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April 22, 2021 by Chatwin Lansdowne

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One of NASA’s space suits now has two Wi-Fi clients and three Wi-Fi antennas.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins wore a Wi-Fi® enabled helmet camera during an extravehicular activity on 28 February 2021 to demonstrate a high-definition live video streaming application. Rubins and NASA astronaut Victor Glover were attaching brackets so that new-technology solar panels could be added to the solar arrays. The crew inside the International Space Station cabin were able to see the video on a laptop, while the support team on the ground also used the video to coach the pair through a grueling procedure that was beleaguered by two stuck bolts and a damaged glove. NASA refers to the camera by a stacked acronym, it is the High Definition Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Camera Assembly, or HECA.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins covers the hatch after egressing from the crew airlock. The crisp photo is a video frame that was streamed live from the new high-definition wireless camera mounted beside her helmet. (Source: NASA)

Although eight access points (APs) now provide service outside of the space station, Rubins and Glover needed to work together at the farthest port-side end of the space station’s main truss. That is presently about 50 meters from the nearest Wi-Fi infrastructure, and the view is blocked by the station’s solar panels and thermal radiator panels. The nearest infrastructure points consist of antennas outside the space station cabled to an AP inside the space station. Despite the challenges of distance, cables, structural blockage, and roaming, the live high-definition video was available during most of the work, and the camera’s client switched quickly between APs as Rubins changed position and orientation.

While the pair were as far from the airlock as an astronaut can climb, pausing for a routine glove check Glover observed a split in the rubbery coating at the left index finger crease of his glove. It appeared to be a small hole. Any damage to the protective layers of the glove could leak oxygen from his suit. Victor struggled to decide how much damage he was seeing.

“When Kate gets over here, maybe I can show you in the HECA.”

“Yep, and that’s exactly what we were thinking, Ike” mission control replied.

After some high-definition inspection under artificial lighting, the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) advised Glover, “Ike, I think we have as good a view of that glove as we’re going to get. Just minimize the use of that hand.”

Victor Glover’s standard definition camera did not convey enough detail for the ground to inspect the damage to his glove. (Source: NASA)

After Kate Rubins moved to use her new helmet camera to inspect damage on Victor Glover’s glove, CAPCOM relayed the decision to continue the spacewalk and “just minimize the use of that hand.” (Source: NASA)

A gradual approach to technology transition

The cameras were delivered to the space station in November 2019 to support servicing of theAlpha Magnetic Spectrometer, but instead remained in storage until the crew had time to retrofit the suits with a package of upgrades. In November 2020, the population of the space station more than doubled when the first operational SpaceX Crew Dragon docked with a manifest of four astronauts. And in early February, Rubins assembled a camera, turned it on to make certain it worked, and then installed the first of the cameras onto the “EV1” (red stripes) space suit.

Kate Rubins pauses to read an interactive crew procedure from a Wi-Fi connected tablet that floats hands-free. (Source: NASA)

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins connects the power cable as she installs the first high-definition helmet camera onto her space suit. (Source: NASA)

The HECA up-streams live HD video through Wi-Fi for viewing by the crew and on the ground. The HECA HD video is also recorded to internal storage, and segments can be recovered afterward by uploading over Wi-Fi for return-link to the ground.

HD video will help with close-out photo-documentation that recently has been performed using a hand-held Nikon D5 or GoPro video. A ground console operator in the Mission Control Center (MCC) using the call sign “CRONUS” can command the video encoder in the new camera to a wide range of streaming rates. CRONUS can also use the camera to take still photos. The crew inside the space station can now display the video on a laptop to help them track the spacewalk as it progresses, and therefore CRONUS can configure the camera to stream to two destination addresses over wireless so that both the crew and the ground can observe simultaneously.

