MOJO Wireless http://blog.airtightnetworks.com AirTight Networks Blog Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:54:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2015 Year of the Goat and Wi-Fi & Security http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/2015-year-of-the-goat-and-wifi-and-security/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/2015-year-of-the-goat-and-wifi-and-security/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:00:57 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8653 In many Asian countries, the New Year is based on the lunar calendar and is dictated by the first new moon and ends on the full moon. In the case of the Chinese calendar, each New Year is marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

In the first part of a 2 part blog series, we started off by reflecting on the Year of the Horse and 2014. In this second installment, we look ahead to the Year of the Goat which began on February 19th 2015.   Read more

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In many Asian countries, the New Year is based on the lunar calendar and is dictated by the first new moon and ends on the full moon.  In the case of the Chinese calendar, each New Year is marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

In the first part of a 2 part blog series, we started off by reflecting on the Year of the Horse and 2014.  In this second installment, we look ahead to the Year of the Goat which began on February 19th 2015.

Looking Ahead to the Year of the Goat:

Looking ahead on the coming year, we have a 4 notable areas to single out.

  1. Focus, Growth and Key Partnerships
  2. Key Wi-Fi Trends in 2015
  3. Products & Innovations
  4. Connecting with Customers 

1) Focus, Growth and Key Partnerships

All indications are that 2015 will be a banner year in the Wi-Fi industry as well as for AirTight partners and customers!

In the closing weeks of 2014 AirTight added two key executives to the company:

  • Rick Wilmer as Chief Operating Officer
  • Mike Anthofer as Chief Financial Officer
picture of Rick Wilmer, AirTight COO

Rick Wilmer, AirTight COO.

In an interview with CRN, Rick shares his thoughts on why he joined AirTight.

“The caliber of their engineering and technology talent is impressive. I believe this team has the potential to do something remarkable in the enterprise Wi-Fi space.”

Source: AirTight Networks Adds Top Exec Talent In Bid To Make Wi-Fi More Social. Via CRN News, December 2014

More information via AirTight Newsroom: AirTight Networks Positioned for Next Phase of Growth in 2015: New COO & CFO, Channel Expansion, Continuous Product Innovation.

Meet the Hot Cybersecurity Companies to Watch in 2015, via CyberSecurity Ventures.
More information at Cybersecurity 500 [interactive and searchable list].
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All Indications are that 2015 will be a Banner Year
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AirTight continues to see demand share shift from a direct sales model to the channel. The company is on track to achieve its goal of 80% sales through the channel in 2015 globally, while 100% of international sales will continue to be through the channel. AirTight is forging new partnerships with key managed service providers including Earthlink and Hughes.
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EarthLink Secure Storefront from EarthLink on Vimeo.  

If you missed the Retail Next webinar on connected stores (featuring Greg Buzek – IHL, Kevin McCauley -AirTight, and Greg Griffiths – Earthlink) you can see a replay at rtou.ch/store-networks.

IHL Group, retail research firm, AirTight Networks and EarthLink recently partnered to conduct one of the first-ever studies that provides insights into the retail industry’s plans for store networking, WiFi, security and engagement.

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Interested in the full results?  Register here to get the final IHL study. -

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2)  Key Wi-Fi Trends in 2015
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Never one to shy away from making bold predictions, Hemant Chaskar outlines what we can expect in Wi-Fi in 2015:

        1. Super-Size: Deployments as large as hundreds, thousands and up to a million APs.
        2. Super-Charge: ISP, MSO, MSP business model enablement, increased spectrum of engagement applications, CRM integration and big data set analytics.
        3. Scalability Behind the Edge: Importance of backend systems to support Super-size and Super-charged.
        4. Right Offer, Right Time, Right Place: Integration of multiple platforms such as Wi-Fi, iBeacon and other innovations.
        5. Opinions and Requirements: Concerns around monetization, intrusiveness and privacy are hot topics in 2015

 Read the full detail behind these bold predictions or view the companion OnTheFlyWifi webcast replay. OnTheFlyWifi webcast.    

 

Executive Viewpoint 2015 Prediction: AirTight Networks – Internet of Things Will Drive Digital Transformation in Businesses | by Hemant Chaskar via Virtual Strategy Magazine, January 2nd 2015

3) Products and Innovations

Many product, service and application innovations are being introduced with many more planned for 2015.  Three such innovations include:

For NRF 2015, AirTight Networks announced updates to its Wi-Fi solution for retail, including Nano, its mobile cloud management application, now available with custom skins for key MSPs, and an in-browser messaging feature. Read the announcement on AirTight’s web site: AirTight Networks Enhances Multi-Unit Retail Wi-Fi Offering for NRF 2015.

For NRF 2015, AirTight Networks announced updates to its Wi-Fi solution for retail, including Nano, its mobile cloud management application, now available with custom skins for key MSPs, and an in-browser messaging feature.  Read the announcement.

AirTight NanoTM

For NRF 2015, AirTight Networks announced updates to its Wi-Fi solution for retail, including Nano, its mobile cloud management application, now available with custom skins for key MSPs, and an in-browser messaging feature.

“The Nano application will be a key element of EarthLink Secure WiFiTM as it provides configuration simplicity and speed, but maintains IT control and oversight,” said Mike Frane, Director of Product Management at EarthLink.

“Store-level personnel or our remote technicians can get WiFi up and running in minutes with enterprise-class features. This reduces our investment in level 1 support and greatly reduces truck rolls, allowing us to focus on valuable customer interactions.”

Nano simplifies Wi-Fi configurations and compliance reporting by exposing several key features of a cloud Wi-Fi management console via a mobile web app. The configurations done through Nano are synchronized with the enterprise cloud management console, so that retailers and their MSPs can layer additional cloud services on top of basic configurations done through Nano. They also retain full visibility into brand-wide Wi-Fi analytics and engagement metrics.  Source: AirTight Unveils Wi-Fi Config Tool for Retail via Channel Vision Magazine.

Read the announcement on AirTight’s web site: AirTight Networks Enhances Multi-Unit Retail Wi-Fi Offering for NRF 2015

In-browser Messaging

The in-browser messaging feature allows insertion of messages in a user’s web session. This provides continuous channel for engagement as the user browses the web over guest Wi-Fi. Retailers and restaurants can now promote flash sales, store specials or the venue’s loyalty program. Retailers can also place third-party ads and align them with in-store promotions, such as premium end-cap placements. The feature also provides detailed analytics on click tracking.

Hemant Chaskar discusses some of the considerations of in-browser messaging in “2015: The Year of Experience and Scale”.

WizShark:  A picture is worth a thousand framesTM. 

In February, Robert Ferruolo gave a Ten Talk on  WizShark.net  at the WLAN Professionals Conference in Dallas.  You can view the SlideShare summary and / or view the video.  A more in-depth video presentation of WizShark is also available here.

4) Connecting with Customers 

Customer engagement and store efficiencies are top of mind for retailers, hospitality and leisure operators attending Industry events like NRF, RBTE and MURTEC.   AirTight has a strong presence at these events where you can easily request a meeting or private demo.

Join us for an informative webinar regarding the usage and deployment of an iBeacon solution. In this 30 minute webinar we will work through what to consider when deciding to engage in an iBeacon deployment.

Join us for an informative webinar regarding the usage and deployment of an iBeacon solution. In this 30 minute webinar we will work through what to consider when deciding to engage in an iBeacon deployment.

You’ll want to join us for an informative webinar regarding the usage and deployment of an iBeacon solution.

In this 30 minute webinar we will work through what to consider when deciding to engage in an iBeacon deployment.

Register for iBeacon Reality Check: Essential Considerations for an iBeacon Deployment Mar 10, 2015 8:00 AM PDT

The session will cover the following topics:

  • What is iBeacon?
  • iBeacon Reality Check
  • Components to Build an iBeacon Solution
  • iBeacon Challenges

 

 

We’re off to a roaring start and all indications are that 2015 will be a banner year in the Wi-Fi industry as well as for AirTight partners and customers!

