Cisco rolls out `OpenRoaming’ with Wi-Fi 6 networking stack

30 Apr 2019


Computer networking giant Cisco Systems on Monday announced the launch of Wi-Fi 6, an `Open roaming’, innovative solution that helps customers embrace a new age of wireless connectivity.

Cisco’s `OpenRoaming’ allows a mobile devices to connect to a secured Wi-Fi network automatically and quickly, without typing Wi-Fi passwords, and clicking through disruptive pop-up screens, says a Cisco website release.
Cisco showcased OpenRoaming at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona were some allowing people to try out seamless wireless connectivity. 
The new connection technology allows people to join wireless networks across enterprise, consumer, and public markets. The Cisco-led federation includes several trusted identity providers, and allows users to join any network that is part of the federation, according to Cisco.
Cisco is leading the charge for OpenRoaming. The company is organising the federation that helps match identity providers, like Samsung and Boingo, with Wi-Fi access providers, like Mall of America and Canary Wharf. The OpenRoaming Federation shares the user credentials between the different providers. Once a user signs in to an identity provider, access providers will allow those identities to automatically join their networks, so users can to get online automatically. 
The new Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) networks standard will open up a new era of wireless connectivity and redefine what’s possible for businesses, says Cisco in a website release.
Cisco is also extending the industry’s most extensive campus networking portfolio by delivering a campus core switch purpose-built for cloud-scale networking. By coupling powerful automation and analytics software with a complete array of next-generation switches, access points, and controllers for the campus, Cisco enables the industry’s only end-to-end, wireless-first architecture, says the release.
Beyond being significantly faster than the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6 delivers up to 400 per cent greater capacity and is more effective in high-density settings like large lecture halls, stadiums and conference rooms. Latency is vastly improved, allowing for near real-time use cases. Wi-Fi 6 is also easier on connected devices’ batteries and provides an overall more predictable user experience.
Cisco said it is rolling out several products and partnerships that will help businesses deliver a genuinely unplugged and uninterrupted experience.
Cisco Customer Experience for wireless and switching accelerate deployment of next-gen intent-based networking solutions while reducing risk and disruption. Cisco Customer Experience’s portfolio provides expert guidance, best practices and innovative tools so that customers can transition with greater ease and confidence. This also allows them to innovate faster, stay competitive, extract more value and realize faster ROI.
Cisco is betting that businesses will make bets on Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure ahead of 5G as both wireless technologies will enable new use cases.
While the 5G business transformation story has garnered more headlines, Wi-Fi 6, known as 802.11ax, will also have a big impact, said Greg Dorai, vice president of product management and strategy for enterprise infrastructure and solutions group.
"We are at a landmark point for mobility with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 hitting the market soon. They can change the way we run our business and the amount of traffic and things connected will explode," he said.
Meanwhile, Cisco is eyeing a campus network infrastructure upgrade cycle. Wi-Fi equipment for some enterprises was acquired in 2010 and 2011. Others have upgraded about four years ago.
In partnerships with Samsung, Boingo, GlobalReach, Presidio and others under a project called OpenRoaming, Cisco aims to make it easier to move from Wi-Fi and mobile networks seamlessly via identity credential sharing.
Wi-Fi 6 will arrive before broad 5G availability so most client devices will have the standard by the end of the year. Samsung's new Galaxy S10 flagship already has Wi-Fi 6.
There will be smart city possibilities as 5G is rolled out. Larger urban areas can start to couple Wi-Fi 6 and 5G.
Cisco has had field trials with NASA, BMW, and Carnival.

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