MOJO Wireless AirTight Networks Blog Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:30:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Don’t Sacrifice Safety or Simplicity for E-Rate School Wi-Fi Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:30:31 +0000 At AirTight, we are dedicated to bringing unparalleled safety, simplicity, and savings to K-12 school Wi-Fi. Maximize your E-Rate budget and let our cloud do all of the work for you!   Read more

The post Don’t Sacrifice Safety or Simplicity for E-Rate School Wi-Fi appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

By now, kids in primary and secondary schools across North America are settling back into their routines. But school IT administrators and tech-savvy principals and teachers should already be thinking about how to prepare their schools for the following year with fast and secure Wi-Fi, protect students from Wi-Fi hacking, and take advantage of available E-Rate Wi-Fi funds for next year’s deployments.

Luckily, we at AirTight have been thinking about the exact same things, and we have the ideal solution for schools that are looking for a simple, secure way to manage high-speed networks, without eating up the entire budget: cloud Wi-Fi with AirTight.

Our secure cloud Wi-Fi offering is a triple threat of simplicity, safety, and savings:

  • It’s 100% E-Rate eligible. There is over $2 billion available in federal funding under Category 2 E-Rate services – and Wi-Fi is integral to Category 2 services. We make it incredibly easy and cost-effective for you to finally get the simple and safe school Wi-Fi that your students and teachers deserve. All AirTight cloud Wi-Fi solutions are 100% E-Rate eligible. And to make it even sweeter, we’re offering a limited-time promotion! K-12 educational institutions can now get a three year subscription of AirTight secure cloud Wi-Fi, including support, for just $120 when you buy any 802.11ac AirTight access point. Learn more about our K-12 school Wi-Fi promotion.
  • It’s completely controller-less. Gone are the days of laborious and manual setup, configuration, and troubleshooting. AirTight’s cloud Wi-Fi solution comes ready to go out of the box. Once connected to the Internet, access points come configured to automatically connect to the AirTight cloud. So not only does the cloud save you time and energy, but it saves you a ton of money. Why pay for maintenance and installation of legacy hardware that could be upgraded to a simpler and easier solution at a better price?
  • It protects your students, teachers, and all of their data. Wi-Fi hacking is no joke – we’ve all seen the headlines about security breaches. And whether you’re trying to prevent hackers from gaining access to your network or keeping tech-savvy students from bypassing your controls, you need to keep the school Wi-Fi network protected, period. The good news is, AirTight’s cloud Wi-Fi is on 24/7 surveillance. Any threats will be seen immediately and stopped automatically.
Simplifying K-12 Wi-Fi through the cloud

Click to view the webinar, “Simplifying K-12 Wi-Fi Through the Cloud.”

Schools shouldn’t have to worry about their networks. Let AirTight’s cloud Wi-Fi do all that work for you – and even better, maximize your E-Rate Wi-Fi budget by taking advantage of our solutions! It’s a win for your students and teachers (faster, safer Wi-Fi connections) and your school district (save budget, time, and resources with cloud Wi-Fi). Learn more by visiting the AirTight Education Wi-Fi page or requesting a demo.

You can always contact us at or call +1 (877) 930-6394.


Additional Resources:

AirTight blog: Cloud Wi-Fi Brings Safety, Simplicity, and Savings to K-12 Schools

Free webinar: Simplifying K-12 School Wi-Fi Through the Cloud

K-12 School Wi-Fi Promotion (PDF)

Safety, Simplicity & Savings with AirTight Cloud Wi-Fi (PDF)

AirTight E-Rate Wi-Fi FAQ (PDF)

Visit the AirTight Education Wi-Fi page

Request a demo


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LinkedIn (

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YouTube (

Thought Leadership Blog (

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What Factors are Shaping the Method for Traffic Offload to Unlicensed Spectrum? Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:00:39 +0000 How is technology is evolving to offload traffic from LTE to unlicensed spectrum? Hemant Chaskar discusses these factors including LTE/Wi-Fi network aggregation, LTE-U, and LWA.   Read more

The post What Factors are Shaping the Method for Traffic Offload to Unlicensed Spectrum? appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

Telecom operators have set their eyes on offloading traffic to the unlicensed spectrum in the quest of increasing wireless capacity. To this end, we often hear terms like Wi-Fi offload, LTE-U (and its standards-based version called LAA), LWA etc. It is one thing to learn about any technology by hearing about it, but it is another to learn by getting your hands dirty working on it. I got to do exactly the latter when we engaged in the project to provide Wi-Fi offload network (of seven digit scale) for a telecom operator on the AirTight cloud Wi-Fi platform. It helped me gather better understanding of the offload technology and telco Wi-Fi market vertical.