 

Additional Information:

Wireless LAN Professionals Conference – February 2015  

 

Register to download the free ebook: “A Guide for Wireless Customer Engagement and Security”

Register to download the free ebook: “A Guide for Wireless Customer Engagement and Security”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AirTight at Wireless LAN Professionals Conference WLPC in Dallas http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/airtight-at-wireless-lan-professionals-conference-wlpc-in-dallas/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/airtight-at-wireless-lan-professionals-conference-wlpc-in-dallas/#respond Mon, 02 Mar 2015 01:30:00 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8373 AirTight had strong representation at the Dallas conference (February 2015) with 2 keynote sessions and 4 Ten Talks. View the video and SlideShare archive.   Read more

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The Wireless LAN Professionals Conference is the brain child of Keith R Parsons  – certified Wireless LAN professional, consultant and teacher.  The conference consists of two days of fun, great topics, awesome gear, and wonderful networking.  It features presentations from a vast array of experts in the field. The event is designed with two track sessions and short powerful talks called Ten Talks.

“We designed the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference to be the kind of event we’d like to personally attend. Lots of great technical content wrapped around an opportunity to spend time with our friends, colleagues, and a chance to meet more people who shared our passion for Wi-Fi. We say it is a conference for WLAN Professionals, by WLAN Professionals.”

Keith R. Parsons

 

 

AirTight had strong representation at the Dallas conference (February 2015) with 2 keynote sessions and 4 Ten Talks.  Ten Talks are short powerful talks.  These are just like Ted Talks, only for all things Wi-Fi.

Ten Talks (10 minutes):

1)  Best Practices for Comprehensive WLAN Performance Testing

2)  Tales from the Trenches: Wi-Fi Troubleshooting in Distributed Environments

3)  Staying on Top of Security, Spectrum Rules and Network Operation in WIPS Deployments

4)  Using WizShark to help in your Wi-Fi Troubleshooting

Keynote Sessions (45 minutes):

1)  Pwnie Express PwnPhone and Wi-Fi Penetration Testing

2)  Wireless Security: Fun Hacks for You to Learn and Experience

 

AirTight TEN TALKS:

Below you’ll find an abstract for each Ten Talk, Vimeo video recording with slideware, and companion SlideShare.

1) Best Practices for Comprehensive WLAN Performance Testing 

Want to avoid your Wi-Fi having a reputation for being slow? Or will you be involved in evaluating solutions for your next WiFi upgrade? View this session with Robert Ferruolo for testing best practices from many years on the front lines of WLAN performance testing. It covers how to test voice, video, and data for single and multi AP setups. The session also discusses essential test tools, test applications, testing methodologies, troubleshooting performance issues, recommended test cases for different verticals, as well as ways to examine and present test data. From this session, you get practical techniques and fresh ideas for how to get, and keep, your WLAN fast and reliable.

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Best Practices for Comprehensive WLAN Performance Testing by Robert Ferruolo  (10 minutes) via Keith R. Parsons Vimeo.

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Related Content:

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2) Tales from the Trenches: Wi-Fi Troubleshooting in Distributed Environments

Network issues aren’t something new in any project. However, the troubleshooting task becomes challenging when it needs to be done remotely and when there isn’t much onsite IT help. This is often the case with the distributed Wi-Fi deployments. The session discusses tools and best practices for Wi-Fi troubleshooting in distributed environments, drawing on field deployments both large and small.

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Tales from the Trenches: Wi-Fi Troubleshooting in Distributed Environments by Hemant Chaskar  (10 minutes) via Keith R. Parsons Vimeo. -

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Are You Safe: AirTight Networks Security Assessment

Schedule a FREE Wireless Network Vulnerability Assessment.  AirTight is the only vendor rated “Strong Positive” by Gartner for wireless IPS.

3) Staying on Top of Security, Spectrum Rules and Network Operation in WIPS Deployments

This session explores best practices in wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS). The session provides an in-depth look into wireless vulnerabilities and techniques used by WIPS to address them. Along with the technical deep dive, Hemant Chaskar provides guidelines to enhance security; avoid contravention of spectrum rules and minimize operational overhead in WIPS deployments.

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Staying on Top of Security, Spectrum Rules and Network Operation in WIPS Deployments by Hemant Chaskar  (10 minutes) via Keith R. Parsons Vimeo. -

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Related Content:

4) Using WizShark to help in your Wi-Fi Troubleshooting

WizShark is a diagnostic tool built to make the process of Wi-Fi troubleshooting more enjoyable and fun. Based on the philosophy of “A picture is worth a thousand frames”, it abstracts key events of a complex packet trace in the form of rich visuals. This session demonstrates how to use Wizshark to troubleshoot Wi-Ficonnectivity issues. -

Using WizShark to help in your Wi-Fi Troubleshooting by Robert Ferruolo  (10 minutes) via Keith R. Parsons Vimeo.

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A more in-depth video presentation of WizShark is also available here.

 

 

 

AirTight KEYNOTES:

Senior Wireless Security Researcher Rick Farina keynoted two 45 minutes sessions:

1) Pwnie Express PwnPhone and Wi-Fi Penetration Testing

2) Wireless Security: Fun Hacks for You to Learn and Experience

 1) Pwnie Express PwnPhone and Wi-Fi Penetration Testing

Session 108 – Rick Farina from Keith R. Parsons on Vimeo.

Pwnie Express PwnPhone and Wi-Fi Penetration Testing | by Rick Farina @Zero_ChaosX  (Keynote: 45 minutes) via Keith R. Parsons Vimeo.

2) Wireless Security: Fun Hacks for You to Learn and Experience

Session 211 – Rick Farina from Keith R. Parsons on Vimeo.

Wireless Security: Fun Hacks for You to Learn and Experience| by Rick Farina @Zero_ChaosX  (Keynote: 45 minutes) via Keith R. Parsons Vimeo.

Related Information:

 Wireless LAN Professionals Conference WLPC is not to be missed – in-person and on-demand!

 

Wireless LAN Professionals Conference on-demand video archiveAdditional information:

In a 2 part blog series, AirTight reflects on the Year of the Horse and 2014.  In the second installment, we look ahead to the Year of the Goat which began on February 19th 2015.

 

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Year of the Horse: Wi-Fi and Security Thought Leadership http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/year-of-the-horse-wi-fi-and-security-thought-leadership/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/year-of-the-horse-wi-fi-and-security-thought-leadership/#respond Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:45:00 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8388 In the 1st part of a 2 part blog series, we reflect on the Year of the Horse and 2014. In the second installment, we look ahead to 2015 and the Year of the Goat.   Read more

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In many Asian countries, the New Year is based on the lunar calendar and is dictated by the first new moon and ends on the full moon.  In the case of the Chinese calendar, each New Year is marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

In the first part of a 2 part blog series, we start off by reflecting on the Year of the Horse and 2014.  In the second installment, we look ahead to the Year of the Goat which began on February 19th 2015.

Wi-Fi and Security Thought Leadership

Looking back on the year that was for AirTight thought leadership, we have a 6 notables to single out.

  1. Industry Recognition
  2. Strategic Partnerships
  3. Top AirTight Content 
  4. Industry and AirTight Domain & Subject Matter Expertise
  5. Most Prolific AirTight Blog Author
  6. Mojo Wireless Mobile Responsive Design

 

1) Industry Recognition

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Each year, CRN Test Center’s Tech Innovator Award program recognizes companies that deliver outstanding innovation in hardware and software solutions specifically developed for the enterprise.  To determine the 2014 winners and also those worthy of honorable mention CRN Test Center editors reviewed hundreds of products across 18 hardware and software categories.  The AirTight team is thrilled that the C-75 802.11ac access point took top honors in the 2014 wireless category.

Back in September 2014, AirTight Networks was honored with two industry awards.  AirTight won a 2014 Cloudys Cloud Channel Innovation Award and a Gold status from 2014 Golden Bridge Awards. In addition, Anita Pandey – AirTight Vice President of Marketing – was named to the @CRN 100 People You Don’t Know But Should 2014 list.

Great things are happening! Congrats @scrapecorp @gofrontera & our partner @Airtight! #CPEXPO

Great things are happening! Congrats @scrapecorp @gofrontera & our partner @Airtight!

More info at “Smart Dining & Dining Smart: Technology in the Restaurant Industry”.

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2) Strategic Patnerships

Greg Griffiths, VP Retail Solutions for Earthlink Business, discusses the value of AirTight’s Wi-Fi soutions for “small box” retailers.

Earthlink Discusses AirTight Partnership for Secure Wi-Fi by CRN via YouTube

IHL Group, retail research firm, AirTight Networks and EarthLink recently partnered to conduct one of the first-ever studies that provides insights into the retail industry’s plans for store networking, WiFi, security and engagement.

