LibreRouter: A Router for Isolated Communities

Setting up a network between isolated communities is not easy or cheap. People or communities that do not have direct access to the Internet must invest an enormous amount of money to set up a network based on commercial hardware that provides them with this access. Normally these communities cannot cope with the investment that this implies, and this is how the LibreRouter project was born, as a simple, cheap and, above all, free alternative, to provide Internet access to all by creating a Wi-Fi Mesh network.

LibreRouter is much more than a project, it is an opportunity to address the main needs of many communities with problems of Internet access. This router was born after the FCC forced the manufacturers to make modifications to the routers to prevent modifications being made, such as installing firmware modified to use certain frequencies. Thus, programmers and engineers from all over the world worked to create a new prototype router that did not comply with FCC norms and allowed to easily provide a Mesh connection to all types of communities, regardless of where they are, their budget and their needs.

The entire infrastructure of LibreRouter is not designed to connect a PC to squeeze a FTTH Gigabit Ethernet connection, but mainly seeks to meet the needs that many communities have offering:

  • Accessibility to create a Mesh network without the need for specialized personnel.
  • The possibility of easily scaling the network without affecting the speed.
  • Robust and resistant devices that can work a long time without a single problem, neither software nor hardware.
  • Affordable routers for communities with lower budgets.

The first prototypes of LibreRouter are ready and they are going to start testing in different communities in Mexico, Argentina, Canada and Spain.

Hardware used in LibreRouter

The philosophy of open hardware allows any user to know all the hardware components that make up this router, learn how they work and modify it without problems to adapt it to their own needs. In addition, if it breaks, users may know what has been broken and replace the part in question without having to go to an RMA.

Thus, the hardware that shapes this router is:

  • 128 MB of RAM and 32 MB of Flash.
  • Triple Radio MIMO 2 × 2 5 GHz with amplification to cover long distances with speeds of up to 300 Mbps without degradation.
  • Wi-Fi Mesh.
  • 2.4 Ghz connection for devices and links between routers.
  • Mini-PCIe ports for expansion.
  • Lightning protection

Finally, indicate that this router can be powered through the power grid, like any other, but can also work from a battery and even by solar energy.

Software used in LibreRouter

All the functionality of this router is offered from the following three software components: LibreMesh, LimeApp and LibreNet6.

On the one hand,  LibreMesh (which works on OpenWRT) is responsible for allowing us to easily configure the entire Mesh network formed with these routers, including the automation of IPs and DNS. LimeApp, on the other hand, is an app that will allow us to monitor and manage the entire Mesh network.

Finally,  LibreNet6 is a VPN that allows interconnecting Mesh networks. Thanks to this program it is possible to connect remotely to the network and solve any problem easily.

Actisense W2K-1 : a WiFi Gateway that Records the Data

By offering its 3-in-1 gateway, Actisense offers the possibility to read the boat’s data on a mobile while recording them for use once on land for a detailed analysis.

To share the data of the boat in wifi for the lire on a tablet or a smartphone becomes more and more asked. In fact, if a navigation unit broadcasts the indications coming from the on-board sensors (wind speed and direction, boat speed, depth, AIS …), a mobile can only give information from its internal GPS .

Even if the applications, including mapping are very complete, provide more reading edge sensors directly on the mobile screen is a plus. The new case Actisense W2K-1 allows it. By simply plugging this box on the NMEA2000 network, all devices connected to Wifi receive all data from the edge.

NMEA2000 / NMEA183 Converter

But this type of Wifi gateway is not really new. Other devices on the market in recent years also have this function. But Actisense W2K-1 also offers two other functions. This box is also a NMEA2000 converter in NMEA 183. Thus software that only reads NMEA 183 sentences will be compatible with this gateway.

Data Logger

Finally, the Actisense W2K-1 also proposes to record on an internal memory chip, all the data of your outings at sea. The saved data can then be re-read later for a detailed analysis. It will be possible to replay a regatta to watch the behavior at the buoy, or even share this data with other users.

The capacity of the internal memory allows to record up to 16 days of data, a capacity that can be increased at the factory if necessary.

Available in 2020

With this recording function, the W2K-1 is particularly suitable for regatta monotypes that already have onboard electronics and that would be more interested in the Wifi functions to navigate with a mobile. The recording will be a plus to replay the day of regatta and progress with a detailed analysis.

The Actisense W2K-1 will be available in February 2019 via its PST-France distributor at a price of around € 280

Use Aluminum Foil to Improve WiFi

The bad or slow connectivity of the wifi in a house is always a topic of debate. In a context where cell phones, computers, PS4, Netflix and even televisions need connection, the signal strength is decisive.

You can simply strengthen your wireless local area network’s signal using aluminum foil which acts as an inexpensive WiFi extender and this can work on most routers.

Aluminum Foil to Improve WiFi

Simply head to the room and grab some foil that is usually utilized by moms for wrapping foods. you furthermore may want atiny low paper box. These steps can increase your signal strength just about.

A homemade and effective trick can help to improve the service. The wifi routers of a house use their antennas to send the signal in a general way to 360 degrees around them. If aluminum foil or some reflective material is placed near the antennas, the quality of the signal is routed.

According to researchers at the University of Darthmouth, circling the router’s antennae with aluminum foil or a can serves to improve the signal, reduce interference and create barriers to increase the security of the connection.

“This improves the efficiency of the wireless infrastructure in buildings, by mitigating the impact of insulation, partitions and interior designs of the building,” say the Darthmouth engineers, according to the BBC.

By attaching a sheet of aluminum foil, the signal becomes directional, that is, it points in only one direction. Thus, in a department, the router can be put a sheet of aluminum foil that only points to a place. The other spaces will lose connectivity, but this will be concentrated in the most necessary place.

The Researchers of Darthmouth took this homemade method to a more sophisticated level and created a system that prints 3D models that point the signal wherever you want. After the figure is printed in plastic, it is lined with aluminum foil and ready.

Current Situation with Hotspot 2.0 in Mobile and Fixed Applications

To effectively read the article, some familiarity with mobile networks is assumed.

We haven’t talked about offloading or unloading mobile data traffic from mobile networks over a Wi-Fi network for a long time.. But the situation nevertheless continues to evolve. Such offload can be, let’s say, a clean offload using existing modern Wi-Fi networks or offload using Hotspot 2.0 technologies. To a greater extent, we will talk about the version with the use of HS2.0. Such an approach is widely and hotly debated today in narrow circles. Moreover, some operators have already tested something or even launched commercial solutions in one form or another. It can be said that the flame of new interest flares up around HS2.0 after the surge and fall in 2012-2013 due to the lack of compatible devices and provisioning mechanisms. Moreover, the possibility of using HS2.0 is not only a privilege of mobile operators or MVNO, but it can also be used by all other fixed operators and providers.

Probably, it makes no sense to discuss the fundamental advantages of using unlicensed or conditionally unlicensed spectrum in comparison with the licensed (actually Wi-Fi against 3G / 4G) to serve the huge and ever-increasing amount of data traffic generated by various mobile or other non-stationary devices. This was mentioned many times in various articles and on our resource in particular. On the other hand, without a clear understanding of the architecture of the target system solution, the features and the business case associated with this solution, many of the advantages can be significantly reduced due to costs, sometimes unnecessary. But first things first.

It should be understood that a Wi-Fi network can be both trusted and untrusted in relation to the network of a mobile communication operator. In this article, we will talk about the version of the trusted Wi-Fi network (Trusted non-3GPP WiFi-Access, in accordance with the recommendations of 3GPP). The untrusted option implies the need to address the issue of security, which is usually transformed into the formation of IPSec tunnels between the client device and the mobile packet bark. This imposes the need for specialized clients on a mobile device, as well as devices for terminating such tunnels in the cortex, plus very expensive licenses and the like. Operators usually prefer to work with a trusted option that is much simpler and potentially cheaper. In the case of a trusted Wi-Fi network, this network belongs to either the mobile operator itself or its partner, a fixed telecom operator operating in the MVNO model with respect to this mobile operator. I.e, we have a Wi-Fi access network completely or conditionally controlled by a mobile operator. Naturally, such an approach makes it necessary to integrate a Wi-Fi network with a mobile packet bark of a mobile telecommunications operator. Or, in some rare cases, elements of a mobile packet cortex are purchased and deployed by a fixed provider who wishes to receive an MVNO solution of a deeper level.

