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LitePoint’s Eve Danel is the author of this blog. In this post, you’ll learn about the latest Bluetooth specifications and new test requirements for Bluetooth 5.1.

In 2010, Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) was introduced with the Bluetooth 4.0 standard. Compared to previous generations of Bluetooth, which were known as classic, Bluetooth LE operates at lower power, increasing the battery life of host devices. In 2016, the Bluetooth 5 standard was introduced, doubling the data rate and increasing the operation range. Bluetooth 5.1 was released in 2019, adding direction-finding enhancements that enable location tracking applications.

Bluetooth 5.1 Use Cases

With the direction-finding enhancements in Bluetooth 5.1, the technology is able to provide GPS-like positioning capabilities but operating indoors. The use cases for this type of technology range from asset tracking to locating people in buildings, indoor direction finding, object tracking, among others. And this wide range of use cases can be applied in nearly every market vertical including industrial, medical, retail, hospitality, enterprise, home or transportation.

RSSI-Based Proximity Sensing

Bluetooth is already a popular technology for proximity sensing using Bluetooth beacons. In this method, the locator estimates distance using the received signal strength indicator (RSSI) value, which represents the strength of the signal that is measured on the locator’s receiver. RSSI is used to estimate the distance between a transmitter and a receiver. Knowing the transmitter’s power, it’s possible to estimate the location of an item by measuring signal attenuation.

Figure 1: RSSI based method

RSSI only provides a crude estimation of distance because this method is biased by the environment. Obstacles between the transmitter and receiver that provides attenuation – a crowd of people for example can add significant attenuation to the signal and therefore decrease the accuracy of the distance estimate. In addition, the RSSI method can only detect that the device is located somewhere in a circular zone around the receiver as shown in Figure 1 above as it doesn’t provide information about the position.  By deploying multiple locators and using signal trilateration, it is possible to locate the device with more accuracy, but it also increases the complexity of the system.

Increasing Accuracy with Angle of Arrival and Angle of Departure

Bluetooth 5.1 increases the accuracy of the RSSI method by providing angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD) information.

AoA is designed for use in applications like asset tracking, where a moving AoA transmitter (a mobile phone for example) is sending Bluetooth LE direction-finding signals using a single antenna, and a fixed AoA receiver (for example installed on the ceiling) is equipped with an antenna array with a minimum of two antennas. The array is used to determine the direction of the transmitter by using the phase differences between the antenna. The angle of arrival determination is based on the signal’s wavelength, the distance between antenna and the phase of the received signal.

Figure 2: AoA method

AoD is designed for use in applications like wayfinding for indoor navigation. Where the AoD receiver (for example a phone) receives the direction-finding signal transmitted by the fixed AoD transmitter (for example installed on the ceiling) that is equipped with an antenna array with a minimum of two antennas. Just like AOA, the angle is determined by using the signal’s phase information.

Figure 3: AoD method

Bluetooth 5.1 Constant Tone Extension (CTE)

To enable AoA and AoD, the signal’s phase must be measured. For direction finding, Bluetooth 5.1 core specification adds a constant tone extension (CTE) field that is a sequence of bits with a variable duration from 16 microseconds to 160 microseconds. CTE is only supported for Bluetooth LE operating at rates of 1 Mbps, which is mandatory, or, optionally, 2 Mbps. The CTE field contains a series of modulated 1 bits which must be transmitted at one frequency with a constant wavelength in order to measure the phase of the receive signal. Thus, the signal is not subject to whitening, a process that scrambles signals to ensure there will be no long strings of 1s or 0s.

Figure 4: CTE

How is Bluetooth 5.1 Tested?

The key to a successful technology introduction for location services is how accurately the location can be measured, BT 5.1 aims to provide a sub one-meter level of accuracy. Validation of the solution plays an important role in ensuring the system’s performance.

The Bluetooth SIG has updated the Bluetooth PHY test specifications to include validation of these new direction-finding capabilities. New test cases were added for transmitter and receiver tests for AoA and AoD methods, and the various combinations of Bluetooth data rates that are supported in 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps, as well as the 1 microsecond and 2 microsecond switching and sampling times that are supported in the standard. Overall, there are 23 new test cases that were added to the PHY tests to cover AoA and AoD.

CTE is a new concept for Bluetooth and the test cases are designed to ensure that it can be properly generated by the transmitter. On the receiver side, it’s important to ensure that the IQ measurements on the receiver CTE can be used to accurately derive the phase of the signal.