What the survey showed:

  • 82% of large to medium-sized retail participants have already deployed in-store WiFi
  • 57% of enterprise retail participants offer both customer and employee WiFi
  • 28% of retailers report that customer loyalty increased due to deploying in-store customer WiFi
  • 70% of retail participants currently outsource their store level WAN to managed service providers
  • 34% of retail participants will update their store level WiFi technologies in 2015

View the SlideShare summary infographic.  Interested in the full results? Register here to get the final IHL study.


3) Is Your Mobile in Sleep Mode?

The most popular AirTight blog series (of all time) was authored by Troubleshooting Pro and Principal Systems Engineer  Bhupinder Misra.  Published in late September 2014, the iOS8 blog series, inclusive of its SlideShare companion, has garnered over 48,000 readers and continues to get strong daily views.  It received numerous mentions including some in the Washington Post, Gizmodo and The Verge.

The iOS8 blog series provides detailed information on the iOS8 MAC Randomization feature and analyzes its impact on Wi-Fi locationing and analytics solutions in general.  Find out about certain conditions under which iOS8 may randomize the devices MAC address, while in other conditions it may use the device’s authentic MAC address.

iOS8 Blog Series by Bhupinder Misra

iOS8 MAC Randomization – Analyzed!

iOS8 MAC Address Randomization Update

iOS8 Companion SlideShare

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4) Notable Content:  Domain & Subject Matter Expertise is the Sweet Spot

The Year of the Horse was marked by top industry voices.

 

AirTight Contributions:

If you missed the Retail Next webinar  on connected stores (featuring Greg Buzek - IHL, Kevin McCauley -AirTight, and Greg Griffiths - Earthlink) you can see a replay at rtou.ch/store-networks

If you missed the Retail Next webinar on connected stores (featuring Greg Buzek – IHL, Kevin McCauley -AirTight, and Greg Griffiths – Earthlink) you can see a replay at rtou.ch/store-networks

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5) Most Prolific @AirTight Author:  and the award goes to ….

This should come as no surprise to regular Mojo Wireless readers.  The most prolific Mojo Wireless blog author is Doctor Hemant Chaskar who wrote 11 posts in the last year.  You can easily access all of them from here.  In particular, “Understanding FCC decision regarding Wi-Fi containment at Marriott” was a much talked about topic in 2014 and some of Hemant’s most popular content.

Understanding FCC decision regarding Wi-Fi containment at Marriott via AirTight blog

Companion SlideShare:  Marriott Fined 600K by FCC for Blocking Guests Wi-Fi

Hemant recently took up this same topic at the WLAN Professionals Conference in Dallas.  You can view the SlideShare summary and / or view the video.

TT – Network Ops in WIPS Deployments from Keith R. Parsons on Vimeo.  SlideShare Companion:  Staying on Top of Security and Spectrum Rules in WIPS Deployments by Hemant Chaskar (WLAN Professionals Conference – February 2015)

 

If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge might have been painted black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.

If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge might have been painted black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.

6) Out with the Old Look, In with Mojo Wireless!  

At about the same time as the iOS8 blog series was published, AirTight migrated its blog platform to a Mojo Wireless mobile responsive design.

In addition to being friendly to all types of devices, the mobile friendly theme enables readers to easily find the latest posts and also search the site for topics of interest.

 

Year of the Goat

Be sure to read the second installment of this blog series as we look ahead to the Year of the Goat which began on February 19th 2015.

 

Additional Information:

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ISP Network on the Home Side and the Role Wi-Fi May Play http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/isp-network-on-the-home-side-and-the-role-wi-fi-may-play/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/isp-network-on-the-home-side-and-the-role-wi-fi-may-play/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:00:34 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8587 As the net neutrality debate rages, Hemant Chaskar delves into how ISP networks are organized. Not surprising he found that the ISP core network and service provisioning therein can get pretty complex. Additionally, he found that even at the access layer and in-home networking there are many technologies at work.   Read more

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Recently, net neutrality has been a hot topic of debate. The discussion mostly centers on Internet video transmission in the ISP (Internet Service Provider) core network.

Net neutrality (also network neutrality, Internet neutrality, or net equality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.  More info.

The commission is set to vote on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s aggressive proposal — which will regulate Internet service providers as public utilities and set new standards for speed and pricing — on Thursday February 26 2015, when it is expected to pass by a partisan vote of 3-2.  More info.

As the net neutrality debate rages, it piqued my interest into how ISP networks are organized.  Not surprising I found that the ISP core network and service provisioning therein can get pretty complex.

On the other hand, I found that even at the access layer and in-home networking there are many technologies at work. Specifically on the topic of in-home networking, it seems that there were a lot of technology developments in last 10 years for the wired network. However, moving forward, Wi-Fi could hold good potential for in-home networking as a harmonized standard. There is a good chance that the Internet will soon be categorized as a utility for the home. So read on to find out how this utility is delivered by ISPs to homes in the U.S.

Fiber/Cable Mix in Access Network

Every ISP uses optical fiber in the network. The differences among them are in how much closer to the home the fiber is laid. There is a range of fiber/cable mix:

  • FTTN (Fiber To The Node),
  • FTTC (Fiber To The Curb),
  • FTTB (Fiber To The Building) and
  • FTTH (Fiber To The Home).

fiber-cable mix in access network (drawing)

ISPs such as Comcast and AT&T use optical fiber network up to a node (FTTN) in their network. Signals are distributed from the fiber node to the homes using electrical wires. Cable companies such as Comcast use coaxial cable on the electrical side (hence also called has Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) network), whereas AT&T uses twisted pair copper telephone wire (Cat 3 cable) on the electrical side.

Comcast and cable companies run a medium access control protocol called DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) for data transmission on the coaxial cable network. DOCSIS runs on top of physical layer which uses FDM (Frequency Division Multiplexing) channels and QAM modulation on the cable. There is support for channel bonding for higher data rates. In contrast, AT&T uses a variant of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), namely VDSL on the Cat 3 wire.

At the other extreme, ISPs such as Verizon and Google use optical fiber all the way to the home (FTTH). For multi-dwelling units and businesses, the FTTH provider can pull fiber to the building. This is then called FTTB (Fiber To The Building or Fiber To The Basement) architecture.

Fiber To The Curb (FTTC) isn’t very common. It was used by Bell South which now is part of AT&T.

In-home Networking and the Potential for Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi and in-home networkingFor signal distribution inside the home, coaxial cable has been an attractive option since greater than 90% homes in U.S. have coaxial cable infrastructure (spanning three generations of cables and splitters).  Technology developed by MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) enables  IP networking on top of in-home coaxial network.

The devices connected to coaxial cable outlets in home are MoCA nodes and MoCA supports full mesh IP connectivity between the nodes. So in case of Comcast FTTN, the cable modem box will be one of the MoCA nodes and also the one that converts between incoming DOCSIS to in-home MoCA. For Verizon FTTH, one of the MoCA nodes needs to have an optical fiber interface to hook into the incoming optical fiber.

MoCA is not the only technology out there for in-home networking. For instance, AT&T FTTN instead relies on HPNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance) technology to enable IP networking over in-home telephone (twisted pair copper) wiring.

Depending on the method of broadcast TV transmission used by the ISP, these in-home nodes may also need to convert TV signals to IPTV format. For example, in the case of Comcast and Verizon, ditital TV transmission coming into the home is not IPTV format, whereas AT&T uses IPTV transmission right from the core network.

Wireline technologies such as MoCA (for coaxial cable), HPNA (for Cat 3 telephone cable) and HomePlug (powerline) were devised in the last 10 years for in-home networks.

A question comes to mind as to whether Wi-Fi can emerge as contender for in-home networking moving forward.  After all, it is cost effective, has mature standardization and has prevalent support in all end devices.

Thinking aloud, what would be some of the requirements that Wi-Fi will need to satisfy for in-home networking?

  • Voice and video distribution will be a major ISP application inside homes. Not only does this require support for high bandwidth (multiple HD streams simultaneously), it also requires managing jitter and latency over in-home Wi-Fi links.
  • There is a need to define topology for adequate coverage in larger homes. Some of the end the devices themselves could be used as range extenders or repeaters to meet this requirement.
  • Technology that ISPs deploy in homes need to score high on reliability, dependability and plug and play. Support calls from customers are the last thing ISPs want if they have to operate profitable business.
  • To effectively deal with customer complaints, there will need to be an easy way to remotely troubleshoot these in-home Wi-Fi links.
  • For the in-home Wi-Fi equipment, price points need to be low even though features are challenging.
  • With ever increasing Wi-Fi penetration, how will Wi-Fi performance be assured in the unlicensed spectrum? We may need a much larger spectrum slide for Wi-Fi.

