Breaking News

GLOBAL Wi-Fi NEWS bulletin

Search

Acquisition of octoScope, Inc.

Combination that firmly establishes Spirent as the Wi-Fi test leader

London, UK – 5 March 2021 – Spirent Communications plc (LSE:SPT), the leading provider of test, assurance, and analytics solutions for next-generation devices and networks, today announces that it has acquired octoScope, Inc (octoScope) from the founder Fanny Mlinarsky, management and other investors, for an initial cash consideration of $55 million on a debt and cash free basis, with an additional consideration capped at $18 million based on annual revenue growth targets for 2021 and 2022 and retention of key staff. The acquisition will be funded from existing cash resources.

Founded in 2006, octoScope is a US-based technology company that provides market-leading accurate, repeatable and automated wireless test solutions and methodologies to the wireless industry. Its test solutions leverage patented technology to provide automated Wi-Fi and 5G testing in emulated real-world environments, including the latest Wi-Fi 6 and 6E technologies. octoScope’s products are used by a blue-chip roster of leading global communication service providers, chipset, device, network infrastructure and Wi-Fi equipment vendors including: Google, Facebook, Verizon, Qualcomm, Nokia, Amazon, Philips and Sony.

This complementary acquisition is in line with Spirent’s targeted investment and M&A plans outlined at its Capital Markets Day in October 2020, securing a broader assurance opportunity and expanding our diversified customer base. octoScope will be incorporated into our Lifecycle Service Assurance operating segment along with our emerging Wi-Fi revenue stream currently residing in our high-speed Ethernet business within the Networks & Security operating segment.

The gross assets of octoScope at 31 December 2019 were $11.6 million. Revenue in the year to 31 December 2019 was $17.4 million and profit before tax was $4.5 million. Revenue grew to around $20 million for 2020, subject to audit. The business has a history of delivering robust growth and we expect that to continue.

Wi-Fi sits alongside 5G as a critical next-generation wireless access technology. With the explosive growth in the Internet of Things, the emergence of new mission-critical use cases in sectors such as healthcare and industry, and expansion of applications including fixed wireless access and Wi-Fi offload, the importance of reliable and secure Wi-Fi is greater than ever. Wi-Fi applications continue to grow on the back of a robust technology roadmap (Wi-Fi 6/6E/7), the rise in remote working and expansion into new frequency bands around the world.

Spirent already has a strong position in the Wi-Fi and 5G test markets and the combination of octoScope with our existing portfolio firmly establishes Spirent as the Wi-Fi test leader. It also provides opportunities to extend the capabilities of our 5G solutions and offer new and differentiated services to our customers through our global channels.

Commenting on the acquisition, Eric Updyke, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Having firmly outlined our M&A intentions at our Capital Markets Day in October, I am delighted to welcome octoScope to the Spirent family. The need for reliable and secure Wi-Fi is greater than ever and our teams look forward to working together to address an increasing range of complex Wi-Fi challenges for our customers.”

“This acquisition supports our strategy of sustainable, profitable growth by establishing Spirent as the firm market leader in the expanding Wi-Fi space, adding to our 5G solution portfolio. octoScope brings to us an impressive and well-known customer base, providing us with the opportunity to further leverage our established global routes to market and trusted relationships with our key accounts.

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity ensures users are always best connected

Austin, Texas – March 3, 2021 – Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity improves mobility and allows users to experience more consistent connections while roaming within and across Wi-Fi®networks, and between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The Wi-Fi Alliance® certification program ensures users a best-connected experience by optimizing the process of discovering Wi-Fi networks, selecting access points (APs), and reducing airtime overhead to enable faster authentication. New features now available for Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity™ deliver new metrics that further improve access point and network selection, and provide consistent discovery mechanisms for the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz bands. Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity enhancements address new use cases and performance expectations, helping optimize the connectivity experience for a variety of real-time and interactive applications and allowing seamless service continuity with network transitions to and from cellular.

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity enables APs and user devices to exchange information, enabling key benefits:

  • Optimized network discovery and selection: Mobile devices and APs employ improved channel scanning techniques to quickly identify potential Wi-Fi networks available for connection
  • Improved AP selection: APs advertise metrics to assist client devices to accurately estimate link quality for network selection and roaming decisions
  • Rapid authentication: Using Fast Initial Link Setup (FILS) Authentication, devices work together to reduce airtime overhead and enable faster authentication to the selected AP or network
  • Efficient transmissions: Significant reduction in transmission of management frames enables devices to spend less time responding to management information and more time moving user data

“Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity enables users to experience quality connections throughout their entire roaming experience and ensures users are always best connected,” said Kevin Robinson, SVP of Marketing, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi users expect greater mobility with their devices and this core program brings a more seamless connectivity experience across networks, while opening new opportunities for service providers to increase network coverage while providing high-level service.”