Figure 5: Complete AoA and AoD test setup

Figure 5 above shows a complete test setup for AoA and AoD transmitter and receiver testing. LitePoint’s IQxel-MW 7G supports the new direction-finding test cases. LitePoint also offers IQfact+ software packages that provide completely automated DUT and tester control for leading Bluetooth 5.1 chipsets.

AoA Transmitter and Receiver Testing

In an AoA transmitter (typically a mobile device), the device has only a single antenna and the CTE field is transmitted continuously without switching at the end of the PDUs. On the received signal, the tester verifies the maximum peak and average power of the CTE signal as well as the carrier frequency offset and the carrier drift of these transmitted signals.

The AoA receiver is more complex because it has multiple antennas and a switch, so when receiving the CTE signal transmitted by the tester, the receiver will switch between the multiple antennas in the array according to a predetermined pattern. The time of the switching is either 1 microsecond or 2 microseconds as defined in the standard. The DUT also samples the received CTE during the allocated sampling slot’s timing of 1 microsecond or 2 microseconds as defined in the standard. The IQ samples taken by the DUT are transmitted to the tester for analysis to ensure that the phase measurements are within specs.

AoD Receiver and Transmitter Testing

An AoD receiver (mobile device with single antenna) needs to sample the received CTE signal at the correct sampling slots. To verify this, the IQ samples that are taken by the DUT are transmitted to the tester for processing and analysis. Just like with the AoA receiver test, this test verifies that the phase values derived from the sampling are within specs.

AoD transmitter devices have an antenna array with a minimum of 2 antennas, therefore the transmitter test verifies that the antenna switching occurs during the proper allotted slots of the CTE and the proper switching pattern within antenna array.

Please visit the IQxel-MW 7G and IQfact+ pages for more information on LitePoint’s test solutions for Bluetooth 5.1.

For more information download our application note on Testing BT 5.1 or download the replay of our webinar on this topic.

Privately funded service provider excites subscribers and meets pent-up demand in underserved communities across Western Canada with end-to-end Calix solutions that deliver popular premium managed Wi-Fi services over a lightning-fast network—dramatically growing its value in one yea

SAN JOSE, CA – August 5, 2021 – Calix, Inc (NYSE: CALX) announced today that Northern Lights Fiber, a newly created brand under fiber network builder, owner, operator, and service provider Canadian Fiber Optics (CFOC), is signing up premium managed Wi-Fi subscribers at a record pace with the end-to-end capabilities of the Revenue EDGE and Intelligent Access EDGE solutions. Specifically, excited residents across rural Alberta communities are embracing the extensive set of parental controls available via ExperienceIQ and the home network security of ProtectIQ—two value-added EDGE Suites applications delivered via Northern WiFi, the branded version of the CommandIQ® mobile app. These add-on offerings are boosting average revenue per user (ARPU) projections by 25 percent in the pre-sales stage alone and before most of the fiber broadband networks are even built in these communities—satisfying pent-up demand for these popular services in previously underserved areas. Northern Lights Fiber’s new XGS-PON fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network builds will leverage the Network Innovation Platform (AXOS®) and the Intelligent Access EDGE to streamline operations—including rapid back-office integration—and deliver an Always On experience. As a result, Northern Lights Fiber will roll out service in the community of Valleyview later this summer with speeds up to 10 Gigabit, making it Canada’s fastest residential internet service.

Northern Lights Fiber was founded in 2020 as a subsidiary of CFOC to specifically serve rural and remote residential as well as small and medium-sized business customers. Following the rapid, five-month buildout of its fiber broadband network in the community of Grande Cache, Northern Lights Fiber began rolling out its three tiers of managed Wi-Fi service offerings to residents. Each tier includes the blazing-fast GigaSpire® BLAST u6 Wi-Fi 6 system, which is powered by the Experience Innovation Platform to enable rapid installation and deployment that reduce both capital and operating expenses.

To further grow its value, Northern Lights Fiber is selling EDGE Suites cloud applications as add-ons for a nominal monthly fee. Alternatively, subscribers can upgrade to its Experience package, which offers both ExperienceIQ, ProtectIQ, and a GigaSpire BLAST u4 system for use as a Wi-Fi mesh extender. To date, the Experience package boasts a 40 percent take rate, and Northern Lights Fiber expects to double the number of customers who sign up for at least one other add-on service by the end of the year. The same pricing structure applies to the Alberta municipalities of Valleyview, Wembley, and several other rural communities—where construction of the Calix-powered fiber broadband networks is either underway or scheduled to begin soon and pre-sales demand for these services is driving up ARPU projections.

