Everything I know about 5G!

  • 5G is 5th Generation of Wireless Technology.
  • 5G is Software defined network.
  • 10x faster than 4G, 2hour film – 3G – 26 hours, 4G – 6hours, 5G – around 4 seconds.
  • Response times faster – 4G – 0.045 m/s, 5G – 0.01 m/s.
  • Foundation for ViR, IoT, Autonomous Driving, Online Gaming is just a start.
  • Might only start showing in production up late 2019 or early 2020.


Millimeter Waves – Millimeter waves are broadcast at frequencies between 30 and 300 gigahertz, compared to the bands below 6 GHz that were used for mobile devices in the past. They are called millimeter waves because they vary in length from 1 to 10 mm, compared to the radio waves that serve today’s smartphones, which measure tens of centimeters in length.

Small Waves – Use mini base stations, small stations to relay signals around obstacles.
While traditional cell networks have also come to rely on an increasing number of base stations, achieving 5G performance will require an even greater infrastructure. 

Massive Mimo – Support up-to 100 ports, increase capacity of network by factor of 22 or more. Can cause more obstruction, next point helps.

Beamforming –Base station can send directional signals, focussed stream. Beamforming can help massive MIMO arrays, which are base stations arrayed with dozens or hundreds of individual antennas, to make more efficient use of the spectrum around them.

Full Duplex – Basic antenna can either send or receive at one point, but 5G can give room to send and receive at same time. This is similar to one track train but when it arrives/goes through a station/junction there is a room for another train to pass through on the same line.

2019 and the learnings

2019 is here and 15 days have already passed, just 23 fortnights to end the year 🙂 Anyway 2018 had been a great year for me with regards to the IT centric learning. I’ve been through job redundancy, a Great holiday in India and Parenting at it’s best. Fun times!!!

I gave an attempt to complete CWNA on 2nd November but failed to do so. May be it was a hasty decision to complete it before going on holiday but lesson learnt. Will give it a try soon in next month or so.

I managed to nail CCDA keeping my Cisco certifications alive. That’s one good thing.

In 2018, I also managed to learn RF basics with regards to Wireless Technologies. Strengthening my skills around wireless site surveys and they way radios work.

I will aim at writing better blog posts. 2019 will be even more better in terms of learning. Learning about different aspects of technologies that bind together.

CWNA , IEEE 802.11!

  • Hi IEEE 802.11 Key Concepts

Let’s get started with the IEEE 802.11 Journey synopsis. Standards are defined at physical and mac-sub layer(data-link). We are referring to different ways of transmitting data over the air. Also how our communication signal would deliver information. One of the original ones we’ve come across is FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) and DSSS (Distributed Sequence Spread Spectrum).

In 2007, the IEEE consolidated 8 ratified amendments along with the original standard, creating a single document that was published as the IEEE standard 802.11-2007
The standard covers IEEE standard 802.11-1999, 802.11a.1999, 802.11b-1999, 802.11g-2003,802.11i-2004

802.11b (Sep 1999) is high rate DSSS – Based on 2.4GHz to 2.4835 GHz ISM band
802.11a (Sep 1999) is OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing) would operate in 5GHz frequency.  There are 3 U-NIII (Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure) frequency bands consisting of 12 channels.
802.11b (1999) – High Rate DSSS, operates in 2.4 GHz frequency. OFDM transmission type and supports BPSK (binary phase shift keying) and QPSK (Quadrature PSK) – 1 & 5.5Mbps and 2 & 11 Mbps. 
802.11g (June 2003) – Speeds upto 54Mbps/works similar to 802.11b in 2.4 GHz. Used a new technology called Extended Rate Physical (ERP) – ISM frequency band.
802.11i (Security) – From 1997 – 2004, not much defined in terms of security in the original 802.11 standard. Three key components of security solution – Data Privacy/Data Integrity/Authentication. This amendment defined a RSN (Robust Security Network).
802.11r-2008 (FT)-  Technology is more often referred to as fast secure roaming because it defines faster handoffs when roaming occurs between cells in WLAN using a strong security defined by RSN.
802.11w (Sep 2009) – IEEE Task Group was a way of delivering management frames in a security manner. Preventing the management frames from being able to be spoofed.802.11 – only on 2.4. Uses hi rate DSSS. It actually came out before 802.11a. Enabled 5.5 and 11Mbps data rates. 22MHz wide channels. Today these rates have become legacy rates. 
802.11n (October 2009) – also known as Wi-Fi 4 is an amendment that improves upon the previous 802.11 standards by adding multiple-input multiple-output antennas (MIMO). 802.11n operates on both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands. Support for 5 GHz bands is optional. Its net data rate ranges from 54 Mbit/s to 600 Mbit/s
802.11ac (December 2013) – VTH (Very high throughput, wider channel (20MHz-160MHz) – also known as Wi-Fi 5 is an amendment to IEEE 802.11, published in December 2013, that builds on 802.11n.[28] Changes compared to 802.11n include wider channels (80 or 160 MHz versus 40 MHz) in the 5 GHz band, more spatial streams (up to eight versus four), higher-order modulation (up to 256-QAM vs. 64-QAM), and the addition of Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO). As of October 2013, high-end implementations support 80 MHz channels, three spatial streams, and 256-QAM, yielding a data rate of up to 433.3 Mbit/s per spatial stream, 1300 Mbit/s total, in 80 MHz channels in the 5 GHz band
802.11ax ( Sometime in 2019*)  – IEEE 802.11ax also known as Wi-Fi 6 is the successor to 802.11ac, and will increase the efficiency of WLAN networks. Currently in development, this project has the goal of providing 4x the throughput of 802.11ac at the user layer, having just 37% higher nominal data rates at the PHY layer.  More can be read here