Metrics now available in Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity further improve a client’s ability to determine when and to which AP or network it should roam to ensure the device is always best connected. Additionally, Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity features are key enablers of efficient access point discovery in the 6 GHz band. Wi-Fi 6E APs that simultaneously operate in the 2.4 or 5 GHz band and the 6 GHz band transmit a Reduced Neighbor Report element in 2.4 and/or 5 GHz to enable out-of-band discovery of the 6 GHz basic service sets (BSSs). APs that are only operating in the 6 GHz band transmit FILS Discovery frames to enable efficient on-channel scanning. Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity APs can use the same features to enable efficient discovery of BSSs operating in other bands and channels, especially dynamic frequency selection (DFS) channels that have regulatory restrictions on active scanning.

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity is a key component of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™, providing core capabilities that allow the program to deliver an elevated experience in managed Wi-Fi networks. For more information on Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity, please visit: https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-optimized-connectivity.

Industry support for Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity:

“Airties is proud to support Wi-Fi Alliance’s new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program, which is aimed at improving user experience while moving in managed Wi-Fi networks. Home Wi-Fi conditions are constantly changing throughout the day, requiring dynamic, real-time optimization to ensure excellent performance on every device. As such, we advise our service providers’ customers to adopt hybrid cloud-edge architectures that leverage both the embedded intelligence in CPE and cloud-based analytics to maximize responsiveness and performance.” – Metin Taskin, CTO of Airties

“Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity has been built on the coordinated use of 802.11k/v/r/ai capabilities for environments with many overlapping wireless networks. This helps deliver a smooth and stable Wi-Fi connectivity experience when selecting, authenticating, and roaming across different wireless access points.” – Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer, ASSIA

“The advancements of Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity create a more fluid exchange of necessary data, allowing for an uninterrupted wireless mobile experience fast enough to meet the demands of today’s active users. As a Wi-Fi Alliance partner pioneering fast, secure, seamless Wi-Fi for enterprise, business, and consumers, we at Boingo view this as a true win for all,” – Dr. Derek Peterson, CTO, Boingo Wireless

“Seamless roaming enables a hassle-free experience for consumers as they increasingly depend on Wi-Fi for their wireless data needs. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program gives smartphones the ability to pick the router with the best connection and allows users to roam freely across wireless networks. The updated program incorporates new network discovery enhancements and, together with Wi-Fi 6E, offers a glimpse into future Wi-Fi usage models. Broadcom is excited to obtain certification for this updated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program and be selected as a testbed device.” – Christopher Szymanski, Director of Product Marketing, Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division, Broadcom Inc.

“Intel is focused on enabling great PC platform Wi-Fi experiences for people. Wi-Fi Alliance’s new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program will help the industry deliver seamless roaming with faster and more efficient network discovery, selection, and connections. We applaud Wi-Fi Alliance on its continued progress for delivering another great interoperability solution. We’re delighted Intel had the opportunity to help lead the task group’s efforts and that our products are among the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity devices.” – Eric McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group, GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation

“The Wi-Fi Alliance Optimized Connectivity certification program is an exceptionally important and impactful approach to deliver standards-based innovation across the industry, ensuring maximum performance, stability, and interoperability. Qualcomm Technologies continues to support these efforts through our participation across these programs, innovation contribution, and implementation across our Wi-Fi product portfolios.” – VK Jones, VP of Technology, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

 

About Wi-Fi Alliance®  |  www.wi-fi.org
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 65,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

WATERLOO, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cognitive Systems Corp. today announced that its patented WiFi Motion™ technology is now standard for customers developing products using Broadcom’s new WiFi 6 mesh and access point solutions. First available in February 2020 on select WiFi 5 chips, Cognitive Systems’ revolutionary WiFi sensing solution is gaining momentum in WiFi 6 deployments. Wide enablement of WiFi Motion on all Broadcom WiFi 6 access point silicon will open up a multitude of motion sensing opportunities in the growing WiFi-as-a-Service industry. Together, Cognitive Systems and Broadcom are paving the way for the future of WiFi sensing.

“Working with Cognitive Systems as our strategic Wi-Fi sensing partner was a natural fit. There is so much value yet to be derived from Wi-Fi networks, and we share a common interest in bringing that value to the forefront” Tweet this

“Our goal is to get WiFi Motion into every home that has WiFi,” said Taj Manku, CEO and Co-Founder of Cognitive Systems. “By partnering with Broadcom, which has a robust product and clear roadmap for next-generation WiFi, we’re well on our way to global expansion. There are endless possibilities for motion sensing, and we’ve worked tirelessly to address the gaps that exist in testing today to ensure scalability. Broadcom is committed to this same excellence, which makes us excited for the journey ahead as partners.”