“It’s not a typical strategy—but we’re not a typical company,” said Johann Reimer, director of marketing and sales for both Northern Lights Fiber and Canadian Fiber Optics. “We are a privately funded, fiber-first organization that is deeply embedded in and committed to investing in our communities. We are simply dedicated to helping residents and businesses in rural Canada realize the significant economic and social benefits of broadband internet, and Calix has enabled us to get to market quickly with a compelling offering that resonates with subscribers across the province.”

In addition to EDGE Suites, which some Calix customers are using to achieve up to 99 percent uptake of their premium managed Wi-Fi services, Northern Lights Fiber is also in the process of implementing Calix Support Cloud and Calix Marketing Cloud. Support Cloud will give Northern Lights Fiber full visibility of its subscribers’ network experience, simplifying customer support, reducing and quickly resolving trouble tickets, and decreasing unnecessary truck rolls by up to 60 percent. Marketing Cloud provides advanced, data-driven insights that will allow Northern Lights Fiber to segment, target, and offer services that excite subscribers and drive new revenue opportunities.

“Northern Lights Fiber is an innovator that is shaking up the service provider landscape in rural Canada,” said Alan Lieff, vice president of sales for Calix. “By partnering with Calix on everything from cutting-edge fiber infrastructure to advanced subscriber-facing solutions, Northern Lights Fiber is well on its way to achieving its 80 percent take rate goal and delivering Canada’s fastest residential internet service by the end of the year. The combined value of the integrated Intelligent Access EDGE and Revenue EDGE solutions will help Northern Lights Fiber grow its value for years to come, exciting subscribers across rural Alberta with popular services at incredibly high speeds and putting them firmly in control of their connected home experience.”

Learn more about EDGE Suites and view a replay of our recent webinar, “How to Offer the Premium Services That Subscribers Want.”

About Calix
Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) – Calix cloud and software platforms enable service providers of all types and sizes to innovate and transform. Our customers utilize the real-time data and insights from Calix platforms to simplify their businesses and deliver experiences that excite their subscribers. The resulting growth in subscriber acquisition, loyalty, and revenue creates more value for their businesses and communities. This is the Calix mission; to enable broadband service providers of all sizes to simplify, excite, and grow.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release, except as required by law. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations based on risks and uncertainties affecting Calix’s business. The reader is cautioned not to rely on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information on potential factors that could affect Calix’s results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov.

PHOENIX – Aug. 5, 2021 — ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON) today revealed its new trade name “onsemi” and refreshed brand as a next step in the company’s evolution to establish itself as the leading provider of intelligent power and sensing technologies. With a continued focus on the automotive and industrial end-markets, onsemi has sharpened its strategy to drive disruptive innovation that contributes to a sustainable ecosystem of high-growth megatrends such as vehicle electrification, advanced safety, alternative energy and factory automation.

Today, the industrial and automotive end-markets are responsible for two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, providing an immense opportunity for onsemi to do its part in achieving a net-zero economy with its intelligent power and sensing technologies. Climate change presents not only a risk to the environment, but also opportunities for innovative business solutions, and onsemi is committed to applying its research and design expertise and adapting its own operations to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

Under the new tagline, “Intelligent Technology. Better Future.”, onsemi plans to break through traditional thinking and market barriers to create innovative and game-changing solutions that solve customers’ most difficult design challenges, and support their achievement of their own climate initiatives, propelling the sustainable energy revolution. onsemi’s value proposition includes a unique combination of deep systems knowledge, technology leadership, and industry-leading manufacturing and packaging proficiency.

“We have spent the last several months focusing the strategy, and realigning our product portfolio and investments to deliver market-leading and differentiated technologies to our customers,” said Hassane El-Khoury, CEO and president at onsemi. “We are creating intelligent power and sensing technologies to enable our customers’ success, drive a better future for next generations and create value for our shareholders, always with an eye on sustainability to make the world a better place for everyone.”

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Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “intends,” “plans,” “should,” or “anticipates,” and similar expressions. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made based on ON Semiconductor’s current expectations, forecasts, estimates and assumptions, and involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are contained in ON Semiconductor’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other of ON Semiconductor’s filings with the SEC. ON Semiconductor assumes no obligation to update such information, except as may be required by law.

X Reality (XR), short for extended reality, is the convergence of physical world and digital world experiences. XR is used to describe immersive applications including augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR) – used to enhance or simulate real-life experiences. XR technologies extend the reality we experience by either merging the virtual and real worlds or by creating fully immersive experiences.

Deployment of XR applications in education, healthcare, and industrial settings are contributing to strong momentum for XR, with the market expected to grow from $33 billion to $125 billion by 20261. Virtual reality alone has seen a 224% growth since October 20192 as more people upgraded their smart entertainment devices to provide more immersive experiences while working, learning, and socializing from home.

