Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wireless Breakthroughs: Full Duplex and Unlimited Channels

[TheRegister's article on new antenna technology]
Wireless Breakthroughs: Full Duplex and Unlimited Channels

Wired communication had traditionally been more point-to-point communication through technologies such as POTS (Plain Old Telephone System), ISDN, TCP/IP., etc. Wireless communication had traditionally been more point-to-multipoint through broadcast technologies such as radio, television, and satellite. With the convergence of technologies, wireless and wired have been competing with one another in all markets, but wireless had traditionally been saddled by short-comings conquered in wireless communications such as half-duplex and limited frequencies in bandwidth spectrum. These challenges have been getting addressed in wireless.

[GizMag's article on full duplex radio]
Full Duplex Wireless Radio:
Full Duplex is the ability to transmit at the same time as receiving information. Around this time, last year, in 2011.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to double the capacity of wireless networks, while at the same time making them more reliable and efficient.
Full Duplex is important for such operations such as one person on a wireless phone to speak at the same time as another person on one or more other wireless phones.

Many Channels, One Radio Frequency:
Channels within a radio frequency provides the ability for multiple pieces of wireless equipment to share a piece of wireless spectrum. Traditionally, multiple channels can be bound together between devices to get more bandwidth or fewer channels can be used between devices to allow for more devices to use wireless spectrum. A new capability was recently demonstrated:
We have shown experimentally, in a real-world setting, that it is possible to use two beams of incoherent radio waves, transmitted on the same frequency but encoded in two different orbital angular momentum states, to simultaneously transmit two independent radio channels.
With the addition of this capability, more devices may be able to operate in the same area, and higher bandwidth communications (i.e. high definition video) may be able to easily function wirelessly.

Security Implications:
Wired infrastructure is generally more secure, being a point-to-point infrastructure with such technologies such as switches. When the movement from wired to wireless infrastructure occurs, encryption becomes ever more important, especially with management protocols.

[SPARCT4 Micrograph from NetMgt article]
Network Management Connection:
With the capabilities of wireless communication becoming more robust, the need to use wired communication to edge devices such as desktops in a business, may become a thing of the past. Network Managers need to take this into consideration when planning their next generation network management platforms.

If a network management platform is not running SNMPv3 and it is not running SSH or HTTPS for configuration - it is time for it to be thrown out. The vast majority of devices will all be connected wirelessly in the very near future - security is of the essence. Network Management platforms which support encryption, such as the SPARC T processor series, will become increasingly important when managing these wireless environments.

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