The camera uses a pair of low-profile circularly polarized antennas that are oriented to achieve omnidirectional aggregate coverage rather than overlapped antenna coverage. Low profile antennas on a suit are less likely to snag or break and are therefore preferred as it is not uncommon for the suit to drift against the structure as the astronauts climb, reach, twist tools, or float through narrow openings. The camera supports Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac, also known as Wi-Fi 5. The Wi-Fi client adapter in the HECA is the first client to support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED LocationTM, opening the possibility that someday ground control teams will be able to plot the spacesuit location during critical operations, or that a future suit informatics system can know its own relative location by using the Wi-Fi infrastructure to gauge distances.

The U.S. space suits already had a Wi-Fi client, an engineering data recorder that debuted in March 2019. The EMU Data Recorder (EDaR) live-streams non-critical low-rate telemetry.

Chris Cassidy modeled the prototype high-definition digital helmet camera (round lens on left), as he rehearsed the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer servicing EVA in 2019. The camera was part of a larger suit upgrade package that waited over a year on-board the space station for the crew to have time to install. Legacy cameras (square lenses on right) continue to provide standard definition video. (Source: NASA)

NASA has deployed eight mixed-vendor Wi-Fi 4 access points to provide coverage outside of the International Space Station. Other external payloads have been stationary, so the suits are NASA’s first mobile outdoor Wi-Fi clients. Some special engineering is needed to increase the agility of the Wi-Fi connection managed by the cameras as they move outside the space station. The activity allowed NASA to evaluate impacts to the network before adding a camera to the second suit.

Wi-Fi was the obvious choice for the HD suit camera. The existing wireless video infrastructure cannot support digital signaling, and the Intel single-board computer selected to perform video encoding already included a Wi-Fi radio. Wi-Fi coverage surrounding the space station is already good, and additional hardware is ready to install as needed to further improve coverage.

Technology, past and future

There was a time before Wi-Fi. The HD camera retired the widest and least-used view among the three selectable analog National Television System Committee (NTSC) standard definition cameras in the legacy system. These helmet cameras appeared on space suits in December 2000, to support the assembly work for the space station. The radio technology for these legacy cameras derives from a terrestrial design that provided cockpit video for NASCAR races during the 1990s. This system is designed to be supported by three infrastructure points on the space station, each point can support a video stream from one space suit. The HECA demonstration comes as the analog system is approaching “end of life.” In fact, the new camera demonstrated far superior wireless coverage when viewed beside the standard definition camera during the activity because one of the legacy infrastructure points had failed and needed to be replaced. The legacy system will continue to operate as the community works through the technology transition.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky with GoPro strapped to left arm. Source: NASA

Space suit live video greatly improves situational awareness on the ground and on the space station, but it is not considered critical. The Russian Orlan suits do not have a helmet camera of their own, but since 2013 have been outfitted with a GoPro to record video and then upload it to the network after returning inside using interior Wi-Fi. The NASA helmet cameras are sometimes used on the Orlan suits, and the new cameras are expected to appear soon on both NASA suits, and the Russian Orlan suits as well.

The current generation of space suit debuted on the Space Shuttle in 1983. As NASA develops the latest statement in celestial fashion for its next walk on the moon, many updates are being incorporated. Expect the functions that Wi-Fi has helped retrofit onto today’s space suits, to be integrated into the next-generation lunar suit design.

Trade names and trademarks are used in this report for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


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

Ontario-based network operator invests in the Revenue EDGE solution to offer its fiber-to-the-home subscribers an exceptional quality of experience that differentiates its brand from the competition and fuels growth

SAN JOSE, CA – April 22, 2021 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that Canadian broadband internet service provider TekSavvy has selected the Revenue EDGE solution to differentiate its brand and service offerings and deliver an exceptional broadband experience to subscribers on its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. A fast-growing and disruptive force in the Canadian market, TekSavvy will grow its value with the introduction of its Home WiFi Pro offering, a premium-level managed Wi-Fi service that leverages the comprehensive capabilities of the Revenue EDGE. Overall, this investment in the Revenue EDGE will enable TekSavvy to boost levels of subscriber satisfaction and support while elevating its brand, further setting it apart from competitors.


