CTS 147: This Week In Wireless – News Roundup

This week in wireless we have a round of news to cover. Below are what we discuss on the show with our opinions. I apologize for the briefness of the show notes. I, Rowell, am traveling this week.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/wireless/catalyst-9800-series-wireless-controllers/index.html

Commscope to Acquire ARRIS: https://www.commscope.com/NewsCenter/PressReleases/CommScope-to-Acquire-ARRIS/

Ubiquiti Networks Enterprise technology segment soars:

Golden State Warrios partner with HPE: https://news.hpe.com/golden-state-warriors-partner-with-hewlett-packard-enterprise-to-drive-connected-experiences-for-chase-center/

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) vulnerabilities:

Meraki adds universal maps: https://meraki.cisco.com/blog/2018/11/universal-maps/

Rowell becomes iBwave Wi-Fi certified:

CTS 101: Ubiquiti AirFiber Install with Robert Boardman

Robert Boardman joins the podcast to discuss his install of Ubiquiti AirFiber24 at his campus.

This episode is sponsored by Metageek

Sponsored by Metageek

Ubiquiti AirFiber24

Front side of the AirFiber24

Robert Boardman is a network engineer in Monterey, CA. He recently deployed a point-to-point link using Ubiquiti AirFiber24. These are 24 GHz radios operating in unlicensed spectrum. This is one of the reasons why this looked attractive to Robert.

He could have easily went with a 5 GHz deployment. Robert knew that this would potentially be an issue in the future. 5 GHz is widely deployed on his campus and didn’t want to risk any co-channel or adjacent channel interference. He decided to use the less widely deployed frequency. The reason is to avoid potential WiFi deployments that would happen in the parking lot, which this PtP has to cross.

How the AirFiber does full duplex

These radios operate in full-duplex, providing about 1.4+ Gbps of throughput. It’s not a bad radio to think about when it comes to creating a bridge or a backhaul connection. In this scenario, Robert used it as a backhaul to a couple of remote buildings in which lectures are done for students.

Aligning the radios would seem to be a challenge but Robert mentioned how there’s an LED indicator which helps you align the radios. This is called the Radio Alignment Display. It will provide you with the signal strength indication.

The radio itself is a decent size. It is 36.94 x 18.44 x 11.08″ and weighs 35.27 lbs. You may need two people for mounting just to be safe.

You can find more about Ubiquiti AirFiber24 from a video recorded for the WiFi of Everything.

Resources and Links

CTS 100: Retrospective – Episode 100!

A look back at the podcast all the way to the beginning! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

This episode is sponsored by Metageek

Sponsored by Metageek

We Made It To Episode 100!

100th episode giveaway

I never thought I’d make it to episode 100 of this podcast. The first episode was published in August of 2015. The reason for starting the podcast was to learn more about Wi-Fi. To get into the community and help others who were getting started.

At the time I was an IT Manager with a strong interest in Wi-Fi. I didn’t have many friends of colleagues specializing in Wi-Fi which led to this podcast being born.

At first it was difficult to produce an episode each week. It actually is still difficult but it comes natural now. Especially with François joining as a co-host.

François and I have known each other through Twitter. I’m not sure how we even connected but a fun fact is that we didn’t meet in person until October of 2017. We met in Toronto, Canada where our families had dinner together. With the addition of François the quality of the podcast has increased. So I thank him for all this efforts!

We both record at home and for me it is in my garage. We do it when we have spare time and often have enough time just to hit the publish button for the week 😉

CTS has had only one sponsor so far, Metageek, who help fund the podcast expenses. We greatly appreciate them as they are a product we use regularly.

What We’ve Learned with Podcasting

It’s difficult to release one episode per week! With the both of us working full time it’s easy to get busy. After a full days’ work we spend time with our families so we often have to juggle time to record. On top of that, there is a three hour difference between us. I am in California and François is near Toronto, Canada.

When it comes to recording we have to be very efficient. There is hardly any editing that goes into the recordings unless we really need to edit. We’re not audio professionals but we do our best to get the best audio quality recorded.

What equipment & software do we use?

Memorable Episodes

Our first Round Table was interesting to record. Getting a group of Wi-Fi professionals together can lead to all sorts of conversations. It’s also a challenge to keep those conversations on topic for a podcast.

Devin Akin’s recording on channel widths was highly informative and educational. I’d say we all learned a thing or too on using wider channels and also being aware of OBSS.

Learning how Ubiquiti used Andrew’s Capacity Planner to equip the FedEx Forum with their UniFi APs was inspiring. We enjoy hearing how others have solved an issue, encountered challenges, and deployed Wi-Fi.

Mist is another memorable episode because it’s what is new in our industry. They’ve included some eye opening metrics to our Wi-Fi systems which should help us all lower the amount of time to solve Wi-Fi issues.

What are the top 5 episodes?

What’s Next?

We want to increase the production quality of the podcast. We continue to work on the audio quality but we also want to improve the podcast overall. We will put more focus on the show notes so they can be just as valuable as the audio episodes. François will begin recording in French! Of course we will continue to bring in interviews as there are so many people to hear from. Even those who may not be active on social media.

Another improvement we will be focusing on is our newsletter. If you haven’t already, sign up for notification of published episodes, get industry news through This Week in Wireless, and more. There will be more relevant content communicated by François and I through the newsletter.

Let us know what you think! Please fill out our listener survey: http://cleartosend.net/survey


We want to thank all our listeners for supporting Clear To Send! Thank you for downloading and listening to our episodes and for giving us a review!

