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HDX Blog Series #4: Optimized Roaming

Editor’s Note: This is the last of a four-part deep dive series into High Density Experience (HDX), Cisco’s latest solution suite designed for high density environments and next-generation wireless technologies. For more on Cisco HDX, visit www.cisco.com/go/80211ac.  Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here. Read part 3 here.

If you’ve been a long time user of Wi-Fi, at some point you have either observed someone encounter (or have personally suffered from) so called “sticky client syndrome”. In this circumstance, a client device tenaciously, doggedly, persistently, and stubbornly stays connected to an AP that it connected to earlier even though the client has physically moved closer to another AP.

Surprisingly, the reason for this is not entirely…errr…ummm…unreasonable. After all, if you are at home, you don’t want to be accidentally connecting to your neighbor’s AP just because the Wi-Fi device you’re using happens to be closer to your neighbor’s AP than to your own.

However, this behavior is completely unacceptable in an enterprise or public Wi-Fi environment where multiple APs are used in support of a wireless LAN and where portability, nomadicity, or mobility is the norm. In this case, the client should typically be regularly attempting to seek the best possible Wi-Fi connection.

Some may argue that regularly scanning for a better Wi-Fi connection unnecessarily consumes battery life for the client device and will interrupt ongoing connectivity. Therefore the “cure is worse than the disease”. But this is true only if the client is very aggressively scanning and actually creates the complete opposite of being “sticky”.

The fundamental issue with “stickiness” is that many client devices simply wait too long to initiate scanning and therefore seeking a better connection. These devices simply insist on maintaining an existing Wi-Fi connection even though that connection may be virtually unusable for anything but the most basic functionality. Read More »

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Adaptive Radio Modules for the 3600 Series AP: Best of Interop 2013 Finalist

We’ve been really busy but also very thrilled about the work we’re doing to future-proofing the network, and it seems we’re not alone. One of our latest innovations, adaptive radio modules for the AP3600, has been selected by UBM as a Best of Interop finalist for the Wireless award category!

Best of Interop Finalist

It’s an honor to be recognized for our innovation and technological advancements in wireless, and we wanted to share a bit more about our submission with you.

What are the Adaptive Radio Modules?

The Adaptive Radio Modules a family of solutions in a modular form factor that allows customers to adapt their wireless network to their current and future needs. The Adaptive Radio Modules provide a dedicated third radio that can be field upgraded on the 3600 Access Point.

Cisco offers three adaptive radio modules for the 3600 Access Point:

Read More »

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Wired or Wireless: Will the Distinction Matter?

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

How symbiotic is the relationship between wired and wireless technologies? Simple answer: very. Increasingly, the perceived gap between traditional cellular (3G, 4G), Wi-Fi, and wired technologies is narrowing.

There’s no question that the gap between wireless technologies is narrowing. Tiago Rodrigues, project director for the Wireless Business Alliance (WBA), sees venues such as sports stadiums, shopping malls, and even universities combining cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

Read More »

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What Does “Enterprise Class” Mean, Anyway? A Case Study with 3G/4G

[WARNING: This blog post contains specifics on actual product features. Stop reading now if you prefer PowerPoint to Excel.]

“Enterprise class.” Sounds awesome. But does it have any meaning to your business?

It turns out that it does, but we need to dig into a real product example to make it clear. One shining example from Cisco is our leadership in Enterprise class (there’s that phrase again!) 3G/4G. Let’s use this example to highlight how our engineers create “Enterprise class” products by focusing on: Read More »

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Three Years Is A Mobile Eternity

Three years ago I wrote a paper “Top Ten Considerations for a Successful Evolved Packet Core Deployment” (if you want a bit of history, check it out here). In that paper, I listed flexibility as the #2 consideration and control plane/signaling as the #3 consideration. Number 1 was an “Open Evolved Packet Core.”

I think I was wrong. Today I believe that Control Plane/Signaling and flexibility should have been and should be co-Number 1s. Not that an open EPC is not needed, it surely is, but it’s now taken for granted that the EPC is the common core for all access mechanisms moving forward. Don’t feel bad Open EPC, Number 3 still isn’t bad.

Three years is an eternity in the mobile market and the one thing for certain is that there is no certainty. The market is moving faster and in more directions than Read More »

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