Breaking News

GLOBAL Wi-Fi NEWS bulletin


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.


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

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 



GREENSBORO, NC – January 12, 2021 – Qorvo® (Nasdaq:QRVO), a leading provider of innovative solutions that connect and power the world, today introduced two Wi-Fi 6E front end modules (FEMs) designed to maximize throughput and range in high-bandwidth applications such as 8K video streaming, online gaming and virtual reality.

Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of Wi-Fi 6 that operates in the recently opened 6 GHz frequency band, in addition to the traditional 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Wi-Fi 6E triples Wi-Fi capacity with contiguous spectrum to accommodate 7 additional 160 MHz-wide channels or 14 additional 80 MHz channels. Qorvo’s Wi-Fi 6E FEMs unleash the full potential of this new spectrum, delivering leading linearity performance and maximizing throughput and capacity at peak permissible indoor power levels.

The Qorvo QPF4656 and QPF4632 deliver robust and rugged performance with world-class energy efficiency, and the highest speed and throughput at the maximum power levels supported by Wi-Fi 6E’s extended bandwidth. The QPF4656 is designed for consumer Wi-Fi 6E routers and gateways. The QPF4632 is designed for enterprise power-over-ethernet (POE) Wi-Fi 6E products and applications.

The Qorvo Wi-Fi 6E FEMs deliver up to 25% more power efficiency than current solutions in compact packaging, enabling cost, size and thermal performance advantages in consumer and enterprise wireless networking solutions.

Cees Links, general manager of Qorvo’s Wireless Connectivity business, said, “Qorvo’s new Wi-Fi 6E FEMs deliver on the Wi-Fi 6E promise to enable high-bandwidth applications with faster data speeds and lower latency—and in smaller, more rugged form factors. Consumers and businesses will see significant improvements in home entertainment, gaming and social experiences.”

The QPF4656 and QPF4632 FEMs are sampling now.

Connect with us virtually during the all-digital CES® (#CES2021), January 11-14. For more information about Qorvo’s solutions, announcements and meeting inquiries, visit our Qorvo CES 2021 landing page.

Qorvo’s Wi-Fi portfolio serves a broad range of products from flagship smartphones and tablets, to consumer and enterprise gateway and smart home applications. Qorvo’s Wi-Fi 6 solutions enable significantly faster wireless upload and download speeds, increased capacity and improved power efficiency.

About Qorvo
Qorvo (Nasdaq: QRVO) makes a better world possible by providing innovative Radio Frequency (RF) solutions at the center of connectivity. We combine product and technology leadership, systems-level expertise and global manufacturing scale to quickly solve our customers’ most complex technical challenges. Qorvo serves diverse high-growth segments of large global markets, including advanced wireless devices, wired and wireless networks and defense radar and communications. We also leverage unique competitive strengths to advance 5G networks, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and other emerging applications that expand the global framework interconnecting people, places and things. Visit www.qorvo.comto learn how Qorvo connects the world.

Qorvo is a registered trademark of Qorvo, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Investor Relations Contact:
Doug DeLieto
VP, Investor Relations
Media Contact:
Katie Caballero
Marketing Communications Manager
Qorvo Infrastructure and Defense Products
+1 972-994-8546

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, representations and contentions, and are not historical facts and typically are identified by use of terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. You should be aware that the forward-looking statements included herein represent management’s current judgment and expectations, but our actual results, events and performance could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. We do not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements or publicly announce the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements, other than as is required under U.S. federal securities laws. Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those relating to fluctuations in our operating results; our substantial dependence on developing new products and achieving design wins; our dependence on a few large customers for a substantial portion of our revenue; a loss of revenue if contracts with the United States government or defense and aerospace contractors are canceled or delayed or if defense spending is reduced; the COVID-19 pandemic, which has and will likely continue to negatively impact the global economy and disrupt normal business activities, and which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations; our dependence on third parties; risks related to sales through distributors; risks associated with the operation of our manufacturing facilities; business disruptions; poor manufacturing yields; increased inventory risks and costs due to timing of customer forecasts; our inability to effectively manage or maintain evolving relationships with platform providers; risks from international sales and operations; economic regulation in China; changes in government trade policies, including imposition of tariffs and export restrictions; our ability to implement innovative technologies; underutilization of manufacturing facilities as a result of industry overcapacity; we may not be able to borrow funds under our credit facility or secure future financing; we may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our debt; restrictions imposed by the agreements governing our debt; volatility in the price of our common stock; damage to our reputation or brand; fluctuations in the amount and frequency of our stock repurchases; our recent and future acquisitions and other strategic investments could fail to achieve financial or strategic objectives; our ability to attract, retain and motivate key employees; our reliance on our intellectual property portfolio; claims of infringement of third-party intellectual property rights; security breaches and other similar disruptions compromising our information; theft, loss or misuse of personal data by or about our employees, customers or third parties; warranty claims, product recalls and product liability; and risks associated with environmental, health and safety regulations and climate change. Many of the foregoing risks and uncertainties are, and will continue to be, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and any worsening of the global business and economic environment as a result. These and other risks and uncertainties, which are described in more detail in Qorvo’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other reports and statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results and developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any of these forward-looking statements.

Wi-Fi® interoperability in 6 GHz promotes worldwide innovation and diverse ecosystem

Austin, Texas – January 7, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® certification for Wi-Fi 6E is now available to deliver interoperability for devices operating in the 6 GHz spectrum. Interoperability certification for Wi-Fi 6E – as part of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 – is introduced as global momentum for Wi-Fi® operation in the 6 GHz band increases daily. Wi-Fi 6E brings the immense benefits of 6 GHz spectrum to consumers, device manufacturers, and service providers as the band is being made available around the world. Wi-Fi Alliance certification helps ensure users receive a secure, reliable, and interoperable experience with Wi-Fi 6E devices.