I did not find any coordinated industry effort like previous wired technologies to define Wi-Fi requirements for in-home ISP networking. It appears ISPs are working with vendors independently to create solutions.

The in-home signal distribution over Wi-Fi presents a nice opportunity for innovation moving forward, and given the volume of these deployments, there should be ample incentive to pursue this track. Irrespective of which way the net neutrality vote swings, we can expect to see more activity in coming years on Wi-Fi for in-home multimedia networking at ISP scale.

My thanks to Tushar Saxena, former MoCA board member and now colleague at AirTight, who pointed me to various references on ISP networks and also let me to pick his brains on the ISP technology.

References:

Straw Poll #2: What types of devices do you have connected to home network | via Zaid Kaleem @WLANbook   -

Straw Poll Results: 60% of people surveyed have 15+ devices on home network | via Zaid Kaleem @WLANbook -   

Straw Poll: How many devices do you have connected to your home network? — I’m at 21 devices (family of four!!) | via Zaid Kaleem @WLANbook

<<< Updated February 26th 2015 >>>

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2015: Banner Year for Retail Wi-Fi http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/2015-banner-year-for-retail-wifi/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/2015-banner-year-for-retail-wifi/#respond Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:00:00 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8514 All indications are that 2015 will be a banner year! Stay tuned for new technology developments in Wi-Fi and see what AirTight brings out in the coming year.   Read more

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The New Year is a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make.  January is usually all about resolutions, setting goals and getting a fast fresh start.  This applies just as much in business as it does on an individual level.  All indications are that 2015 will be a banner year in the Wi-Fi industry as well as for AirTight partners and customers!

New Leadership at AirTight

The closing weeks of 2014 saw AirTight add two key executives to the company:

  • Rick Wilmer as Chief Operating Officer
  • Mike Anthofer as Financial Officer

In an interview with CRN, Rick shares his thoughts on why he joined AirTight.

“The caliber of their engineering and technology talent is impressive. I believe this team has the potential to do something remarkable in the enterprise Wi-Fi space.”

Source: AirTight Networks Adds Top Exec Talent In Bid To Make Wi-Fi More Social. Via CRN News, December 2014

All Indications are that 2015 will be a Banner Year

AirTight continues to see demand share shift from a direct sales model to the channel. The company is on track to achieve its goal of 80% sales through the channel in 2015 globally, while 100% of international sales will continue to be through the channel. AirTight is forging new partnerships with key managed service providers including Earthlink and Hughes.

Retail’s Biggest Show of the Year

2015 opened with a bang for AirTight Networks. We just came back from the National Retail Federation’s 104th annual conference and expo, also called Retail’s Big Show, which took place Jan. 11-14 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.  #NRF15: What a whirlwind of activity it was!

The technology is changing the world around us, and retail is not immune.

Key themes of the show, echoed in many sessions and show floor conversations, centered on how retailers can remain relevant in today’s increasingly digital world. Stores are the place where 90 percent of sales still occur, but mobile and digital commerce is growing rapidly.

Top 6 Retail Trends to Watch in 2015 | By Justin Honaman via RIS News  — January 05, 2015

Retailers also face the dual problem of creating an ‘experience’ while reducing the hassles of shopping. They are looking for technology to connect the dots between mobile, digital and physical worlds, putting them ahead of competition – with support from big data, analytics and new ways to engage customers.

5 Key Takeaways from NRF 2015

Through the voice of key industry players and various articles and research papers, we summarized 5 key takeaways from NRF 2015.  They are:

  1. Driving Innovation – From Store Environments to Digital
  2. Mobility, Locationing, Engagement and Security Converge in the New Store Environment
  3. Security Threats are a Business Problem, Not Just IT’s
  4. On the Road to Frictionless Fulfillment: Omni-channel Integration With an IoT Twist
  5. Bottom Line: Loyalty is the Name of the Game – now more than ever!

1) Driving Innovation – From Store Environments to Digital

The connected shopper is here (to stay), and a recent survey from Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research found that 48% of consumers are more likely to shop in a retail store that provides wireless Internet, while more than a third use their mobile device to research a product review while shopping.  Source:  Edgar Figueroa via Information Week Network Computing, January 2015

“To innovate in an omnichannel world, retailers need to get rid of the constraints of thinking by channel, but also must test and learn concepts — and pay attention to what’s happening outside of the retail industry.”  Source: The Challenge of Retail Innovation by Jennifer Overstreet via NRF.com

“For me as a marketer, looking beyond the theater and magic, it really comes down to the data. It’s all about unlocking the data for the different silos so you can make smarter decisions.” – Emily Culp, senior VP of e-commerce and omni-channel marketing at Rebecca Minkoff.  Source: Best of NRF 2015: Bringing the Theater Back into Retail by Celia Brown via Forbes.

“When you fail, and I hope you do — because if you don’t fail you aren’t experimenting enough — kill projects, not people.” – Terry Jones, Travelocity.com founder and digital disruptor.  Source: Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch by Sarah Rand via NRF.com

2) Mobility, Locationing, Engagement and Security Converge in the New Store Environment

Infographic: How retail beacons work.  “A beacon is like a barking dog — it gets your attention." —Kevin McCauley, director of retail market development at AirTight Networks.

Infographic: How retail beacons work – via Dell Tech Page One . “A beacon is like a barking dog — it gets your attention.” —Kevin McCauley, director of retail market development at AirTight Networks.

“We are a decade away from the end of the traditional POS. The entire process will need to change, not just the register. It is more of a business problem than a tech problem.” – Ratnakar Lavu, EVP of Digital Innovation, Kohl’s.  Source: Via RISnews: The Absolute Best Stuff Overheard at NRF 2015

By 2020, retail businesses that utilize targeted messaging in combination with internal positioning systems will see a five percent increase in sales. By 2016, there will be an increase in the number of offers from retailers focused on customer location and the length of time in store.  Source:  Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2015 and Beyond

The top tech trends for retailers consisted of in-store Wi-Fi, payment systems, PCI compliance and security, according to a Jan. 13 study by IHL Group.  Source:  NRF 2015: Addressing retail’s secure perimeter by Brian T. Horowitz via Dell Tech Page One.

36 percent of retailers plan to invest in Wi-Fi within next 12 months.  Source: IHL Study: 36 percent of retailers plan to invest in wi fi within next 12 months via SlideShare

3) Security Threats are a Business Problem, Not Just IT’s

The challenge is that two-thirds of all companies that have experienced a data breach become aware of it only when notified by someone else — and criminals are inside a system for an average of 229 days before they’re detected.  Source:  Time to Go on the Offensive Against Cyber Threats. By Fiona Soltes via NRF.com

“Security is not just an IT problem. It’s a business problem. It is a CEO and board-level problem and not just something for the CSO or CIO.” – Bryan Sartin, Verizon.  Source: Via RISnews: The Absolute Best Stuff Overheard at NRF 2015

 34 percent of retailers plan to invest in security in the next 12 months.  Source:  34 percent of retailers plan to invest in security in the next 12 months  IHL Study via SlideShare

Connecting with today’s customers via new in-store technologies is critical but can increase privacy and security risks exponentially.  Source:  Earthlink Secure Storefront

4) On the Road to Frictionless Fulfillment: Omni-channel Integration With an IoT Twist

“One of the biggest problems that IoT may help to address is that while retailers can – and do – track consumers’ paths-to-purchase in the digital space, shoppers are invisible to retailers in the store until they get to the checkout counter. Since consumers still overwhelmingly choose the store as the place where their paths-to-purchase are finalized, retailers want to be able to put the same kind of value messaging in front of consumers in the physical space as they do in the digital world.” – Brian Kilcourse, RSR Research managing partner.  Source:  NRF 2015: Internet of Things rises up the agenda, via Essential Retail.

In 2015, CIOs will invest in omni-channel integration technologies as a top priority to support growth in the omni-channel shopper sales premium of 30%. Over the next 3 years, half of CIOs across the top 250 retailers will adopt omni-channel IT governance to combat shadow IT.  Source:  IDC FutureScape: WorldWide Retail 2015 Predictions

5) Bottom Line: Loyalty is the Name of the Game – now more than ever!

