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WiFi Knowledge Summit - A Forum for the Advancement of WiFi

by Nadeem Akhtar on Mar 14, 2018
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The 5th WiFi Knowledge Summit was held in Bangalore on March 9, 2018. Billed as a gathering of WiFi enthusiasts and practitioners, the Summit drew an audience of 200+ from 80 organizations. The attendees represented OEMs, ODMs, chipset companies, Telcos, ISPs, Govt. officials and members of the academia.

The agenda was packed with a series of talks, covering a wide range of topics. The first half was devoted to WiFi technology/standards evolution and related innovations. Dr Srikanth (Nanocell Networks) kicked-off the proceedings with an enlightening overview of where WiFi technology is heading, including updates from IEEE and WiFi Alliance.

Satish Kanugovi (Nokia) talked about the role of WiFi in the evolution to 5G networks. He delved into WiFi integration with 5G core and discussed the relevance of Multi-access Edge Computing. Mani Krishnan Venkatachari (Qualcomm Atheros) discussed 802.11ax design challenges. He highlighted issues such as increased power consumption, complexity in resource allocation, more stringent RF requirements etc. Senthil Kumar Balasubramanian (Qubercomm) provided valuable insights into Home WiFi Systems, addressing the requirements, possible solutions and product choices.  Specifically, he compared WDS and mesh systems based on current implementations. Karan Gupta (Mojo Networks) spoke about an innovative approach for measuring the quality of voice and video calls using Machine Learning. Gagan Mittal (Alethea) presented a data-driven study on high-density WiFi. He highlighted the major degradation factors, identified the root causes and suggested higher layer solutions for these challenges.

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The second half of the event focused on WiFi proliferation in India. Paramjit Puri (Wireless Broadband Alliance) spoke about connecting India with Next Gen Wi-Fi and the Carrier Wireless Services Certification from Wireless Broadband Alliance. Manish Gangey (Reliance Jio) touched upon the very important topic of designing products for the Indian Market, stressing upon the unique challenges and solutions. Prof. Devendra Jalihal (IIT-Madras) added a new dimension to the discussions by proposing the use of BharatNet infrastructure in tandem with WiFi-based access for the Police Force and similar security-sensitive applications. Senthilkumar M (Geomeo Informatics) shared his field experience in building self-deployable community wireless network for rural India. His talk highlighted the various field level challenges and some innovative things that he has worked on.  Col. Kapil Handa (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) proposed a Public Data Offload based vision of WiFi for Broadband Proliferation and provided details of the ongoing pilot in different parts of India. Sridhar Mani (Alphabet/X) explained a new approach to providing abundant bandwidth using Free Space Optical Communication.

The final session was a panel discussion on ‘Rural WiFi: Unique challenges, technology choices, solution architecture and business models’. Moderated by Abhijeet Ghosh (Mojo Networks), there was a lively exchange of views between the panel members. Bhuvnesh Sachdeva (HFCL), CK Prasad (RailTel), Dr. Pravin Bhagwat (Mojo Networks) and Raghunandan G (entrepreneur and investor) expressed their views on a wide-range of topics including who should pay for building public WiFi infrastructure, how to select the right WiFi technology to meet Indian needs while keeping the overall cost low, what are the architectural choices for pan-India WiFi rollout.

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This event was organized jointly by Mojo Networks and Nanocell Networks. Colleagues from both companies worked very hard for almost 3 months to make this event happen. Thanks to all the sponsors: Alethea, HFCL, Rohde & Schwarz, Anritsu, Qubercomm, Spirent. Their support was crucial in delivering a quality experience to all the participants.

In terms of participation, quality of speakers and topics, this was a highly successful event. What started off in 2016 with 70 people gathered in a meeting room at IIT-Madras campus has now blossomed into a full-fledged conference-style event, drawing participation from all the stakeholders in WiFi industry. We will be back in a few months with details of the next summit Until then, check-out our website www.wifi-ks.org for agenda, speakers’ details and presentations from all the events held so far. We will shortly be uploading the videos of all talks on the website.

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Topics: Wireless security, WLAN networks, WLAN, featured, cloud