Random Thoughts...

Random Thoughts...

By CWNP On 04/27/2008 - 6 Comments

I was just thinking that if AT&T can screw people by charging them 20 cents EACH for receiving text messages they don't even want (usually from people they don't even know), then I'm sure someone is going to figure out how to do this on Wi-Fi soon enough.  I can see it now, "ToWiFi" - holy crap.

This week, I was just reading an Aruba whitepaper that reiterates the need for a static site survey when legacy clients are participating in an 802.11n infrastructure.  I also had conversations with several people who reiterated the Vocera and SpectraLink (now part of Polycom) don't support installations of their products when the controller is configured for "automatic power and channel assignments."  Bottom line: static site surveys are here to stay for a good long time. 


Dang I wish 802.3at would hurry up and get here!  All of these proprietary PoE mechanisms and methodologies are getting on my nerves.  As soon as the 802.3at draft is ratified, we're going to have to rethink everything.  I hate even having to deal with the PoE issues on a one-sy/two-sy basis.  Why couldn't 802.11n have waited just a few more months until 802.3at was finished? Grrr. :)

Mesh.  Holy crap.  It's growing every which kind of way.  There are instant-infrastructure mesh providers like Firetide, and now every controller vendor on the market is introducing mesh as fast as they can.  Some are trying to make it such that lighweight APs can be flipped over to mesh nodes with the click of a button.  That's kind of cool, but I'm hoping the deployment and configuration of such isn't overly difficult.  Mesh with 802.11n will be really cool so long as it's not overly complicated.

It's official, there are now 4x4 MIMO chipsets available.  It won't be long before we'll see that 600 Mbps everyone's marketing departments have been lying about. :)  I can't wait until we have both high-power PoE and 4x4.  I'm REALLY hoping that the IEEE will stop trying to make new Wi-Fi connectivity (802.11a/b/g/n) standards for a while and let everything settle down (standardize) a bit.  This 802.11n frenzie is about to give me a headache.

The Motorola AP7131 access point (dual-band 802.11n) was announced a little while back.  Supposedly, this AP can be autonomous, lightweight (controlled by RFS6000 or RFS7000), a mesh node, or a full-time sensor (all at the click of a button).  Throw in the world's best copy of Cisco's IOS (in Motorola's controllers) and you have every Wi-Fi instructor's best friend. :D

Meru just announced the AP440 - a four 802.11n radio access point.  That's flexibility right there.  I really like the PoE scenario for this AP - 802.3at or dual 802.3af.  It has dual gig uplinks as well.  This is an industry first if ever I've seen one.  It seems that Motorola and Meru are thinking on their feet.  Kudos.

Once we get our 802.3at, 4-radio APs (all 4x4 802.11n), most clients up to 4x4 802.11n, decent (easy to use) tracking systems, and an industry-standard VoWiFi and RTLS site survey methodology, mobile applications (like RFID) are going to boom.  I can't wait.  Everything will be wireless...and everything will be fast.  What a great thing that will be...until governments want to start tagging and tracking people over Wi-Fi.  Real Time Human Tracking over Wi-Fi (RTHToWiFi) - that can't be a good thing.  :( 


6 Responses to Random Thoughts...

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04/28/2008 at 11:21am
Great article and a good look into to the future of 802.11.

I would like to see "Power Over Air" (POA) with rechargable internal batteries on access points to support the enterprise indoor mesh APs, not functioning as gateways. Why?

AC power is typically 2 feet off the ground and a big expense to install. The typical place for an AP is about 8 feet up.

If you decide to use UTP to power the devices, it is more ideal to function as a gateway not a hop.

Then again, I could deploy some midspan switches for the power and not the data..

Any thoughts?

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