June 29, 2016

Delivering a Seamless Guest Experience

Diana

 

Author: Diana Shtil, Product Marketing Manager

 

The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) 2016 took place in New Orleans last week, bringing together over 300 companies who all specialize in products, services, and solutions for the hospitality industry. From pay management systems, robots that deliver room service, and even high-resolution televisions, HITEC showcased true innovation that any hotel guest would wish to have. HITEC

So what is all the hype about? Isn’t a robot a little bit over the top? Well, HITEC and the broader hospitality community would argue no, it is just what is needed! Hotels are becoming an extension of the home and when traveling for a day or a month, customers want an unforgettable experience. A clean bed and mint on the pillow are no longer enough. Hoteliers are finding new ways of going above and beyond, whether it is shorter check-in times, additional in-room amenities, or personalized promotions.

Sure, not all hotels can afford to offer an unlimited amount of amenities, so it is key that they provide what all travelers are looking for. And this is food, shelter, electricity, and reliable Wi-Fi. When people are on the go, they carry multiple devices; a phone, tablet, and laptop to name a few. And they expect to connect seamlessly, especially when not at home. Hotels have to provide wireless connectivity that delivers reliable service despite interference from neighboring devices and high-density surges. ACCOR Hotels knew this challenge all to well, and partnered with Ruckus Wireless to deploy reliable connectivity at over 4,000 properties world-wide. It is more than just connecting your guests, but connecting with your guests to provide an unforgettable experience that makes them come back again and again.

June 22, 2016

Insight and Control: Solving the ‘Wi-Fi Everywhere’ Problem

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAZaAAAAJDM5M2FlMGI0LTU4MDYtNDA1NS1hNDlmLTg1ZmIxNDdiNzg5ZA Dean Tait, Global Strategic Partners Director

Since the first networks were invented, and even up until now, systems administrators needed insight to identify when things went wrong and control to make it right. It’s a known fact that the reason a modern racecar can be driven so fast is because of better brakes. In networking, the insight and control provided by a single management console are the brakes that drive high performance.

The proliferation of mobile devices and BYOD requires any enterprise network to have top performing Wi-Fi. But it is a myth that you can use Wi-Fi everywhere, and the fact is that you need a high performing wired/wireless solution.

If you want a high-performance network – and let’s face it, who doesn’t – you cannot achieve it with a single wired or wireless solution. In fact, you cannot achieve it with a single vendor solution. Having a better dashboard is required to keep you on the road.

With the release of Brocade Network Advisor 14.0 (BNA), you have the insight and control needed to manage a top performing wired/wireless network. Within a single-site or multi-site campus, Ruckus Wireless controllers and access points can now be discovered and monitored by BNA 14.0 from Brocade.

BNA provides a single pane of glass for the highest performing networks in the enterprise. Brocade wired and Ruckus wireless solutions are now combined into a tightly integrated end-to-end solution. With this single management console, customers quickly collect metrics and traffic flows to detect issues and expedite trouble-shooting.

For more information visit Brocade’s Community Forums or reach out to your local Brocade or Ruckus account team.  

May 31, 2016

Expanding the Options for Wave 2

Richard Watson By: Richard Watson, Product Marketing Manager

 
802.11ac has promised us a lot: faster data rates, more efficient use of RF spectra and transmission to multiple clients in the same instance. Now, 802.11ac’s full promise has come in the Wave 2 products. But, have we reached nirvana yet? No. To fulfill the “ac” promise, all the right elements need to be in place. CatchTheWave

By now, most Wi-Fi vendors have announced their indoor Wave 2 APs. Ruckus was first to market with the R710, which also incorporated BeamFlex+ and ChannelFly services for an optimized WLAN experience.

But was anything else missing? Yes. A wider selection of Wave 2 APs supporting different deployment environments. Robust Wave 2 APs were needed for not just indoor operation but also for outdoor and special indoor locations such as mid-market opportunities. Today, Ruckus announced the T710 and R510 products to address these segments. With a broad solution portfolio, a Wave 2 experience can be provided in almost any conceived wireless environment. But, is this enough?