TekSavvy FTTH subscribers will benefit from the powerful Wi-Fi 6 connectivity of the GigaSpire® BLAST, which they can control through the Home WiFi Pro Mobile App—the service provider’s branded version of the CommandIQ® mobile app. Soon, TekSavvy will also offer subscribers an enhancement to their experience beyond managed Wi-Fi by adding EDGE SuitesProtectIQ for advanced network security and ExperienceIQ for quality-of-service and parental controls. Calix customers have achieved incredible results thanks to their investment in the Revenue EDGE, including 99 percent adoption of premium Wi-Fi services, 74 percent adoption of the CommandIQ mobile app, and nearly 60 percent adoption of the apps in EDGE Suites.


“Our decision to go with Calix is aligned with our track record for always acting in the best interest of our subscribers,” said Charlie Burns, chief technology officer for TekSavvy. “With the Revenue EDGE, we can further differentiate ourselves in the market with a combination of deep insights, powerful Wi-Fi, and a mobile app that puts our brand front and center. We will continue to invest heavily in our subscribers’ experience, exciting them with services they want and need and fostering strong relationships that will grow the value of our business for years to come.”


For more than two decades, TekSavvy has delivered award-winning telecom services that prioritize the needs of consumers. As a leading provider offering fiber broadband services to the previously underserved area of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, the company has worked tirelessly to bridge the digital divide—and plans to invest an additional $250 million in broadband infrastructure by 2026. In a market defined by a few large players, TekSavvy is the country’s largest independent internet service provider, presenting critical competition and a high-quality alternative for Canadians coast-to-coast.


“TekSavvy is a phenomenal example of an industry disruptor—a smart, outspoken, subscriber-first network operator leading the way by embracing industry best practices and cutting-edge offerings,” said Alan Lieff, vice president of sales for Calix. “We need more service providers willing to deploy aggressively and invest in exciting their subscribers. With the Revenue EDGE, TekSavvy can deliver an unparalleled experience while positioning itself to drive new and differentiated revenue streams, create loyal subscribers and attract new ones, all while reinforcing the value of its brand. We are excited to be working with TekSavvy and look forward to growing this partnership as it continues to place Canadian broadband subscribers first.”


Learn more about the Revenue EDGE solution and register here for the April 28 webinar, How To Offer the Premium Services 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

Press Inquiries:
Dale Legaspi


Investor Inquiries:

Tom Dinges


World Cinema adds Nextivity’s award-winning Cel-Fi in-building cellular coverage products to its line-up of wireless connectivity solutions for B2B and B2C customer deployments

HOUSTON and SAN DIEGO, CAApril 14, 2021Nextivity and World Cinema (WCI) today announced the companies are partnering to deliver enterprise-grade in-building cellular connectivity to communities and destination properties throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. WCI now offers Nextivity’s award-winning Cel-Fi products through ImpruviX®, its suite of complete and custom wireless connectivity solutions for hotels, student housing, senior living communities, luxury multi-dwelling units (MDUs), master-planned communities, and health care facilities.

For over 45 years, WCI has been the top performer of buying power in the property management and hospitality industries. To date, the company serves over 4,200 hotels and 120 student properties. In October 2020, WCI launched ImpruviX to deliver and support enterprise-grade wireless connectivity for both B2B and B2C customers. ImpruviX solutions by WCI are designed for lowest total cost of ownership and are sensitive to capital value. Nextivity’s Cel-Fi products that optimize cellular coverage in enterprise, small business, residential, and mobile settings, enable WCI to deliver customized solutions that align with customers’ in-building cellular connectivity needs and budget constraints.

“We believe that reliable connectivity will continue to be vital in optimizing the value of any property where guests visit or residents live. In-building cellular coverage, in particular, will increasingly play an important role in acquiring and retaining high occupancy rates in all communities and destination properties,” says Robert Grosz, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at WCI. “Our partnership with Nextivity ensures that ImpruviX solutions feature the most advanced technology for cellular coverage and enables us to deliver future-proof solutions that cost-effectively meet our customers’ evolving wireless connectivity needs.”