Following the decision by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to open 1200 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum for Wi-Fi use, the U.K., Europe, Chile, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates have also made the decision to deliver 6 GHz for Wi-Fi. Countries including Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, and Jordan are quickly progressing towards opening 6 GHz for unlicensed operation. Wi-Fi Alliance is delivering on its promise to make certification for Wi-Fi 6E products available as the spectrum becomes available. Multiple product vendors are already announcing Wi-Fi 6E devices that make use of the superwide 160 MHz channels and uncongested bandwidth in 6 GHz to deliver multigigabit, low latency Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED provides a standards-based approach for product vendors to introduce secure and interoperable Wi-Fi 6E products throughout the world, helping to create a diverse device ecosystem.

“Wi-Fi 6E will see rapid adoption in 2021 with more than 338 million devices entering the market, and nearly 20 percent of all Wi-Fi 6 device shipments supporting 6 GHz by 2022,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “This year, we expect to see new Wi-Fi 6E chipsets from several companies, and a variety of new Wi-Fi 6E smartphones, PCs, and laptops in the first quarter of 2021 followed by TVs and VR product announcements midyear.”

Wi-Fi 6E certification utilizes cutting-edge WPA3security that continually evolves to address market needs. WPA3 has recently been updated to support even more robust password generation, mitigate additional attacks, and further protect and maintain privacy on Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi 6E extends into the 6 GHz band the capabilities of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6, including orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), target wake time (TWT), and multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO). These features all benefit from the additional 6 GHz spectrum capacity and the availability of up to seven superwide 160 MHz channels to move more data and deliver high-bandwidth Wi-Fi 6E applications including unified communications, AR/VR, and holographic video. Wi-Fi 6E delivers lower latency to satisfy industrial IoT and enterprise environment requirements. Wi-Fi 6E brings additional capacity, speed, and reduced latency for critical activities such as telecommuting, telepresence, and distance learning.

A new animation highlights the role of Wi-Fi 6E in delivering Wi-Fi innovation.

“Worldwide interoperability for Wi-Fi 6E devices promotes rapid adoption and innovation in 6 GHz,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Users will soon experience unprecedented Wi-Fi that significantly improves applications and delivers new use cases that will change their connected experiences.”

Member companies providing interoperability test bed devices that are among the first Wi-Fi 6E certified products include: Broadcom, Intel, MaxLinear, MediaTek, ON Semiconductor, and Qualcomm.

For more information, please visit:

With a robust 74 percent adoption rate of its subscriber-facing mobile application, the regional Wyoming CSP is owning the subscriber relationship by delivering the Ultimate Wi-Fi experience and differentiating customer-service with the latest and most popular subscriber-facing services and apps


SAN JOSE, CA – December 17, 2020 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that Silver Star Communications is harnessing the power of the complete Calix Revenue EDGE solution to deliver the Ultimate Wi-Fi Experience, solidifying its relationships with subscribers and fending off trillion-dollar consumer brands. Silver Star first deployed the GigaSpire® BLAST in 2019, delivering industry-best Wi-Fi 6 coverage and establishing functionality through which it could continuously and effortlessly upgrade the subscriber experience thanks to the power of the EXOS® platform and EDGE Suites. With a 74 percent adoption rate of the CommandIQ™ mobile app, the Wyoming communications service provider (CSP) now owns a direct channel to engage with subscribers instantly. This opens the door for Silver Star to tap upsell opportunities and deliver more revenue-generating applications as Calix adds partners to EDGE Suites.


With the CommandIQ mobile app—which Calix designed and can be branded under the CSP’s name—subscribers can customize their experience, run speed tests, leverage voice services, set application priorities, manage parental controls, secure their entire home network with ProtectIQ™ and much more. At the beginning of 2020, Silver Star rolled out the CommandIQ app (which it branded as the Silver Star Home Zone app) and has promoted it with every BLAST system installation. By bundling ProtectIQ as a service along with its BLAST systems, Silver Star has driven an impressive 81 percent adoption rate of the advanced security app. The regional CSP will embrace Calix Marketing Cloud further in 2021 to leverage subscriber data and drive similar upsell opportunities.


The regional CSP delivers comprehensive and differentiated services with amazing whole-home coverage built on the most advanced subscriber and network intelligence through EDGE Insights. Silver Star is managing subscriber experiences proactively through Calix Support Cloud (CSC), resolving three-fourths of trouble tickets without a truck roll—half in a single call. Furthermore, with access to the deep expertise from Calix Customer Success Services teams, Silver Star customer support teams are implementing best practices that deliver superior customer care and create value.


“Tapping into everything that the Revenue EDGE has to offer has given us a new, holistic approach to center our entire business model around the subscriber experience,” said Barbara Sessions, VP and COO for Silver Star. “We now have all the pieces in place to stay ahead of what our communities expect and what our competitors can deliver, but it all starts with serving our subscribers. Customer service is paramount to us, so in the event of network issues or trouble calls, it is vital that we resolve them with minimal disruption. This level of support is part of delivering an unmatched subscriber experience—not simply services. We look forward to growing our partnership with Calix as we continue to innovate and expand our business.”


A Calix customer of more than a decade, Silver Star Communications delivered the first 10G service in the state of Wyoming in 2018 with an AXOS® XGS-PON network. The regional CSP serves Western Wyoming and Eastern Idaho, connecting this region to major cities in adjacent states over a company-owned fiber network of more than 1,100 miles.


