What Occurs at a Wi-Fi Enterprise Convention?

Through the years, I’ve been privileged to attend quite a few Wi-Fi technical conferences just like the wirelessLAN Professionals Convention that happens yearly within the USA, Europe, and Latin America. It has additionally been my honor to signify Excessive Networks as a Wi-Fi thought chief and visitor speaker at many different trade occasions, such because the upcoming Society of Communications Technical Consultants convention that takes place October 23 – 26, 2022, in Dallas.

However I wished to supply up a fast weblog a few completely different kind of Wi-Fi convention that I’ve attended a number of occasions previously and only in the near past in Stockholm, Sweden. The convention I’m talking of is the Wi-Fi World Congress occasion which is held a number of occasions a 12 months at completely different world areas. Wi-Fi World Congress is the brain-child of Claus Hetting, CEO and Chairman of Wi-Fi Now. His firm and crew of pros supply quite a few companies, together with coaching, webinars, press protection, and naturally the Wi-Fi World Congress conferences.

Pictured left to right: Claus Hetting (CEO of Wi-Fi Now) and David Coleman (Office of the CTO at Extreme Networks) at this year's Wi-Fi Business Conference

Pictured left to proper: Claus Hetting (CEO of Wi-Fi Now) and David Coleman (Workplace of the CTO at Excessive Networks)

Although I’m a Wi-Fi technical geek at coronary heart, I additionally benefit from the “enterprise of Wi-Fi,” which is what the Wi-Fi World Congress is all about. Claus at all times attracts prime trade leaders to discuss the way forward for Wi-Fi and what it means. The luminaries at this occasion consists of CEOs and VPs from Wi-Fi networking and companies corporations, chipset distributors, media, analysts, and authorities officers from varied spectrum regulatory our bodies. As I discussed, this convention is all about “the enterprise of Wi-Fi.”

So, what precisely occurs at this two-day Wi-Fi occasion? Effectively, for some folks, it’s a three-day occasion, as many people come a day early for varied workshops, seminars, and coaching classes. However the bulk of the motion and talking classes happen over two full enterprise days, because it not too long ago did on September 27- 28 in Stockholm, Sweden. As an worker of an enterprise networking firm, Excessive Networks, I typically neglect that Wi-Fi additionally stays the dominant entry expertise in our houses. Which is why the primary day of the convention was centered on consumer-grade Wi-Fi, and the second day centered on enterprise-grade Wi-Fi.

On day one, the 300+ attendees crowded right into a corridor to hearken to the keynote speaker, Wi-Fi trade legend, Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance. The Wi-Fi Alliance is a worldwide nonprofit trade affiliation of greater than 550 member corporations dedicated to selling the expansion of Wi-Fi expertise. One of many main duties of the Wi-Fi Alliance is to market the Wi-Fi model and lift shopper consciousness of latest 802.11 applied sciences as they grow to be accessible. Beneath Edgar’s management, the Wi-Fi Alliance has achieved a tremendous job as a result of I contend that the model of Wi-Fi is as nicely acknowledged as Band-Help or Coca-Cola.

Pictured left to right: Ferney Munoz (Wi-Fi guru), Edgar Figueroa (CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance), David Coleman (Office of the CTO, Extreme Networks), and Anssi Tauriainen (Ekahau VP of Products/Engineering) at the 2022 Wi-Fi Business Conference

Pictured left to proper: Ferney Munoz (Wi-Fi guru), Edgar Figueroa (CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance), David Coleman (Workplace of the CTO, Excessive Networks), and Anssi Tauriainen (Ekahau VP of Merchandise/Engineering)

This was Edgar’s final public talking session, as he’s retiring later this 12 months in 2022. Edgar spoke of the historical past of Wi-Fi and the long run:

“Wi-Fi is in every single place…. Wi-Fi is now on the prime of Mt. Everest, Navy ships…and many others. Wi-Fi is even in house for the astronauts on the Worldwide Area Station. Spacesuits are related to the Wi-Fi throughout spacewalks.”

