802.11 East Conference: Day 2 Notes

Back at the conference today. Today’s agenda is here. Notes:

Keynote – Realize the potential of the networked economy (missed 1st half of pres)

  • BB growing WW, WLAN is growing concurrently
  • Korea is the model to follow, high BB penetration, affordable cost, 45% bb penetration
  • WLAN follows BB penetration
  • WLAN will be in more devices
  • Wireless convergence of network types, devices, and chips

Keynote – Windows and Wireless

  • NA is fast growing region for WLAN, followed by Asia and Europe
  • IDC estimates 85M notebooks sold in 2005, most with WI-Fi
  • Price point for APs and cards dropping due to number of new entrants
  • Adoption taking place in enterprise, home, and public places concurrently,not just in one area
  • Embedded Wi-Fi in laptops growing
  • WinXP natively supports 802.11 and 802.1x (security)
  • 32M copies of XP sold
  • MS has a large corporate WLAN deployment
  • Working with many industry stds (WECA, TGi, TGh)
  • XP WLAN Enhancements – Auto config, enables nomadic access, network profiling, different credentials for different networks
  • 802.1x Security – std protocol for authenticated network access, user and machine auth,same infra as dial-up and VPN, certificate and passwd based auth, moving to PPC2002/W2K/NT/9x
  • Roaming – Extended W2K media sense to check for new IP and subnets when moving btwn APs and even IE proxy servers
  • MS deployment – 3200 APs, 32K clients, globally deployed 10 countries, 4 continents, use 802.1x instead of WEP for sec
  • cabled office costs ~$500/usr vs ~$180/user for wireless client, price should continue to drop as WLAN ships with laptops
  • Wi-Fi increases productivity by ~1.5 hrs/day
  • Challenges – Security, but evolving w/802.1x. User experience, auto network settings, easier AP config for consumers, transparent auth, thin driver
  • MS Wireless Vision – secure, one network, always-on, nomadic networking, zero config, intelligent, manageable

Keynote – Wireless e-business – Evolving to ROI

  • Wireless is about mobile ebusiness anytime, anyplace, extension to ebusiness solutions
  • IBM’s focus is B2Enterprise/Employee, believe it the best opp for WLAN
  • Applications designed for wireless are still missing and is a bottleneck to wireless growth
  • Machine2Machine comms via wireless, working on projs with customers, remote monitoring to inc response time, inventory mgmt, track and trace high value goods
  • Security is the first issue customers raise, but is managable
  • Customers are asking for end2end wireless solutions, and business will boom once basic challenges are overcome
  • Projects – 802.11 kiosks at airports to let people rebook cancelled flgts, self serv, roll out when needed. 802.11 connections at gas stations to monitor gas pumps, electricity, POS, drive in to station to connect to net. Dramatic growth in 802.11 in shcools (lots of biz here).
  • IBM Fied Service – have blackberrys, over 5 years saved $800M
  • Working on wireless vending machines, purchase via cell phone or smart card, estimated ROI in .25-1 year.
  • 802.11 is more cost effective than MMDS, one MMDS tower costs same as 9K Wi-Fi APs and 15X more bandwidth
  • 3G is far away, Wi-Fi is here today
  • Vision: One single wireless network based on 802.11, mask complexity of roaming btwn operators, ubiquitous hotspots. Predictable upbiquity, not neccessarily same coverage as cell network.
  • Prashant – everyone wants this and that’s where roaming and bills stds are evolving