Hotspot 2.0 in Mobile and Fixed Applications

For fixed operators or providers, there is usually no need to somehow integrate with the mobile network. Here, devices without a mobile radio, such as all sorts of desktop computers and laptops, tablets with Wi-Fi, are of higher priority. Although, of course, in many cases, users with the most common mobile smartphones and tablets with Wi-Fi radio will also knock on such a wireless access network, and we should be ready for this.

This results in the variants of clients that such a trusted Wi-Fi network must be able to authenticate and maintain:

Mobile devices with a SIM or USIM card that do not support HS2.0
2. Mobile devices with a SIM or USIM card, supporting HS2.0 R1
3. Mobile devices with a SIM card or a USIM card that support HS2.0 R2
(this is a promising direction at the beginning of 2016)
4. Any devices without a SIM card that do not support HS2.0,
5. Any devices without a SIM card that support HS2.0 R1,
6. Any devices without a SIM card that support HS2.0 R2
(at the beginning of 2016 this is a promising direction)

The diagram below reflects the real high-quality picture of the client devices on the market at the time of publication of the article.

Non-SIM devices can “belong” both to the mobile operator itself, for example, under contracts with B2B clients, and also be clients of a fixed operator acting as MVNO in such a system.

Having touched upon such a topic as the decisions of the Hotspot 2.0 standards group, let’s remember what it is, who does what and what is the meaning of various releases.

Hotspot 2.0 was created to solve the main problem: providing Wi-Fi users the same level of ease of access to the service on a global scale as users of mobile networks. Turned on a device compatible with HS2.0 and magically already online. In this case, the user should not care about what is happening on the network. All other interesting technological capabilities of HS2.0 were added to the solution of this main task.

Three organizations mainly participate in technology standardization under the common name Hotspot 2.0:

1. IEEE

IEEE is developing an 802.11u standard. Support for this standard is mandatory both on the user device side and on the Wi-Fi network side.

2. Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA)

Using the 802.11u standard as the basis of the WFA, it is working on mechanisms for automating network search and user authentication. WFA also solves the problem of compatibility of user devices and the network through the provision of joint testing procedures. WFA has organized and maintains a Passpoint certification program. This program has already passed hundreds of devices that are compatible with HS2.0 Release 1 and is currently working on certification of devices and technologies for HS2.0 Release 2. Actually, the Wi-Fi Alliance, by and large, creates what is eventually accepted call hotspot 2.0.

3. Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA)

The WBA is developing technology compatibility requirements in commercial solutions using IEEE and WFA. The WBA has launched and is promoting a very important initiative called Next Generation Hotspot (NGH). NGH aims to form global inter-network roaming mechanisms for Wi-Fi access service providers. There are still more open questions than answers, and the process is slow. In fact, the option of inter-network roaming in a meaningful form (functionally limited) is so far achieved by connecting the operator’s network with a Wi-Fi aggregator supporting HS2.0. Today, this functionality has been demonstrated by Boingo. At the time of the publication of the article, Boingo supported HS2.0 service for Apple iOS devices compatible with HS2.0 / R1. Another large iPass aggregator is also working on a similar service.

At the beginning of 2016 there are two developed releases Hotspot 2.0. Developers had to go to such a division since the task initially set was extremely difficult to implement.

1. Hotspot 2.0, Release-1

R1 aims to provide automatic user access to the service in hotspots ( WiFi networks ), where this user can be authenticated and authorized. By using 802.1x in conjunction with the 802.11i security architecture, authentication at the second level and radio channel encryption in public hotspots are provided. Additionally, it became possible to integrate multiple partner providers behind an HS2.0 compliant network and provide their users with automatic access through a single HS2.0 compliant SSID. The R1 began to use the IEEE 802.11u standard, and the Access Network Query Protocol (ANQP) search and exchange protocol was introduced.

Despite the fact that at the moment there are many network components and user devices that are compatible with HS2.0 / R1, these devices do not yet dominate the device market. And, most importantly, the provisioning of user devices integrated into the system solution was not implemented in R1. Thus, to build a network of HS2.0 / R1 and the use of compatible user devices will have to solve the issue of configuration management.

2. Hotspot 2.0, Release-2

R2 addresses the challenges of managing user devices and provisioning subscriptions. To solve this complex task, the OMA-DM (Open Mobile Alliance’s Device Management) architecture was introduced, ensuring the use of an XML-based tree structure. Also in R2, new network elements were introduced, the main one being the OSU (Online SignUp server), designed to provide secure provisioning and adding devices supporting R2 to the network (onboarding).

To understand the difference between accessing an HS2.0 device to a WiFi / HS2.0 network from any conventional Wi-Fi device (not HS2.0) to a regular Wi-Fi network, let’s look at how the interaction occurs in network HS2.0.

So Access to the Network with Support for HS2.0:

The Wi-Fi access point sends beacons that contain additional fields in accordance with the 802.11u standard. User devices that understand 802.11u listen to these beacons.
• User devices send samples with 802.11u fields.
• The device selects an access point and sends an ANQP request requesting HS2.0 information. This may be, for example:
– location name (name of the store, stadium, etc.), –
IP addressing,
– network identifier (NAI Realm),
– DNS sheet, external data channel (WAN) metrics.
• The access point responds with ANQP providing information.
This could be, for example:
-SuperShoppingMall
-IPv4 NAT
-MNO-aaabbb.com / TTLS
-MCC yyy MNC zzz
-MNO.com
-12/3 Mbps, Up / Up
• The device compares the pre-configured profile on itself with the data received from the access point and performs the association to the desired SSID if it is possible.

Everything described above, if the user device supports HS2.0 and has already been retested for this by its home carrier, occurs automatically. The network where the user wants to access must maintain roaming relationships with his home operator. This can be achieved through direct inter-operator integration or through access to specialized HS2.0 compliant traffic exchange points. Or it can be a joint with a compatible Wi-Fi aggregator, for example, such as the previously mentioned Boingo. If everything is built as it should, then the user simply wants to use this access – and forward to the Internet. With the right developments, if the device supports HS2.0 and 802.1x, there is no need to search for the desired network, enter a Credentials etc.

Now let’s dwell on what options of off-road exist and how they differ. The names are quite conditional, but reflecting the essence of the question.

  1. Simple or ordinary offload
  2. Offload using Hotspot 2.0

Simple offload implies the possibility for b About proceed of the modern devices to access the Wi-Fi network. At the same time, mobile devices should be able to offload mobile data traffic with support for one of the following authentication methods specific to mobile devices: EAP-SIM, EAP-USIM, EAP-AKA. Usually, EAP-SIM is used today. Given the fact that the client information, in this case, is stored in the HLR (Home Local Register) or HSS (Home Subscription Server) of the mobile carrier, the Wi-Fi network must be integrated via the RADIUS protocol with the mobile bark. By the way, st OhIt is to say that in some situations HLR may be part of the HSS structure, but this is rare. Note that the HLR does not support the RADIUS protocol, and EAP methods are transmitted in RADIUS messages, so the typical practice is to convert EAP-SIM to SIGTRAN to interact with the HLR. In case of sufficiently old HLRs that do not support SIGTRAN, but the only SS7 on digital streams of type E1 / T1 or more, STP (Signaling Transfer Point) can be used. Depending on the vendor, often such an element is not only capable of terminating RADIUS with EAP-SIM, but also converting EAP-SIM to SS7 and transmitting via TDM channels. In an IP network, the function of converting EAP-SIM to SIGTRAN is most often performed by an AAA Server with the functionality of a MAP converter or MAP gateway. For non-SIM clients, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS, PEAP methods within 802 are very popular.

If the presence of clients that do not support 802.1x is allowed, then web authentication can be enabled through a web portal. It should be noted that web portals are rapidly losing popularity due to the low level of security of this approach. In some situations, web portals are beginning to be used to provision (change configuration) devices. In this case, a profile can be located on the portal for making changes in the device configuration to, for example, start using its Hotspot 2.0 functions. The user can download such a profile, apply, and then everything will happen automatically. So today Apple iOS devices that support HS2.0 / R1 are configured, and more recently, similar support has been added to Android 6.

If the operator’s Wi-Fi network is built on a centralized architecture controlled by a wireless controller, then such a controller usually performs the function of a proxy server, for example, for a RADIUS protocol, forwarding RADIUS messages to an external AAA Server, or for HTTP / HTTPS protocol, performing Redirect (redirect) such messages to an external web portal. Even if the WLAN controller has a built-in web portal and any authentication capabilities, the use of external devices is done to scale the solution and to get much more extensive AAA functionality and many other advantages.

The WLAN controller, in addition to the integrated Wi-Fi network management function itself, can also perform the WAG function (Wireless Access Gateway, 3GPP). Or, WAG can be a separate device working together with the controller in a single solution. If you don’t go into details that are not very important at this stage, then the main task of WAG is to unite the WiFi world with the mobile world by forming various tunnels and, above all, GTP tunnels (GTP: GPRS Tunneling Protocol). A GTP connection is generally performed in one of the following ways:

  1. Integration of WAG and 3G GGSN by using GTPv1
  2. Integration of WAG and 4G PGW by using GTPv2

In order not to complicate, let us leave the description of the interfaces behind the crowd of this article. You can always find these details in the relevant 3GPP documents.

Now let’s get back to using the GTP protocol to integrate a Wi-Fi network with a mobile packet bark. This approach, on the one hand, is recommended by 3GPP, but to what extent is this justified for telecom operators participating in the project, especially for the mobile operator? Let’s figure it out.

A mobile device in a mobile network transmits data through the so-called PS-domain (packet switched) or domain with packet-switched. In this case, voice traffic is transmitted through a CS-domain (circuit switched) or a circuit-switched domain. Theoretically, fourth-generation networks (LTE / Advanced-LTE) can support both voice and data over IP, thereby transforming into an All-IP network, but such homogeneous networks with large-scale voice and data support over IP can assume almost none. Mobile networks, even the most modern, are heterogeneous, combining in themselves the legacy of past years and modern technologies. And with this one has to live in the real world. This results in extreme difficulties in the implementation of handovers with saving the session from the access of one technology (for example, 3G) to the access of another technology (for example, Wi-Fi) and vice versa. And it is much more difficult with voice sessions, especially if such a session was initiated in the cs-domain of the mobile network and it is necessary to continue it in the Wi-Fi network, which by definition is packet-based or vice versa. It must be said that some solutions to the problem exist, but none has yet become widely accepted. In general, this is a big and complex issue that is not the topic of this article.

It is important to know that many of today’s mobile devices, if not all, after joining the Wi-Fi network and starting offload data traffic to this network, continue to maintain their GTP tunnel into the mobile packet cortex through the mobile network. In addition to this, one more GTP tunnel from WAG to the packet bark for the session of the same subscriber necessarily occurs. Thus, to implement mobile data offload in Wi-Fi with integration via GTP tunnels, it is often necessary to significantly increase the number of licenses and the performance of mobile packet cortex (GGSN and / or PGW). That is, in the first approximation, we can very roughly talk about the need to double the number of licenses in the bark. Of course, this can and must be carefully optimized, but for simplicity of perception, we will assume the doubling assumption. Hence, for a large subscriber base of a mobile operator, only modification of the package bark can add millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, to a project. And that’s not counting the actual deployment of the Wi-Fi network and WAG gateways.

A number of mobile operators clearly prefer to receive data traffic, regardless of the type of access to their packet bark, in order to apply a single polishing mechanism, traffic calculation and billing to all subscribers. This is a clear desire, but its implementation eventually becomes very expensive in practice.

In addition to GTP tunnels, other tunneling technologies can be used for integration, for example, PMIPv6, SoftGRE and a number of other, less popular ones. But GTP remains the most common and clear option for today for mobile telecom operators.

What can be done to reduce the cost of building a solution for offload? In any case, for offload mobile data will have to perform integration at least to ensure the authentication of subscribers. Perhaps one of the most interesting (and financially significant) questions at the same time – is it necessary to integrate with the mobile packet cortex through these or other tunnel technologies? Under certain conditions, this cannot be avoided, for example, with the unequivocal demand for maintaining continuity of sessions. But this condition imposes a lot of additional requirements, such as the introduction of the Home Agent function, etc. Another situation arises when the mobile operator wants all data traffic, regardless of the type of access, to be sent to its packet core. We discussed motivation earlier. Such a desire is understandable and obvious, but the price of realization is very high,

Is it necessary to tunnel traffic into the mobile packet cortex, if there are no special conditions? The control part of the traffic (Control plane), first of all, RADIUS messages, will have to be transferred in any way from the Wi-Fi network to the mobile core to perform subscriber authentication, as described earlier. But data traffic (Data plane) is not necessary to redirect to the kernel. It can be completely terminated locally, directly at access points, and redirected to the nearest route to the Internet. This is called a local breakout. If the operator has a full-featured 3GPP AAA server, then it can be used not only to authenticate subscribers but also to perform accounting for traffic calculation and billing. At the same time, such an AAA server is usually able to convert RADIUS to SIGTRAN. If such an AAA server already exists with the operator,

As an example, some large mobile operators even conducted quite successful offload testing and Hotspot 2.0 with integration via GTP, and then carefully considered the full costs and realized that offload was needed, but costs needed to be optimized. As a result, offload and Hotspot 2.0 remained, but during the transition to the commercial operation, they refused from tunnels to the core, performing local data traffic termination. This allowed to reduce costs to an acceptable level and at the same time successfully complete the task.

If we follow the simplified path, then to deploy a solution with Hotspot 2.0, which will be able to work with both HS2.0- and non-HS2.0 clients, it will be required in the general case:

  1. Wi-Fi access points that support HS2.0 (802.11u).
  2. Wi-Fi network controller supporting HS2.0
  3. AAA server for authentication and accounting of its users and integration with other networks through a RADIUS proxy mechanism. To integrate with mobile bark on the AAA server, you need a MAP gateway functionality.
  4. Means of safely introducing new customers to the network (onboarding).

You will also have to resolve issues of integration with other carrier networks or aggregators.

The short format of the article can not cover all the nuances and pitfalls on the difficult path of implementing solutions HS2.0, but we tried to touch on the main aspects and features.

Corporate Wi-Fi Infrastructure: When is it Better without Wires

Once, Wi-Fi objectively occupied a subordinate, supporting role in the office IT infrastructure. Today, wireless digital communications are not inferior to wired for a number of key parameters: peak bandwidth, readiness to simultaneously support multiple virtual communication channels in one physical, highest resistance to unauthorized access attempts.

Corporate Wi-Fi is firmly established in the Russian realities and in some places is even ready to completely oust the usual Ethernet cable networks. How critical is the Wi-Fi infrastructure for Russian corporate customers? What are the benefits to customers and what challenges do integrators of wireless LAN segments in various enterprises throw to integrators? There are no universal answers to these questions – but certain trends in the domestic corporate Wi-Fi market can still be traced.

What does the Customer Expect?

Over the past ten years, corporate Wi-Fi has significantly evolved: from several Internet access points for employees and guests to the level of seamless coverage of the entire office, warehouse, and production premises; It has become the main way to connect to the corporate network, especially from devices that do not include RJ-45 ports: smartphones, tablets, and ultra-thin laptops.

