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Approach for WLAN Site Survey and Planning

More businesses are realizing the benefits of 802.11n for delivering reliable and predictable wireless for mobility applications at their facility. As a result, we are often asked questions around conducting a site survey and planning for the number, location and density of access points required for the network.With these questions in mind, I interviewed Chris Kozup on the importance of wireless LAN site surveys, and planning for optimal coverage and performance when migrating to an 802.11n wireless network, as well as the general considerations, recommendations, and best practices and tools for conducting a successful site survey. Chris opens the discussion on the importance of an audit using a WLAN site survey to establish a baseline for understanding the current RF environment. The next step is to determine how wireless is currently deployed in a facility; and understand the RF environment with regard to building materials and the characteristics of RF interference. Factor which mobility applications that will run on the WLAN — now and for the future — like voice, locationing and data because voice and location-based service applications require a more prescript site survey and higher access point density versus data-only applications. Also, a fundamental consideration when deploying a WLAN for the enterprise is to select access points that are engineered specifically for the enterprise, and not the consumer market as some marketed enterprise-grade access points use consumer-grade silicon.As part of an ongoing effective site survey exercise, use tools and technologies available today to keep the WLAN consistent as when deployed. Use automated or dynamic radio provisioning technologies that allows the access point to dynamically adjust to environmental changes, and can automatically change channels or adjust the power output. Also, use an RF spectrum analyzer to detect, locate and mitigate RF interference sources like Bluetooth headsets, cordless phones and microwaves.Feel free to share your 802.11n migration experience and questions.

Mobility Trends in Higher Education

Welcome to the kickoff of our new video series that will share the trends we’re seeing in vertical markets and how mobility is addressing those developments. In this video, Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Cisco’s higher education practice lead and Chris Kozup, senior manager of mobility solutions, discuss mobility trends at higher education campuses with three groups in mind -- students, faculty and administration staff. These mobility trends are topical as the EDUCAUSE conference starts this week in Orlando, Florida.Tracey opens with reporting that students, between the ages of 18 and 29, are brining an average of nine devices to campus, as well as an expectation for pervasive wireless to maintain consistent connectivity; versus hotspot coverage in only libraries, dorms and social areas. Faculty is changing their teaching formula by doing more with multimedia such as video and podcasts. For example, professors are recording their lectures, and offerings them to students for download, allowing students to review class content while mobile or remote. In addition, a recent study on dual-mode devices found that administrative staff is 35 percent more productive due largely in part to having access to information while on the move. These trends, especially with the sheer number of devices (laptops, gaming systems, cameras, dual-mode devices, etc.) lead universities to look at a network that supports rich content that is created and shared simultaneously and rapidly by both students and faculty. Stay tuned for the next episode. And until then, share with us some of the trends that you are seeing or hearing about on education campuses. What are the developing behaviors that are moving IT to change the role of the network?

802.11n Testing Results Playback

If you were not able to attend the July 29 Mobility TV live webcast on 802.11n performance testing results, the video-on-demand is now available for playback at http://tools.cisco.com/cmn/jsp/index.jsp?id=78662. Think TiVo meets Cisco Mobility TV. For your convenience, you can jump to defined segments of the broadcast rather than watch the entire video. Below is a list the topics you can segment-surf to.*Introduction -a welcome from Cisco’s Chris Kozup*Cisco-Intel Joint Collaboration -Intel’s Mayura Garg discusses importance of the testing*802.11n Testing Results -Cisco’s Jake Woodhams shares the 802.11n performance testing results*Intel Video -watch the roaming robots from Intel’s testing lab*MIT Case Study -Chris Murphy discusses MIT’s upgrade to 802.11n*Southeast Alabama Medical Center Case Study -Scott Lapham shares Southeast Alabama Medical’s 802.11n performance resultsThanks for tuning in. Let us know your thoughts on how we went about this extensive test validation that also optimizes the real-world performance and interoperability of 802.11n Draft 2.0 WLANs.

Cisco and Intel Take the Stage on 802.11n Performance Testing

Tune in tomorrow for Cisco’s special Internet TV broadcast. Representatives from Cisco and Intel will share performance results from extensive testing of 802.11n technologies. And key customers in the healthcare and education markets will discuss their business needs for deploying 802.11n, as well as technical considerations, their approach and best practices for delivering high performance mobile computing with 802.11n Draft 2.0 wireless networking and mobility technologies. When: Tuesday, July 29, 2007, 11:00 a.m. -- Noon Pacific TimeWhere: Cisco’s broadcast can be accessed at http://tools.cisco.com/cmn/jsp/index.jsp?id=78662.

U.S. Track and Field Trials and Mobility

Tomorrow, I head north from San Francisco to Lake County to get away for the July 4th weekend, but I’d rather head to the Pacific Northwest- to Eugene, Oregon to see some of the fast foot action at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field. It has been a couple years since I’ve been to Eugene; and right now Track Town USA is in full swing, serving as the nexus where athletes, coaches, the media, family, friends and fans have converged for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials. Instead of watching the competitions in-person, I’ve been following the action from the Internet sidelines through a few sites. Eugene 08, Track Town USA and of course YouTube.This made me take a step away from mission- and business-critical wireless networks, and think about the last Olympics and how the Internet and more pervasive wireless is changing how the athletes and fans interact with each other with the broader adoption of social networks and media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook launched in early 2004, and YouTube in mid 2005; and it’s difficult to think of a time before both sites existed because they are part of my life, allowing me to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. For the track and field athletes who traveled to Eugene, many of them must keep in touch with family, friend and fans — from their hometown — who are rooting for them just as I am -- from the Internet sidelines. I wonder how many fans and athletes will use Twitter to share quick thoughts during the trials and Olympics.Wi-Fi Planet’s Naomi Graychase posted an article on the University of Oregon mesh wireless network in action for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.I’d like to hear from you. With the Trials heating up, and the Olympics just around the corner, how will more of these social and media sites — enabled by a wireless network --change competitive sports?Have a happy Fourth!