While learning about 802.11 PHYs (Physical) I have come across this extremely useful table from cleartosend podcasts/posts as below




Packeth – Ethernet Packet Generator

I came across this interesting tool yesterday which helps in generating traffic/sequence of packets on the ethernet.  It is primarily Linux based tool but is supported on Windows/Mac. Haven’t got much luck with Windows but Linux version works well.

More info can be found here – http://packeth.sourceforge.net/packeth/Home.html

You can create and send any ethernet packet. Supported protocols:

  1. •ethernet II, ethernet 802.3, 802.1q, QinQ, user defined ethernet frame
  2. •ARP, IPv4, IPv6, user defined network layer payload
  3. •UDP, TCP, ICMP, ICMPv6, IGMP, user defined transport layer payload
  4. •RTP (payload with options to send sin wave of any frequency for G.711)
  5. •JUMBO frames (if network driver supports it)

Sending sequence of packets

  1. •delay between packets, number of packets to send
  2. •sending with max speed, approaching the theoretical boundary
  3. •change parameters while sending (change IP & mac address, UDP payload, 2 user defined bytes, etc.)

•saving configuration to a file and load from it – pcap format supporte

Packeth example

Packeth example from the LAB NUC to my computer sending ICMP packets with bandwidth of 34441 Mbps.

Enter the source IP (NUC IP) and destination IP (My laptop), click on “Get MAC” to resolve the MAC Address automatically.

Click on the second tab and enter the “number” and “bandwidth”.

Select the interface on the top “wlp2s0” and click on “SEND”

Change control and why it may save you!

Change control is an important part of ITIL and any organized form of business. It is the source and essence of the day to day tasks and it encompasses the same logging that used to be done in early days which is now a days replaced by online/computer format change control. Change control also gives a scope to peer review and avoid is a mishap by casting multiple opinion on the upcoming change.

Not logging a change or documenting can prove too costly most of the times. In some cases logging the change alone can save you from lot of questions in case it does work out the way it is planned. After the change is being approved and the outcome is not good or as planned this might work in your favor as the person approving it is somehow responsible for its failure. Having said that it also depends that the change is done as per the documentation and rollback procedures are followed.

What are your thoughts on this?

What is 802.11ax


Well we first thought there are lot of acronyms in CPU naming schemes but wireless nomenclature may be even more confusing.

Started with 802.11 and then got on to 802.11b/g/n/ac/ac wave 2 and then the recent one 802.11ax. 

Speed – Max theoretical speed for 1 stream on AC is 866 Mb/s, AX promises speeds around 1201 Mb/s. Speed depends on range, obstacles, other interference in air. Wireless AX aims to improve efficiency. 

One of the main features is OFDMA – Chops each wireless channels further making them partial channels. Allows up to 30 devices to talk to AP over a single channel. The channels being smaller, AP get more flexibility, improves overall performance. Works in tandem Mu-Mimo, multiple device access at same time. Wireless AX allows 8 simultaneous streams instead. There is some addition of color pattern(Spatial Frequency Reuse), BSS color. Identifier attached to each data chunk or frame to identify what wireless network it came from. With BSS color an AP can tell which frame is coming from other networks and ignore them as long as they are below the threshold of weakness. It can utilize 2.4/5 and we may see 6GHz. 

There is a feature on gadgets for battery power – Target wake up time. How often tx/rx wireless data thereby putting wireless transponder to sleep when transmission is not necessary thereby saving on battery. 

AX will hit sometime in 2019.

Revision :

New Wi-Fi Alliance numbering…
802.11-Wi-Fi 0 2.4GHz Only
802.11a-Wi-Fi 1 5GHz Only
802.11b-Wi-Fi 2 2.4GHz Only
802.11g-Wi-Fi 3 2.4GHz Only
802.11n-Wi-Fi 4 2.4GHz or 5GHz
802.11ac-Wi-Fi 5 5GHz Only
802.11ax-Wi-Fi 6 2.4GHz or 5GHz

Skycity Level 48

Been to Auckland Skycity level 48 a while ago!

The floor is an array of antenna and micro wave radios pointing in all the directions. Skycity tower is remarkably the tallest tower in southern hemisphere. Ideally it will one of the best locations to install your radio/antenna.

Was quite a fascination to see the disk shaped, lamp shaped and other types of antennas.

The above picture is quite interesting, this radio pointing towards the cranes area solely to provide them access as they are controlled remotely.