“Service providers like Silver Star are leading the way when it comes to owning the subscribers’ home experience,” said Michael Weening, EVP and COO for Calix. “The full Revenue EDGE solution puts the power of data and innovation back in the hands of the CSP and blocks the consumer giants trying to hijack the subscriber relationships. Add in network security and parental controls through the EDGE Suites—all fully managed through the CommandIQ mobile app, branded under the Silver Star name—and Silver Star has everything necessary to delight subscribers and crush competitors. As Calix continues to roll out new partners, such as leading internet-connected camera brand Arlo, to EDGE Suites, the momentum of forward-thinking CSPs like Silver Star will be unstoppable.”


Learn more about the Revenue EDGE solution and the customizable CommandIQmobile application.


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

Airvine wins Best Enterprise Wi-Fi Solution at the very prestigious Wi-Fi NOW 2020 award ceremony.

Santa Clara, CA — Today Airvine announced a final Seed financing round with Valley Capital Partners and Orbit Venture Partners, bringing total financing to $7 million.  In conjunction with the Seed financing, Steve O’Hara of Valley Capital Partners has joined Airvine’s board of directors.

Airvine has also emerged as the winner of the Best Enterprise Wi-Fi Solution at the Wi-Fi NOW industry award ceremony. “Wi-Fi NOW is the leading consulting, advocacy, and media organization in the wireless space. It is a huge honor to win this award. The judges are well-regarded analysts from throughout the industry, and it is great to see that our value proposition has been broadly recognized” said Vivek Ragavan, CEO of Airvine.

Airvine is developing an entirely new class of wireless technology that utilizes unlicensed spectrum in the V-band (57 to 71 GHz in the U.S.) to backhaul enterprise voice and data traffic. The legacy approach to in-building backhaul has always been to use copper cabling. CAT5 was broadly deployed back before the turn of the century, with CAT6 (and soon CAT7) being deployed today. The legacy approach made sense when the goal was to bring wired connectivity to every cubicle in an office building, but those days are long gone. Wi-Fi is now the dominant access technology as it allows the network to support a mobile workforce, but to get the most out of a wireless network a backhaul architecture is required that installs quickly, has the needed throughput, and can easily support moves, adds, and changes. Airvine’s WaveTunnel technology will usher in a new era of the all-wireless enterprise.

Company founder and Chairman of the Board, Hatch Graham, “We are delighted to have completed the seed funding round, which allows us to finish product development and start commercial trials with enterprise accounts from a variety of industry verticals. Our focus is on forward-looking companies that are interested in a more flexible and cost-effective approach that will increase business agility.”

Steve O’Hara said, “We are excited to be part of the Airvine journey. Wireless has long dominated the access space and is now set to take its place as a major backhaul technology. We are always looking for disruptive technologies, and we believe that Airvine is uniquely positioned to change the enterprise backbone industry in a big way.”

Vivek Ragavan, CEO added, “We are very pleased with the team that we are pulling together. It consists of world-class networking and RF experts from across the industry and we are driving rapidly toward product availability in 2021.”

The Big Idea behind Airvine is that the major changes in access networks will require major changes in the backhaul infrastructure that supports these networks. Wi-Fi 6 (and very soon 6E) provide an enormous capacity increase that is way beyond what legacy copper cabling can support. These old networks will need to be replaced with a broadband solution capable of backhauling tens of gigabits/sec. It’s not just Wi-Fi that needs backhauling, the industry is also set to embrace private in-building 5G cellular networks. These wireless access technologies will sweep through enterprise accounts worldwide and will have a major impact on the structured cabling market, which is valued at $7.5 billion a year worldwide.


About Valley Capital Partners

Valley Capital Partners backs exceptional entrepreneurs solving hard problems in huge addressable markets that require intense curiosity, intellectual depth, and often, science and deep technology. VCP is backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most iconic investors, family offices, and financial institutions. Valley Capital Partners is based in Menlo Park, California.

About Orbit Venture Partners

Orbit Venture Partners is dedicated to providing appropriate levels of capital and significant hands-on guidance to world-class entrepreneurs with pioneering ideas in opportunistic markets. Orbit Venture Partners is based in Rowayton, CT and Menlo Park, CA.

About Airvine

Airvine is a fast-growing Silicon Valley innovator of advanced high-capacity wireless solutions. The company has developed the industry’s first indoor 60 GHz wireless system that exceeds the speed and rivals the reliability of existing cabling at a fraction of the deployment time and cost. Patented RF innovations extend the range and gain of wireless signals, penetrating walls, and steering around obstacles that impede transmission. Something never before possible within the 60 GHz band.


Plume Design, Inc.

Dec 14, 2020, 05:00 ET


––Over 150 of the world’s leading communications service providers have turned to Plume for secure hyperconnectivity and personalized smart home services––

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Personalized Smart Home Services pioneer Plume®, today announced record growth and adoption of its portfolio of advanced Smart Home Services and Communication Service Provider (CSP) applications, which now power more than 20 million active households around the world. Through 2020, Plume has been scaling rapidly and is currently averaging approximately 1 million new home activations each month, at an accelerating rate. This comes at a time when industry commentators are predicting a sharp increase in Smart Home Services sector growth, fueled by the work-from-home movement coupled with consumers’ insatiable appetite for hyperconnectivity and personalization.

“We’re forecasting exponential growth in the smart home market with yearly revenues from connected devices and associated services reaching nearly $263 billion by 2025,” said Anirudh Bhaskaran, Senior Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “We believe that service providers are best placed to capitalize on this market opportunity and evolve beyond providing connectivity alone, to build compelling offerings inside the home to increase ARPU and retain customers.”

Today, more than 150 CSPs rely on Plume’s cloud-based Consumer Experience Management (CEM) Platform to elevate subscribers’ smart home experiences, increase ARPU, reduce OpEx, and cut churn. Plume’s rapid growth has been fueled by the independent CSP sector, where the company has added over 100 new customers in 2020 alone, across North America, Europe, and Japan.

Plume’s global expansion is visualized here.

