Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lessons from Apple’s WWDC Fiasco

If you haven’t heard about it, here is the condensed version of what happened on the opening day of iPhone 4G. The information has been gathered from various stories released on the Internet but the essence of all is same.

“Steve Job was trying to show the screen resolution and speed of the device by accessing a web portal that’s where the mishap happened. A completely saturated 2.4 GHz spectrum couldn’t distinguish between Steve’s new iPhone and hundreds of WiFi clients active at that location and hence the iPhone 4G was starved from getting wireless service.”

You may compare this scenario with a very heavily congested road. No matter what model or speed of the car is, one can not drive faster than the average speed of the traffic.

Could this have been avoided?

I am astonished to see every body (whether it’s WLAN infrastructure vendor or else) making claim that if Apple had used their solution or service, the problem would have never arisen. The way Ferrari can’t solve the very basic problem of congestion likewise iPhone 4G can’t solve the saturated link problem.

I have yet to see a solution which can accommodate hundreds of WiFi client devices or save 2.4 GHz from being saturated in the similar situation.

Yes there are solutions which could have raised alert on seeing too many devices operating in 2.4GHz band. Kudos to great Steve Job, he realized this very soon and requested his audiences to shutoff their WiFi warriors and saved his iPhone 4G demo!

If you are going to make such a crucial demo and planning to use WiFi you are bound to face the similar fiasco until you learn the lessons from Apple.

1. You ensure that there are not too many WiFi devices are operating in 2.4 GHz band. Its better to ask audience to switch of WiFi in the beginning.
2. If your device supports 5GHz band, better you use one channel in 5Ghz band
3. Always use security (WPA or WPA2 ) on your AP so that others can not connect to your device
4. Your demo environment should be free from Wireless DoS or jamming or at least it should be detectable
5. Have a WiFi expert not sales expert setup the WiFi infrastructure

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