May 13, 2013, 1:47 PM —
Matt Rosoff's post about the New England Patriots' new stadium wireless network is a good example of a new trend in public networks: Making sure they are ready for the ultimate BYOD, that being thousands of guests with a wide range of devices.
Like other sports teams and entities like hotels, casinos, convention centers and shopping malls, the Patriots aren't just providing a network to their guests. Through the development of mobile apps and location services, they are mining their customers as a potential source of new revenue, enhancing the experience while increasing the opportunities to do things like upgrade tickets, sell more concessions, and connect through social media.
At Interop in Las Vegas today, Cisco and MGM Resorts International are showing off more details of the expanded Wi-Fi network at MGM's luxury casino properties on the Vegas strip. One of the features sure to be embraced by convention-goers is the ability for people who subscribe to the service to roam anywhere on any MGM property and not have to log in again -- or to pay a second time for network services.
If you have a public-facing business like a hospitality or retail operation, you may think just providing Internet access is enough. The Patriots and MGM, however, are going far past simple transport, using advanced networking gear, analytics software and specially tuned deployments to make sure their networks perform well no matter where customers roam on their properties, and no matter what type of device they use. Even for enterprise campus networks, that's not a bad example to consider for the future.