“If only a few years ago, the fact of Wi-Fi was enough, and the most serious requirement was acceptable speed, now corporate customers want everything from Wi-Fi: high transmission speed, protection of transmitted data, stability of work, provision of services, BYOD support etc., ”says Nadezhda Pchelintseva, Director of Network and Telecommunications, Marvel-Distribution.

“The speed requirements have grown by two orders of magnitude,” confirms Dmitry Vostrikov, lead product manager at Tenda Rus. – Unfortunately, it is necessary to state: the wireless network has not become the main one, it is always auxiliary, it is over wired. There are many reasons for this, ranging from the desire to save money and use the cheapest solutions to unqualified planning and maintenance. ”

According to Alexey Shavaldin, Technical Director of OCS Distribution, the boom of basic deployment of wireless infrastructure with customers of the corporate sector has already passed; major investments are made. Adapting to new business needs is the key vector of change. A few years ago, a wireless network was, for the most part, a transport for accessing end-user devices to corporate resources, now it is a means of obtaining information about the business, about the client, and in some cases – the basis for making decisions about optimizing business processes.

The requirements for Wi-Fi networks are dictated by the specifics of the organization’s information perimeter, indicates Vyacheslav Logushev, director of IT services and outsourcing at X-Com. In particular, the wireless network must provide guaranteed access to data at a reasonable speed at any point, not interfere with the operation of other equipment, and also have sufficient protection from unauthorized customers connecting. Also, for the convenience of users, the network should support seamless roaming, and Wi-Fi equipment should provide seamless scaling, flexible configuration and remote administration.

Issues of information security are of great importance in the light of the widely spread BYOD concept. Convenient and secure access to corporate resources, including from wireless devices, provides today the solution of virtually all work tasks: interaction with corporate DBMS, taking orders from customers, processing and transferring them into production, production processes themselves, warehousing, etc. If the wireless network is not available – the company loses profit.

This explains the significant increase in wireless network reliability requirements, according to Yulia Andrianova, business development manager for Cisco corporate solutions: “According to a Cisco survey, 80% of large companies estimated the damage from corporate network downtime for one hour at $ 300,000 “.

However, according to Oleg Kim, head of the ELKO project distribution solutions department, Russian corporate customers mainly have two main requirements for Wi-Fi networks deployed at their enterprises: network capacity and coverage area.

Benefit in the air

When asked which customers in Russia today are willing to invest in Wi-Fi, Sergey Aksenov, an expert on networking solutions from Huawei Enterprise, answers from the opposite: “We are still not inclined to invest in security agencies, while almost all other industries are very positive. ” Most of all, it relies on wireless access to small and medium businesses, even despite the fact that such companies often do not have the opportunity to implement professional corporate solutions.

Yulia Andrianova agrees that corporate Wi-Fi networks are demanded by customers from completely different spheres: these are various industries, container terminals, airports, crowded places, stadiums, exhibition complexes, hotels. She points to retail, where the wireless network facilitates digitalization of warehouses and allows you to organize digital trading rooms.

Even those companies with increased requirements for information security, who still refuse to implement Wi-Fi, and in some cases, access to the Internet as a whole, need appropriate wireless equipment. Only in their case, Wi-Fi access points will be mounted not in order to provide employees with a connection, but to monitor possible violations of the wireless mode.

Wigel Antonov, Technical Director of TEGRUS, clarifies: “Most customers with large-scale IT infrastructures strive to make their wireless networks more manageable and to reduce troubleshooting time. The tendency to use corporate networks (both wireless and conventional) as a sensor, giving a complete picture of the connected devices and their types, as well as user activity, is becoming widespread. Such data allows you to optimize network performance and enhance the security of your IT infrastructure. ”

Depending on the organization’s business profile, the scale of networks, architecture and technologies for connecting various types of devices, including corporate and personal mobile gadgets, IP telephony, video conferencing, video surveillance cameras, barcode scanners, etc., vary. For offices, one specificity, warehouse and industrial premises – another, for the street – the third.

Significant investments of the company are being made today in their own networks for employees and guests, giving them preference over the publicly accessible infrastructure managed by external providers.

Alexey Usachev, Director of Projects at TP-Link in Russia, draws attention to the fact that Wi-Fi networks are getting smarter: “If a couple of years ago no one paid particular attention to seamless roaming, now in almost every TK you can see this item as compulsory with the standard 802.11ac. ” HoReCa customers are especially active in terms of investments in wireless business infrastructure since the availability of affordable and stable Wi-Fi is one of the most important conditions when choosing a hotel.

Expand without replacing?

802.11ac certified wireless equipment has provided a noticeable performance boost for the wireless LAN segment compared to 802.11n. The undoubted advantages of the newest 802.11ax standard include more precise channelization and the implementation of joint transmission algorithms, a general improvement in communication quality when serving a significant number of subscribers, as well as the implementation of OFDMA (Ortho Frequency Division Multiple Access) multiplexing technologies borrowed from cellular communication.

Dmitry Pleshakov, deputy technical director of IC TELECOM SERVICE, draws attention to the fact that 802.11ax, as in all previous Wi-Fi incarnations, is backward compatible with earlier versions: “What does this mean? The fact that as long as we do not replace the fleet of client equipment operating in the old standards, we should not expect any revolutionary increase in speed and quality of service, since access points will work in compatibility mode. ”

The real advantages of 802.11ax for users will be shown, according to Yulia Andrianova, only the experience of implemented projects: “Currently, the addition of ax to the 802.11 standard is not yet complete. What appears now will be a pre-standard, most likely without the possibility of a subsequent program transition to ah. The addition will be completed only in the second half of 2019. Some vendors, of course, are ahead of the curve – to solve marketing problems or to declare themselves a leader, but the standard gets more popular when new terminals appear that begin to force out the old ones.

Vigel Antonov clarifies that economically feasible migration to 802.11ax may be when large-scale connectivity is required for devices supporting this standard and for deploying applications that require such bandwidth from the wireless client. But it should be borne in mind that modern technologies are increasingly going to the clouds, so the processing and storage of data on the client side today requires minimal.

Fast migration to the standard ah can hardly be considered economically viable, unless it is about building a completely new network. Oleg Kim is sure that with a high density of clients, it makes sense to switch to 802.11ax and that all new networks will most likely be built on the basis of this standard: “Everything depends on the number of proposals from chipset suppliers, marketing”.

Nadezhda Pchelintsev is in solidarity with the fact that manufacturers of new gadgets and technologies (smartphones, laptops, tablets, elements of “smart” home, etc.) will necessarily generate the need for 802.11ax equipment from private consumers and corporate customers. The first to start investing in the transition to a new standard are companies that position themselves as innovative, but such a transition will be more an image step, rather than the realization of a really urgent need.

As Dmitry Vostrikov reminds, there are only two reasons for introducing new technologies in the business environment: a) this is necessary (since it is fashionable, relevant, it has a competitor); b) it is necessary for business: “I’m more than sure that in this case the efforts of marketers will not be in vain. The constant change of technology needed by modern industry for survival will continue. The new technology will be in demand, although, according to our estimates, at the moment the degree of its real need does not exceed 10-15%. ”

At the same time, according to Alexei Shavaldina, the introduction of 802.11x will be preceded by a rather long period of evaluation of its effectiveness and return on business from the investments.

“Mass rebuilding of networks on 802.11ax may not happen at all,” admits Alexey Usachev, “since the increase in speed will not be needed by the wide consumer. 90% of applications lack the current AC standard; streaming video fits into a small lane; surfing does not require tremendous speed; mail, games – everything fits even with a massive gathering of people in 4 × 4 MU-MIMO AC, technologies will rather focus on density, not speed. ” And with the availability of an available broadband cellular Wi-Fi channel, and in general, can lose relevance for ordinary users, since good mobile communication fully provides most of their needs.

