Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Mobility

New Avenues for Learning

hong kong studentsSouth Island School in Hong Kong is made up of students from around the world with 1,400 students from over 35 countries. One value that sets the school apart is its commitment to using technology in the classroom. For instance, all students have a laptop that they use to access e-books, watch educational videos, and complete homework assignments. Some exams are even taken digitally.

With wireless devices used daily by every student and faculty member, a stable network connection is almost as important as pencil and paper in classrooms. South Island School’s existing Cisco network had reached end of life, and the school needed to refresh the infrastructure with a network that could meet bandwidth needs for years to come.

We looked at other vendors, but we were extremely impressed with how the existing Cisco equipment performed over the years,” says Victor Alamo, ICT manager at South Island Schools.

By upgrading to the latest Cisco access points and switches, we’d have an infrastructure that would keep up with our needs.”

South Island Schools updated their network around the Cisco Aironet Access Points which supported the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac. This along with Centralized management with support for converged wired and wireless networks allowed South Island Schools to keep their students and teachers connected with reliable and fast service.

These changes resulted in stable wireless connections for thousands of wireless devices which enhanced classroom work with video, applications, and sharing providing a better user experience for both students, teachers and administrators.

 

For more information, please visit the South Island School Wireless Case Study Page

Tags: , , , ,

Enhancing HDX: Introducing Dynamic Bandwidth Selection – Automatically Choosing the “Best” Channel Width

Cisco Systems is announcing a new set of features that enhance its HDX (High Density Experience) suite. This blog is the first in a series that explains the new features that comprise the enhancements to HDX.

Every advancement in Wi-Fi technology comes with corresponding complexities and tradeoffs.  You just don’t get something for nothing.

For example, much of the speed improvements in the evolution from 11b to 11g/a to 11n to 11ac are achieved by simply doubling the RF channel width. Increasing channel width from 20 MHz to 40 MHz effectively enables doubling “over the air” speed. Increasing channel width from 40 MHz to 80 MHz doubles that speed again.

Of course, wider channels are more susceptible to interference (since a wider channel can “hear” more). Furthermore, with wider channels, the number of available so called “non-overlapping” channels decreases making mutual interference an increasing problem. Being able to send data over the air faster is very important, but if the devices in your WLAN are waiting more often to send data because the wider channel is more likely to be busy, then disappointment and unrealized expectations will occur. Keep in mind that because “air is shared” for Wi-Fi that it uses a “listen before talk” protocol.

Also, in a real world WLAN, it is highly unlikely to have homogeneous device types. The client mix will include legacy devices that simply can’t operate at 80 MHz (or 40 MHz). This means that spectrum could be wasted if the network is configured for a greater channel width than most of its devices can handle. This has far more consequences at 5 GHz than at 2.4 GHz since 40 MHz channels are unlikely to be usable at 2.4 GHz and 80 MHz channels cannot be used at 2.4 GHz.

Interestingly, 802.11ac does include a feature called RTS/CTS with bandwidth indication that is intended to address dynamic channel width (read more about this in 802.11ac: The Fifth Generation of Wi-Fi” section 2.3.4). The challenge is that this feature is not often used and cannot be used by either 11a or 11n clients.

Last, but far from least, no two wireless networks are the same – every wireless network is different. Even parts of the same wireless network will be different. Thus, there really is no “one size fits all” static configuration that helps offer optimization. The Wi-Fi network needs to adapt as conditions change. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The shift in Education towards Mobile Learning

Technology is important to children in terms of how they learn and how they live. A challenge for many school districts is the ability to offer a mobile learning by putting digital resources in a student’s hands with constrained funding for education.

mobile learning

Katy Independent School District located in Katy TX needed a wireless infrastructure that would support this vision. With over 62,000 students, Katy ISD needed to move from a wireless network that was built for coverage to a network that is built for density. By providing 802.11ac-based Wi-Fi access points in classrooms and outdoor locations and centralized management, the school district is supporting more than 40,000 concurrent Wi-Fi users and empowering faculty, students and staff. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Quick Look Analytics

One of the many great attributes of Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX ) is that it offers a rich location analytics solution. With advanced capabilities like Path Analysis and Correlation, zone-based reporting relies on a minimum of three or more access points which seamlessly detect and report the received signal strength (RSSI) of a client. In simplistic terms we can say that CMX triangulates the location of a client.

Unfortunately (and realistically) not all venues are equipped with 3 APs. Many of our customers, have a large number of satellite offices . Imagine a popular coffee chains or even well known financial institution, who have small branch offices or stores spread across the country. They too need insights into their customer’s behavior, even if they don’t have multiple AP’s

To address the needs of businesses with smaller sites and wireless deployments not designed for location accuracy, we’ve developed Quick Look Analytics, which provides priceless customer insights for businesses like those very coffee shops and financial institutions, earlier mentioned.

 

There are numerous facets of Quick Look Analytics, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Banner visually shares how effectively the business is performing and reaching targets. It provides, if you will, a sort of Key Performance Indicators.

quick look analytics 1

 

  1. Key Insights provides a clear look into business peak hours, days, weeks, and months.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Best of Interop Winner: What is the Hype About Hyperlocation?

Apparently a lot! And the Best of Interop Commitee this year in Las Vegas agree. Cisco is the proud recipient of the Best of Interop Award in 2015 for the Mobility/Wireless category.

best of interop winner

Understanding customer behavior is a key asset for any business. This is also true in the growing field of indoor location-based services such as those supported by Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX).  A more accurate solution can help a business with their pain points: gaining more accurate data analytics on customer behavior, better statistics for operational optimization, and even providing better customer-facing content. In today’s world, the greater the location accuracy, the greater the relevance of the content.

The Cisco’s Hyperlocation Module provides that accuracy. As one of today’s most advanced location solutions, Cisco Hyperlocation is precise in pinpointing beacons, inventory, and personal mobile devices. Other vendor solutions use multiple access points to triangulate location coordinates within 5 to 7 meters of accuracy, but Hyperlocation, in conjunction with BLE beacons, can pinpoint locations to within a single meter.

It is this advancement in location-based data acquisition and analysis that brought Cisco to the forefront of the Mobility/Wireless category at Interop and sequentially allowed us to win the category.

Cisco Accepts the Best of Interop Award at Interop Las Vegas 2015 best of interop photo group

From Left to Right with two representatives from UBM, from Cisco; Bill Rubino, Yasser Hannush, Brian Robertson and Gagan Arora Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,