Strong channel partnerships and distribution chain

This rapid growth is attributable, in part, to establishing a strong network of industry-leading channel partners including NCTC (who has over 700 members), Consumer Premises Equipment (CPE) and networking solutions providers including ADTRAN, Sagemcom, Sercomm, and Technicolor, and distributors such as Advanced Media Technologies (AMT). Plume’s business model uniquely enables OEM partners to license its iconic “pod” hardware designs to produce and sell directly to CSPs and distributors.

“Plume is enabling NCTC to deliver personalized smart home experiences that include speed, security, and control to our Members,” said Rich Fickle, President of NCTC. “Since partnering with Plume, many of our service providers have already seized on the opportunity to hyper-serve their subscribers and create new revenue opportunities with the growth in smart home.”

As a result of this model, Plume’s turnkey solution can be deployed and scaled rapidly, enabling CSPs to launch new services in less than 60 days, while contactless, self-install kits enable even faster time to market and lower overhead costs.

“Plume has enabled us to expand our distribution channel and offer Plume-designed products directly to the independent sector allowing the ISPs to move fast and minimize costs,” said Ken Mosca, President/CEO AMT. “Traditionally, the independent sector has been the last to benefit from technical advancement. However, through the powerful combination of Plume’s SuperPods and its Consumer Experience Management Platform, all Providers, whether big, medium or small have access to the same, groundbreaking technology.”

Fast time to market and scale with an open-source approach leveraging OpenSync

OpenSync™––the fastest growing and the most modern open-source framework for the smart home––has been a key component to Plume’s success. OpenSync’s flexible and cloud-agnostic architecture enables rapid service curation, delivery, scale, management, and support of Smart Home Services, and has already been adopted as a standard by major industry players including the Facebook-sponsored Telecom Infra Project (TIP), coupled with RDK-B, and natively by many of Plume’s CSP customers such as Charter Communications. Today, 25 million OpenSync-integrated access points have been deployed. A comprehensive silicon-to-cloud framework––that is embedded in and supported by major silicon providers––OpenSync ensures that CSPs can increase service scope and velocity, and offer data-driven, proactive support and service.

“Our long collaboration with Plume has added tremendous value to customers of our cutting-edge networking platforms, and has helped service providers deploy differentiated capabilities for the smart home,” said Nick Kucharewski, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Infrastructure and Networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our work related to OpenSync has provided our customers a framework to rapidly deploy services from the cloud.”

Channel partner and OEM advocacy

“With a number of customer wins already secured––including Franklin Telephone and Summit Broadband––the ADTRAN and Plume partnership is enabling service providers to drive significant customer satisfaction and OpEx gains, by delivering unprecedented quality of experience through advanced network insight and data analytics,” said Robert Conger, SVP of Technology and Strategy, ADTRAN.

“Fast time to market is one of the major benefits that is helping Broadband Networks to deliver new smart home services to independent service providers in Switzerland. By reducing deployment times to as little as 60 days, Plume has enabled our customers to go-to-market in a fraction of the time it would usually take,” said Ivo Scheiwiller, President & CEO, Broadband Networks.

“Plume’s pioneering business model is beneficial to all stakeholders as it enables ISPs to buy their licensed SuperPods directly from us. Working with Plume’s talented and highly efficient engineering team, we’ve been able to incorporate a vast amount of cutting-edge technology into the new SuperPod, and achieve industry-defining performance,” said Haibo Zhao, CTO, CIG.

“As the main integrated partner of Plume since its creation, we’re delighted to market our WiFi extenders and broadband gateways together with Plume’s Consumer Experience Management Platform. Many of our customers rely on the scalability and speed-to-market advantages that the OpenSync platform has delivered, to bring in a new wave of services, all built on open-source and controlled from the cloud,” said Ahmed Selmani, Deputy CEO, Sagemcom.

“As a leading supplier of telecom equipment, Sercomm is committed to delivering solutions with the latest technology. Our customers consistently demand access to the most performant CPE devices in the market. We are delighted to be able to manufacture Plume’s ground-breaking pod family of WiFi access points that have been proven, time and time again, to deliver quite simply the best WiFi performance on the market,” said James Wang, CEO, Sercomm.

“The generation of CPE that is currently being deployed to homes around the world represents a new opportunity to redefine the relationships that network operators have with their subscribers. Open gateways from leading manufacturers like Technicolor have led to new revenue-generating services –– including cloud-gaming, smart-home management, security and much more. By integrating Plume’s Customer Experience Management Platform built on OpenSync, network service providers will be able to optimize the delivery of innovative services from many different providers by managing complexity and tailoring value propositions to the specific needs of subscribers…rapidly and at massive scale,” said Girish Naganathan, Chief Technology Officer, Technicolor.

Plume’s CEM Platform

By partnering with Plume, CSPs and their subscribers have access to the world’s most advanced CEM Platform for the smart home. Powered by cloud and AI, it combines benefits of a back-end data prediction and analytics suite––Haystack™––and highly personalized front-end consumer services suite––HomePass™––to enhance the subscriber’s smart home experience, while significantly reducing the CSP’s operational costs. Plume has received multiple product and best-practices awards in recognition for its transformative impact on customer experience, including most recently from Wi-Fi NOW, Light Reading, Broadband World Forum, and Frost and Sullivan.

Strong endorsement by global Tier 1 CSPs

Plume partners with many of the world’s largest CSPs; Plume’s CEM Platform allows them to evolve their smart home offerings to deliver high-value consumer services at high cadence across diverse hardware landscapes with ease.

“Bell is leading the way in Smart Home solutions in Canada, backed by our direct fibre network connections that deliver the fastest consumer Internet speeds with Plume pods extending smart WiFi to every room in the home,” said Rizwan Jamal, EVP, President Residential and Small Business Services, Bell Canada. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Plume to build on the innovative cloud services that will further enhance connectivity for our residential customers.”

