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802.11ac Bandwidth Planning

Ever since the much anticipated 802.11ac standard was ratified and supported by Enterprise class access points (AP), I’ve asked myself the question that perhaps other network and Radio-Frequency (RF) engineers have:  how much of the theoretical 1.3Gbps 802.11ac data-rate can I really deliver to my users and what is the overall throughput experience when I deploy at scale or in high-density (HD) scenario? On the surface, it may seem intuitive that I should allocate 80MHz to my 802.11ac radios to achieve the best throughput BUT as it turns out, this approach has limited scale and may lead to less total throughput than a smaller 40Mhz channel -- so in this case; less may be more!

This is due to the fact that while in a single-cell (AP) scenario (say 5000 sq. ft) it is realistic to expect most capable devices can reach 1.3Gbps (1Mbps of throughput) with 3 spatial stream (SS) & 80MHz  (e.g. MacBook Pro) and 433Mbps (300Mb/s of throughput) with 1 SS & 80MHz (e.g. iPhone 6)  BUT this throughput degrades quickly in a multi-cell environment where co-channel-interference (CCI) from neighboring APs can dominate. So we need to look at the primary CCI contributors, which are:  Read More »

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Unlock Location-based Engagement with the CMX SDK

Location-based applications have endless use cases—simply tapping into the users’ whereabouts can provide useful information such as movies playing, surrounding restaurants, friends’ favorite spots, etc. Still untapped, however, is the many potential uses of a location-based service, because while the apps may get the user to a location and allow them the opportunity to “check-in,” these apps do little else to engage the user while they’re within the physical venue they’ve been directed to.

Retailers, grocery markets, car shops, hospitals, museums, hotels, basically any physical venue, could leverage location-based services to engage their patrons through mobile devices. Rather than having a store full of texters, Facebookers, Tweeters, etc. a retail store has the potential of actually getting in front of and engaging the actual shoppers by providing them with wifi, special deals, style suggestions, in-store directions, etc. Exploring this largely uncharted world of location-based engagement can be made possible through our Cisco Mobility Experiences (CMX) SDK.

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Prestigious museum adopts High Density 802.11ac Wireless to cater to tech-savvy audience

museum

Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands is one of the top 10 art and history museums in the world.

We live in an era where information is available in the palm of our hands and traditional institutions such as museums are inevitably facing the consequences of this. Even though the museum dates back to the 1800′s with artifacts from the middle ages, they have embraced modern technology to adapt to the changing landscape. This was as a matter of survival considering the competition from other institutions.

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Launching Passpoint Connectivity Deep in the Heart of Texas

ROB KALMBACH PHOTOGRAPHYThis is a customer perspective guest blog contributed by Dr. Derek Peterson, Boingo Wireless Chief Technology Officer.

In early 2014, Boingo made the bold move of launching Passpoint-enabled Wi-Fi at 26 airports throughout the U.S. and Brazil, bringing seamless, secure and instant Wi-Fi access to travelers with Passpoint-ready devices.

In partnership with Cisco, the Boingo team worked to launch Passpoint first in high-traffic locations serving tech savvy audiences hungry for a better way to connect. We found an ideal Passpoint pioneer deep in the heart of Texas: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), a long-time Boingo network partner.

The Austin airport has always been a technology trailblazer, focused on improving the customer experience by leveraging the best in new technologies and services. The airport was the first to offer Wi-Fi to passengers in 2000, and has since worked with Boingo to upgrade the network to meet today’s traveler connectivity needs.

ABIA is also serving an increasingly tech-savvy community. Austin is the gateway to one of the fastest growing culture and technology hubs in the United States, and has become a go-to spot for start-ups and tech companies. The city becomes the heart of the tech world every year for the South by Southwest festival, and the airport serves more passengers than ever before year-round, marking their first Read More »

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Apple’s Vote of Confidence for Voice and Text over Wi-Fi

I recently had the pleasure to read an excellent article by one of our industry’s leading analysts, Mr. Gabriel Brown of Heavy Reading titled “Analyzing Apple & VoLTE”. In this article, he makes the observation, that Apple – which is well known for keeping a strong focus towards their customer’s enjoying a high quality of experience – has included Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in their newest iPhones.  Mr. Brown goes on to quite rightly note that by including VoLTE, Apple makes the case that mobile operators now need an IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS core) and a functioning VoLTE service.

Figure 1: Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast 2013-2018

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While I absolutely agree that Apple has provided a strong endorsement to VoLTE by including support for this feature, I believe that the Apple iPhone6 support for Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Text over Wi-Fi maybe as important (or more so).  Let me explain.  VoLTE is really a fact of life, it is going to happen and as long as a cell phone supports LTE it will be able to make or receive VoLTE calls as long as the carrier implements to network accordingly.  However, Wi-Fi has long been maligned as the poor step-child of mobile broadband.  Mostly because it is unruly (unlicensed) and anyone can deploy it (don’t have to be a carrier).  And while the distance limitations and handoffs (Wi-Fi to 3G or to LTE) play a big role too those issues are being addressed (at least by Cisco).  However, several reports, including Cisco’s own well regarded Visual Networking Index (VNI) for Global Mobile Data Traffic, show that mobile data usage over Wi-Fi is over 40% in 2013.  In fact, it is projected that there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi than remain on cellular networks by 2018 (that’s less than four years away).

This news is not Read More »

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