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What, Why, Where, When, How: The New FCC Ruling Around 5 GHz

You don’t need me to tell you to know that we are in the midst of a technology revolution.  It’s mobilizing the internet.  And it’s transforming the way billions of people around the globe collaborate, communicate, and connect to the internet.

•           The education customers I work with are incorporating video and mobile applications into their curriculum with up to a 100 students in an auditorium accessing the Wi-Fi network simultaneously.

•           Healthcare customers are relying on Wi-Fi to connect patients, devices and provide nurses instant access to medical records.

•           Manufacturing customers are increasingly using Wi-Fi to enable workers on the factory floor to have real-time video conversations with experts anywhere in the globe.

What do these things have in common?  They all depend on Wi-Fi for connectivity.  In these areas, and so many more, Wi-Fi has become a central way that people access the Internet.

The FCC released a historic decision on April 1, 2014 (adopted March 31)with regards to the use of 5 GHz spectrum. Although there were many technical aspects included within this decision, one of the most interesting was making the 5150-5250 MHz U-NII 1 band available for outdoor WLAN use. Read More »

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Thinking Outside of the Building

You’ve all heard the saying “think outside the box” when encouraging someone to be creative and come up with new ideas, new ways to do things, new ways to…..just about anything.  Well, I’d like to take a small twist on the well-known saying and talk for a moment on how deploying outdoor Wi-Fi access points should be something you should be “thinking” about.

We all know that here in late 2013 almost everywhere you go, you can pull out your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and you will find Wi-Fi coverage, be it at your workplace, at a coffee shop, or in a retail store.  Why is Wi-Fi coverage so pervasive in these areas?  Because connecting to Wi-Fi access points and the data network behind them makes employees more productive, enables the coffee shop to be the new remote office (while selling more coffee and cakes), and provides the retail store the ability to gather analytics to better target offers for their customers.

Now let’s think about expanding this coverage to outdoors….outside the buildings.  The same holds true.  Providing Wi-Fi access in the surrounding outdoor locations frees up employees to take their laptops outside and enjoy a nice, sunny day while still being “online” for secure corporate email and business tools.  It allows the employee to connect to that important WebEx meeting he is running late for as he pulls into the parking lot. It allows the retail store to engage with customers thru Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) earlier and push offers to them as they walk in from the parking lot, perhaps pulling customers headed to nearby stores who might otherwise not have stopped in.


Aironet 1530 Series Outdoor Wireless Access Points: Click to see comparison table

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Interference Detection and Mitigation with Cisco CleanAir

The previous blog on CleanAir went in depth on how MSE uses CleanAir information to locate interferers and the impact zone for each interferer. This blog takes a step back and gives an overview of the CleanAir technology.

How Interference Affects Your WiFi

802.11 devices operate in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz unlicensed bands. These are unregulated and experimental bands. As such, there are way more non-802.11 devices, including but not limited to cordless phones, video cameras, microwave ovens, Bluetooth headsets, DECT phones and even X-Boxes. Now even more devices are coming out that emit in these bands. These devices interfere with your WiFi network since they don’t work cooperatively with 802.11 devices, causing reduced network capacity and coverage, poor quality of voice and video, and link failures.

When an 802.11 device is ready to transmit and it senses interference, it will hold off transmission until it is finished.  If it is in the middle of a transmission where it has sent a packet and never receives an acknowledgement, then it will try to send the packet again. Issues like these  impact the throughput and capacity of your Wireless Network. An interferer like a microwave oven, which emits interference on a 50% Duty Cycle, will reduce the throughput by 50 percent. In the case of an interferer like a video camera, which emits interference at 100% Duty Cycle, when seen at Access Point above CCA threshold will stop the Access Point from beaconing. Due to this clients will not attempt to associate. Read More »

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CableLabs Summer Conference 2013– CMX Live Demo

At the CableLabs Summer Conference last week in the Keystone Conference Center outside of Denver, Colorado, Cisco CMX was demonstrated live on stage showing up to the moment information on the venue and the attendees.


The audience consisted of approximately 400 attendees, with the room at full capacity, mostly business leaders from CableLabs member organizations including all the top tier operators. Read More »

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Cisco CMX Solution – Version 7.5 Released

Released along with the Wireless Release 7.5 earlier this month was the latest version of Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), continuing Cisco’s leadership in the emerging field of WiFi location based services and analytics. Release 7.5 delivers a rich set of innovations to enhance the existing Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution.

This is a very exciting new release delivering many new features and functionality to the solution. Here is a brief summary of the highlights from the release:

CMX Analytics:

Version 7.5 continues ongoing improvements to the existing analytics capabilities such as improved usability, enahnced ‘look and feel’, as well as easier to generate analytics results and increased support for complex building layouts. In addition, the user interface and the appearance of the 3D interface has improved to display clearer information enabling a better understanding of the visitors to the venue.

cmx7.5.1 Read More »

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