Nextivity’s award-winning Cel-Fi products solve the problem of dropped calls, poor voice quality, and low data throughput caused by a weak cellular signal. Cel-Fi products are self-configuring, carrier-approved, and unconditionally network safe; leveraging the IntelliBoost chipset to deliver the industry’s highest gain at the lowest cost per square foot. Cel-Fi is authorized for use by 200 carriers around the world.

“The world is changing and cellular app-based solutions have begun to dominate in new ways, whether talking touchless e-pay solutions or new security-based applications.  Valued partners like World Cinema share our commitment to delivering an exceptional digital experience with the best technology,” says Werner Sievers, CEO of Nextivity. “This partnership will extend the reach of Cel-Fi products and create new opportunities for us to work together to solve the cellular coverage challenges faced by many industries – including hospitality, health care, and commercial real estate. The Cel-Fi QUATRA line offers the flexibility and connectivity these industries are looking for within their current budget parameters.

About World Cinema

Headquartered in Houston, World Cinema is a market leader innovating and delivering technology and services to guest-centric properties. The company was the first technology service provider to hotels nationwide, beginning in 1974. Today, World Cinema is building on that legacy as a stable and trusted provider of video, data and connectivity services to some of the largest owners and managers of hotel and multifamily brands in the world. The company serves 4,200 properties nationwide with nearly 600,000 rooms under management and over 300 million guest encounters per year.

About Nextivity

Headquartered in San Diego, Nextivity Inc. develops the award-winning, Cel-Fi family of products that deliver best-in-class connectivity  for enterprise, business, residential spaces, and mobile cellular and public safety communication needs. Cel-Fi is the go-to solution for healthcare, government, hotels, retail, education, remote sites, parking garages, manufacturing, warehouses, as well as trucking and marine fleets. Cel-Fi products are available in 100 countries through mobile operators and a growing worldwide network of master distributors, systems integrators, installers, and resellers. Additional information is available at, on TwitterLinkedIn, and on Facebook.

Nextivity, the Nextivity logo, Cel-Fi, Smart Signal Booster, and Supercell are registered trademarks of Nextivity Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contacts

Kari Wise – Boulevard Public Relations for Nextivity


Taylor Burton – World Cinema Inc.


The word “diversity” is pervasive, especially when it comes to the workplace, but do we fully understand its importance? Yes, diversity is about everyone getting their fair shot – but it’s also a smart business decision. When the talent pool is larger and more diverse, everyone brings unique perspectives and experience to the table. Better solutions are found. Breakthroughs are achieved. Innovation happens. Everyone wins.

The importance of diversity was illustrated clearly for me while working on a group exercise for my MBA. We were “stranded” in the arctic with a list of 20 items to prioritize in order to survive. First, we did the exercise on our own. Then, we repeated the exercise with a group of people with similar genders and ethnicities. In the third round, we completed the same task with a more diverse group. The results spoke for themselves: the more diverse the group, the better the outcome and the much greater chance of survival. Although the example is anecdotal, research supports the results. Companies that are gender, ethnically and culturally diverse are more likely to financially outperform their industry peers.

Anyone working in STEM knows we have a diversity problem, with women particularly underrepresented. According to Statistics Canada, women made up only 34% of STEM bachelor’s degree holders in 2016, and only 23% of science and technology workers among Canadians aged 25 to 64. What amazing ideas, breakthroughs and collaborative opportunities have we missed out on as a result? Conversely, since STEM jobs are at the forefront of innovation with some of the highest salaries, what fulfilling careers have women been missing out on?

This is an area I spend a lot of time thinking about, and, in light of International Women’s Day, I hosted a virtual roundtable for the women I work with at Cognitive Systems. I wanted to get their perspectives as women working in tech and kick off an important conversation that should be an ongoing one – not just something we focus on once a year. We need to hear both the good and the bad, and openly discuss our concerns and experiences, so that we can work together to make things better.

Still Room for Improvement

In our discussion, we talked about representation in school, in recruitment and in the workplace. We agreed that progress has been made in education, with more women than ever pursuing degrees in STEM. Unfortunately, we aren’t yet seeing this translate at the same pace into the working world.