Wi-Fi® will have a significant impact on delivering the full potential of the XR market, providing high-performance connectivity for augmented, mixed, and virtual reality. Work is now underway in Wi-Fi Alliance® to promote innovation and further boost Wi-Fi to deliver connectivity that will help build connections between physical and digital worlds. Recently, Wi-Fi Alliance hosted an XR Opportunity for Wi-Fi discussion featuring panelists from Cisco, Facebook Reality Labs, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. Panelists shared insight into the benefits of Wi-Fi for XR devices, while also acknowledging some of the challenges that lie ahead. Key insights from the discussion include:

Extended reality is transforming our daily lives. New XR use cases for education, healthcare, and business will allow students, medical professionals, and employees to have more impactful, personal, and unique experiences.

Panelist Bruno Cendon Martin, Director of Wireless Technologies at Facebook Reality Labs, believes that there are three walls in XR: the physical, the augmented, and the virtual. The physical is what we experience in day-to-day life. The augmented wall is one with layers. A virtual wall is one that “transcends time and space” and allows you to transition back in forth between realities. Development of new technologies, including portal systems and other Wi-Fi devices, will enable users to be transported through technology and gain a physical presence in another location. Wi-Fi visual headsets and other innovations on the horizon will allow users to be fully immersed in an entirely different world without leaving their home.

Wi-Fi will improve the infrastructure of XR. Advancements coming to Wi-Fi will help build connections across the physical and digital worlds. Panelist Dr. Shirin Ebrahimi-Taghizadeh, Principal Software Engineering Lead for Wireless and Embedded Systems at Microsoft shared that enabling services and solutions extremely relies on having a very stable and low latency wireless solutionWi-Fi technologies, such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E will help provide connectivity to satisfy these demands. Microsoft’s Azure Remote Rendering, for example, allows designs to come to life for developers wanting to collaborate and see the richness of details without physically creating a prototype. Wi-Fi will further allow companies to produce products that surpasses the boundaries of physical limitations.

XR will have a strong impact beyond the workspace. Matt MacPherson, CTO of Wireless at Cisco, points to XR’s impact on various types of education systems, including elementary education, higher education, and health education. With XR becoming the forefront for many teaching efforts, testing and other educational practices are being revolutionized. VR-type implementations, for example, allow students to look at the same image and learn in the same way without needing to be in the same physical location. As XR capabilities grow exponentially, advancements will further advance this use case and allow for more education possibilities. Educators expect a bright future for Virtual Environment Technology (VET) because of the increasing need for tools that will help ease the process of learning and bring it closer to the students’ interests.

Wi-Fi can deliver high-quality, wireless XR experiences. Shishir Gupta, Product Director of XR Connectivity, 6G, and Wireless Positioning at Qualcomm believes that premium XR experiences require high-performance Wi-Fi for four main reasons. The first is low-latency for responsive and lag-free experiences. The second is extreme reliability with advanced features and optimization for sustained XR-class performance. The third is power efficiency to assist rapid and efficient data transfers with advanced power save features. Finally, multi-gigabit speeds allow for instantaneous, massive data exchange which is necessary in XR.

There are attractive opportunities for XR driven by consumer, education, healthcare, and industrial applications. Wi-Fi is already a strong technology player in these markets, making it a natural choice for the future of XR. Wi-Fi Alliance members are working to further the role of Wi-Fi in XR and are working closely with the XR ecosystem to deliver key Wi-Fi applications for augmented, mixed, and virtual reality. Companies involved in developing Wi-Fi solutions for the XR space are encouraged to get involved in Wi-Fi Alliance to help propel the industry forward.

To balance the English learning resources between urban and rural area, the Education Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government has invested in the creation of the “Kaohsiung English Van”, which breaks geographical restrictions and provides mobile teaching services to make up for the lack of English education resources in rural areas. The Kaohsiung English Van is equipped with advanced information equipment. Teachers can utilize VR and live broadcast to create a smart and interactive learning environment, a l l owing rural students to practice English dialogue naturally, expanding the effectiveness of educational resources, and promoting bilingual and international education.

THE CHALLENGES

To ensure that all the information equipment on the Kaohsiung English Van can operate smoothly in remote areas, and that students and teachers can have a stable internet connection for smart mobile teaching. After comprehensively evaluating several competing WLAN solutions, the Education Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government found that Edgecore Network’s WLAN solution best fulfilled their needs.

