Wireless Field Day 8 Preview #WFD8



This week is Wireless Field Day 8! I’m honored and excited to have been invited as a delegate for my first full Tech Field Day event. I’m certain it will be a memorable experience! It’s a packed couple days with six vendors presenting and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the other delegates. I wanted to give a bit of a preview of the vendors and perhaps some ideas about what they’ll be sharing.



Cambium Networks will present on Wednesday morning. Cambium was formed when Motorola sold their Canopy and Orthogon businesses and they were combined to form Cambium. Cambium has a long history in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint licensed wireless systems for wireless ISP, public safety, and other business/industrial applications. They recently announced cnPilot, a cloud managed Wi-Fi solution, which I presume is what they will be presenting. I don’t know much about them and am looking forward to learning more and hearing what they have to say at their first WFD event.


Cradlepoint presents early Wednesday afternoon. Cradlepoint is well known for their broadband routers and mobile broadband solutions. Most of these have Wi-Fi built in and use an LTE backhaul. They have solutions that range from small branch routers to rugged units designed to be used in vehicles. Internet of Things / Machine to Machine solutions and broadband failover solutions are all right up their alley. To top it off, all these things can be managed through the cloud. My initial guess is that they will be talking about their IoT solution, but tune in on Wednesday to find out what they really have to say.


Ruckus Wireless is a major Wi-Fi manufacturer that I’ve heard a lot about, but haven’t done much with. Earlier this year they released some SOHO gear under the Xclaim brand, which seem nifty as easy to configure units. More important, they partnered with Juniper Networks back in June to deliver wired/wireless solutions. Ruckus was also first to market with an 802.11ac wave2 AP. They haven’t been to a TFD event for a couple years, so I’m expecting a refresher on who they are and an update on their products. Of course, you never know. They might just release something new and shiny at the event.



Cisco is the 900 pound gorilla of most segments of the networking industry, and wireless is certainly included here. Cisco wrote the post It’s All About Simplicity to explain that they are focusing on operational simplicity. They will be presenting their 802.11ac Wave 2 AP, Mobility Express (potentially very shiny), the latest on CMX 10.2, and an overview of Meraki System Manager. Cisco is what I work with the most and I’m particularly interested to learn more about Mobility Express and CMX.



Zebra is another newcomer to Tech Field Day events. You may already be familiar with Zebra for their wireless printers, but last year they purchased a chunk of Motorola that included 802.11 products. They’ve continued with the WiNG products and that’s about all I know. It will be interesting to hear what they have to share.



Aruba Networks is a regular at TFD events. This is their first since becoming an HP company and I expect it should be interesting. They are a huge player in Wi-Fi and have been active in promoting the Wi-Fi community and related events. They are promoting their participation in WFD8 with an image that includes a picture of an outdoor AP, an indoor AP, and BLE beacon. One presumes this is a hint as to what they will be talking about, especially since they’ve started embedding BLE beacons in their APs and producing their own standalone beacons. I’m very interested to learn more about Aruba. I’ve dabbled with their Instant products and would like to learn more about their full blown solutions. Jake Snyder, another WFD8 delegate, just earned his Aruba ACMA and it sounds like a pretty easy way to start, so I may go down that road, myself.

Got Questions?

That’s a lot of vendor presentations for two days and it all starts tomorrow. I’m looking forward to learning more about all these companies and their products while sharing the information with you. If you have questions for any of these vendors either before or during the presentations, send myself (@scottm32768 or any of the other delegates a tweet and we’ll be glad to ask on your behalf!

I do not yet know the exact times for the broadcasts, so for the most up to date schedule and to watch the live broadcasts, tune in at http://techfieldday.com/event/wfd8/. There’s a list of all the delegates there, as well.


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