One colleague mentioned an important disconnect, observing that women often only apply for a role if they meet 100% of the job requirements, whereas men are less hesitant to apply even if they meet only some of the criteria. In my experience working in tech and reviewing resumes, I’ve found support for this theory. The smaller number of women applicants tend to meet all job requirements. Of course, qualified men apply as well, but there are a lot more who don’t tick every box.

How can we address this in recruitment, so that more women are encouraged to apply? For starters, we can be more deliberate in the way we word job descriptions and promote flexibility in role requirements to encourage a diverse range of applicants. Hiring for specific skills is certainly important, but hiring someone who is motivated to learn and is a good cultural fit is equally important for success.

Another solution is to make best use of co-op programs. At Cognitive, we provide our co-ops with challenging and meaningful work that advances our corporate goals. During our roundtable, one of our students revealed that Cognitive had exceeded her expectations with respect to how she would be treated and the importance of the work she would do. It was disheartening to hear that she had low expectations, but I’m glad we were able to deliver more. By encouraging more young women to apply for co-op roles and leveraging their strengths, we hope they will be excited to continue a career in STEM.

Something else to think about is that not all positions in our industry need to embody traditional ideas of what a “tech job” should be. A company cannot operate solely based on the hard skills of engineering. Developing an idea, product or service is only one part of the equation – many other roles make important contributions that are essential to organizational success. Shining a brighter light on these roles and the soft skills required to perform them should encourage greater diversity in applicants, and not just women.

What do women love about working in STEM?

By increasing diversity in STEM, we are ultimately driving greater success for everyone, and there are many reasons for women to join these industries. My colleagues who participated in the roundtable had some important takeaways to share:

“I like that my work contributes to new ideas that have never been done before. I also like that I’m constantly learning, especially because the tech field is always improving and innovating.” – Safa

“I like being able to directly contribute to innovation and break new ground. Coming up with solutions to make the world a better and easier place for people makes working in tech feel very meaningful.” – Sarmina

“One of the biggest appeals that people might not think of is the creativity involved, every day presents a new challenge and a new puzzle to solve. I am constantly learning, building upon what I know and forced to use my knowledge to solve new problems that have never been tackled before.” – Emilie

“I love that technology is the cross-road between logical and creative. Knowing how something functions and its limitations and then challenging those to create new and exciting things.” – Katie

A few key pieces of advice for women interested in STEM also emerged from our discussion:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail because it’s just part of the process. Fall down, make mistakes, and move forward unapologetically.
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for help.
  • Look for guidance from other successful women in STEM and don’t be afraid to forge your own path.
  • You don’t necessarily need to be an engineer. There are lots of ways to work in STEM outside of traditional “tech” roles.

For increased diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce, there’s work to be done. Supporting meaningful co-op placements and ensuring hiring practices encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds are small steps we can take today to ensure even more breakthroughs in our future.

I’ll leave you with one quote from our roundtable that really stood out for me:

“I always had a curiosity about the world around me and was inspired by the endless possibilities that STEM offers. With the tools you develop working in STEM you can do anything. Studying STEM means learning how to learn, how to break down a problem, challenge your own assumptions and think outside of the box. Everything you learn just spawns more questions and feeds the hunger within you to keep learning.” – Emilie

LitePoint IQxel-MW Validates the Performance of Morse Micro System-on-Chip Family

SAN JOSE, California

—LitePoint, a leading provider of wireless test solutions, today announced that Morse Micro, developer of the smallest Wi-Fi HaLow single-chip solution, has standardized on the LitePoint IQxel-MW for design verification of its Wi-Fi HaLow system-on-chip family.

Customers and manufacturing partners integrating Morse Micro’s Wi-Fi HaLow SoC based on IEEE 802.11ah into their IoT design will be able to use the IQxel-MW to test the wireless functionality of their product, helping bring the design to market.

“The number of connected Internet of Things devices is growing rapidly and the low power and long-range capabilities of Wi-Fi HaLow will open many more possibilities for IoT applications,” said Vahid Manian, Chief Operating Officer of Morse Micro. “Original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers can now develop Wi-Fi HaLow IoT products with confidence using the IQxel-MW platform for design validation and manufacturing testing.”