“Advanced In-Home WiFi provides Spectrum Internet and WiFi customers with the ability to optimize their home networks, offering both detailed insights and providing greater control of their connected devices to deliver an unmatched home WiFi experience. Integrating our core advanced technology, and leading WiFi router, with the OpenSync cloud platform and software stack allows us to nimbly deliver best-of-breed features and services. Nearly 400 million devices are connected to our vast network, and we take seriously our responsibility to deliver fast, reliable service, while protecting and securing our customers’ online private information,” said Carl Leuschner, SVP of Internet and Voice Products, Charter Communications.

“Fast, reliable connections that extend throughout the home have never been more important, and our partnership with Plume has played a valuable role in helping our customers achieve that. Two times faster than the first generation, the cloud-managed network capacity provided by our new second-generation xFi Pod provides our customers with a powerful tool for getting the most out of their home connections,” said Tony Werner, President of Technology, Product, Xperience, Comcast Cable. “As an early investor in Plume, and their first major customer in the United States, we applaud them for reaching this impressive milestone.”

“For the past year, J:COM subscribers have been experiencing the benefits of Plume’s services, which create personalized, fast, and secure WiFi throughout the home. We’ve recently expanded our relationship to distribute Plume’s Consumer Experience Management Platform to cable operators throughout Japan, who are now empowered with the tools and technology they need to remain competitive and provide high-value services to their subscribers,” said Mr. Yusuke Ujimoto, Managing Corporate Officer and GM, Business Innovation Unit at J:COM.

“Liberty Global’s gigabit network capabilities benefit from Plume’s Consumer Experience Management Platform by creating a more insightful and intelligent smart home. Bringing together OpenSync and our next-generation broadband, we have a time to market advantage, sophisticated network diagnostics tools, and insights to ensure our customers have the best experience possible,” said Enrique Rodriguez, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Liberty Global.

“In the past few months, with customers locked down in their homes, WiFi has become the most relevant service to connect Portuguese homes to their extensive network of families, friends and coworkers. To face this demand, NOS has found in Plume the right partner to provide its customers with an innovative WiFi service that combines coverage and stability throughout the home, including optional parental control as well as advanced security services. Plume’s solution allows a free trial period and provides NOS’ customers with a flexible subscription model available in different options according to the size of the household. The new offer that launched in August ’20 has been a success both in NPS and sales, continuously achieving unprecedented levels of WiFi subscriptions in the Portuguese market,” said Luis Nascimento, CMO and Executive Board Member, NOS Comunicações.

“Vodafone Fiber broadband customers enjoy a reliable and robust WiFi experience in every corner of the home. Adaptive WiFi by Plume is part of our Vodafone Super WiFi service, which continuously learns from WiFi use and performs self-optimization, ensuring people, and devices stay connected. Through Plume cloud services, we’re able to proactively and reactively diagnose potential network issues and easily support customers when necessary. This level of insight makes the difference,” said Blanca Echániz, Head of Product and Services, Vodafone Spain.

Rapid growth within the Independent CSP sector

Plume’s CSP partners see operational and consumer benefits across several vital areas: speed to market, product innovation, and consumer experience.

Speed to market – for independent service providers, the ability to quickly integrate back-office systems, such as billing, inventory, and fulfillment, is critical in reducing OpEx during the initial deployment and beyond. Plume offers all CSPs valuable consumer insights, digital marketing content, and ongoing co-marketing support in addition to the operational benefits.

“Plume’s cloud-managed smart home services can be deployed rapidly and at massive scale. Best of all, these new and exciting features can uncover insights and analytics that drastically improve the connected home experience,” said Dennis Soule, President/CEO, Community Cable & Broadband.

“We evaluated a number of solutions and found Plume to be the best fit for us. We were amazed at how easy it was to set up, even for non-technical staff. Pair that with the ease of use for the end customer, and best-in-class analytics, and we knew that we had a winner. Since rollout, we have been impressed with Plume’s support platform and their regular communication on cloud and firmware updates. The value that Plume has brought us in terms of both new revenue opportunities and reduced truck rolls was recognized almost immediately. But most importantly, our customers love it!” said Steve Frey, General Manager, Stratford Mutual Telephone Company.

“Delivering Plume to our customers could not be simpler, more efficient or cost effective. Our subscribers can effortlessly install Plume at home with a high success rate, and updates are rolled out automatically as soon as the software is ready,” said Mark Walter, Senior Vice President, Service Electric Cablevision.

“We were thrilled when the NCTC introduced the Plume product to its members. We were searching for a managed WiFi system to improve the user experience for our customers. The Plume product has been successful at improving customer satisfaction and retention at StratusIQ. Now that we have a managed WiFi solution that scales to the size of the customer’s home, we feel much more comfortable deploying IPTV solutions,” said Ben Kley, President and GM, StratusIQ.

Product innovation – because of Plume’s cloud-based architecture, new services are developed and launched globally at an accelerated rate. Network operations, support, and consumer services are developed using SaaS methodologies, allowing CSPs to scale rapidly.

“Plume is an advanced solution that continuously learns about your Internet needs and performs advanced self-optimizations. This cloud-coordinated system gives customers stable and consistent WiFi coverage and speed in any room/area of their business or home,” said Gino Villarini, Founder and President, AeroNet.

“Plume’s SuperPods along with the Plume platform offers a cutting-edge solution for our customer base. Since launching the product, the overall feedback has been extremely positive. Our customers are experiencing stable WiFi connections and complete home coverage with an average of 2.5 SuperPods per home in our demographic. Additionally, our Help Desk and IT teams are benefiting from having visibility into the customers network for remote troubleshooting purposes. It is quicker and easier for us to identify the root causes of troubles which translates into faster resolutions for our customers. Yes, we can make the argument that the Plume platform has given us the ability to provide better customer service. Plume has been a game changer for our company, and we are very excited about the Plume for Small Business solution once it becomes available,” said Robert Parisien, President, D&P Communications.

