Archive for the ‘Interesting Articles’ Category

Stadium Vision

Yesterday, I posted a link to a Light Reading article about in-stadium connectivity at the Staples Center downtown Los Angeles.  The project, by Verizon and Cisco Systems is called Stadium Vision.

If you are interested in learning *even more*, here is a link to a local news story about the project (which also includes a 2 minute video).  Exciting stuff!


What are Two Things That Make Me Smile? Hockey & Wireless!

OK, I thought I would pass along an interesting article where two of my passions – hockey and Cisco — intersect.   Here is an article on Light Reading about Cisco & Verizon updating the Staples Center in Los Angeles for in-stadium video.  Apparently it debuted at last night’s LA Kings game.

In-stadium connectivity is becoming increasingly more popular.  This article mentions controlling several different video angles.  I have a similar stand-alone device from Fan Vision that I use at Arizona Cardinals home games, although that works off of UHF technology.  Fan Vision — if you are listening, *please* expand into hockey.  PLEASE…

The light reading article I mentioned earlier also talks about fans ordering concessions from their seats.  This is something that we already have at Coyotes hockey through a vendor called Bypass.  I have tried to use the Bypass Lane at hockey games, but my in-stadium cellular signal isn’t sufficient to place the order, and there is a lack of public Wi-Fi.  What makes it particularly frustrating to me is that I know the arena *has* Wi-Fi, but they don’t segment a guest SSID for public consumption.  This would not only drive more sales for Bypass, but improve the overall fan experience.   I can also see in-stadium Wi-Fi making it easier for fans to post pictures, videos, etc. to their favorite social networking sites, which essentially extends the team’s brand outside of the event space.

The Light Reading article also mentions social networking, in the context of “digital dissing”.  I always thought they should run those boards on the jumbo tron where you text your message to a certain number, and then it plays your message.  Obviously, they would have to have some good content filtering, but it would be FUN.

While I am happy for the LA Kings and the Staples Center, the Kings are in town tomorrow night to take on *my* Phoenix Coyotes.  Let’s Go Coyotes!

How Long Does It Take For A Single Carrier To Get To 20,000,000 Wi-Fi Connections?

11 Days!  That is just one of the stunning statistics from an AT & T infographic that I saw recently.  The infographic also compares how long it took to reach the same number of connections in years past.  Check it out – you’ll be amazed!   Much of the additional data is of particular interest to those in the Hospitality and Retail Industries.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I’ll point you to a great blog post from that pretty much says everything that I would regarding the data.







Xirrus Ranked in the Top 10 of All Venture-Backed Companies

The Wall Street Journal Placed Xirrus 3rd Among Technology-based Venture-Backed Companies and 9th Among All Venture-Backed Companies

Xirrus®, the Wi-Fi “Power Play” that delivers the most coverage, bandwidth, and user density in the industry has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal 3rd among technology-based venture-backed companies and 9th among all venture-backed companies, showing once again the strength of their leadership team and continued growth in Wi-Fi networking. Xirrus’ ranking in The Wall Street Journal’s “The Next Big Thing – The Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies” was based on the success of its venture-capital investors (August Capital, Canaan Partners, Gold Hill Capital, InterWest Partners, QuestMark Partners, U.S. Venture Partners); the amount of capital raised over the last three years; the success of its founders and chief executive (Dirk Gates); the recent growth in the value of the company; and a qualitative ranking among the Dow Jones venture-capital reporters and editors.

“We are extremely pleased with the recognition by The Wall Street Journal for our leadership team and financial growth,” said Dirk Gates, founder and CEO of Xirrus. “Sales of our high performance Wi-Fi Arrays continue to grow significantly as more and more organizations see the value of Wi-Fi networking as a means to increase efficiencies of their users. Mobility is the growth area of enterprise telecommunications and Xirrus is the only Wi-Fi platform designed and implemented with the same distributed model as wired switching that puts the power and intelligence at the edge closer to the end user.”

WiFi Jedi Featured as Top Blog Post on

In case you haven’t seen it already, my post on 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz for 802.11n Deployments was featured in the CWNP newsletter, which has over 100k subscribers!   Here is a snap shot that I took: 


While, I am extremely honored to be chosen and excited to share the news, I am equally grateful for all those that read and comment on my blog posts here at and on  

Please pass along the web address or RSS feed info to anyone else you think would find value in good discussion around wireless networking & security. The comments, sense of community, and spirited debates are what I enjoy most – keep them coming!  

Related Posts: 

Gartner Wireless & Mobile Summit… In Review (Part #2 of 2)

I recently reviewed the Next-Generation WLAN presentation given at the Gartner Mobile & Wireless Summit that took place Feb 23-25, 2009.   I said the authors hit a home run with that presentation.  

This go-around, I am reviewing the “Online Society 2020” presentation which, to me, is more of a ground rule double than a home run.  The ball still went over the center field fence, it just wasn’t as satisfying as a pure home run… 

The presentation started with a high level overview of some of the factors affecting online society in 2020.  These factors were logical based on the information available today: 

  • Technology
  • Social Attitudes 
  • New Jobs/Hobbies 
  • External Factors 

From there, the discussion turned to networked Healthcare, Personal Communications & Collaboration, Education, Entertainment, and Financial Services.  