Cognitive Systems’ software utilizes machine learning on all frequency bands to decipher signal disturbances in the WiFi environment and present those changes to the consumer as motion insights. The solution leverages connected IoT devices to turn the entire home into a motion-sensing network. This enables numerous applications, allowing people to make the most of their home WiFi.

“Working with Cognitive Systems as our strategic Wi-Fi sensing partner was a natural fit. There is so much value yet to be derived from Wi-Fi networks, and we share a common interest in bringing that value to the forefront,” said Manny Patel, senior director of product marketing for the Broadband Carrier Access Products Division at Broadcom. “Extensible technologies like WiFi Motion are the foundation of next-gen smart homes. It’s an exciting time for Wi-Fi.”

As a home monitoring solution, customers enjoy coverage anywhere their WiFi reaches, including private areas like bathrooms and bedrooms, without sacrificing privacy. WiFi Motion can also be used for family awareness, such as identifying activity patterns or confirming the kids arrived home from school. Cognitive Systems’ highly anticipated eldercare solution will bring peace of mind to caregivers, providing discreet wellness monitoring without the need for cameras or wearable devices. Each application brings meaningful insights to users, providing value beyond just connectivity.

About Cognitive Systems

Cognitive Systems Corp. is on a mission to transform the way WiFi networks are used. Its flagship technology, WiFi Motion™, uses wireless signals to detect motion in the home. WiFi Motion harnesses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to reliably identify and localize motion for the smart home, home monitoring and wellness monitoring markets. This patented technology is layered onto existing WiFi networks without additional hardware to cost-effectively enhance service provider and router manufacturer offerings.

www.cognitivesystems.com
https://www.linkedin.com/company/cognitive-systems-corp-/
www.facebook.com/cognitivesystemscorp
www.twitter.com/cognitiveSC

Communications cooperative builds on its phenomenal managed Wi-Fi capability and leverages full Calix Revenue EDGE solution to excite members and elevate their brand with differentiated services

SAN JOSE, CA – February 24, 2021 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced Utah-based telco cooperative, STRATA Networks (STRATA), has leveraged the entire Calix Revenue EDGE solution and developed a comprehensive set of best practices for differentiating the STRATA branded Wi-Fi 6 experience for their members.

After introducing the BLAST Systems to members in 2020, STRATA pivoted quickly to enhancing and customizing the STRATA-branded Wi-Fi 6 experience with EDGE Suites, leveraging the real-time behavioral insights from Calix Marketing Cloud(CMC) to target members who would benefit from these new experiences. As a result of their targeted marketing campaign, STRATA has seen a 60 percent increase in the adoption of STRATA Hub (their branded CommandIQ® app), and a 59 percent increase in downloads of the EDGE Suites;ProtectIQ™, for enhanced virus and malware protection of the member’s Wi-fi network, and ExperienceIQ™, for parental controls.

The Calix CommandIQ mobile app provides a direct communication channel between communications service providers (CSPs) and subscribers, which is key to integrating perpetual upsell and revenue-generating opportunities. With this 60 percent increase in adoption of CommandIQ, STRATA is taking full advantage of advanced subscriber insights and mobile- notification capabilities through CMC. In addition, the marketing team can leverage easy-to-customize resources from the EDGE Enablementprogram to quickly launch campaigns with the Calix Customer Success team supporting them at every step. STRATA’s most recent campaign to drive new application downloads converted an impressive 20 percent of mobile notifications into EDGE Suites adoption—more than 10x the industry average.

In the future, all CSPs can look forward to expanding their portfolio of services to include Arlo Technologies and Servify, which are pre-integrated EDGE Suites enabling operations, support and marketing teams to quickly deliver new value-added services that excite their members while retaining a direct communication channel via STRATA’s branded CommandIQ app.

“We developed the ultimate Wi-Fi experience to differentiate from simple managed Wi-Fi offerings, and Calix has enabled us to build on that foundation and push that experience forward,” said Bruce Todd, CEO for STRATA Networks. “Fast, reliable connectivity into and throughout the home was just the start, but to grow our business, we need to continue to differentiate our offering by making the in-home broadband experience unbeatable. With the simplicity of the mobile app and value-adds of full network security and management offerings, Calix delivers everything we need to continue to excite our members and grow our business.”

STRATA Networks is a community-focused communications cooperative based in Northeastern Utah with services that span parts of three western states. It was founded more than half a century ago and has evolved from being a local telephone network to a leading provider of differentiated broadband experiences.