“As long as marketing wins physics, people often believe figures that promise them tremendous speed through the air and that new standards will save Wi-Fi. I am sure that, realizing all the consequences of converting the network to the 802.11ax standard, they will not rush to it. The only effective way to migrate is the simultaneous appearance of client devices with the support of this standard, which in reality will not be soon, ”sums up Vyacheslav Logushev.

Intellectual coverage

Many customers today are faced with a simple wording, but requiring an uncommon solution to the problem: the need to extend the wireless coverage zone to a fairly vast area. The simple extenders that were widely used for this purpose are no longer required by serious Russian customers, since they are unprofitable from the point of view of radio design and are more suitable for home networks. Another solution to the same problem is the mesh technology, which, as Vigel Antonov specifies, one of the ranges uses for connecting users, and the second – for connecting access points to each other.

Oleg Kim agrees that extenders for corporate customers are not very popular, and testifies that basically mesh solutions are in demand. They are effective where you need to connect remote segments and users in places where cable laying is impossible, or it requires additional coordination and serious financial investments.

As Sergey Aksenov specifies, such solutions are applicable to corporate business, but here there is a specificity: “For example, one of our customers uses a mesh network in metallurgy, there are very high temperatures, there is no possibility to build a wired infrastructure, and wireless bridges solve this problem. In addition, the mesh is popular with retailers: it is often unprofitable for them to place access points in rented premises. Instead, they buy Wi-Fi access points and connect them using a wireless mesh channel. ”

Yulia Andrianova considers the use of mesh-solutions in the corporate environment as a necessary measure: “They are used in fields where some temporary work is carried out, for example, you need to organize a rescue operation or conduct an analysis for the extraction of mineral resources”.

The topic of specific applications of mesh networks is developed by Alexey Shavaldin: “Mesh is traditionally a street solution. In our opinion, it has a weak potential due to the increase in the performance of mobile networks. Nevertheless, there are scenarios in which this solution cannot be avoided, for example, the output of corporate Wi-Fi on the street, video surveillance, telemetry collection, temporary street solutions. In addition, mesh-solutions effectively manifest themselves in developments in quarries where it is necessary to provide communication between moving objects and a wired network. At the same time telemetry and geo-positioning are transmitted. ”

With the development and cheapening of technology, even in the home segment, where extenders are still popular, their niche very soon, in 2019, will be taken over by mesh devices, warns Alexey Usachev: ., and the mesh network is much more efficient than the extender. ”

Wireless Championship

One of the events that most influenced the Russian IT market in 2018 was the home FIFA World Cup. And the segment of wireless equipment of the 2018 World Cup, as evidenced by Yulia Andrianova, was reflected very well: “A new standard of expectations among fans has appeared on how mass events should take place. Before the championship, we actually had no Wi-Fi stadiums: the only example was the stadium in Krasnodar. ” When the stadium is filled with people, 3G, 4G mobile networks can no longer cope, then specially designed high-density Wi-Fi solutions provide a way out.

From this point of view, Nadezhda Pchelintseva stands in solidarity: in her opinion, the World Cup has added good success stories to the portfolio of some wireless vendors. Alexey Usachev also confirms: “We saw a noticeable surge in Wi-Fi settings for business from November 2017 to May 2018 in hotels.” The 2018 World Cup provided an incentive for hotels to think about upgrading their own wireless networks so that foreign guests could opt for them.

According to Vigel Antonov, thanks to the 2018 World Cup, the presence of a wireless network is considered by visitors to the stadiums as a familiar option. FIFA requirements for stadiums, which obligate them to have high-density Wi-Fi for fans, played their part here.

Another thing is that not all fans really enjoyed Wi-Fi: people came first to watch football.

“Service sellers and bookmakers should offer fans an interesting service model so that they want to connect to Wi-Fi during a match – from ordering drinks to the spot before voting for the best football player after each half or match,” said Sergey Aksenov. The question, therefore, rests on monetization and remains open. Equipping a stadium with a high-density Wi-Fi network requires serious investments, and site owners do not really understand how to get them back.

But according to Oleg Kim, the World Cup had no effect on the Russian Wi-Fi market: “Only if not to take into account the marketing value of brands”. Dmitry Vostrikov is also skeptical about this event: “It is hardly possible to say seriously that the examples of the implementation of Wi-Fi zones during the World Cup have opened up for potential customers of the service. In the words of a character from Pelevin’s book, “… at the Olympiad was cooler …”.

Non-network without an operator

Cellular 5G networks, with appropriate terminal equipment, are capable of providing unprecedented data exchange rates, minimal signal delay, extensive additional functionality that is valuable for business (native support for NB-IoT, for example). What, then, is it more profitable for the customer to deploy a wireless Wi-Fi 802.11ax network compared to, say, installing 5G femto cells, covering the same area, and also providing data gateways to the operator’s network “for free”?

As Yulia Andrianova explains, 5G is an operator technology, which implies licensing of the frequencies used, and therefore is already expensive. Wi-Fi is used without an operator’s license and does not require notification of supervisory authorities.

“A corporate customer is used to managing his network assets, he expects predictability from his network, the rules for which he sets himself,” Alexey Shavaldin develops the theme. “Therefore, 5G will not serve as a replacement for classic corporate Wi-Fi, at least in the near future, despite its very good technical capabilities.”

Femtocells make sense at remote sites, Oleg Kim specifies, but the customer will still build a Wi-Fi network in the premises: this is safer, since all traffic will remain inside this network. Nadezhda Pchelintseva stands in solidarity with him: “The 4G and 802.11ac protocols are now coexisting, each for solving their problems, almost without competition. When both standards “grow”, then, in my opinion, this ratio will not change much. ”

Sergey Aksenov indicates that there is a huge number of solutions for the synergy of two wireless access technologies – cellular and Wi-Fi. In access points, there are sometimes specialized ports to which femto cells can be connected, which, in turn, connect to the provider cloud and begin to act as base mini-stations, improving the quality of coverage. In addition, equipment, including mobile terminals, is able to seamlessly switch from one technology to another. Unfortunately, femtocells are not widely used in Russia, but this is a question for operators and regulatory bodies.

The owners of public Wi-Fi networks (shopping and entertainment centers, museums, airports, stadiums and other institutions) can use them to collect analytical data, transfer advertising content and realize other opportunities for additional monetization, Wiegel Antonov notes. Operators of the same 5G networks will not have a part of the inherent Wi-Fi functionality.

And Dmitry Vostrikov does call for sharing marketing, dreams and reality: “It’s going to take a long time before the 5G networks are introduced, and even more for universal use. The equipment is presented, pilot zones are organized, but this technology, despite its capacity and speed, is not supported by an economic component, even Ilon Musk will not believe in the payback period. Neither the consumer nor the operator does not know how to use the bestowed happiness, and therefore, the model of service provision will not change either. The cost of ownership continues to be directly dependent on the tariff policy of the operator. ”

“First of all, a sufficient number of devices and equipment operating in 5G networks should appear on the market,” Vyacheslav Logushev expresses his joint position. – In the meantime, these are only single samples on which operators test the technology. In addition, in my opinion, cellular communication can work stably only after the implementation of a single Internet like Oneweb or Starlink. In the meantime, there are significant delays in the networks of cellular operators, which does not allow them to solve all the tasks of modern business. Today, companies prefer to combine the use of channels of cellular operators in corporate Wi-Fi-networks. ”

Implementation problems

The main problem when deploying Wi-Fi in an urban environment is, according to Dmitry Pleshakov, a significant number of existing wireless networks. This raises a number of specific problems, including the interference of signals and the difficulty of filtering out “their” data packets from those that are broadcast in the same frequency band by “foreign” networks. That is why the main problem to be solved when designing a network is the selection of a free frequency range. This task is helped to solve radio frequency surveys that need to be carried out before introducing a wireless solution.