“Plume’s app based product is more consumer friendly than products we have used in the past so it provides wireless service customers with an experience they can benefit from. Plume just works. The product has reduced support calls and churn when compared to our old WiFi solution. It is refreshing to work with a vendor that provides an innovative product that makes a positive difference,” said Dave Hoffer, COO, MCTV.

“WightFibre leverages the unprecedented insight Plume’s sophisticated customer support tools and data dashboards provide into each and every home. This in turn allows problems to be solved immediately without an engineer call-out––again this is really appreciated by the customer. The metrics speak for themselves: our customer satisfaction Net Promoter Score is now consistently in the high 50s. The average time taken to resolve a customer case has reduced from 1.47 to 0.45 days as problem resolution now rarely requires an engineer visit. The number of cases has also reduced by 25% year on year,” said John Irvine, CEO, WightFibre.

Consumer experience – born in the cloud, Plume’s consumer service, HomePass, provides subscribers with intelligent, self-optimizing WiFi, control of internet access and content filtering, and security features that ensure devices and people stay protected against malicious activity.

“As leaders in broadband technology, we know that the modern smart home requires a personalized approach tailored to each person, home and device. Plume does just that,” said Matt Weller, President of All West Communications.

“Zoom, featuring HomePass by Plume, creates the ultimate user experience by putting WiFi where the customer needs it most. As a result, our customers experience fewer coverage and performance issues, which generate less need for assistance and higher levels of satisfaction.  We couldn’t be happier with our decision to use Plume as the technology partner for our Enhanced WiFi product,” said Jeff Ross, President of Armstrong.

“Today’s home WiFi experience has become a point of frustration with subscribers, but Plume eliminates the challenge entirely. While we know that Plume self-optimizes daily—with real-time data usage in order to prioritize bandwidth when and where it’s needed—all our customers know is that an easy self-installation leads to a robust wall-to-wall WiFi experience,” said Matthew L. Dosch, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Comporium.

“Access to fast, reliable internet has never been more important as consumers need remote access to work-from-home, students are doing distance learning from home, and families are watching more streaming video content than ever before. Smart WiFi gives consumers more bandwidth on demand in any room of the home thanks to Plume Adapt––the best part about this service is that homeowners can control everything from one easy-to-use app,” said Ashley Phillips, General Manager of C Spire Home.

“Our Whole Home WiFi service, Powered by Plume HomePass, delivers fast and consistent internet throughout the home, it keeps families safe from potential security threats and gives them better control over their digital health. We thank Plume for making this possible,” said Rod Boss, President and CEO, Docomo Pacific.

“Plume’s easy-to-use platform has allowed our customers to work untethered throughout their homes, so they can do business and attend school remotely with confidence in their wireless connection.  The intuitive Plume app gives users the ability to manage and monitor all wireless devices in their network, allowing them to see what’s consuming bandwidth and control devices from their phone or tablet. It is a timely product for today’s market and helps us to stay competitive as we strive to meet the ever-changing and increasing needs of our customers,” said Todd Foje, CEO, Great Plains Communications.

“Our partnership with Plume has made reliable connectivity a standard for all of our WiFi customers. We’ve experienced triple-digit growth on our internet product each month since launching Plume, and trouble tickets have dramatically decreased. Customers love our WiFi solution and we love Plume!” said Vice President and General Manager, Mike Oblizalo, Hood Canal Cablevision.

“We only offer our customers premier broadband services and technology. i3 Smart WiFi, Powered by Plume HomePass provides another way for our customers to have a world-class internet experience,” said Brian Olson, COO, i3 Broadband.

“Today’s home WiFi experience can vary for some customers, however Plume eliminates this entirely by distributing WiFi seamlessly throughout the home. With Plume, JT customers’ WiFi networks self-optimise daily with real-time data usage and prioritises bandwidth where and when it is needed the most, providing an unparalleled full-fibre experience on one of the world’s fastest networks,” said Daragh McDermott, Managing Director, JT Channel Islands.

“Our customers see the Internet and WiFi as one and the same. Plume has helped us elevate our in-home customer experience to the next level with seamless coverage throughout the home. The HomePass app gives the customers the device level insight and control over their Internet they’ve been asking for…. best of all, it’s simple!” said Brent Olson, President and CEO, Long Lines.

“Plume has allowed us to help customers take control of their WiFi home experience and given us the tools to help them if they need assistance.  Customer satisfaction has been higher with this technology than any other deployment we have ever launched,” said Chad Lawson, CTO, Murray Electric.

“Since deploying Plume, our customer satisfaction has never been higher, and our customer service team has received fewer WiFi related support calls. Our customers now enjoy a WiFi experience that just works perfectly,” said Gary Schrimpf, Asst. Superintendent, Communications, Wadsworth CityLink.

Iconic and performance leading hardware designs

Many of the world’s leading CSPs use Plume’s SuperPod™ WiFi access point (AP) and router technology to deliver next generation Smart Home Services. This includes Comcast, Charter Communications, Liberty Global, Bell, J:COM and over 45 others across North America, Europe and Asia. Liberty Global will also deploy Plume’s SuperPod technology to European consumers in the first quarter of 2021, having expanded its partnership with Plume in February of this year.

Plume’s SuperPod is heralded for its performance in independent third-party product tests. Ars Technica’s Jim Salterwrote: “Plume is on top in each of the four test stations, and it’s got a lower variance between worst and best station, which means more consistent coverage across the house as well.”