Having a broad base of Wave 2 APs to deploy is only half the solution for expanding Wave 2 adoption. The critical element is having access to Wave 2 clients, and the flood of clients has just begun. Without integrating Wave 2 clients into a network, there would be no MU-MIMO benefit. The MU-MIMO benefit not only impacts Wave 2 clients but, because the realized RF efficiency, also benefits the non-Wave 2 devices as well. Today, there are more than 60 commercially available Wave 2 devices with unit sales beginning to skyrocket. Samsung announced its Wave 2 V6 Android early in 2016 and was able to sell more than 10 million units in a single quarter.

The expansion of the Wave 2 market is inevitable. With enterprise-class APs available in multiple deployment options and Wave 2 clients rapidly becoming the majority of sales, it is easy to project the successful expansion of Wave 2-based wireless solutions. Check our Wave 2 summary.

May 10, 2016

Just Like Yoga… WLAN Flexibility is Good

39d8040 By: Richard Watson, Product Marketing Manager 

Would you like to make your network provisioning and management simpler? How do you feel about going against common convention? Like yoga for healthy living, a flexible strategy for the WLAN can be healthy for the enterprise.

When WLANs made the transition from fat access points to a controller-based architecture, there was a lot good to say about them but a fundamental flaw soon surfaced. All the traffic from the APs passed through the controller (“tunneling”). Yes, this provided for the expansion of features and capabilities, but it ensured that there was an unacceptable built-in latency imposed on all applications running on the WLAN.  WLAN-Flexibility

“Tunneling” became a technology tainted by its legacy. But there was a conundrum: for certain applications, aggregating like traffic made sense, but how could one do so without overloading IT and slowing down the network? Standard virtual LAN (VLAN) infrastructures could meet these needs by tagging the client on a single VLAN so that traffic would be routed to a specific processing destination. This approach worked but it was a configuration nightmare, requiring VLAN management whenever devices came and went, or new switches were added. What a headache!

What about implementing a flexible, secure, VLAN-based tunneled architecture that accomplishes the goals of a traditional VLAN approach but is much simpler, more secure and scalable, and minimizes the impact on IT? What if the WLAN itself can provide this? Such a concept complements existing configuration options, but now provides a means to flexibly add a new, in-line “smart” tunneling service. With this approach, SSIDs are selected to act as “aggregation” points to securely tunnel traffic across to the network distribution point.

Perhaps the simplest example of an application that can take advantage of this approach is a generic commercial “hotspot.” Using a secure tunnel for all the traffic from a location can simplify management of the link and minimize the problem of data hacking as it traverses a network. You can have it all – plus secure tunneled traffic with a “set-and-forget” simplicity. If you’re interested in learning more about this flexible approach, check out virtual SmartZone-D (vSZ-D).

May 06, 2016

An Apple for the Teacher; Wi-Fi for All

Richard Nedwich

 

By: Richard Nedwich, Global Director of Education 

 

As a nod to Teacher Appreciation Week, a quick shout out to our 'Ruckus Teachers' who do an unbelievable job every day teaching their students the 3 Rs, the 4 Cs, and to mind their Ps and Qs! Thank you Mrs. Ludeman and the many, many others. Funny, but when I was little, we gave an apple to the teacher to eat, not to stream music. Times have changed for sure, but not always with smooth transitions.

As part of 21st Century teaching and learning, many teachers in America value the intended use of Wi-Fi for instruction, but the real-world Wi-Fi they have available in their schools is not sufficient in the classroom. In a previous blog, I mentioned EdWeek recently conducted a survey of 700 teachers, and detailed their 'Wi-Fi Woes' in a white paper.  AppleWifi

These 'Wi-Fi Woes' are made harder with 1:1 Chromebook deployments, online assessments, mobile labs using carts on wheels, and project-based learning on devices which would come to a halt if there was insufficient coverage, or slow Wi-Fi or network downtime.

The reason I'm passionate about my job is I know Ruckus can do something about it. Case in point: Dublin Unified School District. Full case study here.