The Wi-Fi network is extremely demanding on the design and implementation stages, Dmitry Pleshakov urges to remember: for all possible flaws, it will perform its functions. The implementation of the wireless network requires special skills of specialists and specific equipment complexes, which will allow competently perform design work and assess the quality of installation, as well as solve specific problems arising during network maintenance. ”

Julia Andrianova confirms that the wireless network requires special study; first of all in the radio design. Each room has its own layout, walls, metal structures, uneven ceilings, interference from neighboring offices – all this will affect the operation of the wireless network.

Begin to study radio design should be with the formulation of network requirements. How many customers and what type is expected in view of the stock for the future? What type of traffic will dominate the network, will voice applications and video be actively used? What data transfer speeds are needed now and with a multi-year perspective? Which endpoints should I take into account which Wi-Fi standard? This is important because, for example, to ensure reliable coverage in the 5 GHz band, access points will have to be installed more often than for 2.4 GHz.

Radio design is followed by a radio survey, which is often carried out at the “concrete” stage in a newly rebuilt building, in order to separate all cables during finishing work properly. Radio testing implies a practical test with a laptop and special software of how this particular access point is “heard” at the intended place for it, including in the return channel – when transmitting data from the terminal devices to it.

And only then comes the stage of direct radio planning, after which it becomes clear where the access points will be installed and of what type, with which antennas. When installing the equipment, it is important that the cable is laid to each point with a margin, because sometimes the final appearance of the premises does not fit the plan and the access points have to be moved. Sometimes designers (not  radio designers) take over the engineers in the planning of office space, and then the point can be mounted on metal structures somewhere under the ceiling, with antennas turned up or embedded in a beautiful table made of natural stone. And live with this then users and IT professionals.

Alexey Shavaldin considers it an important task to constantly be aware of the customer’s construction plans, when the latter plans to erect a partition, protect the room with a reinforced perimeter, or simply change the layout of the internal volumes of the building overnight.

Modern corporate access points allow you to successfully solve roaming issues, in particular with the rapid movement of a Wi-Fi-equipped vehicle through the territory of a huge warehouse. And this is not the most difficult case: for example, it is much more difficult to provide an external channel via Wi-Fi in a high-speed train that moves at a speed of more than 200 km / h. “In the past two years, from the customer’s side, there have been requests for providing quality coverage in warehouses and production facilities, where employees used to perform operations, and now robots. If in the first case Wi-Fi was required at an altitude of about one and a half meters, the robot can climb up to 10 meters, and the old networks are not designed for it, so you need to ensure communication at all this distance from the ground, and these difficulties also need to be taken into account ”, – adds Sergey Aksenov.

According to Vigel Antonov, stable communication of mobile Wi-Fi users can be ensured primarily through competent network design, the use of various access points with directional and omnidirectional antennas, as well as technologies for building seamless roaming, such as 802.11r, 802.11k and 802.11 v. And Dmitry Vostrikov reminds that when building distributed wireless networks on large-sized objects, another problem often arises, namely an uneven and changing coverage area: “How to deal with it? Design with a reserve, leave reserves, provide mobility. ”

Limitations and perspectives

Alexey Usachev draws attention to such promising areas of wireless networking applications in business as Wi-Fi analytics: counting visitors, researching their behavior and reactions, for example, on advertising, as well as the subsequent conversion of ad impressions into store traffic. Retail is increasingly introducing new technologies in order to better understand the customer, to anticipate his needs and behavior, including based on data that the mobile phone is in his pocket.

“Recently there has been a sufficient number of requests related to the automation of warehouse premises and sites,” Alexey Shavaldin shares his observations. – In the zone of stable demand for corporate Wi-Fi, retailers and developers of large retail facilities will remain. As for video surveillance systems, I think the palm will still belong to the cable infrastructure, except for the implementation projects of “informative” video surveillance, aimed more at collecting analytical data than directly at the task of technical protection of objects.

According to Vyacheslav Logushev, the most serious limitations of Wi-Fi networks are due to their very wireless essence. It makes it necessary to pay increased attention to information security issues, dictates the complexity of ensuring stable radio coverage and, accordingly, more complex integration compared to cable networks: “Some of these problems will help level the 802.11ax standard, but, as often happens, solving some problems may cause new ones.”

Dmitry Vostrikov agrees that the introduction of the 802.1ax standard will improve the quantitative characteristics of wireless networks: “However, in order to significantly improve the availability, stability and reliability in comparison with the wired communications of a modern office, many more steps need to be taken.” The next such step is 802.11ax, but it is far from the last.

And Vigel Antonov draws attention to the fact that wireless and wired methods for connecting end devices have several different applications and their advantages and disadvantages. The key advantage of wireless technologies – mobility, wired – stability: “Given the characteristics of wired and wireless technologies, the prospects for the Russian market for commercial Wi-Fi networks are the same as for cable networks. But the main thing is that Wi-Fi networks have long ceased to be a desirable additional option and have become an everyday necessity. ”

Sergey Aksyonov calls to wait for the appearance of the WPA3 standard and its widespread implementation, which will take the next three to four years: trustworthy. As for commercial prospects, this is rather a question for telecom operators, but, in my opinion, the prospects are not very good: with the development of 5G, commercial street Wi-Fi technology will decline. In addition, today the trend towards network virtualization is clearly visible: it will soon be indifferent to which channel the connection goes through. A common access environment will appear, and all issues of demarcation, policies, identification, etc. will be assigned to processors and mobile device software. ”

Yulia Andrianova assesses the prospects for the Russian market of commercial Wi-Fi networks as bright: “There are so many interesting projects: wireless networks in the public segment, in public premises (medical conferences, exhibition complexes, event locations) have great potential. Wi-Fi appears in the subway, buses and trains. An interesting model of work is being introduced – to provide Wi-Fi for free, build a network, and then monetize big data, that is, the collected statistics about people using the network. ”

One of the popular applications of Wi-Fi is indoor navigation, especially in public areas, in exhibition or trade halls. It becomes important to provide people with a convenient experience: organizers of mass events want visitors to easily navigate through space. For them, they make an uncomplicated application that allows them to find the necessary points, to perform some operations online, for example, to register and, as they move, to receive contextual information.

“The further, the more stable will be the trend of transferring all subscriber devices to the wireless format,” Nadezhda Pchelintseva is sure, “therefore the prospects for the Russian Wi-Fi market are very, very positive. Inside buildings, the lack of wires is more than the usual situation, since Wi-Fi allows you to transfer huge amounts of data. Maybe someday we will live in a world without wires. Nevertheless, cable networks today are not efficiently replaced in order to ensure reliable transmission of critical data between buildings, nodes, centers. ”

Razer Enters the Network Market with New WiFi Router

Razer ™, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Sila, a high-performance WiFi router designed for home users that require WiFi service optimized for high-performance gaming, streaming and downloading multimedia content.

With the explosion of gaming on mobile devices and with the inability of cable in every room in so many homes, a fast and stable WiFi connection is more important than ever. The Razer Sila Router is designed to enable non-latency gaming and smooth, uninterrupted transmission over a fast wireless network, meeting the current needs of mobile users, consoles, and laptops.

Razer’s New WiFi Router

Razer Sila includes a set of technologies designed to provide gamers with the fastest and most stable WiFi connection at home or in the office, such as the Razer FastTrack, Multi-Channel ZeroWait DFS, and dedicated callback link capability. The configuration and management through a mobile application ensures that the installation and use of Sila is simple and fast.

The Razer FastTrack software used in the Razer Sila is a proprietary QoS engine for intelligent traffic management. Using deep inspection of packages based on the type of application and devices, from mobile phones to smart TVs through laptops, PCs or consoles. With integrated detection for the PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles, users can easily fine tune their networks for the most stable gaming or streaming experience possible.