As a result of Wi-Fi is the first entry expertise in our world, Edgar made the purpose on how “the common Joe thinks of Wi-Fi because the Web.”  I feel we regularly neglect how a lot we rely on Wi-Fi in our each day lives and the way a lot Wi-Fi is ingrained in our communications tradition. As Edgar said, “Wi-Fi is extra vital than ever….   and we depend on Wi-Fi every single day.”

Throughout all the convention, the subject of the provision of the 6 GHz spectrum for Wi-Fi dominated. In Europe, presently, solely 480 MHz of the 6 GHz frequency band is allotted for Wi-Fi communications versus the 1200 MHz of spectrum that’s accessible in america and different nations. In response to Edgar:

“Wi-Fi is carrying 90% of information visitors that buyers are utilizing. Our work on 6 GHz shouldn’t be achieved. Wi-Fi 7 and eight might be depending on 6 GHz. It is vital that regulators perceive this. There may be going to be a digital divide if we don’t harmonize the spectrum.”

Edgar additionally left us with a daring prediction that “Wi-Fi use will develop 6-10 occasions over the following ten years.”  The complete trade owes Edgar a substantial amount of thanks for his previous evangelism for the expertise of Wi-Fi, and I’ve little question that his prediction will come true.

As I discussed, day one of many convention was primarily about consumer-grade Wi-Fi, and possibly the phrase I heard repeatedly was “high quality of expertise (QoE).” In recent times there was a fast-growing development for managed Wi-Fi for dwelling customers, and a very powerful metric is QoE. On the technical facet of this trade, we are sometimes too centered on entry level options and efficiency. Nonetheless, to this present day, a overwhelming majority of Wi-Fi administration and troubleshooting instruments are centered on the angle of the AP. As a result of Wi-Fi is the first entry expertise of this era, we must always as a substitute be extra centered on the Wi-Fi person expertise for each the patron and enterprise markets. I totally anticipate QoE to stay a sizzling matter for years to come back.

Over the course of each days, varied audio system spoke of their imaginative and prescient for Wi-Fi, and so they supplied glimpses into present and future improvements such Wi-Fi sensing and footfall evaluation. On day two, my talking session was about “What Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 imply for stadium/area Wi-Fi.” Due to the big person density, stadiums stay essentially the most difficult setting to deploy Wi-Fi. Nonetheless, Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 supply monumental potential for the way forward for area Wi-Fi. Excessive Networks has been the market chief with a historical past of success on this vertical. Count on rather more of the subject from myself and others on the worth of the 6 GHz spectrum for stadiums. I additionally had the possibility to sit down down and report a session with Martha DeGrasse, the host of The Sign podcast from the Wi-Fi Alliance. Ensure and take a look at the podcast web site to hearken to this future episode.

 Far right: Martha DeGrasse - Tech journalist and host of The Signal podcast at the 2022 Wi-Fi Business Conference

Far proper: Martha DeGrasse – Tech journalist and host of The Sign podcast

As in most conferences, the assorted expertise distributors have cubicles to showcase their options and applied sciences. A sizzling matter on the convention is the potential for innovation of augmented actuality (AR) and digital actuality (VR) functions that can be utilized over a Wi-Fi connection. The Excessive crew didn’t disappoint, as convention attendees had the possibility to look at a digital actuality expertise inside a sports activities area once they visited the Excessive sales space.

 Virtual reality live at the Extreme Networks booth at the 2022 Wi-Fi Business Conference

Digital actuality reside on the Excessive Networks sales space

This 12 months’s European session of the Wi-Fi World Congress didn’t disappoint. I discovered quite a bit, caught up with enterprise acquaintances, and met many new ones. I extremely suggest this convention for anybody and everybody excited by Wi-Fi. To be taught extra, go to the Wi-Fi Now web site.

Lastly, regardless of this being the premiere Wi-Fi enterprise convention, there may be at all times time for enjoyable. On the primary night of the Wi-Fi World Congress, all of the attendees headed to the museum for Swedish music surprise, ABBA. This after-hours occasion sponsored by Excessive Networks was a hoot, and I nonetheless hear the melody of Take a Probability on Me again and again in my head.


David Coleman at the ABBA museum


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