“As the creator of the CEM category, we have made it our mission to define modern Smart Home Services and become the world’s standard. We are committed to serving every communications service provider around the globe, small and large, and to delivering delightful consumer experiences via engaging front-end services and cloud-data-driven, back-end insights,” said Fahri Diner, Co-founder & CEO at Plume. “I’m thankful for all of our partners and their continued trust and support as we reach this significant milestone. And I would like to extend a special recognition to ‘the class of 2017’ – Bell Canada, Comcast, Liberty Global, Sagemcom and Qualcomm who had the courage and conviction to bet on Plume early, and with whom our partnership has only deepened and expanded as we reinvent the residential service bundles together.”

About Plume®
Plume is the creator of the world’s first Consumer Experience Management (CEM) Platform, powered by OpenSync™, which enables the curation and delivery of new Smart Home Services rapidly and at massive scale. The Plume HomePass™ Smart Home Services Suite which includes Plume Adapt™, Guard™, Control™, and Sense™ is managed by the Plume Cloud, a data- and AI-driven cloud controller currently running the largest software-defined network in the world. Plume leverages OpenSync, an open-source framework which comes pre-integrated and supported on the leading silicon and platform SDKs for coordination by the Plume Cloud.

Visit and

Follow Plume on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Plume, Powered by Plume HomePass, OpenSync, HomePass, Haystack, SuperPod, Adapt, Guard, Control, and Sense are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Plume Design, Inc. Other company and product names are used for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Plume Design, Inc.

The world loves all things wireless, and this love affair has consumed all the high-value spectrum below 6 GHz. In an effort to continue to meet the demand for more capacity the industry is looking to the millimeter-wave bands, and specifically the V-band up at 60 GHz. This band provides 14 GHz (57-71 in the U.S.) of unlicensed spectrum and its use has been standardized by the IEEE as 802.11ad and ay. The early focus of this spectrum was on residential broadband deployments to better compete with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services. We are now seeing a move toward using the V-band for indoor enterprise backbone applications. This band provides a great deal of spectrum, but one must be aware of the propagation challenges when operating at these frequencies. They can be summarized as follows:

1) Free space path loss (FSPL), as defined by Friis, increases as the square of the frequency plus the square of the distance.

Free Space Path Loss (dB) = 20log10(d) + 20log10(f) + 92.45 — where d is in kilometers and f is in GHz

While the math might seem interesting, why do we see greater path loss in the high-frequency bands? It turns out that it all comes down to the size of the receive antenna. At 60 GHz, the optimum antenna size is less than 1/2 a wavelength or about 2-millimeters, whereas, at 6 GHz, it’s an order of magnitude larger. This number gets squared for antenna sizing, and the bigger the antenna the more energy that gets captured. So, yes, a V-band signal will see an additional 20 dB of path loss as compared to a 6 GHz signal, and it doesn’t matter whether you are going 2 feet or 2 kilometers. It’s all about the size of the receive antenna. While this might sound like a negative, it really isn’t.

2) Path loss from foliage is always hard to estimate as it depends on the type of tree, the thickness of the canopy, proximity to the radio, wind, moisture in the leaves, and frequency of the RF signal. There is a very good ITU paper on the subject with an excellent chart that estimates the loss you can expect with different frequencies. Foliage is never your friend, and it gets worse as you move into the millimeter-wave bands. One great way to eliminate the problems with trees is to operate indoors.

Attenuation in Vegetation (PDF)

3) Path loss from rain is almost totally nonexistent in the bands below 6 GHz, but as you move up into the millimeter-wave bands, it becomes quite severe. At 60 GHz, you can expect about 10 dB per kilometer of loss from heavy rain, which is defined as 50 mm/hour. There is an excellent report by the FCC (Bulletin #70) that provides a lot more detail on rain fade and general atmospheric challenges. Again, this is eliminated by operating indoors where you are well away from the elements.

FCC Bulletin #70 (PDF)

4) Non-line of sight (NLoS) represents all sorts of problems for the V-band because diffraction becomes much less of a factor above 10 GHz, which means multipath comes down to reflection, and reflection requires a smooth surface. A rough surface produces a much more diffuse reflection. The end result is that the millimeter bands are going to struggle in any non-line of sight situation beyond about 100 meters. A great way around this problem is to relay the signal using intermediate nodes (repeaters). These nodes can extend the range of the signal and punch through wood, glass, sheetrock, and most other building materials at short distances.

5) Oxygen absorption is a real problem up around 60 GHz, with path loss equal to 20 dB per kilometer. This greatly reduces the range of the signal, but greatly increases the spectral reuse. In high-capacity density situations, the more limited the RF propagation, the greater the spectral reuse, and very high spectral reuse enables an enormous amount of wireless network capacity. In a 60,000 square foot office building the same V-band channel can be used dozens of times without any noticeable co-channel interference. Try that with the Wi-Fi bands down at 2.4 and 5.8 GHz.

6) One great advantage with the V-band is that beamforming is easy to implement because the antenna elements (see section #1) are smaller than a thumbtack and a large phased-array can be packed into a very small enclosure. This enables the transmitter to focus a very narrow beam at the receiver. By creating a narrow beam it is possible to greatly increase the gain as seen by the receiver, which helps overcome a lot of the free space path loss (FSPL) while at the same time limiting co-channel interference. These large arrays also greatly increase the receive sensitivity.

7) This all sounds great, but what about interference? The V-band consists of unlicensed spectrum which opens up the possibility of interference from neighbor networks. This is not a problem with indoor deployments because the very limited propagation characteristics at these frequencies will prevent signals from outside your building, or even on another floor within your building, from leaking over into your deployment. Control over real estate gives you all the protection required. There is a very good whitepaper by the Facebook team for the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) that looks at attenuation at 60 GHz for different types of building materials. The primary building material encountered within an office building is sheetrock which is easily penetrated by V-band signals (see chart on page 1).