For many of us, the joy of learning is multiplied when we blog to share our findings, which gave rise to this blog discussing what practical factors are driving offload technology evolution in certain ways.

Near-term headwinds for LTE-U

Recently, we have heard lot of clamor about LTE-U. LTE-U proposes to deploy LTE carriers in the 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum that are orchestrated from the LTE carriers in the licensed spectrum, in order to add capacity to the operator’s wireless network. LTE-U radios work directly off the LTE radio access network. For introduction to LTE-U, see my earlier blog here.

One of the near-term headwinds for LTE-U is the need for radio upgrade for clients. Even though LTE-U is a 5 GHz technology and many clients already have 5 GHz Wi-Fi radios, the transmission format and radio quality requirements of LTE-U are different from Wi-Fi. The established base of LTE end-user devices will not be able to support LTE-U (or LAA). It will be some time before new devices with LTE-U radios in them reach critical mass. There are other challenges, too – such as pending standardization of LAA and regulatory debate that may erupt around how unlicensed band should be used.

Barrier to entry in state-of-the-art Wi-Fi offload technology

The present state-of-the-art technology for operators to offload wireless traffic to the unlicensed spectrum is to use a Wi-Fi network that is independent from the LTE network. Multiple network gateways are deployed to join Wi-Fi traffic from the APs to the LTE packet data services. I refer to this type of LTE/Wi-Fi combining as “network aggregation.”

Network aggregation requires significant network infrastructure behind the AP to join Wi-Fi traffic to the operator’s LTE packet data services as described below. This creates barrier for telcos that have not already invested in such network infrastructure.

Wi-Fi offload to trusted AP:

In this option, the MAC layer frames from the operator-controlled Wi-Fi AP are tunneled to SaMOG (S2a Mobility Over GTP) gateway using layer 2 tunnels like EoGRE (Ethernet over GRE). The wireless clients perform 802.1x authentication with the operator’s AAA infrastructure via Radius to Diameter conversion service. Once authenticated, all client MAC frames are layer 2 tunneled to SaMOG. The client’s IP traffic is then forwarded from SaMOG to P-GW (Packet Data Network Gateway) in the 3GPP network using the GTP (GPRS Tunneling Protocol) tunnel. As the traffic traverses these gateways and tunnels, various services such as charging, DPI, content filtering, local breakout, mobility management, flow management, QoS management, lawful interception, etc. are performed consistently with operator policies.

The client’s IP address is anchored at the DHCP server at P-GW. As a result, the client side IP address of the packet flow(s) is maintained even when the packet flow(s) is transferred between APs as a result of Wi-Fi handoff, or between the LTE base station and the AP as a result of data offload trigger. So, seamless layer 3 roaming is intrinsic. Seamless layer 2 handoffs between APs is done via vendor proprietary techniques at the APs. Layer 2 handoffs are automatically detected by SaMOG from the changed endpoint in EoGRE encapsulation.

Wi-Fi offload to untrusted AP:

In this option, traffic is allowed to be offloaded to an untrusted (not controlled by the operator) AP. In this case, IPSec tunnel is established from the client to the gateway called ePDG (Enhanced Packet Data Gateway). The ePDG then connects the traffic to P-GW. Client devices such as the iPhone 6 natively support such IPSec tunneling. This capability in client devices has also been the key to the emergence of Wi-Fi calling.

LTE-Wi-Fi Offload

Click to enlarge the image.

Is there a middle ground between LTE-U (LAA) and LTE/Wi-Fi network aggregation, to complement LTE with unlicensed spectrum, which would not require radio upgrade for clients and not require network aggregation infrastructure?

Traffic offload with LTE/Wi-Fi “carrier aggregation”

3GPP Release 13 has set out to address the above question. They are working on a proposal called LTE/Wi-Fi Aggregation (LWA). The idea is to apply a carrier aggregation-like concept of LTE-U across LTE and Wi-Fi radios (see my earlier blog for more details on carrier aggregation). This achieves rendezvous between Wi-Fi and LTE at the radio layer instead of the network layer. On the client side, only a software upgrade is required to support LWA. On the network side, LWA does not require backend elements of LTE/Wi-Fi network aggregation.

