WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 031 – Surveys, Design & Teaching Tips with Ferney Munoz

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

Today we talk about WiFi design and teaching tips and some crazy, unconventional surveys using GPS & Segways in quite niche verticals like slums, city outdoors and mining. Welcome our special guest and a great teacher – Ferney Munoz!

Enjoy!

Tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 030 – WiFi 6E – Our Wireless Salvation

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

Today we discuss new extension to the happy WiFi family – the WiFi 6E. Enjoy!

  • WiFi 6E
    • Stands for WiFi 6 “Extended”
    • Announced by WiFI Alliance on the 3rd Jan 2020
    • Not yet cleared by the FCC
  • Drivers
    • More need for capacity
      • CCI being major performance killer today
      • Vendors push for more bonding – practical to do so in 6GHz?
    • 8k, VR, AR, Enterprise Conferencing
    • WiFi boom in the industrial vertical (can’t blame them)
    • Ultra-fast broadband (300Mbps+) and fibre to the home are quickly becoming a norm, reaching 53% of properties in the UK in 2019. Both Ninjas have 50 down and 10 up. We’re embarassed sitting in the bottom feeding half of the population 🙂
  • Ofcom proposition for the UK
    • Ofcom is responsible for authorising use of the radio spectrum in the UK
    • Make the lower 6GHz band (5925-6425 MHz) available for WiFi
      • Including Very Low Power (VLP) outdoor use
      • Remove DFS from WiFi channels in the 5.8GHz band (5725-5850MHz, which is UNII-3, also referred to as Band-C)
        • “We made the 5725-5850 MHz band available for Wi-Fi use in 2017 and said we would keep the regulations under review. Our current analysis indicates that the band is very lightly used by Wi-Fi routers in the UK, which is in part due to the UK-specific requirement to implement DFS in this band, and that the interference risk to radars from indoor Wi-Fi use is very low. We are therefore proposing to remove DFS requirements for indoor use (up to 200mW) only from the 5725-5850 MHz band to increase use of the band and reduce congestion in other channels”
      • Ofcom consultation will be open until 20 March 2020
      • Ofcom believes that WiFi bands should be as globally harmonised as possible and intend to drive international discussions intending to promote the benefits of a simple regulatory regime
  • Broadcom launches world’s first WiFi 6E 6GHz chips
    • Intended for enterprise APs and residential networks
    • 4×4 dual band 160MHz support
    • 2×2 tri-band
    • 2×2 dual-band with ARM CPU
  • Intel apparently not far away from having their own 6GHz WiFi chipsets
    • Already demonstrated it at last MWC in Barcelona
  • No words from Qualcomm yet
    • Qualcomm still dominates WiFi 6 enterprise AP market
  • Regulators
    • FCC has not made its final decision as of Jan 2020
  • Numbers
    • 125 million WiFi6 smartphones have been shipped until now
  • New frequency
    • 1.2GHz wide new spectrum in the US
    • 500MHz wide new spectrum in the EU
    • Today in the UK we have 25x 5GHz (585MHz to be exact) and 4x 2.4GHz 20MHz (exactly 83MHz) wide non-overlapping channels
  • Newly proposed 6GHz band is approx. 3 times bigger than sum of total spectrum used today for WiFi in the US and almost doubles available spectrum width in the UK
  • This translates to:
    • New US Channels (5925MHz – 7125MHz): 59x 20MHz, 29x 40MHz, 14x 80MHz, 7x 160MHz
    • New UK Channels (5925MHz – 6425MHz): 24x 20MHz, 12x 40MHz, 6x 80MHz, 3x 160MHz
  • And this is how the new spectrum would look like:
    • From Aruba Chuck (thanks man):
  • Closer view at the new frequency in the UK:
  • Legacy support
    • IEEE decided that only WiFi6 will be operating in the 6GHz band
    • Totally legacy-free with ‘but’
      • No legacy devices, sure
      • Legacy support mechanisms are still there
      • It’s still ‘just’ WiFi6 – preamble uses most robust data rate, so 6Mbps, etc.
      • Should it have been WiFi7 instead?
      • No new logo / notification required
  • Challenges
    • Differences in available spectrum in US vs rest of the world
    • WiFi 6E will overlap with widely used UWB channel 5
      • Some UWB systems using channel 5 will most likely move to channel 1 in 3GHz band
      • Poor UWB – CBRS will overlap UWB channel 1
  • WiFi6E Overlap with other tech, like mobile broadband backhauls, broadcasting, local authorities, etc.
  • Conflict with Facebook that was planning to use 6GHz band for AR/VR (app is called Spark)
  • Adoption
    • Once cleared, it should be quick and mind bending
    • WiFi will contribute to 1 trillion dollars in economic value in the US
    • Major chipset vendors already have 6GHz ready
  • Some comments about 6e from experts and vendors
    • “Wi-Fi has become the most important wireless technology for American consumers and businesses, and is projected to contribute almost $1 trillion in economic value to the United States by 2023. As the application and overall demand for Wi-Fi continue to surge, access to the 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum will enable Wi-Fi to continue delivering the vast innovations and socioeconomic benefits it is bringing to the market today while helping to ensure Wi-Fi can meet the new promises of the 5G era and beyond.” – Chuck Lukaszewski, vice president of Wireless Standards and Strategy for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
    • “Wi-Fi has changed the world, and we are excited to work with Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure Wi-Fi will continue changing the world. Wi-Fi 6’s growth into the 6 GHz spectrum is a game changer for two reasons – the availability of the additional channels and the ability to finally use 160Mhz for high bandwidth applications like AR and VR; this provides enormous opportunities to build new applications and experiences for both consumers and businesses. By standardizing on Wi-Fi 6E, Cisco Meraki and others in the industry can begin delivering next-generation wireless experiences to customers.” – Jayanthi Srinivasan, Director of Product Management, Cisco Meraki
    • “With every increase in available bandwidth, new devices and applications come along that leverage that space to provide experiences we never before imagined, yet quickly become part of the fabric of our everyday lives. Brand new Wi-Fi spectrum in the 6 GHz range will more than double available Wi-Fi frequencies and have a profound effect on Wi-Fi enabled communications. This additional bandwidth not only enables higher Wi-Fi 6 performance with less congestion, but also delivers sufficient spectrum to effectively deploy 80 MHz or 160 MHz-wide channels, severely restricted at 5 GHz. 6 GHz finally and legitimately provides the higher data rates required to drive virtual and augmented reality forward, giving users and organizations the ability to develop a whole new world of use cases.” – Perry Correll, Director of Product Management, Extreme Networks
    • “I’m not sure AR should be considered the main factor behind the WiFi6E new spectrum availability, but leveraging 160MHz channels in this new-generation, market shifting, brain smashing, WiFi ‘plus’, ‘pro’ or ‘premium’ band would certainly allow me to stream 16k 480Hz turbo-HDR videos from next-generation Netflix. Lol. Now, seriously – it’s a chance for a fresh start, so I really hope that lack of support for legacy PHY will be accompanied by alterations to the WiFi6E, so we can move on from using legacy mechanisms requiring us to use robust PHY rates for some WiFi transmissions. Fingers crossed.” – Mac, WiFi Ninjas

