Light Reading
What's coming down the pike, according to the vendors building 802.11 kit

Hotspots of the Future

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
5/2/2003
50%
50%

It was clear to anyone that visited the Networld+Interop show in Vegas this week that wireless LAN access points are already undergoing a speedy and dramatic evolution from their original form of bland, black boxes into a number of different dedicated form factors for indoor and outdoor usage.

In general, the indoor units are getting smaller and less intrusive, while the (far larger) outdoor units are sprouting tough exteriors designed to enable their use in all weathers and terrains.

This evolution is an ongoing process, so, Unstrung asked some of the vendors at the show what they expect the future to look like.

Trapeze Networks Inc., which has designed its "mobility points" to look like smoke detectors, reckons that the devices could get even smaller over time. "Radios are getting smaller, CPUs are getting smaller," says Biran Bailey, who does product marketing for the WLAN switch startup [ed. note: not "bigger than a club," then].

It is also possible that in the future extra, non-wireless features could be bolted onto access points as they become part of the corporate landscape. Bailey says that there is a "joke" inside Trapeze about "Version 17" of the company's access point, which, he chuckles, will include an actual built-in "smoke detector, muzak speaker, and a video camera."

Right. Moving on...

Some people are looking at incorporating the radio nodes even more deeply into the fabric of a company. Unstrung spoke to David Beberman, CEO of WLAN startup Corporate WaveNet Inc., a name that may be familiar to regular readers of our message boards. The frenetic Mr. Beberman suggests that one possible evolutionary stage for access points could be to build radios into ceiling tiles that can be installed next to each other to provide complete (nay, total) wireless coverage in a building. And Beberman claims that his company has the answer to the interference problems that having so many access points so close together would cause.

Companies looking at delivering outdoor 802.11 public access hotspots are much more concerned with the problems of powering and providing inexpensive backhaul for the access points than they are with their form factors.

Solar power could be one option for powering outdoor hotspots. "We've been examining that," says Efstratios "Efstratospheric" Skafidas, CTO of Bandspeed Inc. (see Bandspeed's Six-Eyed Gypsy ). He reckons that it would be possible to power Bandspeed's current Gypsy "enhanced access point" design in sunny climates. The box uses "something like 12 watts" of power, he says [ed. note: he didn't say whether it steals it from the local power lines].

Even Trapeze, which uses Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) to juice up its nodes, acknowledges the possibility of using alternative power sources for access points that are a ways away from its traffic switching hub. "I don't think it's out of this world," says Trapeze's Bailey of the prospects for solar power (unwittingly unleashing a much better zinger than his "Version 17" effort).

"One of the issues with power-over-Ethernet is that there's a lot of line loss over a hundred feet," Bailey says. "If there's a way to provide local power it's worth looking at."

For the hotspot providers, wireless backhaul could actually prove to be very useful when setting up remote access points. Bandspeed's Skafidas [skiddlyatdidoo!] says that one possible configuration for backhaul purposes is to use an 802.11a (54-Mbit/s over 5GHz) access point with a microwave antenna to transmit signal over long distances to other access points.

Meanwhile, Vivato Inc. says that wireless ISPs (WISPs) could use the mesh network capabilities in its dining-room-table-sized outdoor switch to provide backhaul.

"I think the harder problem than power is backhaul," contends Ken Biba, CEO of the San Francisco-based startup.

Biba says that his system could set up using little clusters of four of the switches to bounce signal between each box over tens of kilometers. This "inline backhaul" uses the 25 decibels of signal gain built into the Vivato system to bounce signals over such distances.

However, as Biba notes, using inline backhaul lessens the wireless bandwidth that can be delivered to the end user, because the switch is essentially performing double duty, passing signal to the user and other switches. In addition, one of the switches in a cluster would need a high-capacity wired connection, something like a T3 line, Biba says. However, using the cluster method enables a WISP to set up services faster than before.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Hot Topics
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed