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Why the 802.11k and Neighbor Report are Important?

A lot of air time (pun intended) has been provided for the PHYsical layer amendments to the 802.11 standard. These would include 802.11n, 802.11ac, 802.11ad, and others. These amendments tend to get a lot of publicity because they have increased the speed/throughput of 802.11 over the years (from 1-2 Mbps in 1997 for the original 802.11 spec to “gigabit” in 2013 with the 11ac and 11ad amendments).

But what about those amendments that simply aren’t as “sexy” and provide only MAC layer enhancements? Aren’t these important too?

The answer is YES and in this short series of blogs, we’ll spend some time looking at the lesser known but undeservedly underappreciated amendments to 802.11, especially 802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11v and the features/benefits they provide.

This first blog will explain the basics of 802.11k “WLAN Radio Measurements” and will specifically zoom in on the Neighbor Request/Report.

Wireless LAN Radio Measurements (802.11k)

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Radio Measurements can enable any device, AP or client, with the capability to better understand the environment in which it is operating. A variety of requests can be generated for which the device receiving a request can respond with a report.

As one example, an AP could ask a client “how well are you hearing me?” using a Link Measurement request. The client would respond with a Link Measurement report (conversely, a client could ask an AP “how well are you hearing me?”).

Since the ability to measure and collect information is provided, a device submitting a request can make a better informed decision as to its “next steps” in adapting to/compensating for the dynamics of the WLAN environment.

Information obtained from a measurement and/or report can be made available to upper layers of the measuring and/or requesting device where it may be used for a range of applications. Such applications may be engaged in attempting to preserve the QoE (Quality of Experience) for the end user.

As one example, in order to preserve the QoE for applications such as VoIP and video streaming, WLAN Radio Measurements may be used by client device to collect information from the AP prior to that client device disassociating from one AP and reassociating to a new AP. This can dramatically speed up reconnecting from one AP to another AP in the same WLAN.

802.11k describes the following measurements: Read More »

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The Cisco Hyperlocation Module: Best of Interop Awards Finalist

hyperlocationWe are thrilled about the innovative work we’re doing to provide better location-based services for our customer. Our latest innovation, The Cisco Hyperlocation Module, has been selected by UBM as a Best of Interop finalist for the Mobility/Wireless category!

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It’s an honor to be recognized for our innovation and technological advancements in wireless, and we wanted to share a bit more about our submission with you.

What is the Cisco Hyperlocation Modules? Read More »

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Cisco’s Commitment to Excellence: Connected Mobile Experiences 10.0

There is a great, not often talked about, perk to working at Cisco. I work alongside some of the brightest minds in technology, whose lives and work I quite often stand in awe of. I get to see firsthand the way my co-workers lead, as well as the priceless contributions they make, not only in technology, but also in the world. The release of Cisco’s Mobility Experiences (CMX) is proof of our commitment to excellence.

Last year, when Connect Mobile Experiences (CMX) resonated so well with our customers, we started getting requests for greater flexibility and increased scale. Built not only for the current use cases but future use cases as well.  In response this year we’ve re-architected CMX to meet these requirements. Our combined goals were to build a single user interface (UI), which could manage hundreds of properties, delivering customizable reports for business managers, leveraging the latest and greatest technology . We are confident all users will approve of the outcome. Let me share with you 10 things you’ll love about CMX 10.0:

1. We have enabled mix and match for versions of CMX and Prime Infrastructure. All we need you to do is export maps from Prime and import them into CMX (regardless of the PI version).

2. As a user, you’ll love the outcome oriented, fresh and modern experience of 10.0.

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3. Real-time analytics dashboard for visitor counts, visitor dwell times, etc. Analytics Widgets are completely customizable, depending on the data you’re most interested in. The inbuilt reporting capability lets you generate an instant report or schedule one to be sent later. Read More »

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Internet of Things: Why GHz Matters

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Enterprise IT continues to play a critical role in the Internet of Things (IoT). A large part of IT’s role is understanding and anticipating what new device types will hit the network, when and how to optimally connect them. Beyond the obvious applications and services, an often-overlooked factor is the actual design of the thing. What spectrum does it use? And how will it impact your network?

Today Wi-Fi devices, including things such as sensors, connect using one of two spectrum bands – 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Conventional wisdom has been to advertise a common SSID for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity. But, with the rapid rise of more connected things, this has likely outlived its usefulness. Let me explain why this is my point of view. Read More »

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The Value of Location

330 imageLocation, location, location. We so often hear the axiom that location is what drives the value of real estate. But location is also key to extracting context from on-site data for analytics and business outcomes. And, the value generated is directly related to the quality of the underlying location data.

So how can you get the best indoor location accuracy? You’re invited to find out. At 10:00 am PST on April 2, 2015, Cisco will host a webinar showcasing our new Hyperlocation Solution. This solution combines an access point module, an antenna, and four Cisco technologies to deliver indoor location accuracy to as close as one meter. Read More »

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