Matt, chicken, didn’t want to comment 😉

See you in 2 weeks!

Tons of love,

WiFi Ninjas

xXx

WN Podcast 029 – RTLS with Bob Friday

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

Today we discuss indoor RTLS with an industry legend Bob Friday. Enjoy!

  • What friction / hurdles are stopping indoor location from becoming a must have
  • Mist implementation of indoor RTLS using BLE
  • RF design for Mist BLE
  • Mist BLE vs competition
  • Mobile stations with app vs without app
  • Assets tracking
  • Is there still a place for BLE beacons
  • Location API – integration examples
  • Mobile SDK – integration examples
  • Apple’s adoption of UWB in the latest iPhones and what that means for the industry
  • Who are the early adopters of RTLS
  • As major market disruptors, who are you targeting?

Tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Blog 026 – 802.1x & EAP

Hey, 

Welcome to our latest WiFi Ninjas Blog – this time we will be covering what is 802.1X & EAP! 

802.1X is a Port Based Network Access Control, defining 3 roles: Supplicant (station, client device), Authenticator (AP or WLC) and Authentication Server (RADIUS).

Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) is the authentication framework supporting multiple methods such as PEAP, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS & more. It’s a datalink layer protocol, IP is not required. Additionally, Authenticator does not have to understand the authentication method.

RADIUS carries AAA information between Authentication and RADIUS Server.

Supplicant and Authenticator use EAPOL in wireless to exchange authentication data.

Authenticator and Authentication Server talk over RADIUS.

Both parts (EAPOL + RADIUS) form an authentication mechanism called 802.1X.

Let’s see step by step what happens in the 802.1X EAP process:

Open System Authentication:

  1. First the client and the AP go through 802.11 Open System Authentication, that is made up of 2 frame exchanges – client sends open auth to the AP & then the AP responds with open auth success.