“The STRATA Networks team has developed an unmatched model that any service provider marketer should follow as they are focused on leveraging the data,” said Matt Collins, chief marketing officer for Calix. “STRATA leveraged data to ensure the success of their CommandIQ launch through an app download contest while using the CMC enabled in-app mobile notifications, and the customizable brand content from our EDGE Enablement program for the campaign. The results speak for themselves, as EDGE Suites subscriptions have delivered new revenue streams for STRATA through new experiences. We are delighted to see these marketing success stories and will continue to provide best-in-breed marketing solutions to grow our partnership as STRATA Networks grows its value to members and the communities they serve.”

Learn more about the Calix Revenue EDGE and the full network security and access controls of EDGE Suites.

About Calix
Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) – Innovative communications service providers rely on Calix platforms to help them master and monetize the complex infrastructure between their subscribers and the cloud. Calix is the leading global provider of the cloud and software platforms, systems, and services required to deliver the unified access network and smart premises of tomorrow. Our platforms and services help our customers build next generation networks by embracing a DevOps operating model, optimize the subscriber experience by leveraging big data analytics and turn the complexity of the smart, connected home and business into new revenue streams.

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.

What is EasyMesh and how it improves your Wi-Fi

 

What is Wi-Fi EasyMesh?

The growing popularity of Wi-Fi mesh networks lies with their core benefit – fast, reliable Wi-Fi in every corner of the house. However, as connectivity and wireless technology continue to evolve, the number of available options from different vendors hit the market at an ever-increasing rate.

 

 

Wi-Fi companies such as Eero, Netgear, Google or Mercku often implement a proprietary mesh networking protocol that only allows their mesh systems to mesh with each other. The networking principles and features between the different mesh systems from these providers are mostly the same but, all of them operate independently. For example, it’s not possible to mesh one Mercku M2 Queen router with two Eero nodes to create one network. With so many options, there was a lack of a reliable industry standard for mesh networks that operators and consumers could reference when selecting their next best Wi-Fi mesh solution.

Historically, the Wi-Fi Alliance leads new initiatives around Wi-Fi standards, and in 2018, they introduced EasyMesh certification to make a mesh industry standard a reality. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh is a Wi-Fi Alliance® certification program that brings a standards-based approach to multiple AP home Wi-Fi networks. EasyMesh establishes controller routers to manage and coordinate activity among the mesh nodes and ensures that each AP does not interfere with the other, bringing both expanded, uniform coverage and more efficient service.

Source: Wi-Fi Alliance

One key benefit of this standard is allowing consumers to combine EasyMesh certified Wi-Fi access points from multiple vendors to create unified mesh networks – regardless of the product line or brand. This feature gives consumers and operators more freedom in deploying their Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 Mesh systems in the future.

What are the benefits of the Wi-Fi EasyMesh standard?

Wi-Fi routers that are Wi-Fi EasyMesh certified will provide a list of useful features to improve the overall user experience. Some of the most important are:

  • Effortless set up: Wi-Fi routers that support EasyMesh will be able to quickly discover each other and set up the network with as little user intervention as possible
  • Flexible deployment: This allows the user to get the best placement of multiple access points in their unique environment, providing extended coverage with high throughput
  • Client steering: AP coordination to steer a client to a specific AP for optimal user experience and effective load balancing
  • Intelligent Networking: Mesh points can self-organize and self-optimize by collecting data on network performance and health, and respond to changing conditions to maximize the performance

As with every new technological standard, there are some limitations to consider as well. For instance, a standardized protocol could mean the loss of unique network features from individual equipment manufacturers. Moreover, it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of bottlenecking or other performance issues on the network with a variety of different APs.

As Wi-Fi Alliance is continuing to develop the standard, EasyMesh R2 brings about even more enhancements to Mesh networking, with standardized Wi-Fi diagnostics, improved channel management, traffic separation mode and enhanced client steering, which we will cover in the future blogs (subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it!).

Last year, we released the Mercku M6 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh system, which supports EasyMesh R2 standard out of the box. We can’t wait for our users to start deploying the M6 in their custom Mesh networks – alongside other best EasyMesh certified routers in 2021!

Plume Raises $270 Million at $1.35 Billion Valuation

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Plume Design, Inc.

Feb 23, 2021, 08:30 ET

New financing from Insight Partners will fuel Plume’s accelerating growth

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Plume®, the company behind the smart home service offerings of more than 170 Communications Service Providers (CSPs) served to more than 22 million households across the globe, today announced that it has closed a $270 million minority investment from global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners. This Series E round at a $1.35 billion valuation brings Plume’s total equity funding to $397 million.

Plume was founded on the premise that a device will only ever be as smart as the network it’s connected to, and that the existing smart home services were sorely lacking. Instead of attempting to improve only wireless coverage through distributed hardware, Plume’s approach is entirely different – a comprehensive suite of cloud-controlled front-end services delivered over a smart, software-defined network. Plume’s HomePass™ front-end services suite consists of adaptive and self-optimizing whole-home WiFi, AI driven cybersecurity and IoT device protection, sophisticated parental supervision, secure access controls, and motion awareness. HomePass is complemented by a powerful, data-driven back-end operations platform offering real-time and predictive customer support tools, network control center applications, deep analytics, comprehensive dashboards, consumer behavior and satisfaction insights, churn prediction, and retention marketing services for CSPs through Plume’s Haystack™ and Harvest™ suites.