Dublin USD is located 35 miles east of San Francisco, with more than 10,000 students. Between rapid enrollment and campus expansion, and the need to support Common Core requirements, the district decided to upgrade their network infrastructure.

By upgrading to Ruckus 802.11ac wireless access points and Brocade IP switches, the district supported their pedagogical needs, while positioning themselves for future growth. Dublin USD also selected Brocade Network Advisor to simplify network management across the district. In the past, IT had to travel between schools several days per week to make sure that the network was operating properly. Now they can see the entire infrastructure, including the Ruckus APs, which are identified as devices attached to each switch port.

Stephen Hanke, Superintendent at Dublin USD reports “The best feedback we have received is from our teachers, saying that the network just works. They can rely on it for instruction, and students have much better access to their coursework…. The wireless infrastructure is the critical layer as we integrate technology as a tool for learning. Our goal is success with Common Core and project- based learning. Technology supports instruction and should become invisible in the teaching and learning process. That’s essentially where we’re headed. However, we also needed a wired network that would support the new wireless network and our future goals.”

Class is in session!

April 04, 2016

Creating a Pure Play Networking Company for the Digital Transformation Era

Today Brocade and Ruckus Wireless have taken an important step toward our joint vision of creating a new type of networking company - a company with the strategy, products, talent, and focus needed to deliver the solutions that customers need in order to thrive in today’s era of digital transformation. We’re very excited to let you know that this morning we announced Brocade’s intention to acquire Ruckus, a pioneer in the wireless infrastructure market.

The combination of Brocade and Ruckus will create a pure-play networking company that has market-leading solutions spanning from the most critical part of the data center to the wireless network edge. Wireless technology is a critical element in modern, New IP network architectures. Ruckus’ wireless networking solutions will add a high-growth and highly complementary product category to Brocade’s current storage, data center, campus and mobility networking solutions. The combined company will be better positioned to deliver networks that are platforms for innovation for our customers.

The new company will start with an impressive leadership position in highly strategic areas that we plan to build from:

  • #1 in storage area networking
  • #1 in service provider Wi-Fi
  • #1 in hospitality Wi-Fi
  • #2 in data center networking
  • #3 in enterprise wireless LAN
  • #3 in enterprise edge networking in the U.S. and EMEA

For customers, once the transaction closes, you will be able to rely on the combined company for market-leading networking solutions that extend from your storage networks to your data center, campus, and wireless edge. Both companies remain committed to partnering across the industry and you will continue to enjoy the flexibility that our open, partner-centric strategy brings. Whether you prefer single-vendor or multi-vendor solutions for your network infrastructure, the new Brocade with Ruckus will be better positioned to serve you. We’re also not planning any near-term changes to the sales and support you’ve come to rely on. Ruckus solutions will continue to be sold and supported by the current Ruckus teams, and Brocade solutions will continue to be sold and supported by the current Brocade teams.  Until closing, both companies will continue to operate independently to serve our customers. 

For partners, we’re also not planning any near-term changes to our respective channel and partner structures after closing. Over time, we expect the combination of our two companies will bring our collective partners greater opportunities to offer a broader portfolio of both wired and wireless networking solutions.

For employees, bringing the two companies together is expected to create exciting new opportunities to participate in the combined company's future growth. We have the best talent in the industry in our respective markets today and, together, that dynamic will be even more powerful. Ruckus and Brocade share a number of product and market synergies, as well as a successful track record of working together on behalf of our mutual customers.

For investors, we believe that bringing Ruckus and Brocade together is a smart investment on several fronts. We expect the acquisition to be accretive to Brocade’s non-GAAP earnings by Q1 FY17. It will add a high-growth product category to Brocade’s networking portfolio and is expected to expand Brocade’s total addressable market (TAM) by $5 billion on day 1, with additional TAM expansion as the OpenG™ in-building wireless opportunity evolves in the next couple of years. The combined company would realize significant product and market synergies that are expected to accelerate Brocade’s revenue and earnings growth. It also aligns very well with both companies’ mobile strategies and positions us to win in emerging opportunities like 5G services, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities, and more.