802.11 Association:

  1. Next in the frame exchange is 802.11 Association, this is also 2 frame exchanges – client sends association request to the AP & then the AP responds with an association response.

802.1x EAP Authentication (below is based on EAP-TLS, but it will be similar for other EAP methods):

  1. Now we move on to the juicy part of the frame exchanges – “802.1X EAP authentication”. The first frame in this exchange is from the client which sends an “EAPOL start message” to the AP to start EAP authentication.
  2. The client is then asked for its identity in an “EAP Request/Identity” message from the AP.
  3. The client replies with an “EAP Response/Identity” message with its (dummy) user ID and the request to use TLS, which is forwarded to the RADIUS server.
  4. The RADIUS server, upon receiving the RADIUS access request & RADIUS access challenge (EAP Response/Identity message), starts the server-side TLS process by sending an EAP-TLS Start message to the client. 
  5. The client responds with an EAP response – client hello message.
  6. The RADIUS server replies with an EAP Request message— a TLS server hello. It provides its certificate to the client, TLS protocol version, a cipher suite, and the client requests the certificate. 
  7. The client validates the server certificate and responds with an EAP Response message that contains its certificate. This message starts the negotiation for cryptographic specifications – the cipher and compression algorithms.
  8. After the client certificate is validated, the RADIUS server responds with cryptographic specifications for the session. 
  9. The client responds with an EAP-Response packet of EAP-Type = EAP-TLS with no data, notifying the RADIUS server that it has received the cryptographic specifications. 
  10. The RADIUS server sends an EAP-Success message to the AP indicating successful authentication.  
  11. The RADIUS server creates the session Master Key, also known as the PMK (Pairwise Master Key). 
  12. The client also creates the PMK. 

4-Way Handshake:

  1. The client and the AP run the 4-way handshake to create the session keys. Which are:
    • EAPOL Key Packet No.1(Authenticator Nonce) – Client calculated PTK
    • EAPOL Key Packet No.2 (Supplicant Nonce, MIC) – Authenticator calculated PTK
    • EAPOL Key Packet No.3 (Install PTK, MIC, Encrypted GTK)
    • Now we have the GTK (Group Temporal Key) encrypted in the PTK.
    • EAPOL Key Packet No. 4 (MIC)
  2. Voila! We now have fully established an encrypted 802.1X EAP-TLS session!

We have also made a diagram of the process so you can visualise the above a bit easier! 

We hope that you found this blog helpful for you and always give us a shout if you need anything else!

Tons of love,

WiFi Ninjas x 

WN Podcast 028 – Channel vs Spectrum Utilisation & Ghost Frames with Ben Miller – Part 2

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

This is the continuation of our chat with Ben Miller, where we’re discussing channel utilisation vs spectrum utilisation vs duty cycle, ghost frames and potential impact of setting minimum data rates too high.

Channel Utilization

  • What is it
  • Does lower % always mean a better RF?
  • Good vs bad channel utilisation
  • Does channel bonding affect channel utilization?
  • Shall we rely on channel utilization for tshooting?

Internet’s favourite: channel utilization vs spectrum utilization vs duty cycle

  • Real Time FFT [dBm]
    • Current spectrum utilisation
  • Spectrum Utilisation [%] = FFT Duty Cycle [%]
    • Spectrum utilisation over a short time period
  • Waterfall = Swept Spectrogram
    • RF Power over time

Tools

  • Tools of choice for channel / spectrum utilisation
  • Protocol analysis

And a very helpful screenshot from Joel’s presentation!

Tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 027 – Channel vs Spectrum Utilisation & Ghost Frames with Ben Miller – Part 1

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode! We are mega privileged to have Ben Miller on our show today, where we’re discussing channel utilisation vs spectrum utilisation vs duty cycle, ghost frames and potential impact of setting minimum data rates too high.

Podcast frames below.

Channel Utilization

  • What is it
  • Does lower % always mean a better RF?
  • Good vs bad channel utilisation
  • Does channel bonding affect channel utilization?
  • Shall we rely on channel utilization for tshooting?

Internet’s favourite: channel utilization vs spectrum utilization vs duty cycle

  • Real Time FFT [dBm]
    • Current spectrum utilisation
  • Spectrum Utilisation [%] = FFT Duty Cycle [%]
    • Spectrum utilisation over a short time period
  • Waterfall = Swept Spectrogram
    • RF Power over time

Tools

  • Tools of choice for channel / spectrum utilisation
  • Protocol analysis

And a very helpful screenshot from Joel’s presentation!

Tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 026 – RTLS – Part 2 – Real World Testing

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

This is the continuation of the RTLS discussion, focusing on real-world tests and demos!