We have two great giveaways for you:

  • CWNP Study Guides
  • Ventev Venvolt

CWNP Study Guides

Thinking about getting your CWNE? CTS will be giving away the textbook version for each CWNP certification exam. All you have to do is fill out the form below.

Ventev Venvolt

The battery pack from Ventev.

One lucky person will be the owner of a brand new Venvolt! This is being released mid-December 2017. This is the battery every Wi-Fi professional needs to have. It will give you power all day long in a small package. This is an 802.3at PoE+ site survey battery pack. Perfect for all your site survey needs. To be the lucky winner of this Venvolt, please fill out the form below!

Giveaway Terms

The giveaway is open to all residents of the United States. Unfortunately, I cannot do international due to laws, regulations, and taxes in countries outside of the United States. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. The winner will be chosen randomly on December 17th, 2017. By submitting the form you agree to the giveaway terms and will also be subscribed to the CTS newsletter.

CTS 099: Starting Your Own New WISP

Steve McKim shares his experience in starting a new WISP in his town, how he gets customers, and what equipment he uses.

This episode is sponsored by Metageek

Sponsored by Metageek

Starting A WISP

Antenna installation for 45networks WISP

Steve McKim, a good friend of ours, lives in Rossburn Manitoba, Canada. He recently started his own WISP to provide high speed internet to the people of his city. Steve has had previous experience in working at a WISP back in Winnipeg. So it comes natural to him. So born in Manitoba is 45networks owned and operated by Steve.

What is a WISP? It stands for Wireless Internet Service Provider. In areas where internet is slow, unreliable, and maybe over-priced, a WISP can come in and with minimal installation, provide a high speed connection. There’s no construction or trenching needed to provide this connectivity.

When it comes to starting a WISP, the first thing you need to do is come up with a business plan. Your mindset also much change to become consumer oriented. From there you work on your marketing through the newspaper, Facebook, and mailers. Steve created a survey using Google Forms which gathered many responses. This became his list of potential customers.

What does it take to build a WISP? It starts with a survey. You can begin plotting using Google Earth. A wonderful tool at your disposal! Once you’ve found your locations a physical site survey is needed. Making sure you have line of sight to your base station with no obstructions.

With the equipment Steve is using, customers can get throughput of 150-160 Mbps down and 60 Mbps up using GPS sync. The equipment he uses are Ubiquiti RocketAC Prisms. On the customer side he is deploying Ubiquiti Lite Beam Gen 2 and Nano Beam, depending on the distance.

Ubiquiti is great to use because of the cost and the tools they provide you with. When it comes to interference, Steve is able to determine what his noise floor is because of the built-in utilities.

In addition to interference, he can see his competitors’ channels being used. This is where Steve uses a static channel plan so he knows what to expect.

Some of the tips Steve wants to share are the following:

  • Plan accordingly
  • Create a link budget
  • Study local regulations
  • Learn about licensed and unlicensed frequencies
  • Learn about the effects of weather on frequency bands
  • Lear about ground reflections

Tools and Resources


CTS 086: Capacity Planner, Ubiquiti and FedEx Forum

Let’s welcome Andrew von Nagy of Revolution WiFi and Capacity Planner, Brandon Gilles of Ubiquiti, and Jeff Hansen also from Ubiquiti. They join us on this episode to inform us about the collaboration of Ubiquiti with Andrew’s latest version of Capacity Planner. Ubiquiti also goes into details about the FedEx Forum UniFi deployment to fill both high density and capacity.

Sponsored By

Sponsored by Metageek

Andrew von Nagy’s Capacity Planner was released two years ago to the community. It’s goal is to provide education on capacity topics, help administrators improve and build better wireless networks, and help move the industry forward. For version 2 of the capacity planner, Andrew has partnered with Ubiquiti.

The latest features and enhancements to Capacity Planner version 2 include:

  • Analysis graphs
  • Data to understand how capacity is used and where improvements can be made
  • Mesh planning
  • Improved visibility into AP load
  • 802.11ac Wave 2 and Dual 5 GHz deployment support (excluding MU-MIMO)

So why did Ubiquiti decide to get involved with the capacity planner?

  • Education of community
  • Customer reach of Ubiquiti
  • Future deployment of a web-based version

Full capacity at the FedEx Forum

The Capacity Planner was also used as a sanity check for the deployment of UniFi APs at the FedEx Forum. Used for determining how many access points were required to maintain capacity, determine what their minimum rates were going to be and what utilization would look like.

Within the FedEx Forum, capacity and frequency reuse were tightly coupled together. In the end, 86 APs were servicing users in the main bowl area. A large matrix spreadsheet was used to determine their channel plan and site surveys were used to see which areas heard which APs. All 5 GHz channels were used and there was close to reuse of 1.8x.

An external antenna pointed downwards at the FedEx Forum

The biggest attendance at FedEx Forum saw at peak, 4000 users using about 1 Gbps/sec. Also at peak. The geometry of the bowl created a lot of on-channel noise.

Taking QoS and load balancing into consideration, airtime fairness saw a good improvement. Devices were getting about 50 Mbps of throughput without limitation. Eventually, devices were limited to 10 Mbps. Load Balancing played a role as the team revealed an excess of 200 users on a single AP. Most of the clients were actually 1×1 and 2×2 clients. UniFi features a soft and hard load balancing. An AP will reject an association to try and force a client to another AP but has intelligence built-in if a client continues to join the same BSSID.

In the future, there are plans to integrate Capacity Planner within the UniFi user interface. Listen in on the episode to hear much more!

Links & Resources