The Wi-Fi Alliance is adding new features to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh, bringing new capabilities to further improve the Wi-Fi user experience in multiple access point networks.
Wi-Fi EasyMesh implements a standards-based approach, combining self-adapting Wi-Fi with a flexible design, easy setup, and enhanced network intelligence.
Current limitations on Wi-Fi coverage in the home often restrict customers from using their broadband services in many locations within their premises.
Inexpensive and unmanaged Wi-Fi extenders can fill in some coverage holes in the home, but extenders generally do not have the same level of performance as multi-access point (multi-AP) systems.
Deploying multiple Wi-Fi APs across the premises can solve coverage problems, but only if the APs are properly configured, such as using non-overlapping Wi-Fi channels. A number of vendors now offer multi-AP systems which can self-configure, and broadband operators are using these systems.
Many current multi-AP systems are proprietary, with the complete set of hardware and software controlled by a single vendor. These offer an enticing, rapid, off-the-shelf solution to coverage problems. However, using these systems means that a user or operator is locked-in to a single vendor, now and in the future. A customer cannot provide their own AP, and upgrades are limited to offerings from that specific vendor. Over time, the locked-in system may eventually become a headache.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh was introduced by Wi-Fi Alliance to bring a common approach to multi-AP Wi-Fi networks and eliminate vendor lock-in by standardizing the interface between a controller and various APs.
Multi-AP systems that support Wi-Fi EasyMesh interoperate, so a certified multi-AP controller or agent can work with a multi-AP controller or agent from other vendors. A customer or operator who wants a different controller or AP can just swap it out with another Wi-Fi EasyMesh device. Any vendor’s multi-AP controller algorithms or software that support Wi-Fi EasyMesh can be used, and upgrading is seamless.
New features of Wi-Fi EasyMesh include:
- Data traffic separation – enables secure separation of private household Wi-Fi and guest Wi-Fi while sharing internet access
- Enhanced client steering with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Agile Multiband – improves roaming experience when a user moves from one Wi-Fi access point to another
- Coordinated channel availability – makes best use of the available Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) channels and minimizes network disruption
- Diagnostic support for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data Elements - enables delivery of network analytics and key performance indicators gathered from Wi-Fi Data Elements, improving device management for service providers
Once established, the network self-monitors to ensure optimized performance. Leveraging mechanisms from Wi-Fi Agile Multiband, Wi-Fi EasyMesh can guide devices to the access point providing the best service for that device. Wi-Fi EasyMesh networks can also modify the network’s structure based on changing conditions.