Q’s for Keynote Speakers

  • What do customers ask of IGS about wireless: What’s the ROI? Security? Haven’t lost deal to security concern yet.
  • App requests: SFA, FldFrcA, Mobile Office, all the apps from the office available wirelessly. IT spending slowing, but wireless services is ahead of estimates
  • Challenges in deploying wireless in the US vs Abroad: Lack of std in the US. The NA, EU, AP are each moving in their own direction, some lowest common denominator overlap.
  • View of WLAN Spectrum Issues:2.4Ghz for home/public hotspots, 5Ghz for enterprises. BT interference will be worked out. XP supports .11a/b but seperately, not on the same card, yet. 5Ghz may have some obstacles abroad. Spectrum issues are easily solvable as dual-band equip hits street later this year.
Panel - QoS for streaming and VoIP
  • MB Consulting - Very technical talk. Over my head for sure. The engineers are listening and the business people are doing email or surfing. Biz folks w/o laptops are wishing they brought one now. They are talking about improving the MAC layer, data bursts, EDCF and ECCF (?).
  • SpectraLink - QoS of voice different than data. Voice is consistant bit stream, time sensitive, very mobile use (walking/talking). Data is bursty, less time sensitive, more stationary. Designing traffic for Wi-Fi voice pretty predictable, models exists. Streaming media requires SLA btwn clients and AP to priortize packets. Fast handoffs btwn APs is an issue, stds in development (802.11i).
  • Allot Communications - QoS for wireless and broadband. WSP Challenges:fairness btwm nw users, limit users to a max, control P2P bw, priortize bw for time sensitive services (streaming, vid, VoIP),monitoring user to tune services, make $$$. Key to make $$$ is over subscription and managing users and QoS. Need to priortize packets by apps, users, and how much customers are paying. QoS solutions shares bw fairly and predictably without minority hogging bw. Created tiered serives with diff QoS requirements.
  • Q's for Panel
  • Killer App?: Dual-mode VoIP/Cell phone, pda/laptop softfone for enterprise.
  • How can WISPs make $$$ - Dropping costs, right billing systems, developing differentiating/value add services beyond just access.
Panel - How to integrate wireless LAN with complimentry wireless standards
  • Panel Focus - extend WLAN beyond home/enterprise use and intergrate with other networks (multi-mode, interoperability)
  • Combining services can reduces costs, reduce antenna count on combo devices, solve radio compatibility issue, multimode (a,b,g) give more coverage.
  • Hybrid solutions help carriers better service enterprise customers.
  • Check out transat-tech, working on WLAN/GSM integration.
  • The billing integration seems to be the hardest part of the project. One suggestion:Design AP to generate billing record in the format that mbl operator is used to.
  • Some questions about the value of Mobile IP. Too technical.
  • How do you create valuable Wi-Fi service when cost of entry is so cheap:Cellular roaming is a good model, especially GSM model, but not totaly a good fit. Cost of infra maybe cheap but getting customers, servicing them and billing them is not. One opp is WiFi as additional service from existing ISPs.
  • Net access and h/w is getting cheap enought that places like starbucks should think of them in the same way as utilitiies like water/electricity. Offer it and build it into the cost of your core product. It then becomes a differentiator for your location.
  • Pass-One is an industry group developing a univeral WLAN roaming agreement. Organization driven by WISP and network operators. Focused on biz rules.
Presentation - How to sell WLAN to the corporate market at home and abroad
  • Sadly, nothing knew in this pres. We've heard all this stuff already over the last two days.
  • What is Orinco doing to support open secure access:Nothing, not something our customers (enterprises) want. Other projects for this, ie Sputnik.
Panel - Partnership, Aggregation and Billing: What's the right roaming strategy?
  • Aggregation allows roaming the two are linked and not that different for Wi-Fi
  • Confusion about what people mean by roaming vs. aggregation
  • Boingo's real value is that they are marketing and packaging Wi-Fi access. Raising awareness and driving usage.
  • What to people want:People like the Boingo client, free sw is a good customer acq tool. Market for public space is not only business travelers, but intra-city businesses.
  • Enterprise like smart clients like Boingo and IPass because of single relationship, bill, ease of use. Also want usage based models for infrequent travelers.
  • hereUare doesn't believe smart client. Use browser redirects. Allows abliity to offer service across platforms (Win, Mac, PDAs).
  • How do you differntiate btwn networks: What can you offer no one else does? Security, user experience
Panel - Deploying the network, the public market
  • Share internet access from home, pay it forward. Don't pay twice.
  • NewburyOpenNetworks - For small areas its not worth it to charge, just build open community networks. Node are connected by Wi-Fi to central node. Includes web caching server. Make money indirectly by goodwill. Start up cost of node (3K) is better than other marketing programs.
  • Wi-Finder - Public Internet Access can be used as a marketing effort, rather than a direct profit center. Charging isn't worth it. WiFinder helps people market coverage, get customers in the door. New WiFinder directory launching in two weeks. Make money in Wi-Fi by using it to sell more of your existing services, not Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi will take a while before paid networks will make a ton a money.
  • SOHO Wireless - Use Wi-Fi to differentiate residential buildings.
  • WiFi-Metro - 70 hotspots, 100 more coming, plus 2 hotzones. Partnered with Green Packet to offer roaming btwn Wi-Fi and cellular networks (in testing).

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