Customer analysis in traditional commerce

customeranalysisFor a long time it has been common for online shops to analyze their customers’ and online shop visitors’ behavior in order to optimize the visitors’ shopping experience and to measure marketing activities. However, what possibilities does traditional commerce have?

Currently there are different technologies which compete with each other. Already integrated RFID chips on shopping trolleys can analyze the flow of visitors. The smartphone provider Apple favors ibeacon in order to give the shop visitor additional information on the location via his or her smartphone. All these technologies require additional and partly proprietary technology which has to be installed within the shop. (more…)

Hans-Dieter Wahl: WLAN Business Line Manager

Three different solutions for WLAN management

wlan solutionsAlready Albert Einstein learned during his job as an electrician at the Oktoberfest in Munich in 1896 that a straightforward solution is not always the best way to solve a problem. Today, it is just the same thinking of the most suitable WLAN management solution. 

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Hans-Dieter Wahl: WLAN Business Line Manager

The first wireless LAN /WLAN

wlan historyEverybody at least in Germany and probably in some typical German tourist centers knows the famous Song by Paul Kuhn “There is no beer on Hawaii” but not many people know that a network very similar to the wireless LAN available nowadays was already set up in 1969 by the University in Hawaii. The network’s name was “ALOHAnet” and connected different parts of the university on the island Oahu.

Brief history of the WLAN

The idea was taken up no sooner than at the end of the 1980s. The first IEEE working group was founded in 1991 and was set up the technical basics of the new standard. The first devices were working according to pre-802.11 standard but were not compatible to the later IEEE standard. The data rates of 2 Mbit/s were relatively modest. The technology could not be really established in the first years because the first WLAN cards were very expensive. This changed at the end of 1999 as Apple launched an iBook with an incorporated WLAN card. A base station at a reasonable price was also produced by Apple.

By the way, this was also the time when the company Artem successfully placed the first wireless LAN products on the market. In the meantime Artem has merged with Teldat and wireless LAN products are well-established in our product portfolio.

The latest developments and innovations in WLAN networks

In terms of technology a great deal has happened since then. The transmission power has increased from 2 Mbit/s to several Gigabit/s, the data transmission is encrypted and much more besides. Also, from a commercial point of view, WLAN has become more and more important. Whereas in 2008 less than 100,000 WLAN chips were produced and sold, production numbers for WLAN chips have meanwhile increased up to the incredible number of almost 3 trillion.

This enormous increase is certainly because of the numerous mobile devices in the consumer market. However, not only the providers of inexpensive consumer devices have noticed a remarkable growth. Also suppliers of professional WLAN solutions have noticed an annual double-digit percentage growth.

This vast increase in terms of sales numbers will probably decline a bit. Nevertheless, further improvements of this technology and new applications will drive further growth. Especially in this context, we should mention the new 802.11ac standard. The first generation of this new technology is rather unsuitable for business applications because the new standard requires a very high demand of bandwidth which makes complex installations difficult.

The second generation of 802.11ac chipsets will be interesting for business solutions. These 802.11ac chipsets support the new MU-MIMO (multi-user MIMO). MU-MIMO applies in particular to mobile devices with only MIMO 1×1, which means only one antenna. So clients share the available streams or antennas of an access point in such a way that every client uses a different antenna of the access point. Thus, the maximum number of clients that can simultaneously connect to an access point or frequency has tripled or quadrupled. Therefore, it is possible to supply several hundred clients via one access point and multiplies the overall performance of the network, while it simplifies the setup of high performance WLAN networks for major events.

The setup, planning and installation of a WLAN network in major event locations has been one of Teldat’s competences for many years. The conclusion is that it remains exciting and we will definitely join it.

Hans-Dieter Wahl: WLAN Business Line Manager

WLAN: What are high density networks?

teldat wlan controllerA high density network, can be summarized as a network designed for various or many WLAN clients.

WLAN conservative planning approaches are designed to achieve a good and complete WLAN supply, and at the same time install as less access points as possible. In order to meet this goal in larger areas, usually a so-called Wireless Site Survey is carried out to ensure that wherever WLAN is required, sufficient field strength is available.

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Hans-Dieter Wahl: WLAN Business Line Manager

Wireless LAN – correctly installed in companies

wireless lan controllerBy now wireless LAN is not just a “nice to have“ gimmick anymore but an essential part of IT in companies. Depending on the industry or sector, the availability of a wireless LAN network is now often integrated as part of the workflows, besides the usual office applications. Availability and security of the wireless LAN for these applications rank among business-critical parts of the infrastructure.

Faulty installations or unprofessional solutions can risk security in companies or interrupt accustomed workflows.

What makes the difference in detail?

The network should be constantly monitored by a wireless LAN controller. A wireless LAN controller alerts each failure of an access point. By means of a wireless LAN controller the administrator can document performance and availability of the network at any time and also indentify problems on time.

Professional access points constantly scan their environment and therefore detect threats or attacks. The scanning process of the environment is automatically carried out in the background without any interruption of data transmission. Some highly advanced solutions don’t even need an external, separate access point for monitoring.

A WIDS (Wireless Intrusion Detection System) detects any threat at an early stage and informs the network administrator via email alerts or reports via a SNMP trap to a network management system. If a so-called rogue access point is detected, the approximate location of the attack will be determined which facilitates removing the rogue access point. The integrated WIPS (Wireless Intrusion Protection System) detects password cracking attacks of clients or sending of inadmissible frames which would reduce the performance of the wireless LAN. Such attacks will be fended off and ignored, suspicious clients will be quarantined.

Professional load balancing: Wireless LAN client

Professional load balancing includes several technical processes which all together make sure that each wireless LAN client is always connected to the optimal access point and therefore can work optimally. This kind of load balancing ensures for example that a wireless LAN client trying to connect to an access point which serves already many clients will be rejected and will be connected to an access point with less data load. If an access point provides two radio modules and sends data in 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency, band steering makes sure that the wireless LAN client preferably uses the more powerful 5 GHz frequency. Further protocols such as airtime fairness and the integrated bandwidth limitation enable the optimized usage of the medium air. All together these technical measures ensure in big installations that a vast number of clients can be provided with wireless LAN.

Teldat’s wireless LAN concept has been proven to be the perfect solution for congresses and major events, as well as other scenarios. Our Wireless LAN hardward and software covers all the essential issues, mentioned above.

Hans-Dieter Wahl: WLAN Business Line Manager