Today is an exciting day and we’re both energized by the opportunity ahead of us. From our complementary sales and marketing footprints, to the highly synergistic product portfolio, expanded market opportunity, fundamental business accelerators to be realized, expected investment return, and cultural fit of our two companies, Brocade and Ruckus together will be a unique and exemplary leader in networking solutions globally.

Lloyd Carney                                                                      Selina Lo

CEO, Brocade                                                                     President & CEO, Ruckus

For more information:

Additional Information and Where to Find It

The exchange offer referenced in this communication has not yet commenced. This communication is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell shares, nor is it a substitute for any offer materials that Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (“Brocade”) and its acquisition subsidiary will file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  At the time the exchange offer is commenced, Brocade and its acquisition subsidiary will file a tender offer statement on Schedule TO and may later file amendments thereto, Brocade will file a registration statement on Form S-4 and may later file amendments thereto, and Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (“Ruckus”) will file a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 and may later file amendments thereto, in each case, with the SEC with respect to the exchange offer. Brocade and Ruckus may also file other documents with the SEC regarding the transaction. THE EXCHANGE OFFER MATERIALS (INCLUDING AN OFFER TO EXCHANGE, A RELATED LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL AND CERTAIN OTHER EXCHANGE OFFER DOCUMENTS) AND THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. RUCKUS STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THESE DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT HOLDERS OF RUCKUS SECURITIES SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISION REGARDING EXCHANGING THEIR SECURITIES. The Offer to Exchange, the related Letter of Transmittal and certain other exchange offer documents, as well as the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement, will be made available to all holders of Ruckus stock at no expense to them. The exchange offer materials and the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement will be made available for free at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Additional copies may be obtained for free by contacting Brocade’s Investor Relations department at (408) 333-0233 or at IR@Brocade.com. Additional copies of the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement may be obtained for free by contacting Ruckus’ Investor Relations department at 408-469-4659 or at ir@ruckuswireless.com.

In addition to the Offer to Exchange, the related Letter of Transmittal and certain other exchange offer documents, as well as the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement, Brocade and Ruckus file annual, quarterly and current reports and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any reports or other information filed by Brocade and Ruckus at the SEC public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. Brocade’s and Ruckus’ filings with the SEC are also available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ significantly.  All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the expected benefits and costs of the proposed transaction; management plans relating to the proposed transaction; the expected timing of the completion of the proposed transaction; statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of Brocade and Ruckus for future operations; statements concerning the expected development, performance, market share or competitive performance relating to products and services of Brocade, Ruckus or the combined company; statements about expected synergies and market opportunities; statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing.  Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, the ability of the parties to consummate the proposed transaction on a timely basis or at all; the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to consummation of the proposed transaction, including the condition that a majority of Ruckus’ shares be validly tendered into the exchange offer; the ability to secure regulatory approvals on the terms expected at all or in a timely manner; the failure of Brocade to obtain financing to consummate the proposed transaction; the possibility that the expected benefits of the proposed transaction may not materialize as expected; the possibility that, prior to the completion of the proposed transaction, Ruckus’ business may not perform as expected due to transaction-related uncertainty or other factors; the ability of Brocade to successfully integrate Ruckus’ operations; the ability of Brocade to achieve its plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to Ruckus’ business after the completion of the proposed transaction and realize expected synergies; business disruptions following the proposed transaction; and other risks described in Brocade’s and Ruckus’ filings with the SEC, such as their respective Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Reports on Form 10-K.  The forward-looking statements included in this communication are made only as of the date hereof, and Brocade and Ruckus expressly assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements whether as the result of new developments or otherwise.

March 15, 2016

It’s More than Just IoT Security, it’s Security at Scale

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 By: Abhi Maras, Cloudpath Product Line Manager 

 

According to IDC, the global market for Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to reach $7.1 trillion by 2020, and the number of IoT devices is projected to grow from 13 to 30 billion over the next five years*. Many of these IoT devices do and will continue to carry sensitive data.

Those devices need to be securely onboarded and connected.