TIP mmWave Networks Analysis (PDF)

These RF characteristics make the V-band ideally suited to indoor applications where there is no rain or foliage, interference is non-existent, and very high spectral reuse enables a great deal of wireless network capacity. As with everything wireless, there is no substitute for a field trial of the technology. Today’s enterprise customers will be making use of frequencies in the low-band, mid-band, and V-band. Each has value, but make sure to use the right tool for the job.

The Rise of the All-Wireless Enterprise

In the 20 years since Wi-Fi first emerged, it has rapidly reshaped the networking world.  It is now the primary method for data access in enterprise and residential applications worldwide.  Because of the huge success of Wi-Fi, there is no longer a requirement to pull copper cable to every desktop which fundamentally changes the nature of in-building networking.  Wi-Fi will soon be joined by private 5G cellular networks that run in the CBRS band (in the U.S.) and will greatly improve in-building cellular service.  CBRS uses a very special licensing regime that allows the enterprise to easily acquire the needed spectrum.  The move to the all-wireless enterprise is well underway, but its success depends on spectrum.

The FCC has been hard at work opening up new spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed use.  Their latest effort involves spectrum sharing in the band between 5.925 – 7.125 GHz.  This represents 1.2 GHz of spectrum and the IEEE has wasted no time extending 802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6) to operate in the 6 GHz band. This extension is now known as Wi-Fi 6E and merchant silicon is on its way.  Note: Wi-Fi 6 and 6E are certification programs within the Wi-Fi Alliance.

The emergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E and the opening up of 1.2 GHz of new spectrum is creating a wireless perfect storm.  The tremendous throughput of this technology, approaching 10 Gbps (theoretical), is made possible by using 160 MHz wide channels, advanced beamforming techniques, and multi-user MIMO (aka spatial multiplexing).  The latter enables a single access point to communicate with as many as 8 users at the SAME time over the SAME RF channel.  Each of these data streams can approach 1 Gbps, which means a 30,000 square feet office building with 150 heavy data users can easily be supported with half a dozen Wi-Fi 6E Access Points, and with 7 non-overlapping 160 MHz channels in the 6 GHz band, there is no meaningful interference.  This fundamentally changes the nature of enterprise in-building networking.  No more having to pull wire to every desktop, now it’s about connecting a handful of broadband access points back to the wiring closet.

So, what is the optimum way to backhaul Wi-Fi 6/6E and private 5G cellular access points?

One option is to use shielded CAT6A cable with a solid core and a plenum rating.  This is more expensive, thicker, and harder to pull than CAT5, but it can deliver the throughput required for Wi-Fi 6 and 6E AP’s and it can support PoE (power-over-Ethernet) at distances up to 100 meters.  As a result, CAT6A has become the default structured cabling solution in most new enterprise builds, but it has its limitations.

  1. Moves, adds, and changes (MAC) can be extremely problematic as it involves techs pulling wire through ceilings and walls, and change is the only certainty in today’s enterprise.
  2. Installs take a long time, especially in a retrofit. It’s not just the time spent pulling wire, but the time it takes to get on the contractor’s calendar.
  3. It’s not consistent with an increasingly mobile workforce. The network must be as agile as the workforce it supports, and the use of copper cable tends to fix the location of Wi-Fi AP’s.
  4. It can be very expensive to deploy in certain situations

There is a very good paper by Siemon called Zone Cabling for Cost Savings (14-11-10-zone-cabling-for-cost-savings.pdf) that looks at the cost to deploy different types of structured cabling.  Shielded CAT6A with a solid core and a plenum rating is seen as the optimum enterprise solution, but @ a cost of over $500 per drop (installed).  The cost to pull wire is dominated by the cost of labor, which can vary greatly depending on location.  Because labor is such a big part of the equation, the normal practice is to add a second drop during the install.  It doesn’t cost much more to double up on the cables once the techs are onsite, but if you have to come back later it can get very expensive.  This does have an impact on the quoted cost per drop.  In the example above, it is approx. $500 per drop because the cost is amortized over 72 drops to 36 different locations.  If the goal is to connect a single broadband access point, then a single drop is more than enough.  The Siemon paper also looked at the cost of moves, adds, and changes, which can get very expensive even with a zone cabling approach.

The bottom line when pulling cable is that it’s usually best to overbuild in hopes of avoiding expensive moves, adds, and changes in the future.  The chart below is from that report.

The emergence of millimeter-wave technology operating in the V-band offers a compelling option to legacy wired solutions.  There is enough spectrum in these bands (14 GHz) to match the throughput of fiber, but with all the flexibility of a wireless solution.  Note: the FCC has also been busy opening up spectrum in the millimeter-wave bands.

  • V-band standards (802.11ad and ay) from the IEEE have enabled the merchant silicon industry to develop the needed chipsets
  • The V-band is well suited to indoor deployments as it avoids rain, foliage, and long distances, all of which are a problem at 60 GHz
  • Moves, adds, and changes become effortless when using radios to backhaul Wi-Fi 6/6E AP’s
  • Advanced antenna technology and wide channels enable the technology to backhaul at rates approaching 10 Gbps. See the blog titled “7 Reasons to Love the V-band” for more on antenna technology.
  • It’s a perfect fit when the density of endpoints is fairly low as is the case with powerful Wi-Fi 6/6E AP’s.
  • There is NO need to overbuild as it is easy to add capacity at a later date.
  • Expect millimeter-wave radios to be very cost-effective, and to operate in ring configurations for reliability and even lower cost.

CAT6 should continue to do just fine in data centers, but in office buildings and factories look for wireless backhaul solutions to begin to dominate.  Backhauling with millimeter-wave radios is a perfect complement to Wi-Fi 6/6E and private 5G cellular access points as they begin to roll out in today’s more forward-looking enterprises.