According to a new study from EarthLink, 28% of retailers reported increased customer loyalty due to in-store Wi-Fi.  Source:  Study: Can In-store Wi-Fi Lead to Increased Customer Loyalty? Via Loyalty360

40 percent of retailers plan to invest in a loyalty mobile app; only 14 percent have it today  Source: 40 percent of retailers plan to invest in a loyalty mobile app ==> only 14 have it today IHL Study via SlideShare

Retail turned to sports to get insights on how they can leverage fan engagement and team performance strategies that have created some of the most successful sports leagues and teams in the world.  Source:  “Game Changer: Loyalty and Performance Lessons from Passionate Sports Fandom” panel.  NRF.com on YouTube

Wireless Engagement – From Pipe Dream to Reality

Wi-Fi has become the intersection where virtual and physical shopping experiences meet. The evolution is creating profound changes in the way retailers communicate and engage with their customers.

To address the questions surrounding the implications of in-store Wi-Fi, AirTight Networks recently released “Retail Wi-Fi: A guide for wireless customer engagement and security” which discusses technology trends, explores big data opportunities in retail Wi-Fi analytics, and provides examples on how retailers can use Wi-Fi to deliver new in-store shopping experiences to increase sales and build brand loyalty.

Download the Ebook: “A Guide for Wireless Customer Engagement and Security”.

New Study: Store Infrastructure and Impact on Customer Engagement

IHL Group, retail research firm, AirTight Networks and EarthLink recently partnered to conduct one of the first-ever studies that provides insights into the retail industry’s plans for store networking, WiFi, security and engagement (some of the findings are referenced in the bullets above).

What the survey showed:

  • 82% of large to medium-sized retail participants have already deployed in-store WiFi
  • 57% of enterprise retail participants offer both customer and employee WiFi
  • 28% of retailers report that customer loyalty increased due to deploying in-store customer WiFi
  • 70% of retail participants currently outsource their store level WAN to managed service providers
  • 34% of retail participants will update their store level WiFi technologies in 2015

Interested in the full results? Register to get them when the final IHL study is released in February.

IHL Group Store Infrastructure Survey, 2015 Preliminary Results -> infographic from AirTight Networks

Retail Wi-Fi is Evolving

For NRF 2015, AirTight Networks announced updates to its Wi-Fi solution for retail, including Nano, its mobile cloud management application, now available with custom skins for key MSPs, and an in-browser messaging feature. Read the announcement on AirTight’s web site: AirTight Networks Enhances Multi-Unit Retail Wi-Fi Offering for NRF 2015.

For NRF 2015, AirTight Networks announced updates to its Wi-Fi solution for retail, including Nano. More info.

For NRF 2015, AirTight Networks announced updates to its Wi-Fi solution for retail, including Nano, its mobile cloud management application, now available with custom skins for key MSPs, and an in-browser messaging feature.

Nano simplifies Wi-Fi configurations and compliance reporting by exposing several key features of a cloud Wi-Fi management console via a mobile web app. The configurations done through Nano are synchronized with the enterprise cloud management console, so that retailers and their MSPs can layer additional cloud services on top of basic configurations done through Nano. They also retain full visibility into brand-wide Wi-Fi analytics and engagement metrics.  Source: AirTight Unveils Wi-Fi Config Tool for Retail via Channel Vision Magazine.

Read the announcement on AirTight’s web site: AirTight Networks Enhances Multi-Unit Retail Wi-Fi Offering for NRF 2015

 

2015 Will Be a Banner Year for Wi-Fi

With NRF having set the tone for retail Wi-Fi, what’s ahead for the Wi-Fi industry as a whole?  We have just the ticket! Read Hemant Chaskar’s blog post for his take on where 2015 will take us: 2015: The Year of Experience and Scale

Here’s the skinny:

In 2015 we can expect 5 key Wi-Fi Trends:

  1. Super-Size: Deployments as large as hundreds, thousands and up to a million APs
  2. Super-Charge: ISP, MSO, MSP business model enablement, increased spectrum of engagement applications, CRM integration and big data set analytics
  3. Scalability Behind the Edge: Importance of backend systems to support Super-size and Super-charge
  4. Right Offer, Right Time, Right Place: Integration of multiple platforms such as Wi-Fi, iBeacon and other innovations
  5. Opinions and Requirements: Concerns around monetization, intrusiveness and privacy are hot topics in 2015

Here’s the replay of the webcast with Hemant: OnTheFlyWifi webcast , or see it directly on YouTube.

All indications are that 2015 will be a banner year! Stay tuned for new technology developments in Wi-Fi and see what AirTight will bring out in the coming year.


2015: Banner Year for Retail Wi-Fi | via @AirTight blog #NRF15 #WiFi #retail
Click To Tweet


Additional Information:

 

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2015: The Year of Experience and Scale http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/what-type-of-wi-fi-scalability-requirements-can-we-expect-in-2015/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/what-type-of-wi-fi-scalability-requirements-can-we-expect-in-2015/#respond Fri, 16 Jan 2015 21:25:50 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8494 Scale versus Scalability: They are different notions. Scale is mostly about numbers, but scalability incorporates business enablement in addition to scale.

In the Wi-Fi industry, we’ve always talked about "scalability at the edge" which is about higher wireless speeds, more clients served, high density and so on. This will continue to be important in 2015 as more applications and clients connect to Wi-Fi.

However, there is another scalability requirement that is becoming increasingly important in some verticals. I call it "scalability behind the edge" and I think that it will be a hot topic in 2015.

What is "scalability behind the edge"?   Read more

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Scale versus Scalability

They are different notions. Scale is mostly about numbers, but scalability incorporates business enablement in addition to scale.

In the Wi-Fi industry, we’ve always talked about “scalability at the edge” which is about higher wireless speeds, more clients served, high density and so on. This will continue to be important in 2015 as more applications and clients connect to Wi-Fi.

However, there is another scalability requirement that is becoming increasingly important in some verticals. I call it “scalability behind the edge” and I think that it will be a hot topic in 2015.

What is “scalability behind the edge”?

As I see it, there are two aspects to “scalability behind the edge” – quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative

Historically, quantitative, in a large WLAN deployment could mean hundreds to thousands of APs under single management. This is characteristic of private enterprise which was the main vertical for Wi-Fi.

Now that ISPs and MSOs are entering the ever increasing Wi-Fi market, the number of APs under single management is set to rise exponentially: going to the hundred thousand to million device range. Tackling the deployment, configuration, monitoring, security, troubleshooting of such a “super-size” deployment is challenging to say the least!

Now you might say that there are a few Wi-Fi providers that have done large scale deployments today. Kudos to them, but keep in mind that they are early adopters. Early adopters are willing to take the challenge of adapting whatever is available at a given point in time and make it fit for their requirements. However, when things become mainstream and the competitive landscape becomes crowded, tailor made solutions are desirable. Current back-end systems are tailored to enterprise deployments and that will not suffice for the “super-size” deployments.

Qualitative

On the qualitative side, the business requirements of these massive deployments differ from the enterprise vertical on many fronts. For example, if you look at ISPs, they are entrenched in low touch home deployment business models. It’s only natural that they will try to apply their established business recipe to business Wi-Fi services.

So the big scalability question is … will today’s back-end systems enable that approach?

Another aspect of qualitative scalability is services delivered on Wi-Fi. In the enterprise context, Wi-Fi mostly supported enterprise applications and where guest Wi-Fi was a matter of convenience for visitors. However in the ISP, MSO or MSP business model, guest Wi-Fi, or public facing Wi-Fi if you will, is a key element of the business offering. The scalability aspect stemming from this requirement is in the form of big data set analytics and integration of multiple guest engagement platforms into Wi-Fi.

Quantitative and Qualitative Scalability Behind the Edge

“Scalability behind the edge” has 2 vector considerations: quantitative (volume) and qualitative (business enablement).  In 2015, expect to see innovations on both fronts.

What type of engagement platforms will be prominent in 2015?

Last year we already saw the emergence of MAC analytics, social Wi-Fi and loyalty recruiting over guest Wi-Fi. Love them or hate them, these will continue to be around, and are likely to be “super-charged” in 2015.

In 2014, from a Wi-Fi analytics and engagement perspective, it held true that “what happened in Wi-Fi stayed in Wi-Fi”.

However, now there is an increased push to integrate Wi-Fi engagement with back-end CRM platforms. Such integration will require high performance APIs between the Wi-Fi system and the CRM platforms. This will be used to derive insights from various big data sets.