THE SOLUTION

Edgecore’s solution includes two OAP100 to provide 4G Uplink and point-to-point bridging up to 3 km. OAP100 is an 11ac Wave2 outdoor wireless access point specially designed for enterprise and Public Wireless Local Area Network (PWLAN) application. The transmission rate can reach 1.2 Gbps, providing high-speed and stable wireless network access. With the built-in CAT4 LTE module slot, OAP100 provides a smooth and high-performance network connection through the 4G LTE network card. The built-in chip-type high-power wireless amplifier can enhance the signal stability and improve the latency, and significantly enhance throughput performance, making OAP100 the best choice for long-distance bridging required for mobile teaching. In addition, the IP68-rated, rust-resistant plastic housing of OAP100 ensures that it can provide stable network services to support mobile teaching regardless of the weather.

The solution also includes an ECW5410-L as an in-vehicle wireless access point to provide local wireless access. ECW5410-L is a concurrent dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2 high-density access point. Featuring dual 4×4 MU-MIMO radios can support up to 256 concurrent users, and up to 600 Mbps and 1.73 Gbps data rates for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, ensuring that teachers and students can enjoy smooth and reliable connection at the same time .

With ecCLOUD cloud controller, IT managers can centrally monitor the overall network environment, reduce the complexity and difficulty of deployment and management, and reduce labor and cost expenditures, greatly improving the overall effectiveness of the mobile teaching network.

School’s IT infrastructure is extremely important for digital learning and teaching. Through the cooperation, Edgecore has successfully assisted the Education Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government to lay a solid foundation for a smart learning environment with the Kaohsiung English VAN. As to stimulate the learning momentum of the new generation. In addition to Taiwan, Edgecore also has extensive experience in building large-scale campus networks in the United States, India, Turkey and other countries, and continues to assist educational institutions to create the best learning environment through technological innovation.

DEPLOYED PRODUCTS

  • ecCLOUD Cloud Controller
  • OAP100 11ac Wave 2 IP68 Outdoor Wireless Access Point
  • ECW5410-L 11ac Wave 2 Indoor Wireless Access Point
  • ECS2100-10P Gigabit Web-smart Pro PoE Switches

About Edgecore Networks
Edgecore Networks Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corporation, the leading networking ODM. Edgecore Networks delivers wired and wireless networking products and solutions through channel partners and system integrators worldwide for data center, service provider, enterprise, and SMB customers. Edgecore Networks is the leader in open networking, providing a full line of open 1G-400G Ethernet OCP Accepted™ switches, core routers, cell site gateways, virtual PON OLTs, optical packet transponders, and Wi-Fi access points that offer choice of commercial and open source NOS and SDN software.
For more information, visit wifi.edge-core.com or contact [email protected].

octoBox software 2.0 brings new dashboard mode, improved graphics and multiPerf® traffic tool

Littleton, Massachusetts, July 29, 2021 – octoScope, a Spirent company and the leader in accurate, repeatable and automated wireless personal testbeds, today announced the release of octoBox software 2.0, a new version of the web user interface (UI) that controls octoBox testbeds.To serve the rapid growth in work-from-home requirements and ever-accelerating demand for streaming entertainment services, the need for increasingly sophisticated Wi-Fi features such as OFDMA, MU-MIMO, mesh Wi-Fi and BSS has grown sharply. The ability to test these features before they can be launched to the market is vital.The innovative octoBox software 2.0 brings important productivity updates that will reduce the time needed for testing. A new dashboard mode allows engineers to create test scenarios more easily, while better data visualization and plots make the results easier to interpret and communicate. Upgrades in octoScope’s multiPerf traffic generator make it possible to test with any device, while also adding improvements in the ability to measure delay and jitter. Tight synchronization of instruments in the testbed allow measurements of one-way delay along with in-depth statistics showing how that delay and other parameters vary over time.

The new software leverages the power of parallel databuses and processing built into all the octoBox testbeds, allowing them to be used for emulation of multipoint-to-multipoint test scenarios involving dozens of real devices, while providing real-time feedback of the test progress and results.

Fanny Mlinarsky, founder of octoScope, and Senior Vice President of Wi-Fi Products at Spirent, said “octoBox software 2.0 greatly improves the productivity of the wireless test engineer and solidifies octoScope’s position as the easiest to use testbed in the Wi-Fi industry.”

octoScope is a Spirent company.

What is Wi-Fi Roaming?

Have you ever wondered how your WiFi connection follows you around the building? This useful networking feature is called Roaming. WiFi roaming occurs when a wireless client device moves outside the usable range of one router or access point (AP) and connects to a different one. The client device automatically switches from one router (or access point) to another extender or mesh access point as needed to provide seamless connectivity. In this ideal scenario, you will not experience the inconvenience of choppy video calls and low download speeds when walking from one side of a building to another.