To this end, 3GPP is working on interface definition between the LTE base station (called eNodeB) and Wi-Fi radio (AP), wherein packets of an IP flow coming from the LTE network can be split dynamically between LTE and Wi-Fi for downstream transmission. In the case of small cells, where eNodeB and AP are collocated, this interface takes the form of software running on the same device. That said, the interface works even when the eNodeB and the AP are not collocated. On the receive side, the client is equipped with software, which (via control messaging with eNodeB) knows how to collect packets from the Wi-Fi radio and LTE radio to pass them on to higher layers. LWA is currently not supported on uplink. 3GPP LWA standard is expected to be finalized in 2016.


Click to enlarge the image.

Who might be adopters of LWA?

Carriers who are driving LTE-U most vigorously are those who lack the LTE/Wi-Fi network aggregation infrastructure. They see LTE-U as a way to utilize unlicensed spectrum without investment into network aggregation, because LTE-U works directly off the LTE radio access network. However, they face setback at LTE-U because of the lack of client side support for LTE-U (LAA) and regulatory uncertainty. So LWA seems like viable interim option for them, because they can pull it off simply with client software updates. A side benefit of LWA is that it’s immune to the good neighbor/bad neighbor (to Wi-Fi) debate that surrounds LTE-U (LAA) today.

What remains to be seen is whether LWA turns out to be a stepping stone to LTE-U (LAA) or a mainstream technology by itself (which can further delay LTE-U).

To learn more about AirTight Networks, visit the AirTight Wi-Fi page or request a personalized demo.


Additional Resources:

LTE-U blog series by Hemant Chaskar:

Inner Workings of LTE-U for the Wi-Fi Professional

More on the Inner Workings of LTE-U for the Wi-Fi Professional

There’s a massive battle brewing over the future of Wi-Fi – Fortune Magazine

Cloud Wi-Fi Webinar Series – AirTight website


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What You Need to Know about 5 Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Myths Thu, 17 Sep 2015 12:00:38 +0000 Any technology is often surrounded by questions and misconceptions. Cloud Wi-Fi is no exception. Here are some common myths about cloud Wi-Fi. We talk data, security, bottlenecks, price, functionality, and more to bring you the truth behind each misconception.   Read more

The post What You Need to Know about 5 Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Myths appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

Any technology often sparks lengthy discussions, questions, and tends to summon some common misconceptions that can and should be disproven. Cloud Wi-Fi is no exception to this. I want to share some of the most common myths about cloud Wi-Fi that I’ve seen and show you why they are not reality.

It has been a long journey to get to where the industry is today – from fat APs that were manually and individually configured (imagine trying to do that for hundreds or thousands of locations) to controller-based architecture (the AP was a dumb device and the data traffic was tunneled to the controller where all the wireless intelligence resided) to controller-less Wi-Fi (with the control plane on the AP and the management plane in the central console). And now, with cloud-managed Wi-Fi, we can take a controller-less architecture and completely separate the control, data, and management planes for a cost-effective, powerful solution.

But let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions and myths about cloud Wi-Fi.

MYTH 1: Data is transferred unsecurely from your access point to the cloud.

The bottom line is: Your data is not going up to the cloud. The only thing that moves from APs to the cloud is management traffic. The AirTight cloud is only used to push configurations and policies during initial deployment or network changes, and to enable administrators to remotely monitor and manage the entire deployment.

Customer data traffic does not go through the cloud, which means data processing is faster, easier, and allows for more control over the data flow. All policies and configurations are designed in the cloud console – no controller required!

MYTH 2: If you lose connectivity to the cloud, your network fails.

AirTight APs are capable of operating in a “standalone” mode – without loss of any functionality – if the connectivity to the management server is lost (e.g., if the WAN link to the cloud goes down).

The AirTight APs maintain complete internal control. Their ability to interact with clients, provide access to the Wi-Fi network, and enforce security policies is uninterrupted. However, the cloud will alert you that an AP or a group of APs is offline and unable to connect. Overall, if a disconnection does happen, the effect is very minimal and unnoticed by Wi-Fi users.

MYTH 3: Cloud-managed Wi-Fi is expensive.

When you introduce cloud to a Wi-Fi network, it provides significant time, cost, and resource savings. Part of the reason for these savings is the “no-controller” approach, which means you save hardware expenses and resources for supporting the controller.

With cloud, you pay for just what you need, right now. You’re not paying for unused licenses, like you would with controller-based access points. Software configurable AirTight APs give customers the freedom to deploy their WLAN the way they want – minimizing the total cost of ownership and maximizing the flexibility to make changes, in software, as their networking and security needs change.

You also save big on installation time. Self-aware access points are capable of identifying their account automatically, so any number of devices can be installed and don’t need to be individually provisioned, so more APs can be deployed faster, further reducing the installation time. Additionally, configuration and network design is highly streamlined in a cloud Wi-Fi environment. A single policy can be distributed across all locations, rather than having to individualize the design for any location. The AirTight cloud is designed to support a massive number of APs for easy scalability and distribute policies across multi-tenant instances – without any type of additional cost calculations.

