November 15, 2021
By Eric A. McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group & GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation
I vividly remember my early days at Intel and having to carry an ethernet cable with me throughout the day to connect my laptop to ports in my cube, conference rooms, and even the cafeteria. Then Intel® Centrino™ laptops helped us unwire our computing experiences with embedded Wi-Fi cards, and Intel corporate networks made Wi-Fi nearly ubiquitous across campus. Over the years, advancements in Wi-Fi technology have helped accelerate digital transformation as Intel, like many companies, turned to Wi-Fi as the primary network to enable robust and consistent connectivity, cost savings, and enhanced user convenience.
This year, businesses have significantly increased their Wi-Fi investments. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC*), Q2’21 saw +22% YOY enterprise Wi-Fi market growth which was also +10% greater than the pre-pandemic levels of Q2’19. This growth has been mostly fueled by demand for newer Wi-Fi 6 products, which enable increased capacity, lower latency, and faster speed. This Wi-Fi transition is expected to accelerate with the recent introduction of Wi-Fi 6E, which extends operation into new 6 GHz spectrum with additional high-speed channels and freedom from legacy Wi-Fi interference. Earlier this year, the Wi-Fi Alliance highlighted IDC* expectations that Wi-Fi 6 will be nearly 80% of all Wi-Fi product shipments within the next two years, and that Wi-Fi 6E is expected to be 20% of these shipments by 2022.
We now depend on Wi-Fi more than ever in our daily professional routines for basic internet and email, to access our cloud applications and data, and to effectively connect and communicate with our colleagues and customers. To meet the increasing demands on wireless, Intel has worked across the industry standards and certification bodies to continually improve PC Wi-Fi connectivity. However, despite all this effort over multiple years, Wi-Fi connections are still subject to real world challenges, and sometimes issues occur that impact corporate user network access.
When users experience Wi-Fi connectivity challenges, they often quickly turn to corporate IT support for help to get back online. However, Wi-Fi issues can often be complex and difficult for IT to remotely resolve. In the business world, time is money and the amount of time it takes for Wi-Fi issue resolution not only has costs associated with lost user productivity, but also costs associated with the amount of time IT resources are engaged in diagnosing and fixing problems.
To help address these challenges, Intel and Cisco, leaders in business PC Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi infrastructure, are excited to announce our latest collaboration, Intel® Connectivity Analytics. This new feature enables Intel® processor-based PCs, configured with Intel® Wi-Fi 6 or new Wi-Fi 6E solutions, to exchange client-side insights in addition to local network metrics with Cisco and Meraki Wi-Fi 6 and future Wi-Fi 6E access points. This data can help IT efficiently manage Intel PCs, address network related issues, and improve user support experiences proactively.
Intel and Cisco have a more than a decade long history of partnership to help enable high-quality end-to-end connectivity experiences. Intel® Connectivity Analytics is yet another example which helps Intel® PCs with Intel® Wi-Fi to work better together with Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure. This initial release is expected to deliver real value to IT organizations and corporate WLAN users, and our Intel® Wi-Fi team looks forward to continued Cisco collaboration to help evolve these capabilities with a joint roadmap of future enhancements.
For more information on Intel® Connectivity Analytics please check out this related blog (LINK) from our friends at Cisco.
About Eric A. McLaughlin
Eric McLaughlin is a vice president in the Client Computing Group (CCG) and general manager of the Wireless Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. McLaughlin focuses on delivering wireless solutions, including Wi-Fi, WWAN, Bluetooth, and WiGig.
McLaughlin is a 19-year Intel veteran with 15 of those years in in wireless where he held roles in market and business development, product planning, and marketing and product line management. He started his career at Intel in the NBG and NBI groups doing business development for Intel startup businesses in media streaming, ASICs, and WiMAX. He also served as operations manager in NBI and held roles in CCG leading the Customer Marketing team.
Prior to joining Intel in 2000, McLaughlin held multiple management positions in the computer/technology industry including leading IT for a civil engineering company, GM for a computer VAR, VP for a technology cabling company, and as president/CEO for a startup network design and implementation company all in the Seattle, WA area.
McLaughlin is a graduate of Brigham Young University.
*Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.
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