Wireless LAN Professionals Conference EU 2015

This is a post by Christoffer where he gives his his views on the conference.

First of all I´d like to say thank you to Keith Parsons and the rest of the WLPC crew for taking the time and energy to make this great conference happen. This is the second one being held here in Europe and the number of participants have grown a little bit since last year to a total of 95 versus last years 90. Big brother WLPC over on the other side of the pond has also run for 2 years and the total number of participants on the last one was around 175.

I have no doubt what so ever that this conference, and similar ones to, will keep gaining in popularity as the market for mobility keeps expanding and many engineers are only starting to climb that ladder of becoming WLAN Professionals. During the conference, besides meeting all the awesome people of the industry, we got to see many interesting presentations. In this article I´ll reference a few of them and give you my key takeaways that I found most interesting.

You´ll find all the videos from Berlin as well as the other events on this link:

https://vimeo.com/keithrparsons/videos/

Internet of Things (IoT)

This interesting but at the same time scary term was referenced in a lot of presentations this conference. These two offered more extensive reflections on its definition and how the adaptions could look when it hits the consumer markets but especially when it makes its way into the enterprises.

– By David Coleman

– By Arsen Bandurian

If I had to choose one thing that I´ve learned about IoT in this conference I´d say that we just can´t say yet how exactly IoT will hit us. There´s a huge risk that if IoT is going to hook on to our WiFi that it will implement older standards sub 802.11n. The reason for this is mainly to conserve battery life but also due to cost. Many of us working with wireless networks have been fighting devices using those older standards with great passion and now they´re about to hit us back in enormous numbers? Bringing back problems with multipath, airtime consuming low data rates etc? Sigh… so what would we like to see?

IF they´re going to be on the WiFi and we want them to work reliably they´ll need to be on the 5ghz band and they´ll need to play nice. And since I said work reliably, because that´s what I think we will want with our IoT devices, I don´t like the idea of putting them in the 2,4ghz burning pit and make them fight each other and everything else in it. Informing our customers and putting pressure on manufacturers (by purchasing the good stuff only!) we can hopefully push to at least get the options of 802.11n+ 5ghz chipsets supporting MIMO, STBC, MRC etc to improve the quality of their transmission and help them play along nicely on the 5ghz playground.

But that IF was a very big IF. Arsen puts out some data on how other protocols might be way better suited for many IoT implementations. I personally believe that we will start seeing a great mix of ways that IoT connects, some will be WiFi and some will be another protocol more suited for that particular implementation or requirement.

On the security side of the IoT theme we´re just as guessing. The feeling is that there should be a good way for mass provisioning IoT devices but there just isn´t yet. If you can think of a great way of doing this and develop something similar to an MDM for IoT, you´ll probably get rich 🙂

SDN for WiFi

Don´t we all love this fuzzy term? “SDN”. This talk examines the definitions, concepts and possibilities for an SDN WiFi. Very interesting talk!

-By Marko Tisler

One thing´s for sure, exposing APIs to enable integrators and app makers to add value and functionality to their offerings in a totally new way is the future. When my company evaluate systems for our business it´s almost mandatory that they have good APIs and overall flexibility to be able to hook into the rest of our systems. Automation and effectiveness is key, not only in WiFi!

CWNP

By being a vendor neutral conference it´s natural that the vendor neutral certification for wireless LANs also get a bump. I´m personally climbing the CWNP steps and I love the content of their books. It has helped me a lot in my career and I can strongly recommend anyone wanting to work with WiFi to start off with the CWNA book, aka “The WiFi Bible”. Anyone who starts working with us at Aranya in a technical role will be given the opportunity to study for and take this certification. With “given the opportunity” I really mean receive a hard but friendly kick in the ass towards the CWNP line of certifications 😉

Here´s a quick introduction to CWNP and the certification track by Martin Ericson:

Once again, thanks for a great conference and I hope to see even more people join us next year!