” We all know the frustration of slowing down or losing the connection, ” notes Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer. ” Often this is due to a high volume of network traffic or noise generated by WiFi signals in the vicinity. The Razer Sila router actively prioritizes traffic and monitors channel strength by automatically switching between them for a stronger, faster connection whether it’s for gaming, watching Netflix, or just browsing the web. ”

The patented Multi-Channel Zero-Wait DFS technology on the Razer Sila enables clean WiFi channels to avoid network traffic and maintain the highest speed for the most demanding applications without any standby or downtime.

The Razer Sila router is also capable of working in advanced network meshes. Two or more Razer Sila units can be combined to provide full and fast WiFi coverage in areas of up to 550 square feet with two units or multi-storey floors of more than 550 square feet with three units. As a Triple Band router, the Razer Sila includes a dedicated 5 GHz return traffic link and independent transmission to operate on up to 4 simultaneous DFS channels, which further reduces possible network jams and congestion. Verification tests performed by Allion USA show that Razer Sila performance outperforms other mesh routers.

Razer Sila was developed in collaboration with the wireless home networking partner, Ignition Design Labs-a technology and engineering company founded by former employees of network giants Qualcomm and Broadcom. Ignition Design Labs became famous for launching the award-winning WiFi Portal Smart Router in 2016.

” Razer requires the best in engineering, design and performance. We are excited to be Razer’s design partners, applying our engineering expertise and patented technologies to build a powerful professional-grade router for the world’s most important gaming and entertainment ecosystem, “said Terry Ngo, CEO of Ignition Design Labs.

The new Razer Sila reaches the market for € 299 and can already be found globally.

Fontech Leads the Way to Smart WiFi

As one of the attendees pointed out to this discussion table organized by CHANNEL PARTNER and sponsored by Fontech, the massive digital transformation of the business fabric will be possible mainly thanks to wireless technology, and, more specifically, thanks to Wi-Fi. Years have passed and Wi-Fi, denying the doomsayers that it was a marginal solution, is more present than ever in the homes and technological projects of companies and the public sector.

Yes, now it is necessary for the providers and the channel to add layers of intelligence to these wireless infrastructures, and also to fine-tune the solutions to adapt them to the needs and business expectations of each sector in particular. For this, it will be vital that companies see the return on the investments they make in their network without cables. These are some of the ideas that came out of a debate organized by CHANNEL PARTNER and led by Santiago Lopez, director of sales & delivery at Fontech, and David Tajuelo, senior channel manager of the firm in Iberia and the United Kingdom, and also It had speakers from Cambium Networks, Compusof, Datek Sistemas, Sermicro, Telefonica and Wifidom.

Precisely, Santiago López broke the ice to remember where Fontech comes from: “Fon is a startup with 10 years of existence that was founded by Martín Varsavsky. It was created from a certainly disruptive idea: the creation of Wi-Fi network communities. The goal was that anyone could take advantage of the Wi-Fi left over from the houses. It was a good example of a collaborative economy and the press gave it a lot of hype, but then the business was complicated enough. There was a lot of marketing to do to make that community grow. But in the end, it was achieved.”

Contrary to what one can think, Fon did not prosper at the expense of the operators, but in collaboration with them. Santiago Lopez assured that the company has 8.5 million routers associated to its network in the United Kingdom thanks to an agreement with BT. In Germany and thanks to another agreement with Deutsche Telekom, it has more than 3 million hotspots. “There are many operators in Europe and outside the continent that have opted for this model,” explained Lopez.

From this expansion, Fon’s next step was to create a technological platform based on this service. And that’s where Fontech comes from, which markets solutions in companies and homes that help manage wireless networks and control the user’s experience.  “The world is moving towards greater professionalization of Wi-Fi. There are many scenarios where the quality and improvement of infrastructures are requested. The renewal process that is coming is intense and will have to be done intelligently, “predicted López.

The Needs of Retail

On the other hand, David Tajuelo, Fontech’s senior channel manager at Iberia, pointed to retail as a clear example where Wi-Fi brings a lot of value. “The owners of commercial areas are eager to get data from visitors to their centers. While e-commerce is becoming more sophisticated, in the traditional store still survive very old models of counting. All that it is to know the habits of purchase or habitual routes of the buyers, for example, is going to help to make decisions to the owners of the commercial centers “.

It was Javier Gomez, head of Cambium Networks in Iberia and the Mediterranean area, who proclaimed that wireless technology will be key to making “a massive digital transformation” a reality. And he reminded that in Europe there are huge expenses in corporate Wi-Fi, a business that in Spain is more timid. “The volume of business and services around Wi-Fi is brutal. Everything related to analytics is in great demand. ”

For his part, Roberto Lara, a business development consultant at Telefonica, agreed on the convenience of Wi-Fi deployments in retail environments. “In retail, the idea is that users have a unique experience. The goal is to have the final customer in your space and know how much time is and where to then offer useful information or to sell products or services. In addition, Lara recalled that companies are increasingly responsible for marketing and business who are asking for these solutions, and not so much the IT department.

The Challenge of Safety

Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Gallego, director of the security and communications business of Sermicro, complained that until now there has been a lot of poorly managed Wi-Fi platform, and explained that sometimes it is the services that “go wrong”, and not so much the net. Moises Camarero, general director of Compusof, certified the good moment of the Wi-Fi and spoke of the greater growth that it exhibits in front of the cable, although it said that there are pending challenges, like those of the security and the monetization of certain services.

Meanwhile, David Gomez, director of business development for the wholesaler Wifidom, put on the table another problem: that of finding experts that take advantage of the data that a well-managed Wi-Fi network can generate. “The analysis of these data to apply to a business model requires making decisions,” Gómez explained.

Datek Sistemas is a partner of Zaragoza that has been in the market for 18 years and specializes in the implementation of technology for the data center but now wants to diversify. Javier Berne, its general director, assured that Wi-Fi gives him the option of renewing a lot of technology in his clients. “In addition, wireless technology takes us to environments where we are not, such as IoT, security or data analytics.”

Berne recalled that his company has been in talks with LaLiga football to provide technology to the stadiums. “With this project, we have opened to other sectors and has allowed us to sit with startups. It has also allowed us to meet many people who have nothing to do with IT, but with the business. And all that was thanks to the Wi-Fi in the stadiums. In the US they are far ahead in the implementation of these services in the stadiums, and there a large part of the revenue comes from the advertising of large companies that want to have access to the data of the spectators

Qualcomm Announces Wi-Fi Chips for Faster Internet

The Qualcomm announced this week the QCA64x8 and QCA64x1 chips, which operate with the new standard of Wi-Fi 802.11ay. The technology delivers speeds up to 10 Gb / s and operates in the 60 GHz range, which comprises the so-called mmWave – high-frequency waves also used by the 5G . Wi-Fi is an evolution of 802.11ad, doubling its throughput and skipping the range from 10 to 100 meters.

QCA64x8 encompasses QCA6438 and QCA6428 solutions for infrastructure and fixed wireless access. The QCA64x1, which covers the QCA6421 and QCA6431 chips, is designed for mobile applications. Both are available for use by technology companies, most notably working on Terragraph , a project developed by Facebook in partnership with Qualcomm to distribute high-speed Wi-Fi on the street in large urban centers.

Qualcomm Announces Wi-Fi Chips for Faster Internet

Terragraph uses the QCA6438 and QCA6428 chips, not without reason. Operating on millimeter waves (mmWave) in the 60 GHz range, the components can transfer data up to 10 times faster than conventional Wi-Fi, 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz waves.

The ay pattern works on a multi-node system, which has the same cable version latency rate. Thus, it can replace the optical fiber in the signal distribution with lower cost and greater ease of implementation.

The mmWave frequencies, however, have great difficulty in crossing physical obstacles such as walls. This feature is positive for projects such as Terragraph itself, since the waves, emitted from distribution nodes installed outside the buildings, are only in the streets, without suffering signal loss due to interference.