Wi-Fi HaLow is well suited for a variety of IoT applications like video cameras, industrial automation, occupancy sensors, motion detectors and more, offering a longer signal range of approximately 1-kilometer, lower power connectivity and the ability to penetrate obstacles.

“Morse Micro provides one of the leading chipsets in the Wi-Fi HaLow market. We’re pleased to be collaborating with them in this space” said Adam Smith, Director of Product Marketing at LitePoint. “LitePoint’s IQxel-MW platform is the ideal solution for thorough verification of 802.11ah OFDM RF PHY operation in the unlicensed Sub-1 GHz frequency bands. It allows Morse Micro’s customers to accelerate their Wi-Fi HaLow design and ensure optimal performance of their IoT products.”

Technical Details

LitePoint’s IQxel-MW platform is a leading test solution for Wi-Fi connectivity, meeting the needs of product development and high-volume manufacturing. The IQxel-MW includes support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 802.11ah as well as wide range of connectivity and IoT technologies with a frequency range from 400 to 6000 MHz and upgradable to support up to 7300 MHz for future Wi-Fi 6E bands.

For more information, visit LitePoint’s IQxel-MW test solution.

– End –

What is band steering, and is it worth the hype?

Nowadays, smart home tech is reigning in every household. Can you imagine a place without a single smart-device today? The increasing number of connected IoT and smart devices undoubtedly raises a problem: with all devices connected to a single 2.4 GHz band, how can we ensure a smooth online experience while streaming, gaming, and video-calling all under the same roof?

The wireless industry’s answer was the introduction the new, 5 GHz band in dual-band routers. Dual-band routers benefit client devices by allowing them to connect to either the 2.4 GHz band with a wider range, or the 5 GHz band for faster throughput and higher performance, alleviating congestion on a single band.

In the early days, the practice was to manually connect devices to either the 2.4 or 5 GHz band based on the requirements of the device, which can be very frustrating to optimize and do on a regular basis. Qualcomm noticed this problem and introduced a solution that would automate this process for the user – Band Steering.

Band steering technology encourages dual-band client devices, such as most modern smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, to generally use the less-congested band.



Why not connect to the 5 GHz band in the first place?

Some of you may wonder why can’t those client devices just connect to the 5 GHz band from the start? To answer this, let’s examine how the “normal wireless operation” works and how the “band steering operation” works.


Steering mechanism



As the illustration demonstrates, both the client devices and the routers are exchanging probes. In a normal wireless operation without band steering, the client device sees wireless probes from both bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and chooses to connect to the strongest one. However, which band is identified as stronger one by the client device depends on another piece of the puzzle.

The 2.4 GHz frequency was adopted for mass wireless use much earlier than the 5 GHz band. To put it simply, the 2.4GHz band is geared more towards wireless signal coverage due to its longer wavelength, while the 5GHz band benefits from faster speeds with its much shorter wavelength. As a result, the 2.4 GHz band can cover larger distances, and most client devices connect to it regardless of how fast or congested it is. What’s more is that once this connection is made, the client device will stay on the same band even if it’s within range of the 5 GHz band and requires a faster network.

So, where does this band steering mechanism come into play? Band steering allows the access point to disable the 2.4 GHz band from probing the client device, so it responds only to the 5 GHz band, reducing the congestion on the 2.4 GHz band while taking advantage of the faster 5GHz band to improve user’s network experience. This way, band steering ensures that end-user devices get faster speeds and less network interference whenever it is possible.

Is Enabling Band Steering worth it?

So far, it sounds like having band steering has no downsides – but then how come we’re asking whether it’s worth enabling? Let us explain.

As the steering mechanism demonstrates, both the access points and client devices can send probes. However, band steering is operated by the access point, and it cannot control how the client device interprets or sends the probes, leaving many client devices unable to be steered to the 5 GHz band.

