of these visitors will be connecting to Cisco’s Wi-Fi network at any given time – presenting a clear need for a secure and capable networking solution that delivers a seamless experience for all.

With Expo 2020 Dubai seeking to deliver unique and engaging experiences, Cisco’s Wi-Fi technology will prove critical to keeping visitors at the heart of the action and connected with each other and their surroundings. Cisco’s Wi-Fi network will enable the visitor to connect effortlessly to a rich variety of technology services that will enhance the visitor experience, including engaging AR and VR content as well as application and location services and barcode and QR code scanning. The network will also facilitate fast upload and download speeds so that every visitor can become an ambassador of Expo – sharing their experience with the world through real-time audio-visual content.

Mohammed Alhashmi, Chief Technology Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 will showcase breakthrough ideas, innovations and technologies that are shaping the future of our planet.” 

“As we prepare to welcome millions of visitors, we are working closely with strategic partners such as Cisco to ensure that Expo 2020 will be one of the smartest, fastest and most connected places on earth, ensuring an exceptional experience for visitors and continuing to provide world-class digital connectivity when Expo transitions into District 2020 – a model for future smart cities.”

In its capacity as Digital Network Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Cisco has already deployed its intent-based network across the site and was recently appointed to manage and maintain Expo’s IT network operations. In addition to the widespread deployment of Cisco Wi-Fi, the company’s Wi-Fi 6 technology has been selected for use in specific areas, to provide a consistent, dependable wireless network connection, which effortlessly supports device and IoT requirements while protecting against cyber security threats expected  in high-density environments such as Expo 2020 Dubai.

More than 9,000 access points are being deployed across the site for blanket Wi-Fi coverage, allowing every user across the site – wherever they may be – to stay connected. Around 400 of the access points deployed by Cisco are specifically designed for Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. To date, approximately 70% of Wi-Fi 6 deployment has been completed, with rigorous and frequent testing to collect and analyze data and optimize network performance.

In addition to enhancing the visitor experience, Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 technology is proving fundamental to enhancing wireless capacity and data privacy and protection requirements, particularly in areas requiring high bandwidth, such as Expo 2020 Dubai’s Media Centre and Event Operations Centre.

With its high speed and low latency, Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 network enables secure endpoint protection, while delivering up to four times faster speed than the previous wireless industry standard. The company’s technology also helps improve battery efficiency for smartphones, personal computing and IoT devices, when compared with conventional Wi-Fi networks.

Wi-Fi 6 is WPA3 certified, promising enhanced open Wi-Fi network security through encryption of unauthenticated traffic, robust protection against cyber threats, and superior reliability for sensitive data.

International visitors in particular will benefit from Cisco’s Wi-Fi across Expo 2020, enjoying a truly interactive and immersive experience without the expense of roaming charges. Cisco has also worked in close collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai to design and deploy Wi-Fi technology in a way that aligns with the site’s aesthetics, blending seamlessly with the surroundings.  

“Both locally and around the world, we have amassed a great deal of experience in facilitating the connectivity needs and ambitions of large-scale events, stadiums and arenas. This knowledge has provided our highly experienced engineers with the foresight needed to deliver on our core tenets of connectivity and security for Expo 2020 Dubai. As the first customer in the UAE to deploy our Wi-Fi 6 technology, it is evident that the team at Expo 2020 recognize the importance of investing in one of the most advanced wireless technologies available to power more immersive and memorable experiences,” said Shukri Eid, Managing Director, Cisco Gulf Region.

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