 

Plume will use the funding to further increase investment in research & development and lean more aggressively into sales, marketing, and partnerships. The company will seek to continue its rapid product, revenue, customer, channel, and geographic expansion and plans to add employees in all of its offices across North America, Europe, and Asia.

“Growth in the smart home category is exploding, but the quality of consumer experience has fallen short,” said Insight Partners Managing Director Ryan Hinkle, who has been appointed as a director on Plume’s board. “We are convinced that Plume, with its scalable cloud data platform approach, highly efficient go-to-market strategy, strong momentum, top-quartile financial performance across all SaaS KPIs – including revenue, growth rates, gross margin, efficiency and retention metrics – and world class team is transforming this category. We’re delighted to join and support this exciting journey.”

Customers benefit from Plume’s constantly expanding platform through OpenSync™, the most widely supported open-source, silicon-to-cloud framework for smart spaces. With OpenSync, CSPs can decouple their service offerings from hardware and rapidly curate and deliver new services over a multi-vendor, open-platform architecture. Managed by a massively scalable cloud control plane, new services can often be delivered without requiring new equipment, reducing CAPEX spend and extending the useful life of existing infrastructure. Since its creation in 2018, OpenSync has grown to power more than 26 million access points and switches across a broad range of silicon SDK and CPE platforms, and has attracted many third-party developers and contributors.

“We could not be more enthusiastic about welcoming Ryan to our board, and our partnership with the entire Insight team,” said Fahri Diner, Co-founder and CEO of Plume. “By leveraging machine learning and AI, cloud data, open-source, deep ecosystem partnerships, and a scalable platform, we uniquely address the disconnect between the expectations of smart spaces and the service provider’s ability to deliver flawless experiences to them – while building a leading, high-growth SaaS business in a large, under-served market. An even stronger balance sheet through this cash infusion, coupled with our high operating leverage, sets the stage for Plume to continue to invest confidently in our future.”

Jefferies acted as financial advisor to Plume on the transaction.

About Plume
Plume® is the creator of the world’s first SaaS experience platform for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and their subscribers deployed globally. As the only open and hardware-independent solution, Plume enables the rapid delivery of new services for connected homes (and beyond) at massive scale. For consumers, Plume delivers self-optimizing WiFi, cyber-security, access controls, parental controls, motion sensing, and more. CSPs get robust back-end applications for unprecedented visibility and both reactive and pre-emptive support. Plume leverages OpenSync™, an open-source framework which comes pre-integrated and supported on the leading silicon, CPE and platform SDKs.

Plume’s investors include Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Foxconn, Insight Partners, Jackson Square Ventures, Liberty Global Ventures, Presidio Ventures, Qualcomm, Samsung, Service Electric Cablevision, Shaw Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, and UpBeat Venture Partners.

Visit www.plume.com, www.plume.com/homepassand www.opensync.io.

Follow Plume on LinkedInand Twitter.

Plume, HomePass, Haystack, Harvest and OpenSync are trademarks or registered trademarks of Plume Design, Inc.

About Insight Partners
Insight Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight Partners has invested in more than 400 companies worldwide and has raised through a series of funds more than $30 billion in capital commitments. Insight’s mission is to find, fund, and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on software expertise to foster long-term success. Across its people and its portfolio, Insight encourages a culture around a belief that ScaleUp companies and growth create opportunity for all. For more information on Insight and all its investments, visit insightpartners.com or follow us on Twitter @insightpartners.

SOURCE Plume Design, Inc.

Wi-Fi QoS Management™ brings robust service delivery and high quality Wi-Fi experiences

Austin, Texas – February 23, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® introduces Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™, a new certification program delivering a standardized approach to traffic prioritization that improves the Wi-Fi® experience with real-time applications. Wi-Fi QoS Management™ builds on widely adopted Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM™ to deliver a consistent, end-to-end approach to Quality of Service (QoS) treatment in Wi-Fi networks. The program introduces two new technologies that allow Wi-Fi devices, applications, and network managers to prioritize traffic flows by establishing a standards-based approach to QoS mirroring, and by aligning with IETF recommendations for QoS mapping between Internet Protocol (IP) and IEEE 802.11. Residential, enterprise, and public networks benefit from Wi-Fi QoS Management, particularly when using applications requiring low latency and low jitter, including videoconferencing, interactive gaming, AR/VR, industrial IoT, and healthcare monitoring.

