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Wi-Fi ‘CleanAir’ Coming to Defense Industry in 2011

A key segment in the Public Sector wireless market to keep an eye on in 2011 is the U.S. DoD and Global Defense industry which is in the early stages of a major transformation around secure mobile communications and next-gen wireless LANs.  One such transformation is the U.S. Department of Navy’s transition from NMCI to Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) which supports over 700,000 users in over 3000 locations and includes requirements for 802.11a/g/n for voice and data support.

The ramp of WLAN technology into large Military installations (Air, Land, and Sea) and Defense operations is being driven by the obvious benefits associated with secure 802.11n networking along with critical WLAN functionality such as purpose-built Spectrum Intelligence for Wi-Fi communications (i.e. Cisco CleanAir). For the Defense industry, Cisco CleanAir changes the game for wireless in a big way as it delivers on the promise to run mission critical communications over the unlicensed (and sometimes messy…) RF spectrum of Wi-Fi. But there is a catch…without the required product approvals and security certifications, Defense agencies are limited in what they are allowed to deploy…but that’s soon to change in 2011--more on this later.

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Cisco Extends Wireless Security Beyond PCI Compliance – Protecting Your Wireless Retail Transactions

Ever wonder who might be trying to access your credit card information when you make a wireless transaction at a gas station kiosk, buy a beer at a baseball game from your seat, or return a rental car right at the parking lot?

Cisco does, and knows how retailers are increasingly using wireless technology to conduct point-of-sale transactions in many of your favorite stores. In fact, more than 33% of retailers that responded to an InsightExpress survey (commissioned by Cisco), today use wireless to transmit cardholder data, while more than 35% of financial institutions reported doing so in the same survey. To help these retailers address wireless security concerns, Cisco is announcing significant improvements to its wireless network solutions that allow retailers to secure their wireless networks from attacks and improve security where point-of-sale data is transmitted wirelessly.

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Speed

It’s hard to believe that a dusty prairie dog like myself worked in aerospace. How that led to my career in wireless is a story for another time. Did a bunch of stuff on weapons platforms like the B1, ICBM’s for submarines, other interesting things, and then astrophysics platforms for NASA. Huge fun, amazing people, and in general a marvelous experience.

Speed is a critical element in those fields of endeavor. On military platforms it’s often about vmax or maximum velocity; in astrophysics it’s much more about optimal velocity. Too many stories to tell but one of my favorite is when an astrophysicist and myself once stood on the ladder of an F-16 chatting with the pilot who was still in the cockpit. I mentioned that I heard his aircraft could achieve a certain speed. He looked at me, grinned and said, “While I can’t tell you how fast it’ll go, it’s pretty dang quick.” He then put his finger on on the air speed indicator. The number he showed me was much faster than what you read in various publications. It was at that point I realized getting somewhere more quickly than the enemy believes enables you to surprise them.
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Ubiquity and Integrity – The Salt of Mobile Business

Often when you mention pillars of salt, people think of the story of Lot’s wife, but there are positive connotations of this expression also. Salt is a staple of life in part because it helps the body turn food into living tissue as well as playing a key role in transmitting nerve pulses. The human body cannot produce salt; it has to come from a source outside the body.

Ubiquity in mobility, like salt, is really quite important. The value of a network is proportional to how well, and how often, end points are connected. The number of end points successfully connected is one metric of a useful network. The number of locations from which a client can connect to other clients is very much a measure of network value. One of the greatest shifts we’ve seen in the mobility market over the last few years is that from islands of connectivity like conference rooms, bullpens and so forth, to truly ubiquitous connectivity. For example, a smart phone allows us to connect effectively from most places we are physically located. I probably set a personal record in 2010 for how many WebEx meetings I had in my car; very cool and for me, highly productive

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Cisco and T-Mobile Team to Deliver a Wi-Fi Calling Solution with an Enterprise-Class Voice-Ready Wireless LAN

When it comes to business mobility and collaborating with customers, partners and colleagues, a “good” mobile experience isn’t “good enough.”  As mobile workers increasingly adopt dual mode smartphones to remain connected in any environment, the requirement to deliver reliable, business-quality voice and data access across cellular and Wi-Fi networks has become business critical.

Wi-Fi calling is becoming a must-have technology for the enterprise, as corporations seek new ways to reduce costs and improve productivity for employees in the office and traveling overseas.  With the joint solution Cisco and T-Mobile announced today, more organizations can meet the mobility and connectivity demands of their employees with the added benefits of improved voice quality, fast roaming and extended battery life. ..one more step towards a true, borderless network experience that connects users securely, reliability and seamlessly anywhere, anytime, on any device.

To address these customer challenges, Cisco and T-Mobile are collaborating to deliver mobile calls over Wi-Fi, enabling reliable, seamless roaming of voice and data traffic between cellular and Wi-Fi networks, allowing businesses to reduce cellular voice calling costs.

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