Lee H. Badman

Network Computing Blogger

Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

More Events »

Subscribe to Newsletter

  • Keep up with all of the latest news and analysis on the fast-moving IT industry with Network Computing newsletters.
Sign Up

See more from this blogger

11ac Does Not Equal 5G

Smartphones came of age in a world dominated by 3G networks, when people used smartphones to make calls. (How quaint.) Internet connectivity was OK but not great, and users had to tolerate occasional delay or page timeouts.

Now 4G, which offers double-digit Mbps throughput, has elevated the mobile Internet a from second-class citizen to a first-class connectivity option. Watch any mobile carrier's commercials and you'll hear a lot of claims about their 4G networks. Most consumers don't know what 4G means, other than it's one higher than 3G, and therefore must be better.

More Insights


More >>

White Papers

More >>


More >>

But as I pointed out in a previous column, carriers and customers alike are currently living a cozy little lie about having "4G" networks and devices.

By definition, we'd have to see 100 Mbps when mobile and 1 Gbps when stationary to be 4G. We're not going to see that kind of performance anytime soon out of the likes of AT&T and Verizon. But LTE, EV-DO, DC-HSPA+ and WiMax are among the magical techniques that push performance beyond 3G, so we're all OK calling these technologies 4G. But 4G they are not.

Does it even matter? If groupthink on 4G marketing works for everyone, why point out the technical inaccuracies? Well, when marketing gets an inch, it sometimes goes looking for a mile.

Case in point is 5G. As 4G wireless networks continue to be turned up around the United States and abroad, it only makes sense that what comes next is being designed. And what comes after 4G in the mobile space would likely be called 5G, right? It would appear so, based on a growing number of articles regarding new mobile initiatives going on around the world.

The G moniker has long been associated with mobile carriers. From 1G's analog signaling through 2G, 3G and 4G, if it ended with G you knew that we were talking cellular as opposed to Wi-Fi.

For whatever reason, wireless giant Broadcom has embarked on an odd marketing campaign. With the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, expected to be formalized later in the year, Broadcom has taken the 5G handle and tied it to Wi-Fi. Broadcom proclaims "5G Wi-Fi is the next generation Wi-Fi standard."

If I were a soccer referee, I would hand Broadcom a red card at this point. Sure, nobody owns the 5G term, and 11ac is arguably the fifth major generation of Wi-Fi networking, but referring to the pending 802.11ac standard as 5G introduces unnecessary confusion. Leave the G stuff to the mobile side of the industry, stick with 11ac on the Wi-Fi side, and let's not make things stranger than they already are.

Related Reading

Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.
Vendor Comparisons
Network Computing’s Vendor Comparisons provide extensive details on products and services, including downloadable feature matrices. Our categories include:

Research and Reports

Network Computing: April 2013

TechWeb Careers