Wi-Fi QoS Management provides standardized mechanisms that allow client applications to request QoS treatment, and for network managers to implement QoS policies. These mechanisms allow user devices and access points to select differentiated prioritization depending on the application. The result is robust service delivery and higher quality Wi-Fi, including better experiences with real-time and immersive applications, and reduced latency and jitter when online gaming or accessing interactive cloud and edge services.

“Today’s Wi-Fi networks carry a demanding amount of real-time data applications that require discerning treatment to deliver high quality experiences,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance is introducing Wi-Fi QoS Management as a new way to manage Wi-Fi traffic and ensure end-user expectations for superior performance continue to be met.”

Wi-Fi QoS Management features two key technologies:

  • Mirrored Stream Classification Service (MSCS): enables a client device to request the access point to apply specific QoS treatment of downlink IP data flows using QoS mirroring
  • Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) mapping: aligns QoS treatment across Wi-Fi and wired networks and also enables network managers to configure specific QoS policies

MSCS – based on the concept of “mirrored” QoS – provides a simple means for applications on user devices to request traffic be assigned the desired priority level. This bidirectional QoS treatment ensures consistent, reduced latency for the device application and delivers positive Wi-Fi experiences even when the Wi-Fi channel is congested. DSCP mapping allows the network manager to map traffic from both access points and client devices to a particular QoS priority across the network. In enterprise networks, a network manager can configure videoconferencing traffic as high priority and configure a mapping table that can be updated to ensure the requirements of mission-critical services are met.

Member companies providing interoperability test bed devices that are among the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management products include Broadcom Inc., Intel, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Industry support for Wi-Fi QoS Management:

“Airties and Wi-Fi Alliance share an ongoing commitment to improve the home Wi-Fi experience. We commend Wi-Fi Alliance’s new efforts in Wi-Fi QoS Management aimed at enhancing the performance of real-time applications. This feature can certainly serve to complement the kind of advanced Smart Wi-Fi software and cloud management solutions provided by Airties to service providers around the globe.” –Metin Taskin, CTO, Airties

“Wi-Fi QoS Management is the first step to transform Wi-Fi connectivity from “best effort” to consistent availability for specific data traffic streams, especially for teleworking and distributed enterprise applications. Wi-Fi QoS Management capability is a key building block for ASSIA products.” – Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer, ASSIA

“Broadcom applauds Wi-Fi Alliance for releasing the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management program, and is honored to be selected as a test bed supplier. Wi-Fi QoS Management provides the tools to empower application developers and vendors of mobile and gaming devices to manage bidirectional traffic flows on home and enterprise Wi-Fi networks to enable the required quality of service for all applications. It also provides essential tools to enable network administrators to manage QoS at a system level. Wi-Fi QoS Management combined with Wi-Fi 6E will enable enterprises, operators, and users to enjoy latency sensitive applications such as live video streaming, gaming, augmented and virtual reality, even in spectrally congested and challenging environments.” – Thomas Derham, Sr. Principal Scientist, Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division, Broadcom Inc., and contributor to the Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi QoS Management task group

“CommScope is committed to ensuring that the networks and homes we serve are capable of enabling the lower latency and more deterministic connectivity that services require. Wi-Fi in both single family and multi-dwelling unit homes needs to be capable of prioritizing services such as working from home applications and emerging low latency immersive experiences (gaming, AR/VR). We welcome the new Wi-Fi QoS Management certification program and any initiatives that can deliver round trip quality of service for Wi-Fi.” –  Ian Wheelock, Engineering Fellow, CommScope

“End-to-end QoS support is extremely important for our devices to deliver better Wi-Fi experiences for a new breed of applications such as cloud, gaming, AR/VR, and video conferencing that demand low latency and higher traffic priority treatment. Intel is happy to be a leader of the QoS work at Wi-Fi Alliance and having our product be among the first ones to be certified for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management.” – Eric McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group, GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation

“Wi-Fi is an essential enabler for today’s digital economy and provides the backbone for multiple real-time applications with simultaneous usage of voice, video and data. ON Semiconductor has been a strong supporter of Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification programs to optimize Wi-Fi network performance. As such, QoS is a cornerstone of our technology platforms with built-in functionality to differentiate between traffic flows, giving precedence to high priority traffic and ensuring airtime fairness across both flow types and devices. It is all about improving user experience, and reducing latency, packet loss, and jitter.” – Irvind Ghai, vice president of marketing, Wireless Connectivity and Signal Process Division, ON Semiconductor

“Wi-Fi QoS Management is very valuable to provide improved user experiences for throughput and latency intensive applications, such as gaming, video and multimedia applications. By verifying interoperability between access points and client devices on Wi-Fi networks, this certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance is an important milestone to help the benefits of Wi-Fi QoS Management reach their full potential.” – Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, Connectivity and Networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

For more information, please visit https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-qos-management.