How does WiFi Roaming work?

In theory, WiFi roaming works similarly to cell phone roaming. You need to have multiple access points throughout the building – be it a hospital, school, workplace, etc., so that as soon as you’re near the outer limits of one of the access point’s range, your device is already in the range of another. In order to work seamlessly, all of the WiFi access points in the network need to be configured to use the same SSID (or network name) and the same login credentials.

However, WiFi roaming is decided by the client device, like your cellphone or laptop. WiFi Standards organizations (e.g. IEEE802.11 and WiFi Alliance) do not specify when or how a client device should roam. The wireless client device is responsible for deciding if it needs to roam and then detecting, evaluating, and roaming to another access point. There are 3 phases to this process:

  1. Scanning: As the signal strength weakens as you move away from a point, the client device sends out probe packets to identify possible alternative access points. The device then selects its next access point based on the specifications of the device itself.
  2. Authentication: The client device sends a request to the selected access point to be authenticated and awaits a response from the new access point that will either accept or reject it.
  3. Re-association:  When (and if) the access point accepts the client device’s request, the client device sends yet another request, this time a re-association one. When the re-association is complete, the new access point sends out a disassociation packet to the former access point. The old access point is then disconnected, and the routing tables are updated.

Benefits of WiFi Roaming

Mobility is an essential feature of WiFi networks, but building a WiFi network that provides continuous coverage throughout a building can be difficult, especially as coverage demands grow. If you have ever experienced a sudden drop in connection speed while walking across a building, you know what we mean. The issue that most likely caused the drops in your connection was the network’s failure to support roaming. This issue can be solved by deploying the right network design.

WiFi Roaming allows you to freely move from room to room while your device automatically roams from one access point to another as necessary, intuitively choosing the strongest access point without dropping its WiFi signal, providing seamless connectivity. While there’s always a brief interruption when switching between networks – around half a second – when roaming, the duration of that interruption can be reduced to a minimum if the devices use the same WiFi network names (SSID’s), WiFi channels, and network keys.

Common Issues with Wi-Fi Roaming

There are two main issues when it comes to Wi-Fi Roaming:

  1. The client device that is using WiFi Roaming does not connect to the optimal access point. For example, a client device can be connected to a weak access point (in terms of signal strength) even though there is another access point available that can provide much stronger signal strengths,
  2. The handover between access points is not always flawless. There can be device drop-off and delays.

Installing more access points in an area can potentially increase the chances of a client device connecting to the optimal access point.

However, proper WiFi roaming requires more than just good signal strength throughout coverage areas. A balance between the coverage of access points on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands is needed to make roaming work properly.

How to Optimize Your Network

For WiFi Roaming to be beneficial for the user, the user’s device must connect to the optimal access point, and the handover process between access points must be smooth. The user device should be connected to a particular WiFi network and should constantly be scanning for other access points with the same SSID. If an access point with a better signal is found, the user device should seamlessly connect to it and drop the previous connection. This handover should not result in a poor experience for the end-user.

As mentioned earlier, installing more access points can be an easy fix, but it doesn’t always work. Ensuring WiFi roaming is successful requires more than just strong signal coverage. It requires each access point’s coverage to be balanced on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. But what does have “balanced” access points mean?

To optimize and balance access points, you can consider these tips:

  1. Overlap your mesh nodes or extenders by 15-20% – Too much overlap can cause access points to become overloaded and devices may repeatedly jump between nodes and become unstable. With too little overlap, users may experience temporary drop-offs.
  1. Signal boundary between access points should be about –67 dBm (decibels relative to a milliwatt). A dBm essentially measures the power of a signal being transmitted from an access point. The closer the dBm measurement is to 0, the better the signal strength is. -67 dBm is the minimum signal strength necessary for a client device to have stable and fast access to the internet. Thus, access points need to be placed and overlapped in a way that prevents any device from leaving the –67 dBm range. It is important to consider both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands while evaluating signal strength in areas, as the range of the 2.4 GHz band is larger than the range of the 5 GHz band.

Did you know that Mercku M2 and Mercku M6 routers support WiFi roaming?

Learn more about this and more on Mercku.com.

For more information about Mercku’s Connectivity Suite, our hardware and how you can partner with Mercku, please reach out to the team at [email protected] 

Thank you for reading our blog! Mercku Blogs covers the latest in wireless technology – subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss our newest releases!