In spite of this, this peculiarity restricts the application to scenarios in which the devices are in the same environment. Qualcomm cites video streaming examples in UHD or use in Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (RA) headsets. In this way, the technology could be used to replace the data cable of a VR glasses over a wireless connection, without losing quality or speed of transmission.

The popularization of the standard will depend on the adoption by manufacturers of chips and components that can work on Qualcomm’s 60 GHz waves. The QCA64x8 and QCA64x1 lines offer an immediate solution to this issue, allowing you to embed the technology into routers, smartphones and other day-to-day devices.

Understand How Tri-Band Technology Works for Routers

Tri-band routers are among the fastest and most expensive on the market today. But what explains the price and the promise of superior performance of this type of technology, compared to equipment with dual-band networks, still quite popular? Next, you’ll understand what the term tri-band means, what are the advantages and limits of routers of this type, and find out whether investing heavier on a model equipped with support for three simultaneous Wi-Fi networks makes sense to your reality, and pocket.

Before the tri-band, the dual-band

To understand what tri-band routers are, and understand where the advantage is in such a device, you need to know the dual-band technology .

In summary, the term dual-band refers to the device’s ability to distribute wireless Internet signal on two different frequencies: 2.4 GHz, older, slower, but greater coverage; and the latest and fast 5 GHz signal, ideal for newer handsets that support Wi-Fi 802.11 bgn.

A dual-band router can operate in both frequency bands at the same time, increasing compatibility, since it will serve older equipment, restricted to 2.4 GHz; but will also have higher performance for newer devices, supporting faster 5 GHz networks.

In summary, a dual-band router works by running two simultaneous wireless networks: one at 2.4 GHz and the other at 5 GHz.

So does tri-band mean a new frequency?

It may seem logical that if dual-band represents routers running 2.4 and 5 GHz, a tri-band device has a third signal frequency range. But it’s not really that way.

A tri-band router works only with both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. The name “tri-band” comes from the fact that this type of router provides three networks at the same time: one of 2.4 and two of 5 GHz.

What is the advantage of tri-band?

Tri-band routers have the advantage, in comparison with other technologies, for better performance due to more efficient network management. First, the provision of three simultaneous networks ensures that connected devices do not encounter as much bottling.

Environments with numerous Wi-Fi networks, such as a densely populated area, can cause connection noise and slow down performance due to the tumultuous spectrum of dozens of different signals.

With the availability of two simultaneous 5 GHz networks, these types of routers can lessen this type of problem by allocating their devices more efficiently between these two high performance networks.

Is a tri-band router faster than a dual-band router?

Regardless of the distribution pattern of networks, whether dual or tri-band, there are transfer limits that are imposed on routers. 2.4 GHz networks can reach a maximum of 600 Mbps (megabits per second), while 5 GHz networks theoretically reach a maximum of 1,300 Mbps of speed.

Moreover, these values are theoretical peaks which, under normal conditions of use, are almost irreproducible. Although your router and computer can communicate at 1,300 Mbps per second, in practice, you will never reach that speed.

Because these ceilings are independent of the type of router, dual or tri-band, the question arises: is there a difference in speed in favor of tri-band?

The answer is that, in general, tri-band routers offer better performance because they manage their wireless network more efficiently. In addition to reducing speed loss caused by a busy spectrum around their home or office, these routers allocate devices more intelligently within each of the three concurrent networks.

The result of this more precise control is that your devices end up operating more efficiently within the network. This reality is even more noticeable if you usually have a lot of handsets within the same network at the same time. However, if your router is in the service of a computer and a cell phone most of the time, and from time to time other devices, the advantages of tri-band end up decreasing.

Price and resource differences

Tri-band routers are more expensive and currently end up targeting the more premium lines of manufacturers. In Brazil, brands such as TP-Link , D-Link , Asus and Linksys market products with these characteristics.

In terms of price range, models can be found around R $ 350, although there are units with prices that go well above R $ 1,000. In general, the difference between these products is in the speed supply (although, as we have seen, the limits are 600 and 1,300 Mbps, there are tri-band models that arrive with smaller speeds, in 450 and 750 Mbps, for example) and performance due to the ability to manage devices connected to three networks simultaneously.

Other features of these routers may be associated with even more aggressive security and performance tuning, aimed primarily at gamers.

Understand How Tri-Band Technology Works for Routers

Tri-band routers are among the fastest and most expensive on the market today. But what explains the price and the promise of superior performance of this type of technology, compared to equipment with dual-band networks, still quite popular? Next, you’ll understand what the term tri-band means, what are the advantages and limits of routers of this type, and find out whether investing heavier on a model equipped with support for three simultaneous Wi-Fi networks makes sense to your reality, and pocket.

Before the tri-band, the dual-band

To understand what tri-band routers are, and understand where the advantage is in such a device, you need to know the dual-band technology.

In summary, the term dual-band refers to the device’s ability to distribute wireless Internet signal on two different frequencies: 2.4 GHz, older, slower, but greater coverage; and the latest and fast 5 GHz signal, ideal for newer handsets that support Wi-Fi 802.11 bgn.

A dual-band router can operate in both frequency bands at the same time, increasing compatibility, since it will serve older equipment, restricted to 2.4 GHz; but will also have higher performance for newer devices, supporting faster 5 GHz networks.

In summary, a dual-band router works by running two simultaneous wireless networks: one at 2.4 GHz and the other at 5 GHz.

So does tri-band mean a new frequency?

It may seem logical that if dual-band represents routers running 2.4 and 5 GHz, a tri-band device has a third signal frequency range. But it’s not really that way.

A tri-band router works only with both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. The name “tri-band” comes from the fact that this type of router provides three networks at the same time: one of 2.4 and two of 5 GHz.

What is the advantage of tri-band?

Tri-band routers have the advantage, in comparison with other technologies, for better performance due to more efficient network management. First, the provision of three simultaneous networks ensures that connected devices do not encounter as much bottling.

Environments with numerous Wi-Fi networks, such as a densely populated area, can cause connection noise and slow down performance due to the tumultuous spectrum of dozens of different signals.

With the availability of two simultaneous 5 GHz networks, these types of routers can lessen this type of problem by allocating their devices more efficiently between these two high-performance networks.

Is a tri-band router faster than a dual-band router?

Regardless of the distribution pattern of networks, whether dual or tri-band, there are transfer limits that are imposed on routers. 2.4 GHz networks can reach a maximum of 600 Mbps (megabits per second), while 5 GHz networks theoretically reach a maximum of 1,300 Mbps of speed.

Moreover, these values are theoretical peaks which, under normal conditions of use, are almost irreproducible. Although your router and computer can communicate at 1,300 Mbps per second, in practice, you will never reach that speed.

Because these ceilings are independent of the type of router, dual or tri-band, the question arises: is there a difference in speed in favor of tri-band?

The answer is that, in general, tri-band routers offer better performance because they manage their wireless network more efficiently. In addition to reducing speed loss caused by a busy spectrum around their home or office, these routers allocate devices more intelligently within each of the three concurrent networks.

The result of this more precise control is that your devices end up operating more efficiently within the network. This reality is even more noticeable if you usually have a lot of handsets within the same network at the same time. However, if your router is in the service of a computer and a cell phone most of the time, and from time to time other devices, the advantages of tri-band end up decreasing.

Price and resource differences

Tri-band routers are more expensive and currently end up targeting the more premium lines of manufacturers. In Brazil, brands such as TP-Link , D-Link , Asus and Linksys market products with these characteristics.

In terms of price range, models can be found around R $ 350, although there are units with prices that go well above R $ 1,000. In general, the difference between these products is in the speed supply (although, as we have seen, the limits are 600 and 1,300 Mbps, there are tri-band models that arrive with smaller speeds, in 450 and 750 Mbps, for example) and performance due to the ability to manage devices connected to three networks simultaneously.

Other features of these routers may be associated with even more aggressive security and performance tuning, aimed primarily at gamers.