MYTH 4: You don’t have to worry about security on Wi-Fi – all cloud-managed security is created equal.

With the proliferation of mobile devices in the past few years, networks are flooded with unmanaged devices. Personal wireless and Wi-Fi devices like smartphones, tablets, and USB data cards brought in by employees, visitors, and customers can put the enterprise security at risk. Conventional security measures (firewall, wired IDS/OPS, MDM, among others) provide zero visibility and no protection from these mobile risks. Instead, companies need a wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) to proactively protect their networks from wireless threats. AirTight is the only Wi-Fi vendor to ever receive Gartner’s highest “Strong Positive” rating for Wireless LAN IPS. AirTight WIPS is powered by several patented techniques to accurately and automatically detect, locate, and block wireless threats before they compromise your network.

MYTH 5: You will experience bottlenecks with cloud-managed Wi-Fi.

In a controller-based architecture, cloud based or otherwise, APs are either required to tunnel data traffic to the central controller or they rely on it for availability of many Wi-Fi and WIPS functionalities. This makes the central controller a choke point and a single point of failure. Instead, the distributed intelligence embedded in every AirTight AP makes the architecture efficient, fault tolerant and massively scalable. AirTight APs switch data locally and are capable of operating independently.

See for yourself how easy, powerful, and cost-effective cloud-managed Wi-Fi really is. Check out our cloud Wi-Fi webinar series schedule here or request a personalized demo.


Additional Resources:

Cloud Wi-Fi Webinar Series via AirTight website

Gartner Marketscope for Wireless LAN Intrusion Prevention Systems via AirTight website

AirTight Rated “Strong Positive” by Leading Analyst Firm via AirTight blog

AirTight Industry Recognition via AirTight website

Myth vs. Reality: Cloud-Managed Wireless LAN article via TechTarget

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Cloud Wi-Fi Brings Safety, Simplicity, and Savings to K-12 Schools Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:30:30 +0000 AirTight's cloud Wi-Fi brings safety, simplicity, and savings to K-12 learning. Our cloud Wi-Fi is 100% E-Rate eligible and is completely controller-less, which gives you big savings on hardware costs, maintenance, training, IT overhead, and time.   Read more

The post Cloud Wi-Fi Brings Safety, Simplicity, and Savings to K-12 Schools appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

Remember the 3 R’s in K-12 education – “reading, writing, and arithmetic”? Well, at AirTight, we’re bringing the 3 S’s to K-12 education – safety, simplicity, and savings.

Wi-Fi is a foundational element of school success. Teachers, students, facilities, and staff all rely on Wi-Fi daily to do their jobs. The only problem is, many school districts have a legacy controller architecture. And while a controller architecture was initially a great solution, you know as well as I do that it’s simply not doing the job for schools any more. Wi-Fi controller solutions are needy. They’re high cost (implementation and maintenance), unreliable with poor performance (APs often lose some or all functionality due to antiquated architecture), and not easy to use (for set up and training).

Enter cloud-managed Wi-Fi. No controllers at all. 100% E-Rate eligible. And yes, you guessed it, cloud Wi-Fi in schools means:


AirTight APs automatically connect with the AirTight cloud, find their account, and download the predefined network and security policies. This means all access points contain the necessary intelligence to handle network traffic and enforce strong security controls without the need for tunneling traffic to a central server. The APs monitor the airwaves for wireless threats and abuse and actively prevent unwanted behavior. Which means you can keep your students on your Wi-Fi network and prevent them from going around your Wi-Fi security to access an unsecure network.


Imagine being away from your desk but you need to set up a new AP or troubleshoot a Wi-Fi issue. The AirTight cloud Wi-Fi is simple enough that you can set up APs within a matter of minutes, configure, and manage your network, even using your smartphone and even if you’re off-site. Self-provisioning, intelligent APs, and lightweight configuration requirements all add up to a very simple but powerful Wi-Fi experience. AirTight has simplified Wi-Fi so much that even teachers and faculty members can easily create focused Wi-Fi networks for their own specialized activities – straight from their smartphone and without using IT resources!