Partnering to Make Wi-Fi Available Everywhere

BlueportiQ, a wireless cloud-software manufacturer, today announced it has become a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). This membership underscores BlueportiQ’s commitment to the delivery of advanced Wi-Fi connectivity and robust security globally.

Founded in 2003, the vision of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem. WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies, cities, regulators and organizations to achieve that vision.

“We are delighted to welcome BlueportiQ to WBA membership,” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of WBA. “The BlueportiQ team shares our collective goals and we believe they will benefit from collaborating with the wider membership of WBA to provides secure, automatic and friction-free Wi-Fi around the world.”

BlueportiQ provides top-tier technology across multiple markets, including multifamily, hospitality, carriers, commercial, healthcare, and more. Its cloud-hosted software solution, VAULT™, provides global Wi-Fi roaming throughout multiple business locations over secure Wi-Fi access. VAULT enables frictionless onboarding Wi-Fi access to multiple user types when visiting these locations.

“BlueportiQ is humbled to join the WBA,” said Urbino Lobo, VP Sales EMEA for BlueportiQ. “We look forward to collaborating with the WBA workgroups to share our experience and use cases towards the mutual objective of simplified roaming technologies through seamless and interoperable Wi-Fi connectivity for all people globally.”

VAULT makes use of existing technology and does not require unique device onboarding or specialized Wi-Fi infrastructure compliance.

About BlueportiQ
BlueportiQ is a cloud-software manufacturer based in Massachusetts, USA. They develop unique patent-pending technology for device connectivity into Wi-Fi networks at any location in the globe. BlueportiQ is a recognized Wi-Fi NOW partner for roaming technologies.

About the Wireless Broadband Alliance
Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is the global organization that connects people with the latest Wi-Fi initiatives. Founded in 2003, the vision of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem. WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies, cities, regulators and organizations to achieve that vision. WBA’s membership is comprised of major operators, identity providers and leading technology companies across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision.

WBA undertakes programs and activities to address business and technical issues, as well as opportunities, for member companies. WBA work areas include standards development, industry guidelines, trials, certification and advocacy. Its key programs include NextGen Wi-Fi, OpenRoaming, 5G, IoT, Testing & Interoperability and Policy & Regulatory Affairs, with member-led Work Groups dedicated to resolving standards and technical issues to promote end-to-end services and accelerate business opportunities.

The WBA Board includes Airties, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom, BT, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom AG, Google, Intel, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom and Viasat. For the complete list of current WBA members, click here.

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SINGAPORE, 22 JULY 2021 – ANTlabs Pte. Ltd., an established network technology product and solutions provider for the hospitality industry, announces its partnership with Brantas Ltd., the leading integrator of hospitality technology in New Zealand and The Pacific. Both companies have been in the industry for more than two decades, thus combining long experience and expertise in providing better cutting-edge technology for its customers.

As more places are opening and people are returning to public venues, the expectation of getting seamless and good connectivity for their devices also increases. In addition, users now expect to stream their content, and traffic demand ballooned as more people go online for practically anything they need. ANTlabs gateways make handling such connectivity demands easy with their product features such as Advanced Quality of ServicePersonal Area Network, and Security modules. Brantas found these helpful in managing their customers’ connectivity expectations.

“The addition of ANTlabs’ unique Guest Internet Access Gateway solution allows us to offer an end to end, turnkey package to aged- and health care facilities, hotels, conference centres, sports stadiums and other hospitality venues,” says Jan Strijker, General Manager of Brantas.

“Soon, Brantas will announce the completion of some high-profile implementations of ANTlabs in three countries in the region that Brantas services”, Strijker added.

Brantas uses the ANTlabs Service Platform as a managed solution for managing multiple venues, and it comes with 24/7 guest support.

“Partnering with Brantas will definitely strengthen our presence in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. As a result, the users in this region will get to experience the superior and high-quality internet bandwidth management solution offered by ANTlabs and Brantas,” according to Kelvin Poh, ANTlabs Director for Global Partner Engagement.

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About ANTlabs Pte Ltd.

ANTlabs Pte Ltd develops a wide range of network edge appliances, cloud-based platforms, bare metal appliances or virtualized telcos network infrastructure solutions for various business divisions and applications. ANTlabs was established in 1999 and headquartered in Singapore; its focus is providing products and solutions for the hospitality, large venues, telcos, and ISP industries. ANTlabs has established itself as a market leader, commanding a solid regional presence in Singapore with branch offices in South Korea, the Philippines, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

About Brantas Ltd

Brantas was established in 2002 and has since developed into a leading hospitality technology solution provider. On the 1st of April 2021, Brantas was acquired by Baycom Communications. Brantas’ portfolio includes but is not limited to NEC PBX, CETIS Phone Handsets, FCS Workflow Management software. Together with Baycom, Brantas can offer Voice and Data Connectivity services and a New Zealand wide support network.