Some of the predictions seemed rather straight-forward:

(In 2020… “Division between personal and professional life has blurred”) 

Other predicitions were insightful (even downright brilliant): 

(In 2020… “Reputation management will be a billion dollar business”) 

Personally, I would have liked to see a tighter focus on Wireless & Mobile technologies, which was the theme of the conference.  That being said, I applaud the presenters (Nick Jones, Jackie Fenn, and Monica Basso) for attempting to predict society a decade from now.   Futhermore, I would suspect the audience discussion in this session significantly contributed to the overall quality of the presentation.  

Related Posts: 

Welcome Readers!

Welcome readers!  I hope you enjoyed my guest blog post at regarding frequency band utilization for 802.11n networks.  

Since you’re here, I am guessing that you interested in wireless networking and security!  

Below are a some of my most popular blog posts to-date: 


  • How Stuff Works – 802.11n and MIMO 
  • How Stuff Works – 802.11n and Spatial Multiplexing 
  • How Stuff Works – 802.11n and Channel Bonding
  • How Stuff Works – 802.11n, Fame Aggregation, & Block Acknowledgement
  • How Stuff Works – 802.11n and Short Guard Interval



    For Project Managers

    The Next Great Wireless LAN Vendor

    I wrote this as a guest post for An Information Security Place, but republished here for my readers.


    Yesterday was one of the few days that I bought a hard copy of the USA Today newspaper.  I get the Arizona Republic paper delivered to the house daily. I even get six copies of the Sunday paper  (don’t ask…)  I bought it because one headline on the cover page of the USA Today caught my attention.  It was “Who Might Rise From the Wreckage” with a subtitle of “It’s happened before – Cisco and MySpace emerged in tough times.  Tech can bloom again“.

    The headline and subtitle brought up a good point.   In the economic crash of the late 1980’s, Cisco began it’s rise as one of the large tech companies.  The article mentions Facebook and MySpace as companies who had a similar rise after the dot-com crash.  Personally, I remember two *other* (more relevant to networking) companies who accomplished a similar jump in market share in the wake of the dot-com crash – Foundry Networks and Extreme Networks.

    This economic downturn presents the same opportunity for tech companies to rise out of the aftermath stronger than when they entered.  Who are likely candidates this go-around?   I would suggest that the opportunity is particularly ripe for Wireless LAN vendors.

    Why?  There are several reasons WLAN manufacturers have an opportunity to grab market share in this economy, especially compared to their wired counterparts.  Most reasons point back to the fact that organizations are now forced to do more with less.

    During these times companies…

    • need to get more out of their employees – WLANs enable their employees to be connected everywhere in their enterprise all the time
    • will not want to invest in permanent infrastructure – WLANs can easily be moved from location to location vs. desktop switches / cabling
    • will want even tighter security because of dismissed employees and competitive pressures – WLANs allow for easy deployment of 802.1X port based authentication and can execute rapid adds and deletes

    Which WLAN vendor is poised to take advantage of such a situation?  Aerohive? Bluesocket? Meru? Rukus? Xirrus?  Let me know what you think in the comments section!  Be sure to state specific reasons that you think one vendor will be able to gain more market share than another.  Also, if you like this post, check out my blog for related info such as 50 Questions K-12 School Districts Should Ask WLAN Vendors.

    WiFi Jedi

    Caution! Zombies Ahead!

    This is a great short article posted by the Dallas Morning News earlier this week.

    It talks about hackers breaking into a road sign (also referred to as a DMS – dynamic message sign) and changing the content to warn motorists about the end of the world, zombies, etc.

    I have worked on several projects for different transportation organizations.  What you might not know is that many of these signs have wireless transceivers so the message can be changed remotely (such as from a traffic management center).   It is common for intersections to be networked together and tied back to the department of transportation network through wireless devices.  Beyond DMS, other applications include traffic signal control, video detection systems (which superseded ground loops and change the signal when there are waiting vehicles), and pan-tilt-zoom cameras.

    The hackers in this case physically broke the lock on the road sign before gaining access and changing the message.  With the introduction of wireless technology, this could have been done without physical access.  Also, while this particular event did not cause any real damage, attacks on similar systems such as those that control the traffic signal timing could have more serious impact.

    My basic recommendations for wireless systems attached to transportation systems:

    • Conduct a business impact analysis of the specific systems utilizing wireless technology to determine the threats specific to your system and the controls that you are going to institute
    • Develop a set of wireless security policies and procedures to address both the business and technical requirements of the organization
    • Change default parameters such as admin username/password, SSIDs, and SNMP community strings
    • Employ strong encryption and authentication mechanisms
    • Review the security posture of your wired infrastructure as it relates to the additional risk imposed by wireless – i.e. do firewall rule sets, ACLs, or IDS signatures need to be modified?
    • Conduct regular security assessments / pen tests (and make them part of your annual audit program)

    Gigabit Wireless Expected in 2009?!?

    While we are on the topic of 802.11n and speed, I thought this was an applicable story that appeared on Network World’s website earlier in the week.

    It talks about Quantenna Communications plans to release a 4×4 MIMO chip set in Q3 of 2009 that is capable of 1 Gbps wireless bandwidth (600 Mbps of throughput).

    With 100+ Mbps throughput currently provided by 802.11n, most desktop applications have more than enough bandwidth.   Gigabit Wireless would certainly eliminate speed as one of the obstacles to replacing Ethernet with wireless.