About Wi-Fi Alliance®
www.wi-fi.org
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 65,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

user typing login and password, cyber security concept, data protection and secured internet access, cybersecurity

What’s your plan for network security? Are you focused on other areas hoping your company doesn’t join the growing list of security breaches? With technology touching every part of our lives, it’s imperative that your organization is prepared to defend assets.

The Current Landscape
Multifamily owners and operators are taxed with providing connectivity options to satisfy tech-savvy residents. As if streaming entertainment and IoT devices weren’t big enough drivers to beef up bandwidth, the COVID-19 pandemic created an overnight surge on residential networks. Businesses moved to telecommuting where possible while classrooms were emptied in exchange for distance learning. Existing multifamily communities are likely to experience bandwidth issues when online productivity and collaboration tools such as Zoom take over daily communication. But bandwidth isn’t the only concern. Security and data protection should be top of mind for everyone.

Navigating Internet and TV providers is one of the biggest challenges facing multifamily owners and operators. Until now, the default has been to let legacy cable and phone companies handle the service. But that approach presents multiple problems. The traditional approach leaves multifamily owners and operators along with their residents at the mercy of the provider, awaiting days for installation only to receive limited direct access within the confines of residential units. Or, perhaps residents are instructed to contact local providers and negotiate service on their own. In either case, a critical layer of security is often overlooked.

Whether bringing in a new network partner or upgrading existing technology, it is important to evaluate security applications as well as future bandwidth requirements to ensure a flawless operation.

  • Residents are very vulnerable with “choice networks” (non-bulk communities calling a 800-cable company for ala carte internet) as well as bulk Wi-Fi programs with other providers.
  • Community staff is vulnerable when accessing confidential resident and company info.


The Dark Side of Technology
It is becoming more and more difficult to control where data ends up, and who can access. As multifamily executives seek technology to power business innovation and attract residents, it’s more vital than ever to safeguard data.

A few years ago, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) entered our vocabulary and brought awareness to the inherent flaws of Wi-Fi. Today’s security landscape is even more challenging with cyberattacks on the rise and predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 20211.

According to a Gallup®study, Americans are more worried about being a victim of cybercrime than being a victim of violent crime.

Most networks are unencrypted, meaning any device connected to Wi-Fi is effectively sending all data in clear-text, essentially leaving an open door for hackers to identify and extract personal information. And, we can’t assume that websites with an SSL certificate (https://) are safe.

Key Indicators Your Staff and Residents are Not Protected
– Your network uses a captive portal (sign-in page) to authenticate users
– Share Wi-Fi password amongst staff, residents and/or visitors
– Using a single SSID with no passphrase provides a breeding ground to “man in the middle attacks”

The surge in residential Internet access has created an open door for cybercriminals to easily capture private information. With security breaches on the rise and a spotlight on privacy laws, multifamily executives need to evaluate and solve security risks now to stop man-in-the-middle attacks, rogue access points and more.

Take a Proactive High-ground
Rather forced or welcomed, adopting a new network lightens the technology burden for residents and staff while opening doors for new profit centers.

Imagine… a world where your technology is always on and community wide. A world where residents don’t need a tech degree to on-board individual devices. BlueportiQ offers a fully integrated management platform. No more wasted time resetting Nest devices when a resident moves out. A truly portal-less solution that makes understanding MAC addresses a thing of the past and replaces it with simple OEM instructions for adding IoT devices.

When implemented right, secure technology is an essential driver in maintaining brand loyalty, attracting new residents and increasing revenue.

Reference

1 The Number One Cybersecurity Statistic That C-Suite Executives Should Know

Wi-Fi 6E in the palm of your hand

January 18, 2021 by Christopher Szymanski

The year 2020 was monumental for Wi-Fi®. The United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Chile designated the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, a slew of additional countries explored opening the band, Wi-Fi Alliance® introduced the Wi-Fi 6E branding, and top Wi-Fi innovators announced a variety of new products.

And it’s already been a busy start to 2021 for 6 GHz Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi 6E — it’s certifiably fast, and it’s here

Last week, Wi-Fi Alliance launched its Wi-Fi 6E certification program, and Wi-Fi 6E devices are already being certified. At CES this week, access point vendors, such as TP-Link unveiled Wi-Fi 6E routers. Intel also announced an update to its vPro platform and MediaTek received FCC certification, both of which bring Wi-Fi 6E to laptop computers.

Just yesterday, at its annual Unpacked event, Samsung introduced the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E phone: the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is powered by Broadcom’s BCM4389 chip. The GS21 Ultra has five cameras to develop ultra-rich media, and consumers can share what they create with blisteringly fast Wi-Fi 6E.

