Cisco Says 50% Of WiFi Problems Caused By Interference

Cisco, which sells 55% of Wi-Fi Access Points in the market, now says that 50% of the problems in a Wi-Fi network are caused by interference, but more importantly, interference from outside the network itself. The fact that interference comes from the noise floor, microwaves, other WiFi networks, baby monitors, phones, and other devices is important, because network planners and administers have a diminished ability to plan around or ‘fix’ outside interference in the unregulated 2.4Ghz spectrum. The linked report from ABI Research notes that Cisco made the claim in conjunction with their announcement to re-sell a partner solution to the problem of interference, but the bias may be limited since it is not their solution, but a re-sold one – indicating a real need that Cisco could not meet itself. If 55% is the case for the average Wi-Fi network (office, warehouse, etc.) then what are the implications for outdoor networks that are more exposed to interference…and cause more of it, too?

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Comments on “Cisco Says 50% Of WiFi Problems Caused By Interference”

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Shel Leader says:

Wi-Fi Interference

This could be the death knell for municipal Wi-Fi networks.

What will the Mayor of Philadelphia do when he starts to receive complaints from constituents that their home networks are getting interference from the City’s system?

What’s Earthlink’s responsibility for this?

The FCC says that there’s no legal recourse, but angry voters could cost them a lot of money!!!

Joe says:

Cisco Interference / MIMO

I think you are a bit misguided if you thin that MIMO ‘solves’ the interference problem. I think it is an element of the solution, but not the solution unto itself. Remember that MIMO steers packets. In some/many situations you can’t steer around interference. MIMO, like legacy WIFI, is regulated by FCC rules regarding output power.

As a big Cisco customer, I can’t forklift every client I have for some pre-standard .n stuff. My CFO won’t have it. If your CFO is willing to write that check let me know if you are hiring.

Neil Diener, CTO, Cognio, Inc. says:

MIMO and Interference

Although MIMO technology can somewhat reduce the range of impact of interfering devices, it by no means solves all interference problems. In fact, the new 802.11n “standard”, which is how most people will implement MIMO, actually uses channels that are twice as wide, meaning that there’s a 2x greater chance that they’ll encounter interference problems. Interference, MIMO or not, means packet retransmissions, and retransmissions mean garbled voice and video. The only way to really solve interference is to understand it and intelligently manage around it.

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