Moreover, client devices previously associated with the 2.4 GHz band might not be steered even with band steering enabling – they first have to be un-associated from the 2.4GHz band manually. As a result, only idle or new client devices may be band-steered.

Lastly, band-steering technology does not consider the unique traffic conditions. For instance, band steering will not consider the users’ habits of gaming, video streaming, or merely browsing web pages. Therefore, they cannot provide solutions tailored to the need for speed on the client devices.

Ultimately, band steering is a convenient way to prioritize which band the client devices use, and at the end of the day, the control to toggle it On or Off is yours.

Curious about the new and upcoming 6 GHz band? Learn more here

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

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!

Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. – March 30, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® commends Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) on the decisionto expand Wi-Fi® operations to the 5.925-7.125 GHz frequency band. With this momentous decision, CITC empowers tremendous connectivity benefits of the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology in Saudi Arabia and affirms its leadership in enabling the next generation of wireless services. Wi-Fi Alliance members are ready to follow through on the CITC’s decision by delivering a wave of new Wi-Fi 6E products and services to Saudi Arabia’s consumers, enterprises, and economy.


About Wi-Fi Alliance®  |
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.

Follow Wi-Fi Alliance:

Media Contact:
Stephanie Burke
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance

Aptilo IoT Connectivity Control Service™ (IoT CCS) is part of a global IoT Service, where it adds a flexible layer of policy control and security features. The cloud-native solution from Enea incorporates IoT security from Fortinet to protect IoT devices, data traffic, and enterprise applications. This allows mobile operators to offer managed IoT security with the flexibility to steer selected traffic through virtual private connections or directly to the Internet, while protected by FortiGate Firewalls.

As an additional benefit of the solution, operators no longer need to set up individual virtual private connections for each enterprise customer, a complex task that can take weeks. With the new solution in place, enterprises can easily create their own virtual private connections in a matter of minutes.

“The award-winning Aptilo IoT CCS is a perfect illustration of how we innovate in close partnership with our customers,” says Paul Mikkelsen, Head of the Aptilo Business Unit at Enea.

Aptilo IoT CCS is one of the important components in the newly launched IoT offering Telia Global IoT Connectivity.

Aptilo IoT CCS won four different awards during 2020 (see link below).


• Aptilo Connectivity Control Service 
• Telia Global IoT Connectivity
• Aptilo awards


Erik Larsson, Senior Vice President Marketing

About Aptilo Networks

Aptilo Networks, an Enea company, is one of the world’s leading providers of Wi-Fi service management solutions and cloud-based IoT connectivity control services. The company has delivered software and services to more than 100 operators that serve tens of thousands of enterprise customers, and hundreds of millions of end-users and devices.

About Enea

Enea is one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative software for telecommunication and cybersecurity. Focus areas are cloud-native, 5G-ready products for data management, mobile video traffic optimization, edge virtualization, and traffic intelligence. More than 3 billion people rely on Enea technologies in their daily lives.

Enea is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

For more information:

On the off chance that you live in a jam-packed spot, you may have seen times when your Wi-Fi unexpectedly drops off out of the blue. The Wi-Fi routers and neighbours’ devices could be using the same radio channels that meddle with your internet connection. It’s ideal to discover and utilize a Wi-Fi channel that offers less interference and a smoother connection to improve the Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity.

Choosing the optimal Wi-Fi channel can improve your Wi-Fi coverage and signal strength, giving you an overall boost in performance.

Most Wi-Fi routers nowadays are utilizing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, while some of the latest routers now equipped with  using the 6 GHz band. Each band is split into channels used by your devices to send and receive information over the network.

Much like cars on a road, information sent across the network via data channels slow down in areas with higher traffic and congestions. The time it takes for a device to send and receive information from the router is increased on the congested channel, and you might be left waiting for your turn to access the web.

Depending on the router you use, you may have some channels that don’t overlap:

  • 4 GHz: 3 non-overlapping channels available
  • 5 GHz: 24 non-overlapping channels available
  • 6 GHz: 14 non-overlapping 80 MHz channels or 7 non-overlapping 160 MHz channels


The reason why some channels aren’t ideal for you to use might be caused by channel interference.
There are a couple of different types of channel interference:


Co-Channel interference occurs when many wireless devices are accessing the same channel, causing congestion on that channel.

