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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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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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From Coverage and Capacity to Monetizing New Services for Service Providers

Last week, the annual 4G World show was hosted in everyone’s favorite windy city—Chicago!  This year, I was lucky enough to be a keynote speaker for the event.  It’s always an honor to speak at an event on behalf of Cisco and the countless folks that have made our SP Mobility a success.  As the show progressed, I was reminded at how far the world of mobility has come in such a short amount of time.  Moreover, I was amazed at the vast amount of new opportunities that have emerged as a result this rapidly evolving market.  I am extremely excited about what the next year will bring!

Aside from the keynote event, I spent the vast majority of my time in meetings with new and existing service provider customers.  The conversations were Read More »

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A Lifeboat For The iPhone Flood. Cisco ASR 901

4G mobile Internet is back in the news with word that Apple has sold over 5 million LTE-enabled iPhone 5s in the first three days it went on sale, and I know that my wife is counting down the hours until she is eligible for an upgrade (likely my two-year old daughter too… if she could talk.  Have you seen how kids naturally master an iPhone like Ronaldhino and soccer ball?).

Whether it’s for uploading pictures of the kids to social media sites or getting work done faster, over 100 million smartphone users will belong to the “gigabyte club” (over 1 GB per month) in 2012 according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. However Read More »

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