Three things have changed since we recorded the podcast:

  • We’ve confirmed that you can draw wayfinding paths in Prime, called ‘Rails’ in a Cisco world!
  • We’ve discussed Mist presence and analytics network-wide stats that you can include in a report; new functionality has just been added, where you can see all that stats live! Big thing from Mist, thank you guys 🙂
  • We are discussing WiFi Trilateration (lateration, so distance based, without any special AP requirements – internal omni is OK) RTLS and NOT WiFi Triangulation (that is angle based and requires multiple antenna arrays or mechanically agile antennas)

With tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 025 – RTLS – Part 1 – The Theory

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

Today we kick of the RTLS discussion, starting with a theory! We’ll cover how different technologies like WiFi or BLE can make RTLS work and what the RTLS really is.

We’ll discuss RTLS functional blocks like network wide presence stats, location aware functions like blue dot and zone location analysis and actions and engagement.

 It’s a vast topic, and we’ll release a blog about it shortly, so this show notes are rather short! Stay tuned 🙂

With tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 024 – Mist Tech Talk with Phil Keeley – Part 2

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

We really wanted to do a tech deep dive into Mist Systems for a good few months now. Phil Keeley made it happen for us and we are eternally grateful for Phil sharing his Mist knowledge and experience with us! Here is what we have discussed:

  • Intro into Mist
  • WiFi
    • What’s available – proper WiFi 6?
    • How is it different
    • Assurance and Monitoring
      • Machine learning
      • Use Dash or API?
    • AI-Driven RRM?
    • Dynamic Captures
    • Guest WiFi
      • Local
      • Guest ethernet port – what is it?
      • Centralised – how?
      • Splash pages – what options do we have?
      • Integration with RADIUS?
    • Corp and BYOD
      • Integration with RADIUS?
      • Integration with MDM platforms?
      • Sync with AD in the cloud?
    • Policing
      • Answer to TrustSec?
      • What happens to VLANs and ACLs?
  • Marvis
    • How can we interact with Marvis?
    • Tshooting – can we trust Marvis to resolve issues automatically?
    • Anomalies and root causes
    • Data correlation – affected devices, causes, frequency etc.
  • vBLE
    • Mist implementation of vBLE
      • Overview
      • General RF design for vBLE RTLS
      • WiFi + BLE vs BLE only – scalability and savings?
    • How is it different from WiFi (AoA)?
    • Blue dot and wayfinding – where do we get apps from?
    • What do we need to engage with clients?
      • Examples: coupons, notifications, targeted marketing
    • Do we really need those apps?
      • Assets visibility
    • Location API – what can we achieve?
    • Mobile SDK – what can we achieve?
  • Integration with Juniper
    • Switches
    • Firewalls
    • Anything else?
  • Licensing
  • Support

With tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 023 – Mist Tech Talk with Phil Keeley – Part 1

Welcome to our new WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

We really wanted to do a tech deep dive into Mist Systems for a good few months now. Phil Keeley made it happen for us and we are eternally grateful for Phil sharing his Mist knowledge and experience with us! Here is what we have discussed:

  • Intro into Mist
  • WiFi
    • What’s available – proper WiFi 6?
    • How is it different
    • Assurance and Monitoring
      • Machine learning
      • Use Dash or API?
    • AI-Driven RRM?
    • Dynamic Captures
    • Guest WiFi
      • Local
      • Guest ethernet port – what is it?
      • Centralised – how?
      • Splash pages – what options do we have?
      • Integration with RADIUS?
    • Corp and BYOD
      • Integration with RADIUS?
      • Integration with MDM platforms?
      • Sync with AD in the cloud?
    • Policing
      • Answer to TrustSec?
      • What happens to VLANs and ACLs?
  • Marvis
    • How can we interact with Marvis?
    • Tshooting – can we trust Marvis to resolve issues automatically?
    • Anomalies and root causes
    • Data correlation – affected devices, causes, frequency etc.
  • vBLE
    • Mist implementation of vBLE
      • Overview
      • General RF design for vBLE RTLS
      • WiFi + BLE vs BLE only – scalability and savings?
    • How is it different from WiFi (AoA)?
    • Blue dot and wayfinding – where do we get apps from?
    • What do we need to engage with clients?
      • Examples: coupons, notifications, targeted marketing
    • Do we really need those apps?
      • Assets visibility
    • Location API – what can we achieve?
    • Mobile SDK – what can we achieve?
  • Integration with Juniper
    • Switches
    • Firewalls
    • Anything else?
  • Licensing
  • Support

With tons of love x,

WiFi Ninjas