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Cisco Women Engineers Make Their Mark at the IEEE Women In Engineering International Leadership Conference

WiEEEIn April this year, Cisco sponsored the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference held at the San Jose Marriott. This was part of a concerted effort to advance and attract women in technical and leadership roles in the technology industry.

At the beginning of our partnership with IEEE we asked ourselves: “What is it going to take to change an industry, to give every woman in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) a seat at the innovation table?” Read More »

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Fundamentals of 802.11ac Wave 2

Fundamentals of 802.11ac Wave 2 from TechWiseTV

Fundamentals of 802.11ac Wave 2 from TechWiseTV

How well do you understand this Wave 2 release of the 802.11ac specification?  Our latest ‘Fundamentals of’ addresses the technical differentiators and the potential pitfalls you should be aware of.  There is a lot of power in this wave.

Just 5 Minutes to increase your knowledge: WATCH NOW

I put the full script at the bottom of this blog if interested.

Read more:

Watch some of the earlier wireless fundamentals for even more wireless innovation and (IMHO) great background:

Read More »

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What is 802.11r? Why is this Important?

In this short series of blogs, we’re spending some time looking at the lesser known but undeservedly underappreciated amendments to 802.11 and the features/benefits they provide.

The first blog explained the basics of 802.11k “WLAN Radio Measurements” and specifically zoomed in on the Neighbor Request/Report.

This blog will focus on the 802.11r amendment.

Fast BSS Transition (802.11r)

Fast BSS Transition (often abbreviated to Fast Transition or FT) describes mechanisms by which a mobile device can reestablish existing security and/or QoS parameters prior to reassociating to a new AP. These mechanisms are referred to as “fast” because they seek to significantly reduce the length of time that connectivity is interrupted between a mobile device and Wi-Fi infrastructure when that mobile device is connecting to a new AP. Please note that the process of disconnecting from one AP and connecting to another AP is formally designated as a “BSS transition”. Therefore, the protocols established by FT apply to mobile device transitions between APs only within the same mobility domain and within the same ESS (ESS transition is out of scope for FT). Since both reassociation and reauthentication are time critical processes, removing time consuming message exchanges between the mobile device and the infrastructure help reduce interruption to high value services (e.g., voice and/or video) when transitioning from one AP to another especially in a strongly secure WLAN (i.e, one using 802.1x and EAP methods for authentication).

Because Fast BSS Transition reestablishes existing parameters, the protocols require that information be exchanged during the initial association (or at a subsequent reassociation) between the mobile device (formally referred to as the FT Originator (FTO)) and an AP. The initial exchange is referred to as the FT initial mobility domain association. Subsequent reassociations to APs within the same mobility domain are expected to utilize the FT protocols.

Two basic FT protocols are described:

  1. FT Protocol. This protocol is performed when a mobile devices transitions from one AP to another AP but does not require a resource request prior to its transition. The AP selected by the mobile device for reassociation is referred to as the “target AP”.
  2. FT Resource Request Protocol. This protocol is performed when a mobile device requires a resource request prior to its transition.

For a mobile device to transition from the AP it is currently associated with to a target AP, the FT protocol message exchanges are performed using one of two methods:

  1. Over-the-Air. The mobile device communicates directly with the target AP using IEEE 802.11 authentication with the FT authentication algorithm.
  2. Over-the-DS. The mobile device communicates with the target AP via the current AP. Communications between the mobile device and the target AP are encapsulated within FT Action frames between the mobile device and the current AP. Communications between the current AP and the target AP, occurs via a different encapsulation method. The current AP converts between the two encapsulation methods.

802.11r image 1

Over the Air message exchange (excerpted from IEEE 802.11-2012)

802.11r image 2

Over the DS message exchange (excerpted from IEEE 802.11-2012) Read More »

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Introduction to 802.11ac Wave 2

802.11ac is the hottest topic of discussion and deployment in WiFi over the past couple of years. Ratified as a standard by the IEEE in November 2013, the first phase of 802.11ac products brought to market is commonly referred to as Wave 1, and provides roughly a 3x improvement in network performance over its predecessor 802.11n: 1.3 Gbps compared to 450 Mbps in 5 GHz respectively when utilizing the maximum channel width and modulation supported .

Next up 11ac Wave 2, the next phase in 802.11ac, will begin entering the market later in 2015 in the form of both new client devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) and new Access Points and modules, providing two significant enhancements building on Wave 1802.11ac image1


160 MHz channel width support

MU-MIMO will enable a Wave 2 AP to talk with multiple Wave 2 clients Read More »

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Dan Crawfordby Dan Crawford, Marketing Manager, Cisco

It has been nearly 20 years since I last heard the static and ding-guh-donga-dong sounds of dialing up wireline internet, over 14 years since the first digital “2G”phones became available, about eight years since “3G” networks were widely deployed, and five years since 4G LTE rolled out in the U.S.

Following the trend of the past two decades, logic would propose thatwe are due for another major leap forward in networking and communications technology.  One place to learn about the latest advancements Read More »

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