Another Mobility Field Day is here. Is it anything to get excited about?

It’s getting harder and harder for me to get excited about mobility field day. It’s not Foskett’s fault. It’s getting harder and harder for me to get excited about any new announcements from Wi-Fi vendors. There doesn’t seem to be much awesomeness happening. Or is there?

For some of the delegates at this year’s event, I can imagine they’re probably feeling a little bit of the same thing. Well, probably not. There are some new faces so I know they’re probably pretty stoked 🙂 But for those that have been there since the first WFD years ago, and if you’ve spent time in the same industry for a while, maybe you’re feeling the same way I am.

OMG Please don’t drone on about Wi-Fi 6 unless you’ve done something incredible.

Yeah, Wi-Fi 6 is coming around and that in and of itself is huge, but that’s last year’s story. What’s this year’s story? I don’t tune in to webcasts to hear about stuff I already know. If I’m sitting on the delegate side of the table and I’ve seen the same thing, heard the same thing, and have been prepped for the dog and pony show, I would hope to see or hear about something that’s going to give me some type of rise. But is there anything “rise worthy” even happening in the space? 🤷🏻‍♂️

Chipsets are standardized, features are standardized and client devices have continued to jump on to wireless networks. The Wi-Fi “works” for the most part and there are an unprecedented amount of tools and services out there to let us know when it’s not working, where it’s not working, and why it’s not working.

It’s no surprise that equipment manufacturers will support the new standards (shocker! I mean but where is UBNT with a Wi-Fi 6 AP?? They used to be the first out of the gate!) but what are these companies doing differently to attract our interest and our business? What are the presenters at mobility field day doing to show us that there is a world outside of Wi-Fi for people who care about wireless? What new applications will they show off that will get us excited, less about how stuff works and more about what you can do with it?

5G? RTT? CBRS?

Not one vendor, other than maybe the secret company, has a portfolio that supports 5G. Aruba and Mist have “IoT” via BLE, with Aruba gaining the edge here by supporting zigbee. Where’s the 802.11az for Wi-Fi RTT and enhanced locationing? Dare I ask about CBRS?

The Metageek throwback is nice but kind of a yawner as their latest gadget is a rebrand of Oscium and not much else has moved on their product line (it’s not a bad product line, don’t get me wrong, but seriously, it’s due for some type of refresh.)

Fortinet is ripe for some great stuff, so I’m excited to see that … but how does a security company that also does WiFi get the interest of a group of WiFi people that don’t focus on security? Will they just be playing catch-up or will they have something that makes you want to deploy FortiAPs?

Obviously this Pug is for Lee.

Everyone loves a surprise!

What about the surprise company? Is it NetAlly? I hope so. I hope a new AirCheck and a renewed life for that product line (and more!) is announced after going back and becoming their own company again.

What do you think?

Is this event poised to be more of the same that it was last year or are we in for a real treat? As much as there hasn’t been any huge earth-shattering things happening, is this a chance for a company to wow us? Can any of these companies wow us? Do they still have it in them in a world where WiFi is commoditized? Post up on Twitter. Make some noise. Hashtag #MFD4 and see what response you’ll get. I can’t be the only one walking into this underwhelmed but ready to be surprised. Or am I?

Now that I think about it, I guess there are some things I’m excited about. But more about what I haven’t seen than what I have. And because of that, I’ll be tuning in and I hope you do too August 14 – 16 @ https://techfieldday.com/event/mfd4/!

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