Did we mention there’s no controller in our cloud-managed Wi-Fi? Which means you’re saving huge on hardware, setup and configuration, and maintenance costs. And even better, AirTight’s wireless platform is 100% E-Rate eligible. Highly reliable and highly intelligent APs remove the cost, effort, and ongoing maintenance of on-premises management. AirTight Wi-Fi can be configured, maintained, and deployed directly from a smartphone- or tablet-optimized interface, removing the need for intense IT overhead, training, and time. Intelligent access points are empowered to automatically identify their configuration and operate reliably without manual intervention. So you can finally stop “keeping the lights on” in your legacy school IT system and begin offering fast, reliable, safe Wi-Fi to support accelerated learning.

Cost, ease of use, and performance are no longer mutually exclusive, thanks to the simplicity and scalability of AirTight cloud Wi-Fi. By the way, we hosted a webinar, “Simplifying K-12 Wi-Fi Through the Cloud,” on this very topic. Check out the webinar recording here! Register for additional webinars by clicking here and get free cloud Wi-Fi!

Cloud-managed Wi-Fi gives you a simplified approach to network design and deployment that empowers your students, teachers, and staff to increase learning and performance. Intelligent access points self-provision and automatically take on network designs, and you get to work with a focused interface that is out-of-the-box fully eligible under E-Rate Category 2 definitions. Win-win.


Additional resources:

Simplifying K-12 Wi-Fi Through the Cloud webinar registration – Wednesday, September 2 at 11 am PT

A New Series of 11 Webinars on Cloud Wi-Fi via AirTight blog

Social Wi-Fi in Education: Harwich & Dovercourt High School video

Wi-Fi Solutions for Education via AirTight website

Questions? Email or call +1 877-930-6394


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Thought Leadership Blog (

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A New Series of 11 Webinars on Cloud Wi-Fi Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:00:50 +0000 AirTight is presenting a series of webinars on cloud Wi-Fi, focused on answering all of your questions. There is a variety of topics for IT professionals in every industry, and all qualified attendees will receive a year of free cloud Wi-Fi service.   Read more

The post A New Series of 11 Webinars on Cloud Wi-Fi appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

A new series of 11 webinars on Cloud Wi-Fi

The most exciting advancements in Wi-Fi are happening right now in the cloud. Whether your priority is guest engagement, driving revenue, enhancing security, easier Wi-Fi management, or simply learning more about what cloud-managed Wi-Fi can do for you, this is your chance to understand how cloud Wi-Fi benefits your business!

From now through December, AirTight is presenting a series of webinars on cloud Wi-Fi, focused on answering all of your questions. There is a variety of topics for IT professionals in every industry, and presentations are hosted by AirTight resident experts Sean Blanton—Product Marketing Manager, Sriram Venkiteswaran—Director of Product Management, and Robert Ferruolo—Senior Technical Marketing Manager.

Your presenters


Special Bonus for Attendees

Oh, and one more thing… we’re giving away a year of FREE CLOUD WI-FI to all qualified webinar attendees.

That’s right. A free year of AirTight cloud service and enterprise-grade 802.11ac AirTight access point.

We know, it’s very exciting. Everyone at AirTight is passionate about making you successful with enterprise Wi-Fi that is extremely simple and massively scalable. So we are thrilled to share this cloud Wi-Fi webinar series, as well as our best-in-class cloud services and products, with you.

We can’t wait to see you at the webinars! See below for the schedule and registration.


Webinar Schedule and Registration

Click on the dates for webinar topic descriptions and registration information

Managing distributed multi-site Wi-Fi networks via the cloud

August 26, 2015

December 9, 2015

Simplifying K-12 Wi-Fi through the cloud

September 2, 2015

Safeguarding your network from rogue Wi-Fi threats

September 16, 2015

December 16, 2015

Next-generation retail analytics

October 7, 2015

Why 802.11ac? Why now?

October 14, 2015

Keep your devices on YOUR Wi-Fi

October 21, 2015

Elevate your guest engagement

October 28, 2015

Best practices for distributed enterprise Wi-Fi

November 4, 2015

802.11ac branch Wi-Fi in a box

November 11, 2015

Manage your entire Wi-Fi from your phone

November 18, 2015

Everything you need to know about today’s new cloud-managed Wi-Fi architecture

December 2, 2015

The post A New Series of 11 Webinars on Cloud Wi-Fi appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

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Why SON May Be SDN Made For Wireless Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:00:32 +0000 Is there a path for wireless SDN to come to enterprise Wi-Fi? LTE has architected something called SON (Self-Organizing Network), which has SDN-like concepts – but applied to the wireless side of the network.   Read more

The post Why SON May Be SDN Made For Wireless appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

There is an emerging trend to apply SDN (Software Defined Network) to Wi-Fi. Much of this discussion today is geared towards applying SDN constructs like OpenFlow and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to Wi-Fi access points (APs).  For example, OpenFlow interface on the AP to configure its settings from the SDN controller or to configure traffic handling on the AP such as packet classifiers and QoS from the SDN controller. Another discussion point is around tunneling AP traffic to NFV node for service provisioning. While these are good ideas, they do not cut to the essence of Wi-Fi, which is in the wireless. That is to say, these concepts are applied to APs in the same way they apply to other wired network elements like switches.