Why is that challenging? Let’s start with the lack of secure mechanisms available for onboarding and off-boarding. Add to it the fact that IoT devices need to maintain separate network policies not just against user client devices but against themselves due to many device types and applications in play. IoT devices don’t need access to things like file sharing systems that a user/client device would need. While not all things are created equal, recent IoT implementations have treated them as such. For example, the thing controlling the temperature in the break room should be managed differently than the thing powering an oxygen tent in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU).

The good news? These IoT challenges can all be solved. The real challenge is how to solve them at scale.

The best option for addressing scale is certificate-based Wi-Fi security. This type of IoT onboarding allows manufacturers to easily enable secure IoT devices in days or weeks rather than months. By simplifying the availability and adoption of secure IoT devices, it is possible to accelerate onboarding and successfully manage network access without the need for new infrastructure, processes or skills.

Once IoT devices are so secured, the next step is to better enable IT managers in the enterprises that are deploying these IoT devices to control and manage network privileges. This vastly simplifies the adoption of secure IoT devices at scale.

The ideal onboarding technology has the capability to apply specific policies to specific devices, to make the same network cater to users and IT devices while differentiating them and applying different, appropriate policies to all. As a result, mission-critical devices (like that oxygen tent in the ICU) can be treated as such in a hierarchy of permissions set to suit the unique needs of each enterprise via centralized management and control.

For more information about secure IoT onboarding, you can watch a video or attend a webinar.

*According to IDC, by 2018 66 percent of networks will have an IoT security breach.

(Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2016/01/27/internet-of-things-iot-predictions-from-forrester-machina-research-wef-gartner-idc/6/#4bbbbaa72a02)

March 09, 2016

Survey says… Teachers Say Wi-Fi Woes Still found in American K-12 Schools

Richard Nedwich 

By: Richard Nedwich, Global Director of Education 

 

There has never been more Wi-Fi in schools than there is today.  So are teachers feeling empowered or hindered by Wi-Fi in their classrooms?  That’s the question a new survey from EdWeek, sponsored by Ruckus, attempted to uncover. In November 2015, the Education Week Research Center performed a poll; distributed an online survey to 700 self-identified classroom teachers who were randomly sampled from registered users of edweek.org.

BLOG_k-12

The findings

Teachers strongly value the intended use of Wi-Fi for instruction, but the Wi-Fi they have available in their schools is not sufficient for the challenges of the real-world classroom. 

When asked to grade their Wi-Fi, teachers gave their school wireless GPA a ‘C’ average. Needs improvement.

The numbers speak for themselves

While over 90 percent of teachers felt Wi-Fi helped them differentiate instruction and engage students using a wide array of devices, only 63 percent of teachers relied on Wi-Fi daily.

When asked what they actually use the Wi-Fi for, only 29 percent responded they used it for differentiated instruction. In fact, only 15 percent indicated 21st century teaching and learning (e.g., online testing, gamification, flipped classrooms), while 55 percent used Wi-Fi simply for record keeping and grades, and 33 percent used it for emailing parents and students. Administrative vs. teaching.

Why don’t teachers use Wi-Fi more?

70 percent of teachers report their Wi-Fi is unreliable or slow. Distracted students become even more distracted while teachers struggle to get their iPads working or to stream Khan Academy videos.

50 percent of teachers report their Wi-Fi coverage or capacity fails to support even a single connected device per student in each classroom. That constraint makes it hard to differentiate instruction or to provide online assessments, since each student requires his own device to receive his own test or task.

47 percent of teachers reported a day or more of Wi-Fi outages and 18 percent reported a week to a month of Wi-Fi outages in the Fall 2015 semester. Can you design your lesson plan around Wi-Fi outages?

Learn more

Don’t take our word for it, get the full details from EdWeek in the report here.

Or, join us for a live webinar where we’ll discuss the results, and learn some options to improve the wireless GPA at your school.

Class is in session.

February 18, 2016

Shared Spectrum: Now How is THIS Going to Work?

Juan Santiago By: Juan Santiago, Director of Product Management

In my last post we discussed how shared spectrum is a fundamental new enabler for in-building cellular. We also introduced Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), the U.S. shared spectrum scheme that became Part 96 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules in 2015. Now let’s take a look at how CBRS will actually work.