Excited members of Kansas-based cooperative embrace managed Wi-Fi offerings delivered via the full Revenue EDGE solution, including subscriber-facing applications in EDGE Suites—particularly the home-network security services in ProtectIQ

SAN JOSE, CA – July 22, 2021 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that SCTelcom is continuing to dramatically transform its business and grow its value with Revenue EDGE. Most recently, SCTelcom achieved an extraordinary 200 percent increase in the adoption of its premium-level managed Wi-Fi package in just seven months and a 95 percent take rate of ProtectIQ®—a value-added EDGE Suites application that secures members’ home networks—only one year after launching. SCTelcom’s formula for success consists of leveraging the full Revenue EDGE solution: bundling ProtectIQ alongside the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6 certified GigaSpire BLAST® system and the cooperative’s newly branded CommandIQ® mobile app, SCT WiFiConnect, into its three tiers of managed Wi-Fi service offerings. SCTelcom then leverages the real-time data insights of Calix Marketing Cloud to identify, segment, and target members based on their usage, resulting in experience-based offerings that excite members across southcentral Kansas and northcentral Oklahoma and drive new, recurring revenue streams.

A longtime Calix customer, SCTelcom began rolling out the full Revenue EDGE solution in 2019 to differentiate its brand and expand into new service territories. Since then, SCTelcom has continued to build on its early and impressive results, and now boasts a 76 percent mobile app attachment rate that gives members everything they need to control their home Wi-Fi experience at their fingertips and provides SCTelcom with a direct and branded communications channel to develop deep and continuous relationships with members. The managed Wi-Fi experience includes the capabilities of ProtectIQ which provides advanced security protection from threats such as malware, ransomware, and other types of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. By bundling ProtectIQ into all three tiers of its managed Wi-Fi service offerings, SCTelcom takes the complexity out of cybersecurity for its members.

2020 online survey of more than 1,200 broadband subscribers conducted by Calix, together with global technology analyst and advisory firm MOOR Insights & Strategy, found that most consumers inherently trust their service providers to protect their personal data. Moreover, most respondents identified their service providers as a top choice for home network security solutions.

“We recognize that whole home network security is no longer an option—it’s an absolute requirement as people spend more time working, learning, and entertaining online,” said Carla Shearer, CEO and general manager for SCTelcom. “We chose to include ProtectIQ with all three tiers of our managed Wi-Fi service offerings to differentiate from the competition with a highly sophisticated yet simple to use application that provides peace of mind to our members who are increasingly concerned about their online security. By leveraging the full power of the Revenue EDGE, we have seen a tremendous take rate of this value-added service in just one year, contributing to our overall 20 percent increase in managed Wi-Fi services adoption among our members.”

 

SCTelcom is further reducing operating expenses with the actionable insights from Calix Support Cloud. Remote management and troubleshooting capabilities, thanks to the seamless integration between SCT WiFiConnect and Support Cloud, provide unprecedented in-home network visibility, enabling customer support representatives to resolve issues quickly and proactively. As a result, SCTelcom has also reduced the number of inbound calls related to SSID password resets—the main reason for member-related support calls—and cut truck rolls by 30 percent in a single year.

SCTelcom leans on the expertise of Calix Premier Customer Success Services to accelerate time to value, implement best practices, and drive service adoption to maximize revenue. SCTelcom is applying these lessons, backed by the real-time data insights of Marketing Cloud, to successfully identify, segment, and target members based on their usage to help drive adoption of ExperienceIQ™, another EDGE Suites application that will excite members with enhanced parental control capabilities to block content or applications, set usage limits, and view usage information.

“SCTelcom is an innovative leader using the Revenue EDGE portfolio to its fullest potential, harnessing the power of the integrated Calix Cloud coupled with the convenience of mobile apps to simplify its operations, excite members with new, revenue-generating services, and grow its business,” said Michael Weening, president and chief operating officer for Calix. “This is what service providers of any size can accomplish when they embrace the power of the platform. Armed with real-time data and mobile notifications that provide a direct communication channel to members, SCTelcom is fueling rapid growth, creating seamless experiences and delighting members with value-added services for their connected home. As a trusted partner, we are thrilled to support SCTelcom’s ongoing success.”

Watch Carla Shearer’s session at  ConneXions to learn more about SCTelcom’s journey with Calix, and view a replay of our recent webinar, “How to Offer the Premium Services That Subscribers Want.”