I have mused about how SDN may apply to the wireless side of the network. I did not find the answer in Wi-Fi itself as it exists today. However, I had an “aha” moment recently while looking into LTE. Of late, I have been looking rather deeply into LTE, as a result of a Wi-Fi offload project we are undertaking with a telco carrier, as well as all the recent talk about LTE-U coming to the Wi-Fi spectrum. LTE has architected something called SON (Self-Organizing Network), which has SDN-like concepts – that are applied to the wireless side of the network.

What SDN does in principle is to isolate network intelligence from network functions. The network intelligence is centralized in an SDN controller. The SDN controller can reside in the cloud. The controller orchestrates network functions over the standard protocol (such as OpenFlow) to achieve desired application performance. Network intelligence can be provided separate from the network hardware and potentially by an entity not tied to the network hardware. The SON does something similar for the wireless side of the LTE network.

What is a Self-Organizing Network (SON)?

LTE isn’t immune to the fundamental challenges of wireless. For example, channel reuse is an important concept in wireless networks to build spatial capacity. However, during channel reuse, it’s important to avoid channel overlap among different cells. In LTE, a given telco carrier may have only a few (and sometimes only one) LTE channels for all its deployments region-wide, or even nation-wide, and these channels have to support a mix of overlapping large (macro) cells and small cells (femto cells, micro cells, pico cells). Another important concept in wireless is spectral efficiency, that is, using the available spectrum to carry as much useful data as possible. LTE spectrum is licensed and very expensive, thus there is high incentive to maximize spectral efficiency. User mobility is another factor that needs to be effectively managed in the wireless network. To address these problems at the scale of the LTE network, a large number of complex and dynamic radio parameters need to be configured, monitored, and optimized on an ongoing basis. 3GPP has come up with SON to address this problem.

Some of the key concepts of SON include:

  • SON server: The SON server runs algorithms to continuously analyze and optimize the radio parameters in the network. Inputs from the radio network elements (mobile devices, base stations, etc.) are communicated to the SON server over northbound interface and the decisions on radio parameters are sent down from the SON server to the radio network elements.
  • Separation of radio network intelligence from the radio network elements: The SON server is in charge of radio network intelligence and the radio network elements are responsible for radio parameters measurements and enforcement of the SON server decisions. This is significantly different from the pre-LTE networks where a large part of radio intelligence was integrated into the radio network.
  • Standard interfaces: The interface between the SON server and the radio network elements is standardized by 3GPP. This facilitates interoperability between the radio network intelligence and the radio network elements.
  • Automation of radio configurations and optimizations: On a high level, SON algorithms are expected to hit objectives of self-configuration, self-optimization, and self-healing of the radio network. High emphasis is placed on automation of radio parameter configuration and optimization. How exactly this is done depends on the specific SON server/algorithm implementation.

Going into details of many radio parameters addressed in SON (such as cell coverage and capacity, dynamic neighbor relations for handovers, mobility, load balancing, random access, and self-healing) will not fit in this blog and requires a deep dive into the 3GPP specification. A good introduction to SON is also found in this paper by 4G Americas: Self-Optimizing Networks in 3GPP Release 11: The Benefits of SON in LTE.

Wireless SDN for Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is no stranger to the complexities of radio resource management (RRM). The 802.11 standard offers little to solve the radio management problem. Fair enough if the 802.11 standard authors did not feel this pain point initially, when there were ample channels available in Wi-Fi and they did not anticipate today’s rabid Wi-Fi penetration. This resulted into emergence of various proprietary RRM and RF optimization features in the APs to improvise on the omission in the standard and reliance on vagaries of client implementations. However, as Wi-Fi gets integrated into LTE architecture for wireless data offload, it is conceivable that various aspects of Wi-Fi RRM may also get folded into LTE SON. In other words, we could see standardized interfaces between the AP and the SON server and intelligent algorithms in the SON server for RRM purposes. And that is how Wi-Fi may get its first wireless SDN!

Is there a path for wireless SDN to come to enterprise Wi-Fi? To make these types of projections, we can take clues from the history of SDN on the wired side.

SDN on the wired side has traditionally seen great traction where large network workloads are involved, such as data centers and back-end networks of web powerhouses. It is trickling into the large enterprise vertical slowly but surely.