To begin with, CBRS sets aside 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for commercial uses. This band is ideal for indoor coverage and it overlaps with existing cellular bands outside the U.S. As a consequence, 3.5 GHz-capable phones are already in production; this will help to ensure the ready availability of 3.5 GHz-capable phones in the U.S. BLOG_MWC-lrg

As is the case with unlicensed bands in which Wi-Fi devices currently operate, anyone can use CBRS. However, there is a big difference between the two: CBRS is centrally coordinated in order to minimize interference and to maximize spectrum reuse. The result is a better user experience, especially in environments with lots of users in a limited amount of space.

Here’s how that works: every CBRS access point (AP) registers with a central coordination database, called a spectrum access system (SAS). As part of the registration process, each AP provides the SAS with its installed location within +/- 50m (150ft) horizontal and +/- 3m (9ft) vertical. Then, the SAS uses terrain data and radio propagation models to calculate, in real-time, the radio frequency (RF) power density from all other APs in its database to this AP location. If the power density is less than -80 dBm (1-11 watts), then the SAS declares the spectrum unused and the new AP is free to use the spectrum.

Since the U.S. Navy also uses the CBRS band, the SAS will incorporate sensors along the coasts to detect when ships arrive and apply similar calculations to prevent CBRS APs from interfering with radar. Over time, there will also be provisions to purchase additional local protection, or “preferred status,” in crowded environments, such as Times Square in New York City. However, for most indoor applications, we expect that the building owners who have deployed in-building coverage using CBRS will have access to the entire CBRS band at all times.

The following table summarizes key facts about CBRS and compares it to licensed and unlicensed spectrum. As you can see, CBRS is a radical departure from existing spectrum management schemes.

Picture1


Today, Ruckus announced its vision for the future of in-building cellular and will demonstrate OpenG™ technology—utilizing 3.5 GHz shared spectrum—at Mobile World Congress next week. Click here to learn more.

 

 

February 16, 2016

How Shared Spectrum Can Improve In-Building Cellular

BlogImages-SharedSpectrum

 

Juan Santiago By: Juan Santiago, Director of Product Management

You’ve been there before: You popped into a store and wanted to look something up on your smartphone while waiting in line. However, the cell signal shows just one lousy bar. You consider logging on to Wi-Fi but there are multiple inconvenient steps that aren’t worth the hassle while you’re waiting in line. Nope, you’ll just wait to go back outside and go somewhere else next time.

Why can’t Wi-Fi be as simple as pulling the phone out of your pocket, like cellular? Or, better yet, why can’t cellular just be everywhere Wi-Fi is, including deep inside buildings? The answer lies in a little-known fact about cellular: Your phone company owns the right to use the cellular airwaves everywhere, even if, as in the example above, it’s not actually using them where you happen to be. 

You may think that the store, realizing that you may never come back, would be willing to spend a little cash for better cell service, but it can’t. The store doesn’t own the right to use the airwaves inside its walls, thus it must work with each phone company individually to convince them to install a new tower nearby or some newfangled piece of equipment within the premises. The process takes months, and only if the phone company also sees a benefit to its own bottom line. There’s got to be a better way.

Folks who regulate airwaves are becoming aware of this problem and are coming up with radical new solutions. One scheme, known as coordinated shared spectrum (CSS), allows others to use the airwaves at a particular time in a particular location if the primary owner—typically, the phone company—is not. In 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a new set of rules for the 3.5 GHz cellular band, turning it from an exclusive licensed band to a shared licensed band using a CSS scheme. FCC officials call it the “innovation band,” but its formal name is Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).

What makes CBRS interesting is that it enables building owners to install miniature, Wi-Fi-like boxes that use the same airwaves and the same technology as your cell phone. This means that your phone will work indoors exactly like it does outdoors, moving in and out of cell coverage without manually looking for open networks or entering passwords. Voice calls ring and SMS texts reach you, just like on the phone company network, and without them spending a dime to make it happen.

In the next few years, this service will become available so that the next time you visit that store (or hotel, sports venue, etc.) you will have great cellular service without any effort.