Wi-Fi 6E enables these advanced applications and 5G services by taking advantage of brand new spectrum: 1,200 MHz of open airwaves in the 6 GHz band. The seven new 160 MHz channel bandwidths will double Wi-Fi speeds and cut latency in half compared to Wi-Fi 5. In fact, the BCM4389 delivers over 2 Gbps of real-world speeds, up to five times better battery utilization, improved coverage, and ultra-low latency — less than 1 ms. The reliable, high-speed connections of Wi-Fi 6E bring the classroom or the office into a smartphone.

With Wi-Fi 6E, the smartphone becomes a smart hub or smart computing platform, allowing consumers to connect to peripheral devices such as AR/VR glasses, smart speakers, TVs, and the ever-growing number of home networking devices without any decrease in performance.  Gamers will delight in gaming without glitches or delays.

So why should consumers get excited about this Wi-Fi innovation? A handheld Wi-Fi 6E device is a gamechanger for two reasons: a fast, flawless user experience and the various innovative use cases that it will fuel.

Enabling the next generation of use cases

Wi-Fi 6E will be a workhorse for powering 5G services, making it an ideal solution for flagship smartphones, laptops, AR and VR devices, and future Internet of Things (IoT) innovations.

In a video-first world, Wi-Fi 6E empowers consumers with a clean frequency band that delivers multi-gigabit speeds. A Wi-Fi 6E smartphone like the Galaxy S21 Ultra will enable ultra-high-definition video streaming and multiparty video conferencing, making working and playing from home a breeze. This will speed the proliferation of 8K video, casting, and more. And, with the ability to download a movie, photo, or file at speeds over a gigabit per second, sharing becomes nearly instantaneous.

With 160 MHz channels, Wi-Fi 6E will enable more precise Wi-Fi location indoors, where GPS location is not as accurate. This will enable applications, such as asset tracking, emergency services, and keyless entry. In the not-so-distant future, you will be able to list the items you wish to buy in an application and be provided aisle-to-shelf routing throughout the store to pick up your merchandise on the exact shelf on which it is located—first using your smartphone, and in the future with your AR glasses.

Wi-Fi 6E will also leverage important peer-to-peer Wi-Fi technologies to improve Client-to-Client communications. Imagine sharing 8K videos with your family or friends after a trip in the blink of an eye, or blisteringly fast transfers for unified communications across various devices, both in the workplace and at home. Be it automating school attendance or securely printing documents without having to log in to a network, these applications will work even better.

The vast amount of 6 GHz spectrum, along with Wi-Fi 6E scheduling, will limit channel contention. Not only will this provide the world’s best gaming experience, but it will also enable immersive educational opportunities for students and training exercises for employees. Walmart, which uses virtual reality to train employees for Black Friday crowds, could soon use VR glasses and a compute device contained in a smartphone. All these next-generation applications exist in the palm of the hand.

2021: The year of Wi-Fi 6E

This will undoubtedly be the year of Wi-Fi 6E. Now more than ever, the benefits of wireless connectivity are more valuable than we ever imagined. From supporting a portion of our workforce with remote working to helping educate our children with distance learning, Wi-Fi truly is the backbone of our economy.

Thanks to strong regulatory momentum and industry efforts, Wi-Fi 6E will quickly proliferate in phones, PCs, and other devices this year. This technology offers disruptive speeds and low latency benefits, and consumers and enterprises alike will see this value. A vibrant ecosystem of Wi-Fi 6E end devices will burgeon this year and the world will be unmistakably replete with Wi-Fi.

Today, with Wi-Fi 6E smartphone, laptops, and routers already available, the next generation has arrived, and consumers’ wireless experience will never be the same.

 

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to [email protected].

Mercku CES M6 Announcement

Mercku’s M6 Wi-Fi 6 system was named the Consumer Technology Association’s Networking Product of the Year in the Mark of Excellence 2021 Awards – an award series that annually recognizes the tech industry’s top smart home innovations.  

Every year, The Mark of Excellence Awards, presented by the Smart Home Division of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, recognizes the best in custom integration and installed technology. The most innovative technology companies compete in more than 20 award categories and are judged by independent experts from established industry leaders. In a year where consumers are spending more time at home than ever before, we are honored to have received the 2021 Mark of Excellence Award for M6 AX Mesh in the Networking Product of the Year category. 

Mercku Wi-Fi6 Mark of Excellence Smart Home Award

 

Mercku M6

This recognition embodies Mercku’s commitment to building the next era of connectivity. By awarding Mercku with the Mark of Excellence Award, CTA spotlights the impact we have on our users’ daily lives and shows the importance of innovative Wi-Fi products as the foundation of all connected smart home technology. We share this award with all our partners, distributors and users around the world, as we are thrilled to lead the way into an innovative, user-centered, connected future.  

Read the full story on CTA.tech