What will happen to captive portal in 2015? And what about Hotspot 2.0?

Captive portals initially came into being as a legal requirement for disclaimer. With disclaimers in place, marketing discovered that they could leverage the portals for customer engagement. Since legal is unlikely to remove the requirement for disclaimers, marketing is likely to continue leveraging captive portals. In fact, I see them becoming richer in terms of content, as well as becoming more contextual and dynamic.

Also, in the past, a technical issue with captive portals has been the variability in how different clients react to captive portals. This was either due to their proprietary captive portal auto-detect mechanisms and/or micro-browser implementations. Sometimes this would even become a blocker in establishing a Wi-Fi connection. In the future, these types of technical issues should go away as a natural path to maturing implementations. Hotspot 2.0 can also help here somewhat as it has a mechanism to indicate captive portal to prospective clients.

In the service provider space, Hotspot 2.0 will be prominent and the current form of captive portals will dissappear. However, a new incarnation is now emerging, it is called “in-browser messaging on Wi-Fi”.

In-browser messaging on Wi-Fi: What is it?

In-browser messaging on Wi-Fi provides the ability to overlay content and in-browser apps on a Wi-Fi user’s browsing session. This approach renders captive portal 1.0 irrelevant but the engagement channel now exists in the form of in-browser messaging.

Of course, you can also use in-browser messaging along with captive portal… The more things change, the more they stay the same … or do they?

What about alternative technologies like iBeacon? Are there others?

In 2015, there will be some mainstream deployments of iBeacon. Though people talk about iBeacon as fine grained location tracking technology, I predict that most deployments this year will be zone based. There again, I think the biggest challenge is the back-end which is where decisions are made on what content to send to the user based on an iBeacon proximity trigger.

This is the job of the “offer layer” and the “content policy layer” that need to be present behind the iBeacon infrastructure.  These layers are mostly missing today (at scale) and will evolve in 2015.

Beyond iBeacon, there may be furtherance of other techniques such as POS (Point of Sale) integration, surveillance footage analytics and so on.

 

Mobile Mind Shift:  the expectation that you can get what you want in your immediate context and moment of need.  Source: Forrester

Concerns around Monetization, Intrusiveness and Privacy are not going away!

Monetization, intrusiveness and privacy will continue to be hot topics in 2015.  I categorize monetization and intrusiveness as “opinions” and privacy as “requirement”.

Monetization

Monetization of digital engagement is the basis of the public Internet economy. Whether it’s search tools, social media, or Internet email, all providers monetize user engagement by selling ads and analytics on their pages. In return, you get access to these offerings without explicitly paying for them. Accordingly, if you consider public Wi-Fi as part of the broader public Internet, then it can be inferred that public Wi-Fi will be monetized in the same manner.

Intrusiveness

When you go to an NHL hockey game, there are ads around the rink boards but the main action is on the ice. In that same vein, consider that there are ads around the pages you browse on the public Internet.

As in enjoyment of a hockey game or consumption of content on a browser, I think that the key is to strike the right balance between engagement and intrusion.

This balance might be different across markets and geographies.  Unlike the NHL, the Spengler Cup hockey tournament held annually in Switzerland features a more overt advertising strategy on player and referee uniforms.  What is the right approach?  It depends what the market will bear.

Getting back to Wi-Fi, how can meaningful engagement be achieved without offending your users?  That is the key question and I think that the answer should be “within the limits of acceptable quid pro quo for the target market”. Strike the right balance and most people will be fine with it; cross the line and users go away.

The boundaries of Wi-Fi monetization and intrusiveness will be tested in 2015.

Privacy

Privacy concern exists for all information that is digitized and put in the network. This is not just a Wi-Fi engagement specific issue. So we need to take cues from what is being done in other fields for privacy protection.

It then comes down to the chaining of multiple controls to minimize the chance of violation. The controls that stand out are:

  • Opt-in controls (user chooses what to disclose),
  • Engagement application and Wi-Fi infrastructure controls (These try to limit collection of personally identifiable information without the user having to make a selection. For example, controls on OAuth server is Social Wi-Fi or Facebook Graph API 2.0 controls about what information an app can collect), and
  • Legal, policy and compliance controls.

There is a wealth of experience on this front with organizations in ISP, MSO and retail verticals. So, I am hoping that right balance will be achieved between engagement and privacy over Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Scalability and Engagement in 2015

To summarizes, in 2015 we can expect 5 key Wi-Fi Trends:

  1. Super-Size:  Deployments as large as hundred thousands to million APs
  2. Super-Charge: ISP, MSO, MSP business model enablement, increased spectrum of engagement applications, CRM integration and big data set analytics
  3. Scalability Behind the Edge: Importance of backend systems to support Super-size and Super-charge
  4. Right Offer, Right Time, Right Place: Integration of multiple platforms such as Wi-Fi, iBeacon and other innovations
  5. Opinions and Requirements: Concerns around monetization, intrusiveness and privacy are hot topics in 2015

May the New Year be filled with plentiful Wi-Fi!.

Related Information:

-

View the companion On The Fly Wi-Fi webcast (episode 13 on-demand): Mike Leibovitz and Hemant Chaskar discuss scale and engagement trends for 2015.

On The Fly Wi-Fi

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Kaustubh Phanse talks 4Cs and The Future with Cloud Wi-Fi http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/kaustubh-phanse-talks-4cs-future-cloud-wi-fi/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/kaustubh-phanse-talks-4cs-future-cloud-wi-fi/#respond Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:30:28 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8421 What is the CxOs to do? Whether you’re a CEO, CMO, CIO/CSO, or COO, your organization’s future must have a stake with cloud Wi-Fi. Dr. Kaustubh Phanse, VP of Content and Product Design at AirTight Networks recently keynoted on this very topic at CRN’s NexGenCloud Conference. In case you missed his keynote, you can flip through the SlideShare companion.   Read more

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What is the CxOs to do?  Whether you’re a CEO, CMO, CIO/CSO, or COO, your organization’s future must have a stake with cloud Wi-Fi.  Dr. Kaustubh Phanse, VP of Content and Product Design at AirTight Networks recently keynoted on this very topic at CRN’s NexGenCloud Conference.  In case you missed his keynote, you can flip through the SlideShare companion.

IDC logoCloud-managed business Wi-Fi – infrastructure and managed services – will reach $653 Million in 2014 and $2.5 Billion by 2018.

Source:  IDC Insight Report, March 2014

Gartner logo‘Risk-On’ attitudes and modern technology key to business growth in the digital era.

Source: The 2014 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey, April 2014

AirTight Cloud Services™ provide a cost-effective, easy to manage, scalable and robust solution to deliver enterprise class Wi-Fi access, wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) and regulatory compliance.

Dr. Kaustubh Phanse keynotes at NexGenCloud Conference:  4Cs and The Future with Cloud Wi-Fi

Dr. Kaustubh Phanse keynotes at NexGenCloud Conference: 4Cs and The Future with Cloud Wi-Fi. View the companion SlideShare.

Individual customers or even MSPs managing multiple customers can centrally manage the AirTight WLAN and WIPS services as well as other applications such as WizShark and BrandBuilder from AirTight’s single sign-on Mojo Studio console.

AirTight’s C-75 802.11ac access points and the companion MOJO Studio cloud-based portal provide value-added business services beyond basic connectivity. The access points combine rich data analytics with social Wi-Fi to help customers build targeted loyalty programs, while also providing measurement of the marketing programs’ performances through visibility into customer traffic and engagement.

Additionally, they offer AirTight’s top rated wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS), customized guest Wi-Fi and social sign-in options for guest engagement.

AirTight’s channel partners can design their own value-added business services, such as wireless vulnerability assessments for proactive threat prevention. They can also create custom branded engagement leveraging AirTight’s BrandBuilder™ application to build Wi-Fi splash pages.

Get things done quickly and simply!

Powered by AirTight’s RESTful Web APIs and SS, AirTight Nano provides enterprise Wi-F functionality with consumer-level user-friendliness.  AirTight Nano provides a level of simplicity unprecedented in the configuration of an enterprise access point (AP). It gives personnel, with or without IT skills, the ability to customize their Wi-Fi networks right from their mobile device – even remotely, – without the need to go into the cloud console. They can get Wi-Fi up and running in minutes with enterprise-class features.

