Articles

Sample Articles from Bob Wallace.

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Because 802.11ax is revolutionary rather than evolutionary, adoption requires more than an upgrade. Technology evaluation and planning should begin today.

With Wi-Fi 6 gear available now from numerous vendors, you can expect mounting interest in 802.11ax, the latest version of the over 20-year old wireless protocol. That’s because it targets contention, congestion, and supports more devices and offers super-fast data speeds.

Not all industries are expected to embrace Wi-Fi 6 on an as-soon-as-available basis. And not all use cases require fast action. Further, expect some businesses-to-consumer implementations first, with yet others focusing on in-building B2B applications that should launch later.

Let’s take a look at a handful of industries to determine where and when we may see Wi-Fi 6 implementations.

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“Potential means you haven’t done anything yet,” Iconic NFL Head Coach Bill Parcells.

The Super Bowl winning leader of numerous NFL teams’ quote holds true for video use over 5G networks to date. U.S. operators are busy this year deploying networks that enable super-fast wireless technology that have the potential to change the way business and consumers uses mobile devices.

Many see 2020 as a primetime opportunity for delivery of video over 5G to mobile devices, what with huge far-flung viewing events including the presidential election here in the states and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, for starters.

Envision smartphone owners folding open their devices to create an iPad-sized screen to view any of a myriad of streaming video content sources – and staying engaged longer in the absences of delays in streaming TV shows and movies that are commonplace with sub-5G wireless links today.

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The deployment of 5G services is underway. But an aggressive business and technology plan will be required for operators to truly move the needle in 2019.

The allure of 5G is undeniable, but there’s no denying that operators have a long way to go to justify widescale 5G service deployments in the U.S.

The initial deployment and trial plans for 5G services in the U.S. announced late last year and at the Mobile World Congress conference earlier this year grabbed headlines. But an aggressive business and technology plan will be required for operators to truly move the needle in 2019.

What factors go into the rollout of 5G for service providers? And what blanks need to be filled in?

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Bandwidth limitations and threats of throttling are some of the challenges that must be overcome to enrich streaming subscription services.

Roughly 20 years ago, when the multi-week March Madness men’s college basketball tournament was streamed for the first time (by CBS), best effort streaming was hailed as impressive at a time when the internet was in its early years.

Since then, the focus has been on Quality-of-Experience (QoE) and delivering ads for sponsorships. The same holds true for a growing list of OTT services providers pitching those leaving cable TV.

Streaming: By the numbers

Those homes using streaming services separate from traditional pay “cable” TV offerings need to know about the Internet connections to view video in different resolutions/formats, including 4K.

For Netflix, the speed you need to handle 1080p high-definition (HD) streams is roughly 5 Mbit/sec. To handle 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) stream, which is a higher resolution format with four times more pixels, you’ll need a 25 Mbit/sec connection.

Many movie makers have shot their films in the higher 4K format so that consumers with 4K UHD TV sets can enjoy the more crisp and immersive viewing experience. If you did a side-by-side HD and 4K viewing comparison, the naked eye would detect the difference starting with 50-55-inch units.

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Sports stadiums are aggressive implementors of networking technologies. Lessons learned in these transformations apply to corporate campuses and the enterprise.

Once made chiefly of concrete with steel benches, the original National Football League stadiums were nearly tech-free. Amenities included restrooms and some concession stands. You called and told your fan friends about the game and your experience after you got home hours later.

Fast forward to today’s tech-infused football venues. Stadium wireless lets attendees share photos and videos on social media during the game. Fiber backbones connect everything from wireless access points, ultra-high definition screens throughout, video camera networks and point-of-sale (POS) apps.

Many NFL teams have created team- and venue-specific apps to help fans do everything from find their seats to locating the bathroom with the shortest lines and buying merchandise from the pro shop. The smartphone apps provide gameday information, news updates, and video clips to better engage fans.

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Low-Power WANs offer an alternative to 5G for connecting a fast-growing array of basic devices and sensors that transmit small amounts of data.

While 5G networks will reshape wireless communications and support new applications, not all enterprises and municipalities feel the need for speed. These entities have wide-area applications that need only tens or 100s of kilobits to get the job done.

Enter Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN). They’re generally described as a type of wireless WAN designed to allow data transfer between far-flung devices with long-life batteries and a central site.

Entities that employ sensor-equipped devices, for example, to transmit small amounts of data from pipelines, utility locations, and meters across wide-areas have embraced LPWANs. That’s chiefly because these offerings are more affordable than higher-speed alternatives and allow for long-lifetime, no to low-maintenance networks.

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