This Week In Wireless

  • Rowell recorded a video on Wi-Fi 6 on David Bombal’s YouTube channel
  • Huawei
    • Huawei is temporarily pushed out of the Wi-Fi Alliance
    • Wi-Fi Alliance is fully complying with the recent U.S. Department of Commerce order without revoking Huawei Technologies membership. Wi-Fi Alliance has temporarily restricted Huawei Technologies participation in Wi-Fi Alliance activities covered by the order.
    • https://www.androidauthority.com/huawei-wi-fi-bluetooth-990610/
  • SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Internet Satellites Into Orbit
    • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/science/spacex-launch.html
    • “The Starlink satellites will orbit much lower — between 210 and 710 miles above the surface. That reduces the lagginess, or latency. SpaceX has said performance should be comparable to ground-based cable and optical fiber networks that carry most internet traffic today. Starlink would provide high-speed internet to parts of the world that currently are largely cut off from the modern digital world.”
  • CWNP new certification: Solution Administration
    • https://www.cwnp.com/certifications/cwsa
    • Certification on non-802.11 technologies (BLE, Cellular, Zigbee, wired-side technologies, location services, APIs, Project Management)
    • First class will be in September 2019
    • In the future, additional certifications will address key areas in greater depth, such as automation/integration, IoT, private 5G, etc.
  • Wi-Fi Images
    • Instagram @cleartosend
    • https://www.instagram.com/cleartosend/
  • iBwave webinar
    • How to Design Wi-Fi for Higher Education
    • https://www.cleartosend.net/designing-wifi-networks-higher-education/

Conference Wi-Fi

Challenges

  • Very Dynamic environment!
  • Very High Density of devices
  • There are a lot of ad hoc requests throughout the event
  • ROGUES
  • Very intense, long hours, little sleep

Prep Work – A lot of it!

  • Understand the type of event
    • Understand what type of people will be attending
    • Understand which application will be used over the Wi-Fi. Any critical ones?
  • Understand the layout of the conference
    • Where will the stages be
    • Where will the VIP zone be
    • Where will the media zone be
    • Where will the TV broadcaster zone be
    • Where will the registration zone be
  • Understand the flow of people
  • Prepare the LAN
    • Size it properly so it can handle the number of devices expected (2.5 devices per person)
    • Make sure the basics are covered
      • DHCP
      • DNS
      • Firewall
      • Core network
      • PoE budget
    • Prepare alternative plans just in case something goes wrong with the basics
      • What do I do if the internet goes down? Maybe plan for a backup internet link
      • What do I do if my DHCP server goes down?
      • What do I do if my DNS server goes down?
      • What do I do if run out of PoE power?
    • Make sure that you have enough internet bandwidth
  • Prepare the Wi-Fi
    • Understand the limitation of AP placement
    • Leverage the APs installed under the ceiling
    • Understand where to place temporary access points if required
      • Do you have access to cables from the floor
    • Plan to have APs ready to go and being deployed fast
    • Size your controller properly
    • Forget 2.4GHz, plan for 5GHz. Expect to see a lot of 802.11ac devices (and a few 802.11n devices)
    • Stage as much equipment ahead of time as possible
    • Organize the APs, name them properly and keep track of them in a document
    • Tweak the RF on the under ceiling APs as much as you can.
  • Configuration of the Wi-Fi
    • Public Wi-Fi
      • Keep it as simple as possible
      • If possible, no Captive Portal
    • Private Wi-Fi
      • Understand if you need to configure QoS
    • Create AP groups and RF Profile to be as flexible as possible
    • Use all the channels you can (even DFS, 165)
    • Place the temporary APs as close to the clients as possible
      • Use the people and floor element to content the signal and limit the CCI and optimize your channel re-use
    • Do you use DCA or static?
    • Study the use of more specific features (Probe Suppression, AirTime fairness…)

During the Event

  • Monitoring
  • Adjust the RF settings based on where the people are
    • Registration
    • Stages
    • Busy Areas
    • Lunch Areas
  • Handle Requests
    • Setup new SSIDs
    • Add coverage in specific areas
  • Battle the ROGUES
    • Make sure people turn their ROGUE APs off
    • Find solutions to answer their needs (using the existing infra or alternative solutions)

Tools

  • Ekahau with a sidekick
  • Airchecks
  • Wi-Fi scanners (Explorer Pro)
  • Screens 🙂
  • Your favourite terminal application. My new favourite: iTerm2
  • Your favourite network diagnosis tools. My new favourite: Mtr

Ideas to help us supporting such events

  • Can some of the configuration and monitoring be automated?
  • Create your own monitoring dashboards
  • Create your own scripts to automate some tasks
  • Create a simple application to process the AP tracking

Links

Photos

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About the Author
Wireless Network Engineer and Owner at SemFio Networks. CWNE #180. Living in London ON Canada, born and raised in Dijon, France.

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