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Passpoint™ Wi-Fi and CMX Connect – Seamless and Secure

Throughout the next couple of months, I’ve decided to blog about the great technology Passpoint™ Wi-Fi and how CMX Connect can help. Since this is a series of blogs I’d like to focus this first installment primarily on what Passpoint Wi-Fi is. First thing to understand about Passpoint is that it is an industry standard that allows devices to connect to hotspots effortlessly and securely. Because of this, it’s a technology that businesses (and its customers) have long been waiting for.

The following charts depict top barriers for wider adoption, implementation and usage of Guest Wi-Fi. As you can see the seamless authentication is the top barrier.

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I’m personally excited about Passpoint because of the seamless authentication and security it provides. For example, today’s mobile banking apps have become so easy to use that desktop versions seem difficult to use in comparison. My bank’s app even allows me to take a photo of a check and directly deposit the funds to my account within a matter of seconds. However, I’m only comfortable with mobile banking when using my home or office Wi-Fi because I know they’re WPA2 encrypted. Accessing private financial information is definitely not something I’m comfortable with within a public venue, using an unknown Wi-Fi portal.

So while the idea of providing guests with Wi-Fi is a generous one, using it can actually put personal information and devices at risk. Guest Wi-Fi is almost always open and rarely secured at Layer 2 due to the fact that deployment and operation is difficult when username/password or certificates are required. Furthermore, if a business uses username/password to secure their guest Wi-Fi they’re left with the challenge of knowing how to smoothly create and distribute user credentials without losing the guests’ attention.

The process of accessing Guest Wi-Fi for me, and many out there, is less than appealing because of these security issues and the lengthy process they require before allowing access the Internet. To combat this, businesses need to provide guests with a no-hassle way to maintain and distribute credentials to the guests using Layer 2 secured Guest Wi-Fi. This is where Passpoint comes into play.

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint will transform the way users connect to Wi-Fi hotspot networks by making the process of finding and getting access to the right network seamless…when you are in a Passpoint-enabled hotspot, you’ll discover a newly smooth connectivity experience.” Read More »

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Cisco 5520 and 8540 Wireless Controllers – Powering Next-Generation Wireless Networks

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Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

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Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

Recent trends suggest that unless upgrades are made to current wireless infrastructures, these networks are going to get bogged down in the coming years. By 2019, the way people use their devices are expected to change as more devices—which will all be incrementally faster—will enter the workplace. In addition to the overall number of devices increasing, the tasks that they perform will also evolve. Video streaming usage is expected to increase 13-fold and take up to 74% of total mobile data traffic, according to the 2015 Cisco Visual Networking Index Mobile Forecast Study (CMFS).

And while bandwidth intensive applications, such as video, will be the main culprits that chew up your wireless infrastructure, there are other factors that will slow down your networks too. The CMFS reports that by 2019, 53% of fixed IP traffic will be Wi-Fi, which means that wireless will be exceeding wired traffic by 21%. Couple that with an estimated 85% of enterprises implementing some sort of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy by the end of the decade—perhaps tripling the amount of devices on your workplace LAN—and increased video isn’t the only thing you will be worried about.

But it’s all not just extra laptops, mobile devices and streaming videos, the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) traffic will be vying for your wireless network too. The CMFS study says that 28% of device connections will be from M2M traffic. Read More »

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Cisco and Brunel University Prepare for WiFi Future Together!

brunel1Understanding how quickly technology is growing year over year, Brunel University London looked to Cisco to enhance its bring your own device (BYOD) program with an all-encompassing and reliable WiFi access solution. In addition to the continuous WiFi access, Brunel University needed to make sure that network usage was both secure and visible.

To meet the University’s needs, Cisco devised and delivered a complete BYOD Smart Solution that included access points (APs), controllers, security and network management. This solution needed to be robust enough for the 17,000 University users spread out over the 70 campus buildings.

The Cisco solution included the Cisco Aironet 3700 Series APs with integrated 802.11ac, Cisco Mobility Service Engine, Cisco Application Visibility and Control (AVC) for Wireless, Cisco Wireless Service Module 2 (WiSM2), Cisco SCE 8000 Series Service Control Engine as well as Cisco security, management and services software. Read More »

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802.11ac Wave 2 is a Game Changing Technology for the Wired Network

The WiFi industries latest standard—802.11ac wave 2—is now upon us.  This version of WiFi smashes the Gigabit barrier and promises to raise the performance of wireless network to levels never seen before.  802.11ac wave 2 is ideally suited to meet the new demands created by the influx of wirelessly connected devices being brought into businesses at an unprecedented rate.  Make no mistake, for most workers today, the wireless network is not just an alternative way to connect.  Rather, it has become the primary access network for most businesses and is creating new experiences and new ways of engaging customers and workers.

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There’s another aspect of this WiFi version that is unique, wave 2 is the first WiFi standard that will dictate the architecture of the wired network.  Prior to wave 2, the wired network had always outperformed wireless so business could deploy WiFi without much impact to the wired network.  With wave 2, the wireless network will have as good—or better—performance than wired switches.  Now businesses can enable more devices per user, such as stream 4K video over WiFi, and be assured their Internet of Things deployments go smoothly. Read More »

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Transforming Through Innovation: Marking Cisco’s CPE Milestones

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 4.41.41 PMBy Joe Chow, Vice President, Connected Devices BU, Cisco

Our theme this year at ANGA COM 2015 in Germany is “transformation through innovation.” That’s why we thought it timely to showcase the elements we build, that get installed into consumer homes.

Almost a quarter of the world’s television households — more than 300 million, in fact — are connected, in some way, shape or form, with the Videoscape components we make. We celebrate 25 years of partnerships with over 150 service providers Read More »

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