Become an Expert in Wireless IoT

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If you are familiar with the CWNE-Certified Wireless Network Expert certification program, it is mainly for WiFi technology. It is one of the most respected (due to technical depth + vendor-neutral approach) certification program in the market and around 400+ individuals certified as CWNEs so far (Oct 2020). To be a CWNE, you have to complete 4 exams (1 Associate level + 3 Professional Level exams) & then go through the CWNE application process.

CWNA – Certified Wireless Network Administrator
CWAP – Certified Wireless Analysis Professional
CWSP – Certified Wireless Security Professional
CWDP – Certified Wireless Design Professional
CWNE – Certified Wireless Network Expert

Recently CWNP announced, a new certification program for Wireless IoT technologies. This track also has a similar framework to CWNE where you have to complete 4 exams and expert level certification status (CWISE-Certified Wireless IoT Solution Expert) can be obtained through an application process like CWNE. Here is a good introductory video by CWNP for this track. Here is steps toward CWISE status.

CWISA – Certified Wireless IoT Solutions Administrator
CWICP – Certified Wireless IoT Connectivity Professional
CWIIP – Certified Wireless IoT Integration Professional
CWIDP – Certified Wireless IoT Design Professional (will announce in 2021) 
CWISE – Certified Wireless IoT Solutions Expert (will announce in 2021)

In this program, only 3 exams officially announced as of Oct 2020. CWIDP & CWISE will be announced within 2021. During the recent WFT2020 (Wireless Technical Forum) & CWNP gave an update about the whole program and you can find it here.

If you are a WiFi professional, I am sure you have been asked to look at some Wireless IoT technologies in the recent past. Therefore you may familiar with some of those wireless IoT technologies.

In high-level, these Wireless IoT technologies fall into two main categories. Note that all these wireless IoT technologies provide low data rates, hence it is clearly used for different use cases compare to WiFi & Cellular technology which is high-rate wireless technologies.

  1. LR-WPAN (Low Rate Wireless Personal Area Network)
    IEEE 802.15.4- eg Zigbee, Z-wave, WirelessHART, 6LoWPAN
  2. LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network )
    LoRaWAN, Sigfox,NBIoT

Below shows a diagram highlighting wireless IoT technologies covered in the CWNP IoT certification track.

Here is a high-level breakdown of those individual certifications.

CWISA
You will be introduced to the basic concepts of IoT in this certification. Here is the complete blueprint of this certification. Here are the high-level topics covered in this certification.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Cellular Solutions (LTE, LTE-U, 5G, CBRS)
  • Machine to Machine Communications (M2M)
  • Zigbee
  • Location Services
  • Wired-Side Supporting Technologies
  • High-Level Awareness of APIs and Automation/Integration Concepts
  • Project and Program Management Specific to Wireless Solutions Projects

Once you complete, your CWISA, you can choose any professional level exam (Design, Connectivity, Integration) to do next.

CWIIP
In CWIIP certification, you will cover the below topics. Here is a link to exam objectives if you are interested. Link provided to some of CWNP videos related to given topics.

  • Wireless IoT higher layer protocols like MQTT, CoAP, DDS, and AMQP
  • Security solutions used within IoT integration projects
  • Database systems and the role they play in integration projects
  • Systems development using APIs, programming, and libraries
  • Python programming fundamentals (CWNPTV-Python Intro Course)
  • IoT libraries available for Python
  • Solid requirements engineering skills
  • Implementation, monitoring, and maintenance best practices

CWICP
You will learn more about (PHY/MAC) of these wireless IoT protocols in CWICP certification. It is more like CWAP – Certified Wireless Analysis Professional if you are familiar with it. Here are the high-level topics covered in this certification. I have linked some useful presentations given during the WTF2020 conference about these protocols. It could be a starting point if you are interested & here is the link to complete exam objective. 

The first official CWICP Bootcamp conducted during the recent WTF2020 conference and I was lucky enough to be part of it (Thank you to CWNP for free Bootcamp offering to CWNT instructors).

Even though I got my CWICP certification, I feel I am lacking practical experience in these wireless IoT technologies, so I am going to spend more time learning these protocols and going to share my notes with you.

  1. Explore use cases for Cisco 9130 IoT in the campus environment (Here is a good video about IoT application hosting with Cisco AP)
  2. Build a Wireless IoT home lab ( I will do a separate post once I build my home lab)
  3. Work with University to develop IoT lab facility
  4. Develop a road map for bringing IoT technologies to the University networks secure manner.