At this time, wireless SDN concepts seem to be taking shape where large radio management workloads are involved. But who knows; it may trickle to enterprise Wi-Fi in the future.


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My Latest Webinar: Everything You Need to Know About Today’s New Cloud Wi-Fi Architectures Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:00:34 +0000 AirTight is kicking off a cloud Wi-Fi webinar series with the first topic, "Everything You Need to Know About Today’s New Cloud Wi-Fi Architectures" on August 19. All attendees will receive a free year of cloud Wi-Fi.   Read more

The post My Latest Webinar: Everything You Need to Know About Today’s New Cloud Wi-Fi Architectures appeared first on MOJO Wireless.

What is cloud-managed Wi-Fi and why should you care about it? This is exactly what I’ll be discussing in an upcoming webinar on Wednesday, August 19 from 11 am to 12 pm Pacific Time. This session is kicking off a brand new series on Cloud Wi-Fi webinars that AirTight will be hosting over the next several months. View the entire webinar series schedule here.

There’s a lot of discussion about cloud-managed Wi-Fi. This webinar is going to lay out the basics of why this technology is important and the benefits it has over conventional controller-based or locally managed systems, including:

  •         Significant time, cost, and resource savings – With cloud-managed Wi-Fi, access points can be deployed anywhere in just a few minutes. And because each access point is managed remotely from the cloud, there is no need for costly and complicated controller devices.
  •         Easily scales without needing a large IT team – Cloud-managed Wi-Fi is an efficient and very easy way to deploy, grow, and maintain a network of hundreds (or thousands) of locations, with no onsite IT team required.
  •         It’s not just for access anymore – The cloud enables Wi-Fi to provide much more than basic Internet connectivity. Reporting and analytics, social media driven guest Wi-Fi, wireless security, and mobile apps are just some of the new cloud applications that are available now.

This is a perfect opportunity to discover if cloud-managed Wi-Fi is right for your business. Especially because we are giving away a FREE year of cloud-managed Wi-Fi to webinar attendees.

I’ll say that again… a free year of AirTight cloud-managed Wi-Fi and an enterprise-grade AirTight access point when you attend this webinar. It’s an ideal chance to see how cloud-based Wi-Fi can benefit your business and get straight answers for all of your questions!

I will also cover AirTight’s cloud Wi-Fi architecture and capabilities, including:

Sign up for the webinar to learn more about the business benefits of cloud-managed Wi-Fi. And be sure to check out the rest of the topics in our new webinar series – you will not be disappointed!


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AirTight Recognized for Innovative Wireless Technology in the Mobile Industry Wed, 12 Aug 2015 12:00:21 +0000 CTIA – The Wireless Association® announced that AirTight was selected as a finalist for innovative mobile technology in the wireless category. AirTight will join 25 companies in the CTIA Startup Lab 2015 class.   Read more

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Mobility is transforming the world around us. And we are thrilled and honored to be recognized for wireless innovation in the mobile industry.

Recently, CTIA – The Wireless Association® announced that the CTIA Innovation Council Investor Advisors selected 26 forward-thinking, innovative companies to participate in the CTIA Startup Lab 2015 class. AirTight Networks is one of these finalists, selected for the wireless category.

The CTIA Startup Lab connects growing companies with the Council’s mobile industry leaders. By focusing on companies who create mobile technologies that increase efficiency and improve customer engagement, CTIA – The Wireless Association® encourages extraordinary innovation and growth in the mobile and wireless space. Companies can be nominated for mobile innovation in the following categories: Internet of Things, wireless, mHealth, identity management, and cybersecurity.

Executives from several Fortune 500 companies sit on the CTIA Innovation Council, including AT&T, Verizon Ventures, T-Mobile, Sprint, LG, Samsung, Blackberry, Ericsson, Sony, and many others.

“The CTIA Innovation Council carefully reviews nominations for all categories and selects companies that are driving truly innovative mobile technologies to improve efficiency and customer engagement. On behalf of the CTIA Startup Lab, we are very excited to invite AirTight Networks to participate in the CTIA Startup Lab 2015 class to showcase their innovative cloud-managed wireless products and services,” said Heather Tapia, Director at CTIA – The Wireless Association®.

To learn more about AirTight’s full suite of highly secure cloud-managed Wi-Fi services, click here.

To read the full CTIA – The Wireless Association® press release and view the finalists in all categories, click here.