Non-Wi-Fi interference occurs when other devices that work on non-Wi-Fi 802.11 radio frequencies compete for the same frequency band.

Adjacent-channel interference occurs when information sent is on an adjacent or partly overlapping channel. The channel bleeds over on an overlapping channel, which adds interference.

Luckily for the users, there are ways to mitigate network interference with several types of channel switching.


Channel switching and channel width selection enable users to optimize their Wi-Fi performance in 3 ways:


Manual Channel Switching:

With manual channel switching, the access point uses the default channel set by the manufacturer. The user is then able to manually change the selected channel based on:

  1. Signal strength
  2. Wireless networks in the neighbourhood and inside their home
  3. Level on interference caused by non-Wi-Fi devices over the radio channels

Today, consumers can find various third-party “wireless network analyzer” apps and software online, giving them an overview of  network performance, signal strength, and channel congestion. The user then is able to determine the optimal channel based on this analysis for maximum speed and stability.

Auto-channel Switching:

Many routers feature auto-channel switching (ACS) feature by default,  and with this enabled, the router will  automatically select the least congested channel for you each time the system boots up. Since auto-channel switching relies on scanning the air once (when it powers on) the change in the wireless environment in the future could cause channel interference, and prompt sluggish Wi-Fi performance.

Dynamic Channel Switching (DCS):

Dynamic channel switching helps the user avoid highly congested channels and lets routers and access points (AP) automatically switch to the least crowded channel without any manual input from the user.

With DCS, the router continuously scans the air for the best available channel and switches to it automatically.

There are several available methods for dynamic channel switching:

  1. Scheduled DCS
    Scheduled DCS mode allows the user to set a desirable time of the day (e.g. every day at 01:00 AM) to scan the environment and perform automatic channel switching to avoid potential network interruptions.
  1. Start-up Mode
    Like regular Automatic Channel Switching, DCS’ Start-up mode works when an AP starts up for the first time and chooses a channel from the available non-congested, non-overlapping channels.
  1. Steady State Mode
    All modern DCS-enabled access points have Steady State Mode set by default. With Steady State Mode, the AP scans different channels at a set time interval (e.g every 15 minutes of every day) and chooses the channel with the least interference. The user is typically able to select the desired time interval for performing the network scan and channel switching themselves.

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

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Enables easy and quick deployment of new test scripts and development of customized test automation

LITTLETON, MA, MARCH 18, 2021 – octoScope, the leader in accurate, repeatable and automated wireless personal testbeds, announces the introduction of the scriptMachine, a console for controlling one or more octoBox testbeds. The scriptMachine also includes a development environment for test automation and runs scripts supplied by octoScope or third parties.New Wi-Fi functionality, such as mesh, roaming, steering and load balancing, require automation of complex test sequences. Similarly, new Wi-Fi industry testing standards such as TR-398 from the Broadband Forum demand lengthy test automation suites and call for the use of multiple testbeds to accelerate execution of complex testing programs.

This increasing complexity in test management drives the need for an easier way to deploy test scripts across testbeds. Instead of installing scripts on each server, scriptMachine allows running these scripts on any testbed or on multiple testbeds at once. The scriptMachine comes with Python libraries and script examples, making it easy for customers to develop their own customized test automation sequences.

“The scriptMachine makes our octoBox testbeds easier to use and easier to automate,” said Fanny Mlinarsky, President of octoScope.

Stackable and configurable, octoBox personal testbeds are completely isolated from external interference and can be used at an engineer’s office or lab bench.

Each octoBox testbed is controlled by a dedicated Node.js web server accessible via a browser UI for manual control, or via REST API for test automation. The server provides the time base for the testbed and controls the built-in instruments, DUT configuration, traffic, and test flow. Test results are saved in a MongoDB database, enabling multiple teams to easily collaborate by sharing the test automation scripts and test results.

octoScope is a Spirent company.