Seminar to fill WLAN learning gap

A national series of Wireless LAN seminars has been structured to provide insights into the radio frequency aspects of WLANs, and focus on the practical side of their design and implementation.

The two-day seminars, called Engineering the air segment of Wireless LANs (WiFi), will be conducted by Nufer Day and Associates (NDA) and held in all major cities over the next five months.

NDA's principal engineer and course presenter, Kerry Nufer, said he designed the course to fill the knowledge gap he had noticed when it came to the radio frequency aspect of WLANs.

"Whilst most IT personnel are well versed in servers, routing and the security side of networks, the radio frequency aspects of WLANs may be foreign and this may impede their interpretation of the wireless aspects," Nufer said.

Nufer said that he first noticed the knowledge gap when guest lecturing at the Queensland University of Technology six years ago.

"It became clear that not many students were interested in the radio frequency branch of electrical engineering. I asked for a show of hands and there were fewer than 12 people in a group of 100 that were at all interested in this field," he said.

This lack of knowledge exists even though wireless has become increasingly prominent over the last few years, and will continue to increase in importance with emerging technologies like WiMax, Nufer said.

"Even though products like wireless access points and adaptor cards have become a commodity item, installations often fail because users do not understand the practical application of radio," he said.

"Limited radio spectrum, interference, a proliferation of wireless devices and the increasing prevalence of recreational hackers have complicated the wireless scene enormously."

Topics to be covered in the seminar include the basic RF theory and its application to WLAN; integrating RF into WLAN security model; mitigation of left-field events like interference; coping with spectrum congestion and WLAN troubleshooting and management strategies.

The seminar will cost $1485, but there is an early bird discount of $220 and places are limited to about 50 in each city.

The first seminar will run in Brisbane at the Novotel on February 22. It will then travel to the Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Launceston, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Alice Springs. For more information see http://www.nda-engineers.com.

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