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4 Ways to Supercharge Your Outdoor Wi-Fi Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:00:49 +0000 AirTight’s new outdoor 802.11ac access points are now available! Two models are available: the O-90 and the O-90-E both offer outdoor Wi-Fi that is easier to manage, more secure, and increases revenue.   Read more

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Great news: you can now have outdoor Wi-Fi that is easier to manage, more secure, and increases revenue.

How? With AirTight’s new 802.11ac outdoor access points, the O-90 and O-90-E. (The O-90 features internal antennas while the O-90-E uses external antennas.)

Don’t limit high-speed, cost-effective Wi-Fi access to the lobby, hotel rooms, or inside the restaurant. The O-90 is ruggedized to withstand outdoor environments and weather conditions, and its industrial-grade IP67 enclosure is completely waterproof and dustproof. Which means 802.11ac Wi-Fi is now available for your customers and employees, no matter where they are on the company property!

  1.    Cloud-based for easy Wi-Fi management.

Like all AirTight Wi-Fi access points, the AirTight O-90 is cloud managed. Setting up or configuring the network is simple enough that it can be completed in just a few minutes. Multiple locations can be managed through a single console from anywhere with Internet access.

  1.    Keep your guests engaged everywhere – and maximize revenue.

The AirTight O-90 can provide guest access with a customizable captive portal and walled garden, giving restaurant operators the ability to engage their customers, promote upcoming events, and push out special offers. Did guests relocate to the pool area or restaurant patio? No problem! That doesn’t mean you have to lose revenue opportunities. Keep customers engaged by using AirTight’s outdoor Wi-Fi to send personalized offers, incentivizing them to stay longer and spend more.Front-View

  1.    Best-in-class security.

AirTight’s industry-leading wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) technology is built in. The O-90 provides 24/7 protection from all types of wireless threats and satisfies PCI compliance for restaurants, retailers, and other industries taking payment cards.

  1.    Expand and improve Wi-Fi access.

Even if you do already offer outdoor Wi-Fi access, make it easier to manage and more secure with the O-90’s cloud management console and industry-best security. Make the most of AirTight’s O-90’s mesh capability to provide backhaul connectivity from outdoor areas while simultaneously keeping the action flowing on every device. And if you don’t have outdoor Wi-Fi, this is a golden opportunity to expand access in a practical way, without increasing your workload. The O-90 can be used to cost-effectively extend the range of Wi-Fi access in areas where it’s not practical to roll out Ethernet cables. Or even to implement point-to-point or backhaul mesh Wi-Fi links to interconnect buildings or campuses, while simultaneously providing secure Wi-Fi access to users.

The O-90’s dual concurrent 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz band radios provide data rates of up to 1.3Gbps and 450 Mbps to enable simultaneous support for a mix of mobile devices and applications with the throughput required to stream any game, music, or Internet to the farthest reaches of your company’s outdoor areas: the patio, pool area, manufacturing yard, stadium, mall, public hotspot, or campus.

This is a perfect way for any IT department to maximize revenue through guest engagement, cost-effectively expand Wi-Fi access, and easily manage Wi-Fi via the cloud – all with the best security in the industry.

To learn more about the business benefits of cloud-managed outdoor Wi-Fi, visit the O-90 product page, call +1 (877) 930-6394, or contact AirTight.


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Top Reasons to Use Wi-Fi Zoning Analytics Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:00:28 +0000 AirTight’s new zone-based Wi-Fi analytics feature allows public venues like retail stores and airports to gather analytics by zone. These insights can include footfall, dwell time, traffic, promotional activities, layout optimization, and more.   Read more

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How well do you know your customers and patrons? Do you know where they spend the most time in your building? Can you say what the busiest areas are throughout the day?

It’s essential that public venues like retail stores and airports are able to answer these questions. And now it is possible, with AirTight’s zone-based Wi-Fi analytics feature.

What does this feature mean for your business and relationship with customers?

  • Quickly and easily define a “zone” within your building floorplan.
  • Gather “dwell time” and “footfall” analytics for each zone.
  • Understand customer behavior (which zones are most visited, where customers spend most of their time, if a promotion helps attract customers, what the busiest times are for traffic).
  • Optimize the layout of your venue and staffing requirements based on these analytics.
  • Best of all, AirTight’s zoning feature is included as part of the latest upgrade and is delivered to all of our cloud customers.

I put together this short video to demonstrate the business benefits and ease of using zone-based Wi-Fi analytics. You can also read more in my recent blog announcing this new feature.

As you can see, this feature is very intuitive and easy to use – but is an incredibly powerful tool for public venues to better interact with customers and provide an amazing experience. If you’d like to see more about how this feature and AirTight’s cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions can help your business, please contact us for a personalized demo.


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