AirTight Networks vision for the moretization of wifi

Recognized as an innovation leader in the wireless space, AirTight is at the forefront of moretization of Wi-Fi. Dr. Phanse’s keynote addresses this central thesis.  The same topic was also recently covered by Dr. Hemant Chaskar (VP Technology and Innovation at AirTight) and Pravin Bhagwat (AirTight CTO) in discussion with Rohit Mehra (VP Network Infrastructure at IDC) in the following video interview.

Video:  Rohit Mehra (VP Network Infrastructure at IDC) questions Hemant Chaskar (VP Technology and Innovation at AirTight) and Pravin Bhawat (AirTight CTO) about “monetization” and “more-itization” of Wi-Fi.  click-to-tweet

4Cs and Planning for the Future

In the end, Dr. Phanse concludes that CxOs must make sure whatever WLAN they choose gives them the ability to provide an instantaneous, positive user experience that will meet the expectations of their business and customers, without compromising security.

 

Related information:

  • Dr. Kaustubh Phanse keynotes at NexGenCloud Conference:  4Cs and The Future with Cloud Wi-Fi | via SlideShare

 

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Horizontal Scaling of Cloud Wi-Fi Management Plane http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/horizontal-scaling-cloud-wi-fi-management-plane/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/horizontal-scaling-cloud-wi-fi-management-plane/#respond Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:40:47 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8389 One of the biggest benefits of using the cloud is its ability to scale. In the world of cloud managed Wi-Fi, scale really means being able to deploy tens of thousands of access points (APs) without having to worry about additional resources being available to manage them. However scaling Cloud Wi-Fi is not without its set of challenges. In this blog we will look at some interesting challenges in scaling Cloud Wi-Fi, and how they are addressed.   Read more

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One of the biggest benefits of using the cloud is its ability to scale. In the world of cloud managed Wi-Fi, scale really means being able to deploy tens of thousands of access points (APs) without having to worry about additional resources being available to manage them. However scaling Cloud Wi-Fi is not without its set of challenges. In this blog we will look at some interesting challenges in scaling Cloud Wi-Fi, and how they are addressed. So read on!

There are two techniques to scaling resources in the cloud – vertical scaling and horizontal scaling. In vertical scaling, you keep adding more hardware resources like processor and memory on the same server instance to meet the capacity demand. In horizontal scaling, you increase the capacity by adding parallel server instances to meet the demand. In vertical scaling, you will hit the limit on how much resources can be added on to a single instance of the server, whereas horizontal scaling allows you to surpass the capacity limits of Vertical Scaling.

There are two techniques to scaling resources in the cloud – vertical scaling and horizontal scaling.

 

Horizontal Scaling in Cloud Wi-Fi

In cloud managed Wi-Fi, there are two factors that affect scalability.

  • First is the number of APs being managed, which dictates the amount of management processing power required. The processing power required per AP is almost static, but as a deployment grows to large number of APs, scaling challenges need to be addressed.
  • The second factor that affects scalability is the volume of data from the APs that needs to be stored for analytics and security forensics. The amount of analytics and security data to be stored increases over time; and with the growth of Wi-Fi enabled devices, the rate of increases is expected to keep rising.

In this blog, I will address the problem of scaling the management processing power and will address storage scaling in the follow up blog.

One of the very first considerations in horizontal scaling is distributing the management processing amongst the servers. This can be addressed by having the APs managed across multiple servers in the cloud. We call this ‘Server Peering’. Server instances and environments are created on demand as and when required.

Now, when a single customer’s AP management gets distributed across multiple servers (which is often the case with large distributed Wi-Fi rollouts), the cloud architecture has to ensure that customers are still able to manage their entire network from a single pane of glass for configuration, monitoring, reporting etc. This is the requirement of ‘Unified Console’ over multiple servers.

Some questions that arise are:

  • How do configuration changes get distributed to multiple servers?
  • How are stats aggregated from all the servers and rolled up for unified reporting and monitoring?

The server instances in the AirTight cloud communicate and co-ordinate with each other using our communication channel called ‘Graft’. Grafts create a logical communication channel between instances that are managing a specific customer network and this keeps these instances in sync with each other to provide unified console. When a customer logs in to the cloud account, the management console has aggregated view of APs distributed across multiple servers. Also, policies and configuration changes for the network are pushed from console seamlessly to multiple servers.

Unified Console over Multiple Servers

Hierarchical Management Model using Tree Structure

The AirTight management console uses a Tree Structure to logically represent geographical, functional and/or administrative organization of a distributed rollout in a hierarchical fashion. The APs live within logical folders consistent with their location in the network. As administrators navigate the tree structure, the server boundaries are transparent even though APs belonging to different folders in the tree structure could be managed by multiple servers in the cloud.

The tree structure is context aware throughout for management, monitoring and admin roles. What that means is that any configuration or policy change at any specific folder is inherited to all devices falling under the logical context of the selected folder. Similarly, the statistics, alarms and reports presented at any folder is the aggregation of information from devices falling under the logical context of the selected folder. Importantly, both of the above actions are seamlessly performed as the user navigates the tree, irrespective of devices in multiple folders being managed by multiples servers. Below is a screen shot of AirTight’s cloud console managing 10,000+ APs distributed across multiple servers in the AirTight Cloud.

Unified Console over Multiple Servers

In large distributed deployments such as service provider networks and retail and restaurant chains, number of APs under management grows organically to large numbers over a period of time. The management processing power in the cloud required to manage them also needs to grow organically and surpasses capacity of a single server instance, thus necessitating horizontal scaling. Distribution of management processing across multiple servers while preserving the unified management console is the key to achieve horizontal scaling in the cloud managed Wi-Fi.

 

Additional Information:

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CRN 2014 Tech Innovator Awards http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/crn-2014-tech-innovator-awards/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/crn-2014-tech-innovator-awards/#respond Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:55:05 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8343 AirTight Networks Named by CRN as One of the IT Industry's Tech Innovators. AirTight's C-75 802.11ac AP Takes Top Honors in the 2014 Wireless Category.   Read more

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Each year, CRN Test Center’s Tech Innovator Award program recognizes companies that deliver outstanding innovation in hardware and software solutions specifically developed for the enterprise.

To determine this year’s winners and also those worthy of honorable mention CRN Test Center editors reviewed hundreds of products across 18 hardware and software categories.  The AirTight team is thrilled that the C-75 802.11ac access point took top honors in the 2014 wireless category.  This is our third industry award in recent months.

Back in September, AirTight Networks was honored with two industry awards.  AirTight won a 2014 Cloudys Cloud Channel Innovation Award and a Gold status from 2014 Golden Bridge Awards. In addition, Anita Pandey – AirTight Vice President of Marketing – was named to the @CRN 100 People You Don’t Know But Should 2014 list.

 

News for solution providers, VARs and other technophiles via crn.com

News for solution providers and VARs  via crn.com

Hardware and software products from 18 categories are evaluated based on their ability to increase worker productivity and reduce cost and complexity for solution providers, IT departments and end users through innovation and technical advancement.

Source:  CRN 2014 Tech Innovator Awards

AirTight’s C-75 802.11ac access points and the companion MOJO Studio cloud-based portal provide value-added business services beyond basic connectivity. The access points combine rich data analytics with social Wi-Fi to help customers build targeted loyalty programs, while also providing measurement of the marketing programs’ performances through visibility into customer traffic and engagement.

Additionally, they offer AirTight’s top rated wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS), customized guest Wi-Fi and social sign-in options for guest engagement.

AirTight’s channel partners can design their own value-added business services, such as wireless vulnerability assessments for proactive threat prevention. They can also create custom branded engagement leveraging AirTight’s BrandBuilder™ application to build Wi-Fi splash pages.

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“AirTight Networks is honored to be named one of CRN’s top Tech Innovators for our 802.11ac access points. This award is proof that resellers are in tune with our message and that value-added applications are the wave of the future for Wi-Fi business models.”

AirTight CEO David King

The annual Tech Innovator Awards are showcased in the December issue of CRN magazine, and the complete list of winners and honorable mentions is available online. Award winners will also be spotlighted during the NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo, December 4-5, 2014, in San Diego.

The AirTight team will be on hand at NextGen Cloud and we hope you’ll drop by our booth for a chat, a MOJO Studio demo and some MOJO Moonshine!

