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Dude Where’s My Car?

Arnold Clark Automobiles, Europe’s largest independent auto dealer, probably is no longer asked “dude, where’s my car?” thanks to a Cisco Unified Wireless Network and an AeroScout Vehicle Tracking solution at its Stafford, U.K. dealership. To the consumer, the mobility solution is transforming the automobile sales and service experience. On the back end, Arnold Clark is improving staff productivity and collaboration, deliving a positive customer experience, and helping reduce expenditures and inventory depreciation, loss and theft while freeing up resources for alternative investments.

In the following video, tour the Arnold Clark Automobiles Stafford, U.K. dealership, and hear from managing director, Eddie Hawthorne, staff, and Boston Network’s Scott McEwan who discuss the business benefits of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network and AeroScout asset tracking solution that are enhancing customer service and sales.

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802.11n: A Major Step Forward for Mobility

Smart antenna technology, the foundation of the 802.11n 2.0 draft standard, has been utilized for decades by the military. But when applying this technology to enterprise and consumer grade APs, it’s not as simple as bolting a smart antenna onto existing WiFi access points due to the requirement for tight integration between the RF and baseband sections in the upfront design and standards process.  While you’d have to be an antenna connoisseur to appreciate the differences between beamforming and the various flavors of Multiple-in-Multiple-out (MIMO) algorithms, we can all benefit from the time and effort that companies like Cisco have invested over the last 7 years to get this technology embedded into currently-shipping products. So the recent ratification of 802.11n as a full fledged standard that is completely compatible with already-deployed 802.11n 2.0 draft-certified devices, is worth a tip of the hat to all those who helped make it happen.  802.11n is a key wireless technology that is significantly improving the performance and reliability of the user experience.

 

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Video: Imagine a World Without Wireless

In celebration of the recently approved 802.11n standard, we would like to share a fun video that shows a world trying to collaborate without wireless, yearning to set their ideas in motion.

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802.11n Ratification: The IT Checklist

In September the IEEE will close the final chapter on a standards ratification process that will have lasted almost exactly seven years. The IEEE will ratify the 802.11n standard for high-speed wireless, removing the final hurdle for adoption by even the most conservative of organization. Of course, many organizations have already developed quite a kinship with the standard that delivers wireless performance on par with wired networks. However, questions remain as to how to proceed now that the standard is approaching ratification. Since the introduction of the first enterprise-class Wi-Fi certified access point two years ago, Cisco has partnered with over 6,000 companies to deliver 802.11n solutions. From this experience, Cisco has developed a checklist of best practices to help companies navigate the path forward with a final, ratified 802.11n standard.

1.)           Don’t worry!  If you’ve deployed 802.11n draft 2.0 equipment today, your investment is protected.  Draft 2.0-certified equipment is fully compliant with the final 802.11n standard and will be grandfathered in to receive final standard certification for interoperability from the Wi-Fi Alliance. Client devices that are draft 2.0 certified are also fully compatible with the final standard.

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The Seven Years of Creating “N”

When was the last time it took you seven years to complete a project? I’d venture a guess that for most of us, a seven year time horizon to do anything seems like a pretty long time. Yet, in just shy of a month the IEEE will close the final chapter on a standards ratification process that will have lasted almost exactly seven years. The IEEE will ratify the 802.11n standard for high-speed wireless, removing the final hurdle for adoption by even the most conservative of enterprise. Of course, many enterprises have already developed quite a kinship with the standard that delivers wireless performance on par with wired networks. Still, the ratification of the standard paves the way for broad scale adoption and perhaps, just as importantly, allows the standards body and participating vendors to move on to the next phases of innovation. Read More »