———————————- updated December 4th 2014 ———————————-

Tops in Wireless = Smiles All Around at NexGenCloud Conference

CRN Test Center’s Tech Innovator Award for the Wireless category

From left to right: Anita Pandey – Vice President of Marketing at AirTight Networks, Lisa MacKenzie – Senior Vice President at The Channel Company, and Ashley McLean, Director Channels at AirTight Networks.
Airtight Networks beat out VMware and other major vendors to take top honors in the CRN Test Center’s Tech Innovator Award for the Wireless category.

Related Information:

AirTight Networks Named by CRN as One of the IT Industry’s Tech Innovators | via AirTight PR – November 2014

AirTight Networks Honored With Two Industry Awards for Cloud Wi-Fi, Social and Analytics | via AirTight PR – September 2014

AirTight Networks Honored with Two Industry Awards | via AirTight blog

Video Repap: Cloudys – Cloud Channel Innovation Awards – September 2014

AirTight Networks wins 2014 Golden Bridge Awards | via YouTube.  Ksenia Koffman accepts the award on behalf of AirTight Networks.

View the C-75 data sheet.


AirTight’s C-75 AP takes top honors in the #wireless category #CRNAwards | via @AirTight blog
Click To Tweet


 

Kaustubh Phanse keynotes on the 4Cs and The Future with Cloud Wi-Fi at NexGenCloud Conference | via AirTight blog

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How Long Will Wi-Fi Protect You from Carrier Monetization Programs? http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/how-long-will-wifi-protect-you-from-carrier-monetization-programs/ http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/how-long-will-wifi-protect-you-from-carrier-monetization-programs/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:55:15 +0000 http://blog.airtightnetworks.com/?p=8272 In the last couple of weeks, several reports on carriers’ plans and practices to track and analyze their mobile web traffic caught the attention of consumers and privacy watchers.

According to media reports, US and international carriers are experimenting with inserting unique identifiers into the data traffic flowing between your smart phone and websites you visit.   Read more

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In the last couple of weeks, several reports on carriers’ plans and practices to track and analyze their mobile web traffic caught the attention of consumers and privacy watchers.

According to media reports, US and international carriers are experimenting with inserting unique identifiers into the data traffic flowing between your smart phone and websites you visit.

Verizon

Verizon Wireless has been doing it for the past two years by implementing a device identifier which it calls a “Unique Identifier Header” or “UIDH.” The UIDH is a core enabler of Verizon’s Precision Market Insights program targeted at agencies, partners and brands. According to Verizon:

Verizon Wireless:   Precision Market Insights “Precision Market Insights create the next generation of advertising, publishing and commerce technology solutions to improve how brands, publishers and consumers connect.”

Source:  Precision Market Insights by Verizon.

The carrier further explains how it can create anonymous identifiers it dubs “PrecisionID” to target advertising based on demographics, location, and interest:

Precision Insights by Verizon“The PrecisionID is a deterministic, privacy-safe identifier matched to devices on Verizon’s wireless network powering data-driven marketing and addressable advertising solutions that offer audience scale and increase ROI.”

Source:  Precision Market Insights by Verizon.

AT&T

Verizon is not the only carrier injecting a unique identifier into the web traffic your phone generates. ProPublica reports that:

ATT Wireless“In 2013, AT&T launched its version — a plan to offer anonymous AT&T data to allow advertisers to deliver the most relevant messages to consumers. AT&T’s program eventually shut down. […] AT&T is currently inserting the identifiers as part of a test for a possible future relevant advertising service.”

Source:  ProPublica, October 30th 2014.

Opting Out of Carrier Monetization…

ProPublica has a handy tool to check if your phone is assigned a unique identifier when browsing online over a cellular data connection.

propublica mobile tracking tool

Does Your Phone Company Track You? Find out with Tracking Code Check by Al Shaw and Jonathan Stray via ProPublica.

Test it out and see if you get one of the following messages:

Test with T-Mobile.

Test with T-Mobile device.

 

tracking

However, as Wired notes:

Verizon’s ‘Perma-Cookie’ Is a Privacy-Killing Machine | By Robert McMillan via Wired, October 27 2014.“because Verizon is broadcasting this unique identifier to every website, ad networks could start using it to build a profile of your web activity, even without your consent.”

Source:  Verizon’s ‘Perma-Cookie’ Is a Privacy-Killing Machine | By Robert McMillan via Wired, October 27 2014.

ProPublica has called out Twitter as the apparent user of this ad technology from Verizon.

Opting out is hard to do. Now I know I know that it’s true

Let’s all sing along to the classic 1962 song recorded by Neil Sedaka. Or better yet, let’s go for the Toni Tenille version!   All that to say that it is very hard to opt out, and results are not guaranteed. ProPublica recaps the efforts of an AT&T user who tried to opt out:

Does Your Phone Company Track You?  Find out with Tracking Code Check by Al Shaw and Jonathan Stray via ProPublica.“He found that he needed to visit four different webpages to opt out, including one web page not even on AT&T’s domain: http://205.234.28.93/mobileoptout/ . But he continues to see the AT&T identifier in his mobile traffic.”

Source:  ProPublica, October 30th 2014.

 UIDHs Not Present When Connecting Over Wi-Fi

Wired notes that if you connect via Wi-Fi, or a virtual private network (personal or enterprise), or are talking to a site via SSL, then the UIDH “will not display.”

If you connect over Wi-Fi, carriers cannot track your website visits since you are not on a cellular data connection any more. However, we do not know if hotspot providers on the internet side are injecting any other identifiers – perhaps security researchers have not found a way to ferret these out yet.

Still, we can posit that using Wi-Fi does protect you to some extent from potentially omni-present carrier tracking and subsequent monetization. You may be connecting to the web across many heterogeneous Wi-Fi networks, with no way, at least at this time, to correlate your data across all the places you visit: airports, coffee shops, malls and restaurants. Some hotspots may be AT&T, some may be Comcast, etc.

In contrast, your carrier’s unique identifier follows you everywhere you use your cellular data connection, day in and day out. By using Wi-Fi you disperse your digital breadcrumbs and leave your phone carrier with just snippets of your data.

Will This Still Be True in Hotspot 2.0 World?

However, this perceived protection of Wi-Fi may go away with Hotspot 2.0.

Hotspot 2.0, and a related certification program Passpoint™, is an approach to public access Wi-Fi by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Passpoint aims to make the process of connecting to public Wi-Fi networks seamless and secure, by automatically authenticating the user to a Wi-Fi network based on an existing relationship with the user’s mobile carrier or internet service provider.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint via Wi-Fi AlliancePasspoint is a foundational ingredient to Wi-Fi roaming standards currently taking shape across the world. For example, while traveling internationally, you may be able to take advantage of hotspots managed by a provider you do not have a relationship with, based on a roaming agreement between the provider and your home-based ISP or carrier.

But this increased convenience will come with caveats. Wi-Fi web traffic from carrier-deployed hotspots will pass through carrier service gateways providing them an opportunity to inject UIDHs into Wi-Fi traffic.

Carriers may be able to observe you digital behavior across many more locations, even those they don’t own. The implication is that when Passpoint becomes pervasive, your digital breadcrumbs may eventually be correlated.

As things stand now, Passpoint is still in early stages of adoption by device manufacturers and mobile OS providers. According to several speakers at WBA Wi-Fi Global Congress in October of this year, consumer awareness is even lower.

Passpoint: Why all the no-shows? Most of what’s broken with Wi-Fi is fixed with Passpoint. So why are so many important companies on the sidelines?

Source:  Larry Seltzer for Zero Day via ZDnet.

Reverse Offload is Not the Solution, Unfortunately

In the context of discussions on Wi-Fi analytics, monetization and privacy, some people joked that the widespread application of Wi-Fi analytics would lead to ‘reverse 3G/4G offload’ – with consumers favoring cellular data connections over Wi-Fi to avoid their digital behavior being analyzed.

The stories referenced in this post bring an interesting twist in how we look at Wi-Fi analytics vs web usage tracking. Today’s public facing enterprise Wi-Fi technology does not inject unique identifiers into your traffic while accessing the Internet. The ability to sense the presence of Wi-Fi devices in the air is used for anonymous analytics, such as dwell time or repeat visits. One can say that Wi-Fi MAC-based presence analytics technology looks relatively benign in comparison to carriers inserting unique identifiers for every web site to potentially see.

In light of these unique identifiers, ‘carrier analytics’ technology is beginning to look like a more intrusive and persistent option.

One way or another, Wi-Fi or cellular analytics and monetization programs appear inevitable.

 

Related Information:

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